“Super-cop Vikram miraculously survives a major accident while in action”, screamed the headlines of the local newspaper.
It was past midnight and drizzling when Vikram drove through Thamaraserry ghat road, returning after performing the last rites of his slain brother at Thirunelli Temple. He stopped at the thatched tea shop, nestled in the widened bay of a hairpin bend. Someone was sitting on a wooden bench smoking between sips of steaming tea.
The customer spoke first “Crazy weather, eh”.
Vikram nodded and ordered black tea.
“Where to?” the customer enquired.
“Calicut”, Vikram replied.
“Have I seen you before?” the customer asked.
“I am Vikram Nair, ACP….”
“Ah, yes, Vikram, the Super-cop”, the customer added
Vikram smiled modestly.
“Good night, gentlemen,” he said as he paid and retreated to his car.
“Sir”, the customer followed, “Would you care to drop me at Adivaram village, downhill?
Vikram hesitated before eventually agreeing to hitch hike this stranger. He had no specific reason to be apprehensive and moreover he carried his service pistol even on personal trips.
“What do you do?”, Vikram enquired.
“Does that matter, sir?”
Sensing a change in the stranger’s tone, Vikram turned and found himself facing a revolver pointing at his head.
“Just keep driving. Don’t dare to pull a fast one, cop, lest you wish to have your brains blown off as I did to your brother. Now, hear me out.”
“The plantations of Wayanad is a haven for the rich planters to indulge in their nefarious pursuits of hunting, gambling, drugs, sex. Your brother, my ex-employer, was the most notorious. Being sibling of a super-cop, he was quite influential”.
“I did not care” he continued “until he trespassed into my life and took away my pregnant wife. He gave me back her ravaged body, thrown out from a moving jeep.”
“I hunted him down the same night.”
“Mistake, my friend, a terrible mistake”, “he had pleaded for mercy when he stared into the revolver in my hand.”
“I did not know she was your wife. Ask for anything you want, and I can provide”, “he had tried to negotiate.”
“The streak of lightning exposed the dagger in his arm as he swung at me. I pulled the trigger and he fell down spitting blood.”
Vikram whispered “So, you are Vedhanarayanan, the killer on the run. If your story is true, I have a proposition for you. Surrender now and I will plead for a lenient term”
The vengeance in Vedha’ s eyes didn’t seem to agree.
Vikram took an instinctive decision. He stepped on the gas at a sharp curve, veering the jeep off the road and perilously close to the edge, taking Vedha off guard. He however misjudged the terrain condition. The soft earth, could not hold the weight over it and caved in, sending the car spinning down the cliff.
The Circle Inspector stapled the newspaper picture of Vedha’s lifeless body hanging over a banyan tree branch, in the crime file and marked “Case Closed”.
Thamaraserry ghat road is a dangerous mountain road in the Western Ghats connecting Calicut to Mysore and Ooty through Wayanad hill station. One of the most beautiful motorable streches of the Western Ghats
Thirunelli Temple: Thirunelli Temple in Wayanad district, Kerala draws pilgrims from allover, primarily for ancestral rites. The rituals are performed on the banks of the stream Papanasini which flows down from Mount Brahmagiri. It is believed that this stream has divine power to dissolve sins of all the mortals. Another major attraction of the temple is the holy rock where people pray for their forefathers.
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