Wednesday, 17 August 2011


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thinking a lot on that issue, but could never thought in the way as his mind had mentioned then.

She wanted him to find her.

Perplexed, Kamal was standing in centre of his studio. The young boy in the green shirt was looking direct into his eyes, smiling. Kamal, all of a sudden found himself under enormous pressure. He had never thought that she would have one day wanted him to find her.

“HOW CAN I FIND HER,” he asked himself with a very big question mark hanging over his head. He felt himself helpless. “But you had promised and challenged that you would find her,” his mind reminded him of the last discussion, that had taken place between them. “Yes, I did give her a challenge,” he said. But although he had given her a challenge, but according to him there was no way to find her, particularly when she had not given him any information about herself. “Who‘s she,” he asked himself. He did not know who she was, but he had had to find her.

Kamal, in his studio, had left the unfinished work, to think over the urgent problem, that he was having in his hand. “There must be some way to find her,” he was forcing himself to concentrate. Indeed there must be some clues. Kamal started bracing himself for the strenuous long marathon, ahead of him.

“Was there any clue, that she gave to me,” Kamal was thinking. Night had already passed. She had not opened her page. There was no movement on her page. Kamal, started scrutinizing her page, her profile, to find out if he
 
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could find any clue, that would help him finding her. He started reading her profile.

APPLEGREEN
Profile views : 3685 times
Member since : 14th January 2008
Gender : Female
Age : 49 years
Relationship Status : Unmarried
Interested in : Friendship
Languages : Turkish, English
Location : Istanbul , Turkey
Religion : Islam
Sex Orientation : Straight

There were no other personal details of hers on that page. She had told him that except her age, every other information on her profile was correct. This much information was of course not sufficient to find a girl, in the big city of Istanbul. That was impossible.

He was supposed to work to find some other information. “But what that information could be,” he thought. He kept on looking on her profile page. On the right side was various music videos, that she had copied from various cites. On top of that was IMAGINE of John Lennon, which was his favorite song too. At times, he had thought, that she might have put that song their as an expression of the feeling of closeness with him. Under that was an interesting song, which he could never understood, why it was there. It was a song with the title KISS – Tagalog song by Roxie. He had played that video a couple of times. The story in the video was very impressive and moving, but he could not understand the words of the
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song. “What is this language,” he had asked her one day. She told him that Tagalog is the language of Philippine, which she too did not know. A friend of hers from Philippine had sent that video to her, and she had put that on her profile page.

He continued going further. There were two more videos there. One was DOSTUM DOSTUM by SEVVAL SAM and the other was BEN SENI by SEVVAL SAM. She had told him that Sevval Sam was her favourite Turkish singer, and those two songs of her were her favourite. He had listened to those songs a couple of times, but he could not understand a word of it.

He kept on going down further, trying to find something that would help him finding her. So far he had not found any. There on the right column of the page, there was her Autograph book, carrying short comments and photographs of her so many friends.

He moved to the left hand side of the profile page. There were photos of her friends there….a long array of photos of her friends, from all corners of the world. He had been through all of them so many times, There was no sense in looking back at them, because of course these photographs would not provide him any information to help him achieving his goal. He continued, going through the left side of the page.

There were 25 photos in her section. He had seen all of them, so many times. Again he opened the album. 25 photos were there. Most of these were the photographs of parks and other natural beauty. She had put the names of each place under each photograph. Kamal

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continued. Then there were some photographs that she had taken from the albums of some of her friends. A photograph of a red colored motorcycle. One of a train crossing over a bridge in Japan. A photograph of some monkeys, taken from the National Geographic magazine.
Out of his keenness he had already copied all of these in his pc too.

There was nothing new. Suddenly he noticed the photo of the two tulips was missing from her array of photos.

He stood up suddenly and went to his drawer of photos. He was having a large collection of photographs which he had been cutting from various magazines. He started searching. It didn’t take him much time to find the needed one. A bunch of photographs in a small envelope.
Inside there were the print outs of all the photos from the profile page of Applegreen. “That’s it,” he laughed. He had found the needed photo.

That photograph was of a painting of two tulips, The painting was hanging on a white wall with pink curtains on its both sides. The caption under that was ……..i bought it yesterday.

That was the photo that was no more there on her profile page. She had deleted it. With that photo of two tulips in his hand, he asked himself. “Why has she deleted this photo?” The answer was simple. She had given him the clue and then deleted that clue.

Kamal looked again at that photo. But he had to understand the situation first. He was convinced that there must be a way in this photo that would lead him to her. But what that was? He wanted to be sure that he was not going to do any mistake whatever. The matter was very serious.

His mind, as usual started breaking the big problem into small portions, and started finding logical answers for each of them. First, he recalled the caption that she had written underneath the photo. That caption was sufficient to prove that the painting belonged to her. Secondly, the painting was hanging in her house. The photo was certainly taken by a mobile phone. “But she might have taken the photo in an art gallery, or took that from any internet site,” his mind came out with a question. But reason and logic prevailed. First, Kamal too was an artist, and he knew that no art gallery hung the

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paintings with curtains on their side. The existence of two pink curtains on both side of the painting was the evidence to make him believe that the painting was hanging in a house. Her house?  Kamal did not want to shake his confidence. “yes, her house,” he said.

Secondly the quality of the photograph was not very professional. It was an ordinary photo taken by some amateur photographer.

So far, the analysis was logical. But was that sufficient to lead Kamal to her house?. Of course it was not sufficient. But there was nothing left to think on. But he was sure that this must not be the all, if at all it was the only clue that she had put.

He restarted scrutinizing the photo of the painting of the two tulips. “There must be something hidden in this painting,” he thought. “She must have put sufficient clues to lead me to her,” he continued thinking. “But does she really want me to find her and for that she has put clues that she want me to find,” that was still the most crucial question. But Kamal decided not to think over this question anymore. He had already entered into the next phase of the episode.

“What could be the other clue,” he continued thinking over that. He looked at the photograph of two daisies, more attentively. “Who is the artist of this painting,” the artist in him enquired. He wanted to know. He took his enlarging glass and started looking the signature of the artist on the right hand corner of the painting. It was there. There was no doubt in that, but it was difficult to read. He continued till he succeeded in reading the name of the artist.
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Kamal worked quite hard to read the name of the artist. In the end he succeeded to read that. FERIT OZTURK. It was a big breakthrough for him.

He appeared satisfied. He had understood her plan. It was so easy and logical, which of course needed some concentration. Kamal, so far had succeeded in finding the main clue. He went into search on his laptop. He wrote the name of the artist….FERIT OZTURK, in search.

The result of search was just as he had thought. Ferit was a Turkish artist, who had put a number of his paintings on various sites dealing with the online exhibition of paintings. Kamal started opening the pages of these sites one by one. There were different paintings on different galleries. He continued. Ultimately he found what he was looking for. The photo of the painting of two daisies was there in front of him. It was a nice painting. He had successfully linked the painting to its artist.

The rest was easy. He found the address of the studio of Ferit on another site. His studio was located in Shop No. 4 , 2nd lane, off Iskele sokak, Kadikoy, Istanbul. That was the address, where he must reach. “That’s the place where she would meet me,” Kamal was too happy to solve the problem. He had found it easy to be solved.

He looked back again on the photograph of the two daisies with pink curtains on its side. This was the photograph that he would show to Ferit, once he reach there, and he would lead him to the lady who had
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bought that painting from him. After all not much time would pass, and in his opinion, Ferit must be able to recall the buyer of the painting. The rest was supposedly easy.

Kamal, had solved the problem. He was going to prove that he could find Applegreen. He was too happy and satisfied. He restarted finishing the painting of that young boy with green shirt. He started singing a song. He preferred to go back to the profile page of Applegreen, and clicked on that song in Tagalog language. He could not understand the words, but the music was good. He started singing the song, trying to catch up the words, where he could.

Oh oh yeh yeh yeh oooooooooo
A tuna lama lan sana

He laughed. He could not catch a single word. But he continued singing the song. It was a love song, and he too was in love. He was too happy. He was going to find his love, his Applegreen very soon.

A kona lamu lan sana
A kona lama………

He laughed, he sang.
He continued singing the tagalong song, laughing on himself frequently. He liked the song. He could neither catch any word nor could understand, but he was sure the song was expressing his true feelings.
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                                   CHAPTER 27


Mehmet was in kitchen, preparing tea for himself and Kamal. The deep freezer was not too far from where the oven was. He lifted the door up. The dead body of Deniz was lying inside with her face up. “Don’t worry my dear wife, your lover too would join you in a couple of minutes,”

“I would like to take you to my wife,” Mehmet`s voice brought Iqbal back from his deep thoughts. “Wife ?” Kamal was astonished. He had never thought that his Applegreen would tell a lie so important to him, so bluntly. But he further thought that in the world of internet anything can happen. But he never wanted to accept that.
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 “Is he her husband,” was the foremost and most important question, which rushed into his mind. He laughed over himself, because Mehmet had just moments back, used the word wife. What other proof would Kamal need that she was married.

 “But she had never given any indication about this,” he enquired himself, knowing the non-availability of the answer. There was no obvious source to find answer to this crucial question, under the existing conditions.

“If she was married, why she had entered into such a game at the first place,” his mind was trying to create sub questions to analyze the main problem. In that case, the whole game of putting the photo of two daisies in her profile, the assumptions of letting him find her, through the artist, etc. etc. were all baseless. The problem had entered into the unsolvable phase. Kamal`s mind stopped thinking anymore. It had accepted defeat.

But he was still thinking the probability of some big misunderstanding, which had led to the worsening of situation to such an unsolvable extent. Something must have gone wrong somewhere. That was what he was thinking about. But what? He was unable to find that.

“Would you like to eat something,” Mehmet asked him from the kitchen. He was talking sense. Kamal was really hungry, but the seriousness of the situation, had not given him time to think about the condition of his stomach. He was hungry. But he did not want to mention that to Kamal. “I know you are hungry. So do have these sandwiches,” Mehmet said.
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He was preparing sandwiches in the kitchen. His mind instantly went to the sandwiches that he had made last night for himself, and Deniz. With the pieces of bread in his hand, he started going back the memory lane.

 “Mehmet, would you like to have sandwiches,” Deniz was asking him. He had just returned from the hotel. He was tired and hungry. He had always been eating at the hotel. But that was when he had not married. Since they were married, he always tried to eat together with Deniz. They were deeply in love.

“But I think I am a better cook then you,” Mehmet had said laughingly. He immediately, sensed the severity of his joke. Her face changed color. She had taken Mehmet`s statement wrongly. “No, my dear, I didn`t mean that,” he said, running towards the Kitchen, where Deniz had already arranged everything. Mehmet took hold of her. “My dear, don’t take it so seriously. It was just a joke,” he was too concerned. He never wanted her to be annoyed. He had tried to be funny, but the joke had fallen back on him.

“Look if you don’t prepare the sandwiches by your own hands, and don’t eat with me sitting right here, I would not eat anything, and would remain hungry,” Mehmet used the last argument. That was the last thing that Deniz could bear.

Mehmet preferred to stand at the kitchen door. She started preparing the sandwiches. “Let I help you,” Mehmet said, taking out the beeflets from the tin. He looked towards her. Her eyes were full of tears.

He could not bear that scene. She too had come from her office a bit earlier. She too was tired. But she was preparing sandwiches for him. Mehmet held her face up.
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She was all tears. Something broke inside him . He could not bear her crying, without any sound. He brought her into the room, she was still weeping.

“Please don’t cry, or I too will start crying,” he did not know how to stop her from crying. But she was crying. They were sitting on the sofa. He could not find any solution. What should he do to stop her from crying? He slipped down on the carpet, and held her face just inches away from his. He was looking directly into her tearful eyes. She looked into his eyes, and burst into laughter. His face was so perplexed, seeing her weeping, that she could not stop herself from laughing. A sudden shift in her mood brought him back into his senses. He could not stop himself from kissing her.
He wanted to choke her by kissing, but she found the way. She ran away. Mehmet too ran after her. They were running, trying to catch each other. Like small children, they were trying to satisfy themselves by happiness filled small activities, sweet childhood. All of a sudden she stopped. Mehmet banged into her. He could not stop himself. “Why are you running after me,” she asked unexpectedly. “Because you are running from me,” was his answer.

 “But I was going to make sandwich for you,” she said turning towards the kitchen. “You are tired and hungry, I know,” she said. “And you too are tired and hungry,” he said.

“Ok, both of us are tired and hungry. But today you are my guest.” She said. He nodded, letting her go to the kitchen. He opened the television.
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“How and why did she change,” Mehmet came back to the world of reality, where the dead body of the same Deniz was lying in the deep freezer, just a couple of steps away from the point, where she had been preparing sandwiches for him. “How cruel is the fate,” he said to himself. Right at the same place, he was making sandwiches for the very person who according to his opinion had taken away his Deniz, from him.

Without having any knowledge of what was passing through the mind of Mehmet, in the kitchen, Iqbal was sitting on the same sofa where Mehmet and Deniz had eaten their last sandwiches last night. He wanted some rest. His mind was too disturbed. He wanted to sleep. But he could not sleep under the situation. He wanted to see if she had returned. Since morning he could not have opened his laptop. “She might have returned,” he was hopeful in his thoughts. Perhaps that was the only way out, to solve the problem.

He opened his laptop. Dabeggo opened automatically. She was not there. He closed the laptop back. There was nothing left for him. He wanted to throw it away. But he could not. That was perhaps the last source that could take him to his Applegreen. “Is she too waiting for me?” that was the question that he could not find the answer at that moment. But he needed her disparately. His mind took him back to her.

KAMAL : LET I TELL YOU SOMETHING FUNNY.
IT JUST CAME TO MY MIND.

Applegreen : what

KAMAL : JUST LISTEN TO MY VISUALISATION
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Applegreen : Ok I am ready for your 5 kilometers long message.

She laughed. Kamal felt her laughing.

KAMAL : JUST IMAGINE. WHEN YOU WILL BECOME A GRANDMA

Applegreen : What????????????????????

KAMAL : DIDN’T I TELL YOU TO LISTEN QUIETLY. DON’T DISTURB ME……….JUST LISTEN…….ITS SO FUNNY

Applegreen : I promise. But what if I have to laugh.

KAMAL : OK OK DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO

Applegreen : OK tell me now. I promise I won’t disturb you till you finish

KAMAL : OK DO YOU REMEMBER JUST YESTERDAY YOU CALLED ME A GHOST. NOW PRESUME THAT I AM A GHOST.
NOW VISUALISE
WHEN YOU WOULD BECOME A GRANDMA. JUST THINK ONE DAY YOUR GRANDS ARE PLAYING WITH YOU. THEY HIDE YOUR GLASSES. YOU CAN’T SEE PROPERLY WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES.
THEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN………JUST THINK

Applegreen : You tell me what will happen then 

KAMAL : YOU SHOUT  AT THEM AND TRY TO CATCH THEM. THEY RUN AND LAUGH. THEY
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ARE ENJOYING, PLAYING WITH YOU. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN

Applegreen : hahahahahahah I really like your style when all of a sudden you stop at a point where the listeners cannot stop himself from asking WHAT NEXT

KAMAL : THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN YOUR EYE GLASSES WOULD RISE FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE CHILDREN HAD HIDDEN THEM. YOUR GLASSES WOULD RISE BY ITSELF, LIKE IN A HORROR MOVIE. HAHAHAHAHAHA .YOUR GRANDCHILDREN WOULD BE SURPRISED TO SEE THE GLASSES COMING OUT OF HIDING BY ITSELF AND WOULD SLOWLY COME NEAR TO YOU, AND WOULD PASS INTO YOUR HAND, AS IF SOMEBODY INVISIBLE HAD BROUGHT THAT UP AND GIVEN TO YOUR HAND.

Applegreen : Then ?

KAMAL : THEN WHAT
YOU WOULD SMILE. YOUR GRANDS WOULD ASK YOU HOW ALL THIS HAPPENED. THE GHOST WOULD STAND SMILING IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM. OFCOURSE NOBODY COULD SEE HIM. YOU TOO WOULD SMILE AND WILL TELL THEM.

Applegreen : what

KAMAL : DIDN’T I TELL YOU MY DEAR CHILDREN I HAVE GOT A GHOST WHO ALWAYS HELP ME WHEN I AM IN TROUBLE.
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Applegreen : Then

KAMAL : WHAT THEN. FIRST YOU BECOME A GRANDMA THEN I WILL TELL YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN AFTER THAT. HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Applegreen : I don’t know, what to say

KAMAL : I KNOW YOU WOULD SAY………..I HATE YOU………….HAHAHAHAHA….. YOU ARE FREE TO SAY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY

“Here these are,” Mehmet was standing just in front of him, with the plate of sandwiches in his hand. Kamal returned from his deep thoughts. He took the plate from his hand, and started eating. He was hungry. Mehmet too started eating but his eyes were constantly fixed on Kamal.

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                              CHAPTER 28




Kamal, was sitting with his eyes closed. He wanted to think again and again and to analyze the events. But he was unclear about the starting point. The starting point where, in his opinion, something very crucial had gone wrong, which had changed the situation so drastically.

He was sitting on the sofa, in the sitting room of Mehmet, who was sitting on the other corner of the sofa. They were both eating their sandwiches, but their minds were busy in trying to solve totally different problems. Each of them was having a serious problem in hand, which must have been settled without delay. Not much time was left for them.

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“What would I do of his dead body,” Mehmet was thinking, looking at Kamal. He had not yet worked out a plan, about disposing the dead body of Deniz. Situation would obviously go out of his hand, when he would be having two dead bodies in the house. He was busy making alternate plans.

Kamal`s eyes were fixed on the painting, hanging in front of him. Two pink tulips, with a couple of leaves. It was a simple painting.  During last few days he had seen the photo of that painting, so many times. He tried to bring the photo from his mind to match with the painting hanging on the wall. He started matching the two.

“Oh my God,” he had found the first difference. He became excited. The color of the curtains in the photo that he had been seeing for all those days was pink, but here in this room the same painting was hanging with white curtains on both of its sides.  “But this is not a difference of much importance,” his mind was not going to accept the logic. Indeed that was not an important difference. The wife of Mehmet might have changed the decoration of the room recently, and changed the pink curtains. That was the easiest clarification that could be brought forward.

But Kamal was stuck.at that point “I have perhaps come to the wrong place,” he said to himself. Because his Applegreen was not married, here he had found a married lady. The decoration of the house too was different. He wanted to think more under the same presumption. He started concentrating.  But he needed time for that. “Only if he doesn’t disturb me,” he thought. Mehmet was in no rush. He had opened the television, and was too busy in watching the ongoing football match.
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Not much time had passed. All of a sudden everything became crystal clear to Kamal. “Yes it must be like that,” he said to himself, with confidence. He had solved the problem. “There must be two paintings,” he started adjusting the scattered pieces of the puzzle together. He was sure, that the house where he was sitting was not where he must have been by now. “This is not her house,” he stopped himself from shouting. Mehmet was sitting very near to him.

He too was an artist, and he knew that an artist may make the same painting twice. But there must always be some difference between the two. No artist can paint exactly the same, particularly that of nature. How so professional the artist might be, a careful scrutiny could find the differences.

In his opinion, Ferit had made two identical paintings of two tulips, and had sold them to two different persons. One of them must be Applegreen. The other one must be the wife of Mehmet. He had solved the puzzle correctly.

Having understood the situation he started thinking about his next step. One wrong step of his, might lead him to a disaster. He was sure of his success, provided all his next steps were correctly taken.

“I think, there is a big misunderstanding among us,” Kamal said to Mehmet, who appeared more concerned with the ongoing football match. But he turned his face towards him, depicting his willingness to know what he was going to say. He told him that he was not Susanta, he was Kamal. He was not an Indian living in Singapore, he was an artist from Karachi, Pakistan. “I think the two have been mixed up,” he said. Mehmet appeared unconcerned. He had had listened  the same story so many times since he had brought Kamal to his house.  However, moments later, he replied back. “Look whosoever, you are, and that doesn’t
 
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bother me at all. You have said this earlier too, and I am telling you for the last time that I am not going to believe anything that you would say,” he said.

“Can I ask you a question,” Kamal asked. Mehmet just looked towards him. “When did your wife change the curtains of this room?” Kamal asked. It was a very simple question but under the prevailing conditions, this question had become very crucial. Mehmet too got astonished. “We are new here. These curtains are new,” came the expected answer from Mehmet. Kamal felt himself a bit relieved.

“Then, this is not the house where I should be,” he said confidently. Mehmet turned. He had left the match unfinished. The television was still on. Mehmet was listening to what Kamal was saying. Kamal told him that the photograph of the painting that he had brought from Pakistan and had left at the studio of Ferit was different from the painting hanging on the wall of that house.

“How can you say that?……..i mean do you have any proof,” Mehmet asked the expected question. “For that I must show the photo of the painting, but we left that at the studio. We must go and bring that here”, Kamal replied. Of course he never wanted to show that photo from his laptop because that might lead to so many unwanted questions from Mehmet.

Kamal had thought that Mehmet would not agree to his proposal so easily. But he agreed. They stood up. Mehmet took his laptop with him. He never left that anywhere. He was waiting for the message from Applegreen. In fact that particular was the moment when he needed her too much. Once again he opened the laptop and checked. There was no message from her.
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“OK, let I see what you want to show,” Mehmet said laughingly. He recalled that Kamal had told him that he was neither Susanta nor he was a businessman from Singapore. He smiled again. Kamal had never thought that Mehmet would agree to his proposal so easily. He was surprised to see this unexpected change in his mood.

But there was a reason behind Mehmet`s sudden change in mood. He had struck another plan. Plan regarding getting rid of Kamal, or Susanta.

 He closed the television, and they started heading towards the main door. The painting of two daisies with white curtains hanging on both side, was still hanging. The dead body of Deniz was still resting in the deep freezer in the kitchen. Nothing seemed heading for a change. But everything was bound to be changed.
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                                   CHAPTER 29


The white door closed without any sound behind them. Kamal and Mehmet were standing just outside the flat. The lift was on their right hand, the stairs on the left. Kamal took his first step towards the lift. But he immediately realized that Mehmet had used stairs when they came, and had told him that he never used the lift. “After all, its just two floors. A total of 40 steps,” Kamal recalled Mehmet saying that when they had entered the building.

Yes those were just 40 steps, ten each on every set. There were twenty steps for each floor. There was nobody on the floor. In fact every floor was having just two flats. It was a four storied building. The walls were painted white.
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Kamal took the first step towards the stairs. Mehmet was a step behind. He looked up to the stairs of third and fourth floor. They were standing just in the middle point of a total of 80 steps, having turns after every ten steps.

At the same time, just two floors above them, on the fourth floor of the same building, Feriha was busy in pressing her fingers alternately by each hand. She had just returned from the hospital after staying there for a couple of days, where the doctors had carried out advanced tests of her nervous system. Over years she had developed a problem with her nerves. At times she had been feeling her fingers as senseless. Doctors had told her that the operation of a part of her nerves was necessary. But she never agreed to that.

A couple of days back it had struck again. All of a sudden her fingers had stopped working. She could not hold anything in her hands. She could not wash her face. She could not do anything. She had started feeling as if her fingers were not there. But what had made her panicked was that she could not even use her laptop.

“He must be waiting for me,” she did have said to herself so many times. But how could she inform him of her condition. She could not ask anybody else to convey her message to him. She never wanted to leak out this secret of hers. So she wanted to let him wait for her reply till she regained her fingers back. She continued concentrating on physiotherapy of her fingers. Doctors had told her that physiotherapy would not bring her permanent relief, but she did not want to have an operation.

Feriha was too happy. Her sudden illness had frightened her. She had realized that she was in love with Kamal. The unexplainable feeling that she had been experiencing
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since the day she first met him, had ultimately got a name.

Feriha had realized that she might not be able to meet and speak to Kamal if she loses senses of her fingers again. “What would happen if I lose my fingers again………or may be a part of my body,” she had thought. In such a case, she would never get a chance to contact him again. She would never be able to tell him her real identity. She had prepared herself for taking the most crucial and bold decision of her life.

It was still early. The Istanbul weather was pleasant that morning. She had kept the sliding glass door leading to the gallery, open. The window on the other side, in the same wall was also open. She wanted to feel the pleasant wind. Slow wind was blowing, and she was enjoying that important day of her life. The incoming wind was slowly swinging the pink curtains of the room. The painting of the two tulips, was hanging in the middle of the wall. The swinging pink curtains on its both sides were giving it a pleasant color combination.

Feriha was all smiles. She was going to tell Kamal about her final decision. She had decided to be his. “What would be his reaction?” she asked herself, but could not find out any possible reply. So she left everything as collateral. She knew that her declaration of love for him would shock him. And his reply would bring her all happiness for her life. So she wanted to be shocked by his reply. She wanted to let everything take its natural course.

She wanted to clean the house. For so many days, she had not been able to do anything. She had employed a helper temporarily for the period. But she was never satisfied by her work. But she was unable to do anything by herself. She did have to bear whatever that woman was doing for her. She did not have anybody

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to take care of her, if she was ill. That was one reason why she wanted to declare her love for Kamal. She wanted to have somebody to take care of her, when in need. She had spent too long a period of her life without anybody by her side. Too late, but still it wasn’t too late for her. She was a smart lady who would suit standing by side of Kamal, the artist from Karachi, Pakistan.

She wanted to send Kamal a message. “I know he must be very worried, due to my absence for these days, but he should wait a bit more. After all I have got a very big disclosure that I would make to him, which is worth waiting,” she said to herself, laughingly.

She was still pressing the fingers of her one hand by the other. She was not hundred percent fit.  She turned towards the bathroom and started the CD player. Her favorite song by Sevval San was there. She started singing with her. She was too happy.

But at the same sense she was in a hurry too. A unique unexplainable feeling was disturbing her from inside. She was feeling, as if somebody was coming, or as if something was going to happen. Her sixth sense had sensed something, which she could not understand at that moment.

Just two floors down from where Feriha was, Kamal was on the first step of the staircase. The laptop was hanging on his shoulder. Mehmet just a step behind him was smiling. Kamal could not see him smiling. Mehmet thought that this time he would not be worried about disposing the dead body.

He thought of the dead body of Deniz still lying in the deep freezer, waiting to be disposed off finally. Mehmet did not have any idea about that. He looked at the back of Kamal, just inches away from him. He had had to act fast if he wanted his plan to work. He moved.    
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                                  CHAPTER 30


The flowing water gave her body a relief. She wanted to stand indefinitely under the shower. She was looking at herself in the glowing white tiles of the bathroom, where a dim reflection of her body under the water was giving her a glimpse of her own body. She continued looking in the tiles, trying to find out what the years passed by had taken away of her beautiful body. Lastly her eyes slowly went down towards the floor, where the flowing water off her body was finally going away. She continued looking at that very point with interest. She had felt her past waning away with the flowing water. A new Fariha was in the making. Her past had gone down the drain. She felt herself entering into a new phase of her life. She apeared so cool but very much excited. She was lost in the mixed feelings of diverse nature. She just wanted to continue standing under the flowing water. She wanted to enjoy those moments of high relief, but could not. She had had to send message to Kamal. A new phase of her life was about to begin, together with Kamal. She was all hope, feeling the juice of happiness flowing past her veins and into the nerves.

Out of the shower, she did not wrap her wet hair by the towel. She wanted to continue enjoying the coolness of the falling droplets on her naked body. With her bathing gown in her hand she preferred to walk naked to the wardrobe. There was a new grace in her walk. Tiny water drops were slipping down from her hair to her tows, passing through different parts of her body. She wanted to look at herself in the wardrobe mirror. A line of water followed her from the bathroom to her bedroom.

Feriha was standing there in front of the mirror. She had dropped the bathing gown too. There was a smart young lady scanning her body from the mirror. She looked at herself from top to the bottom. All these years of inactivity had made its mark on her body. She raised her finger and started touching all parts of her body from top, one by one. She was touching lightly the areas that she approved and pinched her finger hard in the areas that she did not like.

“I must restarted running,” she said to herself. She once again looked at the parts of her body that she had pinched with her finger. “Hahahahahaha, but I am an aged lady now.” She laughed at herself. But in her mind she was preparing the plan how to win back the smartness of the body of Feriha.. the runner…the sprinter. A new Feriha, with strong determination was looking at her in the mirror. She again looked back at her body, and with a smile on her face she picked up her gown and started wrapping herself slowly. She watched the beautiful body of hers swiftly taking the shape of pink bathing gown.

YOU ARE MY PINK LADY. She found herself stunned by recalling those words of his. The words that had changed her life. She smiled. She heard a soft masculine voice just by her left ear, YOU ARE MY PINK LADY. She turned and laughed. There was nobody. Something had touched her heart. Her hands that were tying the belt of her gown, stopped. She stopped and looked back into the mirror. The pink lady in the mirror was slowly unknotting the pink gown. She watched the pink gown slowly dropping off her shoulders and then falling down around her ankles. She was now face to face with the pink lady in the mirror.

“Am I the pink lady?,” she asked herself. Small water driplets were still hanging by the tips of her hair, here and there. Her eyes were shining. Her pink lips were all smile. She again looked at the body standing in front of her in the mirror. “Yes, I am his pink lady,” she announced her decision, and pulled the gown up and restarted knotting it.

The CD player was then playing another song by Sevval San. She was still singing with her. She was not a singer. Her voice too wasn’t impressive. But she wanted to sing. Something from inside her heart, was forcing her to sing and dance. She started dancing, still in her bathing gown.
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She looked at her pink dress. She took out her pink dress and  looked at it. She remembered the day when the whole story had started, due to this pink dress, Since that day she had taken good care of it. It was going to have a very important place in the days to come. The pink gown slowly gave way to the pink dress. A new Feriha was there in the mirror, ready to start her new life.

She did like her title. “Pink lady,” she said in a voice, that only she could hear. A whisper. No one was there. She was alone. Even then she did not want to say it loudly. There was nobody to be afraid of. Let only she and Kamal know this title of hers Pink lady. She was going to be the same for whole of her life. “Pink Lady,” she repeated once again and smiled.

There she was. Ready for the great moment. The last swift of pink lipstick had made her the real pink lady. She had made her ready in such a way as if she was going to meet Kamal . She smiled. “But he is thousands of kilometers away from Istanbul,” she said.

But Kamal wasn’t too far from her. Just two floors down, he was over there. But both of them did not know anything.

Feriha opened her laptop. She was still pressing her fingers. A feeling of slight numbness was present. She was not too good in computers, so she did have to open every page and window to reach her page on DABEGGO. It was not so automatic, like Kamal had made.
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“Ok, let I see if he missed me or not,” she said, while trying to enter into her page. There were too many messages from him. “Should I start reading from the first or from the last one,” she asked herself. She was undecided but was too eager to read all of them. But she must have to start from somewhere. So she decided to read his last message first.

“Oh my God,” she cried. She had never thought of situation taking that big a turn. She was shocked. In his last message Kamal had written that he had arrived in Istanbul, and would ultimately succeed in finding her. That was something she had never thought of.

She recalled their last messages, and everything became crystal clear before her eyes. She recalled her giving him the challenge to find her. But she had thought all that as fun. She had not taken those last messages too seriously. But she realized that on the other end of the net, he had not taken those messages as part of the ongoing fun. He had taken those messages seriously.

She quickly moved on to other messages. Her eyes started broadening while reading every next line. Her mind started giving a steady knocking sound from inside. The sound that was putting pressure on her nerves more and more. She realized that Kamal did love her very honestly. Every new message was further strengthening her belief.

But how could he reach her. Feriha started writing a new message. She was in a hurry. She must have contacted him without any further delay. She had not read all of his messages. She had not read the message where he had explained his expected line of action, his theories about the painting and why she had put that on her profile. She had also not read the message where he had mentioned
 
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how he had found Ferit Ozturk. She had not read many more messages of his.

She was panicked. She was excited. Her mind stopped working. She wanted to do something urgently, but was unable to do anything at all. She felt as if she had lost all of her energy. She wanted to contact Kamal instantly.

“My God, he is really a crazy person. How can anybody find a girl, in this so big city called Istanbul.” she was in tears. She was trembling, her body shaking. The ongoing steady knocking sound in her brain had started pinching her as a nail. She clasped her head. No way. She could not stop herself falling deep and deep into the well hauntingly echoed by that unending sound. She appeared having lost herself.

Feriha was no more there. Applegreen had taken her place

“I must tell him my address immediately,” she said in a louder voice, almost shouting. She had realized that too much valuable time had already been lost. . There was nobody in the house. She was alone. She was still pressing her fingers. The numbness of her fingers was increasing. “Am I going to have another attack,” she said to herself. Most part of her fingers had stopped functioning.

She must write down her address to Kamal, before her fingers stop working. That was the only way to survival for the both. One last message, before her fingers stop functioning.

With great difficulty she started writing the message.

The numbness of her fingers had started affecting her arms too. She did not know, she was having a stroke of paralyses. .

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                              CHAPTER 31


Ferit was still holding the photo of the painting in his hand. He was trying to understand the situation.

The glass door of his studio opened. He saw a dark skinned fellow of good height. He was wearing a rain coat, even though there were no clouds even and a hat. He was well built, appeared to be in his mid forties. His laptop was hanging on his shoulder. With a smile on his face, he extended his visiting card to Ferit.

Ferit looked at the card. His eyes broadly opened in disbelief. The visitor was none else but Susanta, the international art dealer, who had arrived to meet Ferit, on
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the invitation of Deniz. Ferit was literally going to have a stroke. His knees failed to hold his stature. He did not find any other way out but to sit on the nearby chair. His face was clearly exhibiting his inner feelings of extreme disbelief.

“My God, if he is Susanta, then who was he ?”, Ferit asked himself in sheer helplessness. He wanted to know what was going on in his studio, that morning. But there was nobody to help him out. Nobody was available to explain the complexities of the situation. He alone was unable to solve the problem.

What he did not know, was that at very moment, in the flat of Deniz, Kamal was thinking how to ask Mehmet to take him to the studio of Ferit, to get back the photo of the two daisies. A little later they were to head for Ferit`s studio, which was not too far from where they were. 

“I am Susanta,” he introduced himself. “I am Ferit,” Ferit took control of himself with great difficulty. They shook hands. Ferit asked him to take the seat. His face was still white. “I think you know why I am here,” Susanta said smiling. Indeed there was no doubt that Ferit was very well aware of that. But he was not in a position to comprehend as to what was going on.

With his mind still trying to understand the situation, he led Susanta to see his paintings. Susanta was analyzing each and every painting, deeply. He was giving his comments on each, but Ferit was not able to hear anything. He was physically present there, but his mind was not there.
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“I think you must listen to what I say,” Ferit said. He could no more bear the suspense of the situation. He pulled Susanta back to his chair. He could not understand anything at all. He had never thought of getting such a reception. He was not in a position to apprehend the situation. He had landed right in the middle of a very complex situation.

 “I need your help,”he said to Susanta helplessly. Ferit started telling Susanta the whole story. He told him about a visitor, whom he had misunderstood to be Susanta. In fact he did not know his name (Kamal). “What?”, Susanta could not stop him from calling. Somebody, some Indian, had come there before, and was misunderstood to be Susanta. That was simply unthinkable of for him. He asked Ferit about that, but he was dumb. How much wrong that was, yet it had happened and was then a part of the past.

But that was just one part of the problem. Ferit showed him the photo that the visitor had brought and then left. He further told him that even Mehmet did have the knowledge of the existence of this photograph. Ferit tried to explain the maximum possible details of the situation and about the array of events that had been unfolding since morning. He was almost breathless, when he took out the photo of the two tulips, and showed that to Susanta.

Susanta was shocked when he saw the photo. He was having the same photograph in his pocket too. Deniz had already sent him a photo of the two daisies, as an example of quality of Ferit`s art. He had liked that painting. Two pink daisies standing side by side with on bending over the other, as if going to kiss the other one. The painting did carry a message, and that had appealed
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Susanta. Ferit could be recommended by him in the international art circles.

Now Susanta had realized that the situation was far more complicated than what he had thought of till then. He had found himself fully involved in it. “Should I show the picture that I am having in my pocket,”he started thinking. He was an Indian, where cultural values were different from the west. But still was sensing danger in showing the photo sent by Deniz, thinking that she might have not told her family about that, and her husband might react to that. He was thinking with his Indian cultural background.

But Susanta had forgotten that although there were too many differences between the eastern and western culture, yet the basic feelings in every human being are the same, and they don’t change. The only difference is in the exhibition of severity of reaction. Otherwise as far as the internal feelings are concerned, they are the same, throughout the world.

You cannot restrict the human feelings within the boundaries drawn by human beings.

Susanta recalled that he had read this statement somewhere, and his mind brought the same before him at that very moment. “I should not show the photo till I understand and realize the nature of each character of the game,” he decided.
The photo that could have helped solving the whole problem remained within his pocket.

“You told me that Mehmet is the husband of Deniz.”he asked. Ferit`s answer was positive. “ then tell me what type of person he is ,” Susanta asked. To this question
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Ferit told all that he knew about Mehmet. “What do you think, Mehmet would have agreed to see me here with Deniz,” Susanta was trying to move logically. “You mean, had Mehmet knew that Deniz called me here, he would have become too angry on that,” He furthered his enquiry. “Yes,” was the plain answer.

So it was clear in the mind of Susanta, that Deniz did not want to involve her husband in what was going on there. This was the reason why she preferred to remain in background and arranged for a direct meeting between him and Ferit. “Had she been here, it would be better, I think,” Susanta thought.

Susanta had understood the situation up to that point, but he could not find any connection between the copy of the photo of the same painting and the visitor who had visited Ferit in his studio in the evening. “Had Deniz sent the same photo to both of us, ?” Susanta thought, although his heart did not agree to that idea. But that indeed could be like that. But, had Deniz sent the same photo to another person too, what could be the reason behind that, and who that person was. Susanta continued thinking.

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                              CHAPTER 32


“Let I show you something,” Susanta said to Ferit. Although he had still not taken his final decision, yet he had thought that photo in his pocket might have some connection with other elements of the complex problem. “It may contribute in solving the puzzle,” he said, and took the photo out of his pocket.

Ferit, went through another shock. The second photo of the same painting was in front of him. “The visitor who had come earlier, too showed me the same photo, and now the same photo has been shown by this visitor, too.” He thought.

“Who had distributed the same photo to two different persons, and for what reason?” he started thinking. Once again his mind had gone confused. He thought that this