"The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection,and not fountain,to show them that we love them,not when we feel like it,but when they do"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game of blogs- Cyrus the lawyer (Round 1)

Team Blogsters

Chapter 8


He had no grief in life now but he had seen grief ages ago. His parents had never been happy together. They fought till all they were left with were shrieks, tears, and exhaustion. Luckily, they had separated, sparing him the horror of going through the mental trauma of watching them fight every day. It was decided then and there, he was going to study law and take people like his parents—and children like him—out of their grief.

And now, here he was, Cyrus Daruwala, a successful lawyer with his own practice. He picks up the glass paperweight on his desk absentmindedly rolling it around as he mentally goes over his schedule for the day. His mind goes back to how it all started for him—with his very first case.

~


​At the time, ​ Cyrus was just one year away from getting his degree. His seniors said he was excellent in what he did, so sometimes, they discussed their cases with him, always ma​i​ntaining client confidentiality, of course.

One evening, as one of his seniors started talking about a case they’d just gotten at the firm where she worked, it struck Cyrus. The client sounded suspiciously like his best friend’s sister, Tara. But lots of people are media professionals living in Mumbai, married to freelance writers, and with a daughter, he told himself.

And then he sighed. Yeah, right.

He knew what he was going to do even as he told himself he knew better.  He picked up the phone, and called Tara. Serves me right if she scolds me and tells me she’s happily married, he thought. In fact, it would be the best reaction he could get. He wanted Tara to be happy. She was like a sister to him.

Tara took a while to admit it to him, she kept up the pretense of being happily married for a while, before breaking down and finally admitting to him. She wasn’t happy in her marriage with Shekhar, where Roohi was her one solace. But things with Shek​h​ar had gotten worse day by day, until finally, it had become unbearable.

Tara wanted to divorce her husband. And she wanted full custody of her daughter.

“I can’t live without her,” she told Cyrus. “She’s all I have left now.”

The next day Tara called him, nearly hysterical. Shekhar had fled, she told him. Before Cyrus could process the information and ask her anything else—or even get her to calm down—Tara added that Roohi was missing as well.

In a shaking voice, Tara had read out a note that Shek​har had left for her.
 
‘I heard you on the phone last night. Guess what, I don't need you in my life either, but I won’t let you take Roohi away from me. Before you take her away from me, I’m taking her away from you. See how you like it now!’


When she had finished speaking, Cyrus did not know whether to console Tara, or tell her to breathe, speak, say something, anything—the other side of the receiver gave him nothing but an echoing silence.

“Tara?” he’d said worriedly.

“I need to do something. We need to fight back,” came her voice, after a long pause. “I’m flying in to Delhi to meet you tomorrow. My flight lands early morning. Meet me for coffee.”

Cyrus spent the rest of the day poring over case studies and precedent, getting his facts right, making notes in his little book. They’d decided to meet at a little café he knew for brunch, and now it was 12:00 pm. Tara was late. As Cyrus sat there next to the window, sipping his cafe latte, he hoped things would work out for little Tara. She had sounded so anxious on the phone.

Tara’s brother had been his best friend right from their school days. He’d moved away to go to law school, but he’d still kept in touch with the family. Tara had always treated him like a younger brother, and it pained him to think of her suffering this way.  All the time he had known her, she’d been the confident one, guiding him and pulling him out of scrapes in school—but now it was she who was dependent on him to get her through this ordeal. He had never anticipated that something like this would happen in Tara's life. He was going to help her no matter what it took.

She entered the cafe with a chime of bells over the door. The waiter greeted her with a smile.

"Good afternoon, ma’am. Do you have a reservation?"

"Yes, I’m meeting Mr. Cyrus Daruwala. He should be here by now."

"Come right this way, ma’am."

In her purple dress shirt and black pants with matching pencil heels, Tara looked as graceful as always. As the waiter pulled out a chair for her, Tara dismissed him with a nod.

They greeted each other, and then there was an awkward silence. With a deep breath, Cyrus dove right into it.

“Tell me everything,” he said. “I know you told it to me before, but I need to hear it from the very beginning. The root cause of all this.”

There was a silence.

Tara leaned forward, resting her hands on the table top. She pressed her hands down as if gaining some unseen strength from it. Cyrus could see that she wanted her daughter back; her face was full of determination.  And then Tara sighed, and began narrating the whole story to Cyrus.

Shekhar and Tara had once had a very peaceful life. They had been happy with each other. They were both content with their careers, and their daughter Roohi. It all changed when Shekar was laid off. At first, Tara had supported the family financially while he tried to find another job.

And then, one fine day he told Tara that he was going to be a writer. Till he made it big and published his novel, he’d freelance from home, he’d said, and that is when the things started going downhill. Tara had to take on more at work because they were dependent on her salary until Shekh​ar could establish a freelance practi​ce for himself. She had to work long hours, late nights, and Shekhar was left to look after Roohi.

There was conflict between them because of that. It hadn’t helped when Shek​h​ar started feeling insecure and jealous, telling her not to work nights, constantly checking up on her, calling her every two hours. Tara had grown frustrated and told him that it was her job, and the money it brought home, that called for odd times. Shek​h​ar did not—or could not—understand, but Tara agreed to all his terms to save her marriage.

And still, Shek​har made no effort to change or cooperate with her. They fought every night when she returned from work. The verbal abuse was terrible. Roohi was affected by all this, which was when Tara had finally decided they needed to separate, for their daughter’s sake.

Leaning forward, Cyrus squeezed Tara’s shoulder as she wiped at her damp eyes with a tissue. Her coffee cup lay empty before her; she hadn’t been able to eat anything. Cyrus assured her that they had a strong case on their hands as according to the law, Shekhar had kidnapped Roohi, and was bound to go to jail as soon the police found them.

Cyrus pressed Tara to share a little of his pasta, and she accepted after some cajoling. Cyrus had already decided he would take care of his surrogate elder sister. She needed someone to lean on right now.

An hour later, after discussing the case again and rehashing the details one more time, Tara took her leave.

“I need to get back to the office,” she said with regret. “God knows I want to stay, but this project needs me. And I need the money. For the legal battle.” Her bottom lip trembled as she put on her sunglasses, but when she stood, her professional demeanour was back in place, and shook hands with him wordlessly. Tara left the café without a 
​backward​ glance.

As he watched her go, Cyrus ordered one more cup of his favorite café latte. He neede​d​ to get down in his little notebook everything he had heard from Tara.

Half an hour later, the coffee cup was empty, and his notebook was full.

                                          ********************

Now it was three years later, and they’re still waiting for Shekhar and Roohi to be found. Cyrus had solved a number of cases but his first case—the most important one to him, personally—is yet to be solved.

Sitting at his desk, Cyrus doesn’t feel the glass paperweight under his fingertips, his thoughts are with Tara. A knock on the door breaks his reverie.

Composing his demeanor and returning to his professional attitude he looks up at his assistant,  Mr. Roy.

“Sir, ACP Sanjay Arora called. There’s been a development in the case.”​

Here is the link to the previous chapter:
Chapter 7
 
This is a part of the #celebrateblogging
Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

No comments: