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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chapter 14 - The Punchline

Dear Readers
Let me start by thanking you for your kind words of support, PMs, emails and skype messages. 

As a fan of the movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai, I plan to adhere to the principles of Gandhigiri and remain silent on the baseless accusations. Don't make the mistake of assuming my silence for weakness. Take it as my way of infusing some decency into madness. 

And just as Munna Bhai would famously say, I repeat after him - to my detractors, "Get Well Soon." 

“She’s sleeping. I’ve given her medication to calm her, she should be able to get a few hours of sleep.” Sasi walked out of Khushi’s bedroom and announced to the eager set of eyes waiting outside. ASR was on the phone barking instructions to secure the perimeter of the property and install motion-sensor lights and security cameras.

“Kevin, I will call you back.” He disconnected the call.
“Hows she doing?” he asked Sasi.
“She should be good for the next few hours.” ASR nodded and peeked over Sasi to check on khushi. She was fast asleep.
“I will stay with khushi tonite.” Garima got up to be with Khushi.
“I will be right outside the room, if you need anything.” ASR added and excused himself to make a few calls.

“Kevin, hi, so what the hell just happened? Any leads on who was hawking the house?” he paced the foyer. Kevin’s voice was tired and impatient.

“Not sure, we are making our usual contacts with informants. Should be a few hours before we get any thing worth sharing. How about you? Did Dr. Gupta talk about the Sabres?”

“Yes, he did. Listen, I need you to contact Interpol to get some data on a certain Sarah Schwab. I will email you over the details later tonite. And I need you to clear our meeting with Joseph Isaacson.”
“The curator of Field Museum?” Kevin asked with rising curiosity.

“Yes, I have some information he might be able to help me sift through. Send the best detail here, things just got fucked up. I can’t let anything happen to Khushi.”

“ASR” kevin’s voice changed its timbre to worry.  
“Yes” ASR snapped impatiently
“Don’t get involved too personally. Remember, you are walking on thin ice here, don’t make me pull you off the case.”
“Is that you speaking as my boss?” ASR stopped pacing and asked
“Its me speaking as a friend.”
“Got it.” He snapped the phone shut and walked back to the family room where the family was gathered to commiserate.

“Ok, Dr. Gupta, and everyone here. I want no one coming in or leaving the house without notifying one of the agents stationed outside. I want no more phone calls, no more invites and no more confusion. If anyone has any objections or reasons they cannot follow these rules until we find out what happened to Chameli and what Khushi saw, speak now.” ASR’s authoritative voice boomed in the space.

Payal sniggered as she watched the FBI agent impose restrictions on her. She wished she were back in school, the partying would have been much more fun that remaining cooped up in the house for the unforeseeable future. Shyam was gritting his teeth, his silent phone vibrated stubbornly demanding his attention. He had to be out of the house but he had to make sure he spoke to Khushi before he left. He needed a few more hours before he was ready to answer his phone and let the calling party know his decision.

Chameli’s death had changed the atmosphere for the worse. ASR knew it was an act of warning to him and the agents that despite their best efforts, the mafia was never too far away. They were on to the FBI when they wanted and where they wanted, right under the FBI’s nose. The more ASR thought about it, the more incensed he felt at the violation. He had to make sure Khushi was safe first.

“Yeah about that. Can I have a word with you Agent Raizada.” Shyam piped in from the large couch he was sprawled on, “Alone.”

ASR did not like the sound of that. He watched Shyam’s body language with growing irritation. His hunch told him If there was a man with an agenda, it was Shyam but FBI sweeps on the man had come clean. Dr. Shyam Jha, chief surgeon of ER at one of the most prestigious hospitals of the country, was a rising star. The man had an impeccably clean life, stellar career records, no police charges, not even a parking ticket, an engagement with Khushi that seemed tailor made for fairy tales, and it smelled too good to be true. In fact, he was so squeaky clean that ASR had an ominous feeling about the man. He had to be hiding something.

“Sure, lets take it outside.” ASR was itching for a showdown and he found the perfect opportunity.

The two men got out of the house and stood in the snow on the patio. Shyam was building up a slow burn and wanted to throttle ASR for throwing a wrench in his plans. His eyes bored through ASR with unconcealed hostility.

“I am the future son-in-law of this house. So, as a person who is concerned with the security of the family, I have a right to know everything you know so far.” He laid it out as simply as he could for ASR.

“Oh really? FBI is not in the business of sharing information with anyone beyond protocol. I’m not here for your Kumbaya moment, I’m here to do my job.” He bit back, not trying hard to hold back his anger.

“Then do your job damn well, motherfucker!” Shyam’s temper bubbled through at last.

ASR’s ears turned red and the itch in his palm became unbearable. 

Shyam didn’t know what hit him. ASR connected a strong punch straight to the man’s nose.

“Ow!” Shyam screamed as he buckled over, cupping his nose, “You motherfucker, you punched, me Ow! Ow! Ow!" he danced around holding his nose in pain. "Fuck you! Aahh!” he bent over spewing a few more expletives directed at ASR. ASR looked satisfied with his punch, although secretly his knuckles hurt a bit. He leaned over Shyam and whispered.

“Just doing my job. Something I should have done a long time ago.” he smiled in satisfaction.

“You bastard, you will pay for this. Mark my words. Ow!” Shyam winced holding his bloodied nose oozing blood down his chin.

“Is that a threat?” ASR cocked his head and asked, “Because threatening an FBI agent is a misdemeanor.” ASR didn't wait to hear his reply, he wanted the satisfaction of getting the last word in, he dusted a speck of dirt off Shyam's shoulder and left.

“Bastard, motherfucking asshole. This ain't over!” Shyam was quickly running out of his repertoire of swear words.


“Motherfuckers!” ASR swore as he entered his room. It was a complete mess, things had been pulled, thrown, scattered, opened and searched. Incredible!

He punched Kevin’s number.

“Yes, breach in my room. Do you have the box with you?”
“Yes, I do. Good thinking on your part sending it down to the office. I am telling you there is a mole in the mix. ASR, be careful.”
“Yeah, I will. Can you email me the inventory list and photocopy of any notes in the box? ASAP!”
“I’ve got three agents on it. You should be getting them soon.”
ASR knew the game had just gotten worse. Someone killed the poor dog to distract them, and had his room ransacked. Someone who was in the vicinity of the house – but who? The field agents, Sasi, Garima, Shyam, Payal or Molly? The task had just gotten harder for him. It was one thing to fight the outer forces and another to fight a mole.


David put the peroxide on the bite marks.
“Damn you, motherfucker!” Noam spit out as the lotion zinged his wounds.
“The dog got you good. But really, you didn’t have to kill the animal.”
“The bitch deserved to die. And don’t go soft on me? The dog was a necessary distraction.”
“But we got nothing.”
“Nah! But I know where the agent is going next.”
“Time to pay our man Isaacson a visit.”
Noam smiled at the impending meeting with Joseph Isaacson. This was not the first time he had met the man. Twenty years ago, when he had first taken charge of the Sabre account, he had visited Isaacson on the pretense of a historical project for World War Two. He had subtly put the question of the Sabres and its historical significance. The man had been vague then. It was time to call his bluff.


Gitu kicked back and relaxed on her couch with a glass of red. NK was working on his laptop next to her and the TV hummed in the background playing latest episode of Dexter.

“So did you get me clearance to visit Khushi? I’d like to spend Christmas with them, they are like family to me.” She asked, feigning distraction to appear casual about her question.

NK’s ears perked. He decided to confuse her with a kiss. Gitu responded but extracted herself soon enough to not lose her train of thought.

“NK! Come on, tell me.” She pushed him away in mock anger.

He got up and stretched his back. He had to find out what was brewing in her head and where she stood on the issue. He wanted to play the fool to lower her guard and figure out her motives.

“Sweetheart, I’m the mood for a nice hot shower, care to join.” He winked.

She was not fooled by it. A chance to romp in the shower, knowing his sexual prowess was an invitation too tempting to refuse. She got up and followed him with a naughty smile.

Later, as the two lay exhausted on the bed, he dozed off. She got up and began tooling around his laptop.
She scrolled through his emails. Most of them looked uninteresting. Then she found what she was looking for. She opened the email and began jotting down the information on a piece of paper. She riffled through other email, searching for key words that would give her a clue about the information she was looking for. 

She was engrossed in transcribing the notes and didn’t notice an annoyed NK leaning on the wall, watching her intently. He cleared his throat.

She panicked and dropped the laptop. She stood up, her face washed in fear and looking every bit guilty.
“What are you looking for Gitu?” he asked casually, ambling over to her with carefully constructed ease.

“N…N..nothing!” she stuttered, crumpling the piece of paper she had in her hand and hiding it behind her.
“Now, now, you know just as well as I do, you are on to something. The question is, are we on to the same thing?”  He smirked with a glint of anticipation.

She wasn’t ready to take the hook. She shook her head in refusal.

“No? Then show me that piece of paper you got.” He took one large stride and had her wrists in his stronghold. She squirmed trying to free herself and clamped her fists tight. Her delicate fingers were no match for his and soon she found her piece of paper in his hands. He read the scratch paper and his face increasingly turned red.

He looked up and found her crying. He dropped the piece of paper and pulled her into a hug.

“Shhh, shhh, shhh sweety. Don’t cry. Why didn’t you tell me before? You should know we are on the same side of the equation. I’m with you. Do you understand?” He kissed the top of her head and gently rocked her to calm her down. 


  1. Dear SJ,

    Hugs. Admire you tremendously for this. Lage raho......
    The world suddenly seems to have gone CUCKOO.

    Thanks for the update.


  2. Dear SJ,

    Hugs. Admire you tremendously for this. Lage raho......
    The world suddenly seems to have gone CUCKOO.

    Thanks for the update.

  3. AHAAA NK ji is he playing the player or is he a player..................tanta taaaang i can jsut about hear the music...

  4. Replies
    1. This is getting more and more mysterious. What's up with both NK and Gitu? Oh god, is NK just acting to know Gitu's true intent or is he also playing around with his own personal motive??? This twist is twisting my head.

      Absolutely loved the PUNCH, that bastard needs few more. LOL

  5. What now??? We're on the same side..,

    Keeps getting more intriguing...

    Love it


  6. oh no! don't tell me nk and gitu are working against khushi... oh mon dieu

  7. SJ,
    You wicked girl! How could you stop there when it gets so interesting? You know how to keep us waiting impatiently for updates right? "We are on the same side??? "
    Anyways so will keep stalking.
    I am so happy for the punch on the nose!

  8. fab update.... what is nk into... is he the mole? this is interesting...

  9. NK is only play-acting I suppose?????

    Anyway, interesting...who ransacked ASR's room? Going great


  10. Seriously ! NK is the mole in the FBI and Gitu is doing it for the Russian about lethal combination...nice

    Soloperson IF

  11. Oh what an update! I was really sad to see Chameli killed like that but you made my day with the punch:-) it wasn't quite a kick in the nuts but a bloody nose works too:-)

    Somehow I don't think Gitu and NK are the bad guys here..I think there's more going on there..

    As usual, love your work..keep writing!


  12. A very intriguing update!!!
    Oh, I am ecstatic that Shyam - the narcissist, got what he deserved.....and,him,muttering profanities did not cease after that punch...unbelievable..
    Ah! ASR's room has been ransacked.., but, the search proved futile..
    Really miffed with Noam....the guy is barbaric..Now, keeping fingers and toes crossed for Mr.Issacson's safety...
    So NK claims that they are on the same page....are they???
    Another cliff hanger from your end, and I do not mind it at all.....coz, I am aware that ,you always deliver the unexpected ,in your next update...

    And, I applaud you on your Munna Bhai approach, is apt...



  13. I felt like cheering when Arnav punched Shyam! Such an ass! :X I just can't figure out what is up with NK and Gitu.
    I feel like I should hold onto every detail I can find because somewhere it might give me hint as to who is up to what. But you're a pro SJ. Confused as hell. :P But then patience is a virtue. Can't wait for chapter 15.

    As for the plagiarism accusation- I found it hilarious that two characters can't like the same drink and what not. Blah. Waiting...

  14. Shyam got punched!

    And what's with Gitu an NK? So much more confusion! 8(

    His room got ransacked, hmm, so my suspicions were correct, it was done deliberately to create a distraction, the dog's murder. ....

    Is it Payal or Shyamu?

    Munnabhai approach! Hugs!

    JerryTheMouse / Sachi.

  15. Shyam got punched!! Yay!! He had that coming for a while!! :D :D
    Oh man....who is the mole??
    Is NK play-acting in the end??
    -raomedhz (IF)

  16. U always make Gitu a good friend of khushi...keep going SJ

  17. Omg nk's with Gitu??????:/ no!!!
    Who the he'll is nice!????
    Great update!
    It's getting interesting and interesting by each update:)

  18. Damn it I just got confused! I get that it's a mystery but just when i form an idea, it goes down the drain with the next chapter. Fabulous job my dear! Not sure i understood your note but let me tell u that ur fab and keep up the great work! 😊Sandy

  19. SJ, I'm not the one to mince words or refuse to say when things aren't right,

    You are absolutely at no mistake here, and have done no wrong. I appreciate the way you have held yourself through the accusations and mudslinging.

    Moving on to the update, I loved the punch ASR delivered on Shyam's face, much needed. So Gitu is having loads of fun with NK. Winks sad Chameli died.
    Can't wait to read further.


  20. I am the circuit to this Munna Bhai.
    Way to go darling!

    Also NK and I are on the same side *Phew* and what side is that supposed to be?
    I thought we like it 69? different sides and all.. Sex waala things happened and no one noticed. *haha*

    Shyam and ASR what an equation, absolute delight. Man to Man fight bees awesome.
    I think ASR needs to take Khushi and run for it, this house has some mad people?

    Chalo chalo update karo. I m die yaara.

    Chameli :( :( :( RIP


  21. on the same side!!! damn i don't know what to expect

    every character is still in the mystery and i am loving that.

    so glad Arnav punched Shyam.


  22. You talk about Gandhigiri, very apt and I am so glad you have this attitude in life; it is a welcome change in this world of “I-me-myself”. Thank you for being this decent about the whole unpleasant episode. I did not comment on that thread or contact you as I did not want to add fuel to the fire but hoped better sense prevailed from all sides.
    The update was good and that is the standard you have set, this I see as another step towards the fragility of relations in the story you have created. NK, Gitu, Payal, Shyam and everyone Khushi knows is not trust worthy, nope.
    I love dogs and feel the loss, it seems more painful to not the cold blooded manner in which the killing took place.
    I had a question, please do let me know and in the event it gets covered in the next update, ignore it. How come the other kids, don’t know about Khushi being adopted? They need not know about her lineage, but the adopted bit and does Khushi know?
    -Kalyaani (IF)

    1. Kalyaani, in the last chapter Khushi overhears ASR and Sasi talk about her parentage. hope this helps. she knows she is a born out of wedlock to her mother.

  23. hey SJ
    read ur blog in one go. too good. i'm a fan of ur writing. hope u will continue even after the madness settles

  24. the story is turning out to be one of those bourne thriller flicks! the pace you have set is perfect... not to fast not too slow.

    shaymu is the guy! i want to desperately know the reason for the engagement... what are they hiding??

    so whats in the chit ?? is she being blackmailed by the mafia??

  25. Oh my my is nk the leech or payal my god but shyam he too seems like a theif awesome story sj I had read ur filigreed su n and hadn't commented much but this sabre is so very thrilling I can't resist speaking I loved it keep it up lage raho sj

  26. sorry don't know what the accusations were about so had no clue about what you meant in that note... but am all for gandhigiri and restraint...

    would rather comment on your story which is comming along well... the suspense continues... love how when we think we have a clue about a particular character, you come up with an update that turns all our assumptions on their heads! arnav sense of helplessness came through loud and clear, especially after seeing his ransacked room and realising the presence of a mole... payal and shyam are two characters I can't warm up to for some reason... arnav bloodying shyam's nose made me quite happy! nk playing gitu to learn herr motives was nicely done... can't wait to see what herr story is!

  27. I soooo hope NK is just fooling Gitu to know her full motives...otherwise I hope ASR kills him...Chameli!!!:( :,(

  28. Hello SJ !
    Just finished reading all the 14 chapters and I loved , really loved how this story is unfolding ,how it keeps you on the edge and intrigued yet all the more eager and ( hungry )for next update .
    Fantabulous story , solid characters , so passionately intense and intriguing plot and the winter backdrop (I have a thing for winter season ) , what's there to not love about this story ? So , Thank you so much for writing " The Sabre Chronicles " .

  29. what happened to my comment???? :(((

    Anyways.... awesome update!!
    ASR punched shyam!!! hahahahaha..... now take that bitch!!!
    NK-Gitu??? m little confused.....
    fun stuff just started!!
    waiting for next update!!

    You know how to keep us on stalkermode, even in the festive season haha.

    NK, Gitu or Shyam all three seem super shady. and payal a little also, mostly because of being an unhappy sibling.

    So Isaacson huh? Lets see who gets there first..


    You know how to keep us on stalker-mode even in the festive season haha.

    NK, Gitu seem super shady right now..except its hard to believe the worst of best friends, no?

    Cant say I didnt see that punch coming. "Sure lets take it outside!"

    LOVIN' IT. Thanks xx

  32. OH i love ASR for punching Shyam ha ha. Whats going on with NK and Gitu?

  33. I've been reading your work all along and i just love it.Your approach is admirable too....basically,i'm a huge fan of you and your superb writing.I like your sense of humour in the posts you make on IF.Basically,one huge fan of yours:-)God bless you!

    N continue writing! Never mind what people know what you are and so do all your readers.
    Love and regards,

  34. That was a great update..
    Everything is still so mysterious..shyam is hiding something, and I am sure khushi had an inkling about it..
    Gitu finally opens up.. Loving the pace of the story..

    Glad you let go of all those accusations..keep up the good work!!!!


  35. superb update.............shyam deserved it......wonder whats up with gitu and NK....hmmmm......waiting for the mystery to unfold:)

  36. You and your stupid cliff hangers I swear will one day be the end of me!!:)
    Could not have gotten anymore satisfaction with the way ASR punched Shyam...that sleazy bastard!
    But seriously, what up with Gitu and NK!!!

  37. It's all so mysterious and intriguing,what's with Shyam? And NK and Gitu? Oh I am so confused.. Keen to see how it unravels. Keep going :)

  38. Res...
    will be back in the evening..

    1. The more u update the more suspense we get, What the update was.....
      It's going to be even more mysterious.
      ASR go boy go u really want to take our ur anger...ha..ha
      Shyam u deserve this..
      Loved it

  39. I wanna know! I wanna know what was on that piece of paper! I love Gitu and NK together

    Yesss ASR punched Shyam whoop whoop!

    Your writing is phenomenal, I wanna read more and more!

    I wanna see what happens when Khushi wakes up and sees ASR....

    P x

  40. Yayyyy!! Shyam got that punch! He deserved it the day he set his eyes in Khushi! I still feel really bad for Chameli :'( hopefully, Arnav will be able to reach isaacson before the Mafia does. What is up with Gitu & NK? Is Gitu playing a trick on NK or is this or feel, can't wait till the next update!

  41. need more of ASR and Khushi......plz

  42. Hi SJ

    I read all your stories and closely follow your blogs waiting for updates.
    Your stories are always fresh and intriguing.

    Somewhere that niceness replicates in your writing. I am sorry you were forced into baseless accusations and an open war of words. It was great seeing you hold your fort.

    Love and justice will prevail and it always does.
    One curse equals to thousand good wishes.

    Keep up the good work.
    Good luck and best wishes.

    Silent Admirer

    (PS: Your ASR is simply, jaw droppingly, awesomely hot!)

  43. Yay!! Thanks for he update. I'm glad that Gitu is not bad..or at least I think she is.
    I'm very excited to read more!! Thanks!

  44. SJ another ace! What. An. Update.
    The plot thickens as everybody you trusted has some secret of their own, which compells them to do something unwanted, maybe even kill? Who knows.
    Shyam, NK, Payal, Gitu - who's the mole?
    Every chapter renders my preconceived theories about everyone baseless. What was that conversation in the end between NK-Gitu about?
    And Im left asking for more!
    Tragedy has its impact on one and all - i hope Khushi recovers soon.
    So, Joseph Isaacson the next stop. For Noam and ASR both. Effing awesome! Bring on the action!
    Also special mention to Shyam and the punch - way to go ASR. Would love to see more of it mwahahaha ;)
    About your note - maybe im pathetically outdated but I seriously have no idea about whatever's happened. All I know is that you're a fantabulous writer and I would love to read all your works in future :) update soon!

  45. Accusations? Wow that just sounds silly.

    Great update my friend. Loved the twisted equations and the suspense build up.

    PS: Applaud the Munna Bhai approach.


  46. haha! punch in the face.

    the note and the update.

    lage raho, aage bado.


  47. SJji, I know all the accusations are false, and I don't mind saying it. But I really respect you for taking it all so well. And if Geetli is your Circuit then I am her chamcha gunda who will kidnap the Chinese body for you. <3 <3
    Omigosh the update!
    Arnav punching Shyam felt so good. He so, so deserved it. I could feel Arnav's liberation. Aaaah! Bliss!

    [Wait. That didn't come out right, maybe]

    And Chameli! Poor, poor Chameli. Nothing's more sad than a dog dying. :(

    And what exactly are NK and Gitu upto?
    @Geetli you snitch! Bwahahaha!

    But really WHAT? This gets more and more confusing by the minute. But I louuu it.
    Update soon yaara


  48. Ooh are Gitu and Nk on khushi's side or another mystery....ur incredible

  49. Read the last two chapters at one go ! Wow Shyam got punched good work ASR finally , NK and Gitu are one the same side, which side is that with Kushi or ???
    Very very interesting I'm curious to read more Please update soon.
    I'm so loving this story Thanks
    KAVITA 1970

  50. Okay the end got me goosebumps .. as for shyam and arnav scene I didn't get their conversation, I mean were they pointing at khushi? ?
    ... well anyhow great update but comparatively short..
    Anyways loving your work TONS

  51. on the same side what

    glad Arnav punched Shyam the man had it coming

  52. Loved it ....a brilliant story....continue soon


  53. What was about the end??I'm confused now...Is NK just pretending to be on Gitu's side so that he can extract information from her...
    Shyam deseved more...
    Waiting for more:)

  54. Wow Amazingg update :) simply loved it ...Shyams record seems much to clean for my own liking aswell and so is nk on the same side as gitu ...well lucky me i came to hope for one chapter as i clicked the link today and instead i found 2so im off to read the next chapter!!:)

  55. Can totally understand Khushi’s state of mind … getting to know that she was an adopted child and actually born out of wedlock by people unknown to her ... can turn your world upside down …

    Chameli’s slaughter was the final undoing of Khushi …
    No amount of consoling by her parents can undo the damage already caused …

    Shyam got exactly what he deserved … a broken nose … hehehehe

    Sorry for the late comment … have had the sniffles and feeling quite under the weather …
    Will read the next updates and comment …

  56. My! my! this is turning interesting..the mole is getting daring..ASR finish him/her off soon..
    Loved ASR's punch..Shyam u was long overdue for that..

    Finally NK-Gitu..where do you stand? I am confused!

  57. So are NK and Gitu both somehow involved with the mafia or is NK just pretending to know gitu's truth. Wow shyam got punched!!!!!!
    And munna bhai way is the way to go!!!!!!!
    Keep writing regardless what people may think. You did nothing wrong.

  58. Whats with Gitu and NK - my faith in gitu as a good friend remains! Hoga kya? waiting to see how khushi copes with this...ha ha ha! Poor Shyam got punched :D
    I still feel bad for poor poor Chameli :(

    -preetihere on IF

  59. Awesome update!! Soo nk n gitu on same side!! Hmmm

  60. Btw u r a mind blowing writer

  61. Can't believe they actually got it into the house amongst all that security!!!

    Left wondering what Gitu is up to & hope we find out soon!!!