The Mystery of a Techie's Murder

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Chapter 23 - Miss Poonam's Greed

23rd October 12:30 PM

Mr. Bedi gestured Poonam and Chirag to take a seat on a couch. He looked at his wife, who was seated on a recliner in the living room.

Poonam's fair and oblong face glistened in the fluorescent light. Her black, large eyes shone as she looked into her father's eyes. A dimple formed on her right chubby cheek when she smiled.

Chirag's semi-dark, oblong face contrasted with that of his fiancée's. His average height almost equaled to Poonam's. Being of a heavy build, he occupied more space on the couch than anyone else seated in the hall.

Mr. Bedi straightened in his seat. "I'm planning to arrange a special pooja - prayers to God - at home." He turned to Poonam. "I would like you both to attend the ceremony."

Poonam shrugged. "When are you planning it for?"

"This Sunday and it's the most auspicious day this month to perform it."

Poonam leaned forward. "But Dad, I'm attending my close friend's wedding on Sunday."

"Where is the wedding?" Mrs. Bedi asked. "Here at Bangalore?"

"No, Mum," Poonam said. "It's from Mysore." She turned to her father. "Can we have the pooja some other day, Dad?"

Mr. Bedi raised his eyebrows. "No. We need to have it on this coming Sunday. Panditji has told us not to postpone it and we should listen to his advice."

"But Dad, I can't miss my close friend's wedding." She paused and then said, "What if you and Mum perform the pooja? I'll be coming back from Mysore by evening."

"Poonam," said Mr. Bedi's wife. "Just listen to what your dad says. And it's good for you to attend the pooja. All the family members should be present when it's performed."

Chirag leaned forward with his eyes glowing. "What Poonam is saying is correct, Aunty. She has to attend the wedding as the bride is a close friend. All her classmates are going to Mysore together."

"Yes, Mum," Poonam added.

"Poonam," Mr. Bedi's wife said, her voice raised. "Don't you think you need to listen to what your Dad is saying? It's not good going against his wishes."

Poonam rose, her nostrils flared. She breathed heavy. "You never care for what I need in my life. You can't be so pushy, Mum." She stormed out towards her bedroom.

Chirag sat on the edge of the seat for a moment and then followed Poonam.

Mr. Shekar Bedi's chest constricted. He looked at his wife with his pulse quickened.

His wife widened her eyes. "I don't understand what has happened to Poonam these days." She stared down for a moment before fixing her gaze back on Mr. Bedi. "She is behaving rather adamant and impatient."

Mr. Bedi sighed. "There is a reason why Poonam is acting so."

His wife looked at him with a questioning expression on her face.

"Better I don't tell you about it," he said. He waited for a moment. "She wants me to change my will."

"Change the will?"

"Yes. She would like to become the whole proprietor of the family assets because Priya is no more now."

His wife remained silent seemingly contemplating.

"No doubt she will inherit most of my property as Priya is no more." He paused and then said, "But her pushy attitude has annoyed me. The sad incident of Priya is still afresh in our minds. Why is Poonam hurrying? I don’t understand her manners."

His wife looked at him, her brows narrowed. "She is hurrying to arrange her marriage. She told me if this marriage season passes, she has to wait for another eight months to one year, which she doesn’t want to do."

"How can you say that? Isn't she affected by the loss of Priya?" said he. "And that Chirag. He is also behaving quite erratic. He is no friendlier with me than he used to be before Priya's death. Both Poonam and he are behaving unfriendly after I refused their advice to change the will."

"Maybe they're afraid of not inheriting the family business," said his wife. "You may need to tell Poonam she would get her share of a property and not to worry."

"I did, but she is quite greedy and impatient." Mr. Bedi looked at his wife. "Have you noticed Chirag is staying in this house for the last two days? What's the need for him to remain here?"

"And they're dining out and avoiding eating at home," his wife said.

Mr. Bedi's heart raced. "I'm not sure what has happened to them."

Vijay Kerji

Edited: 20.08.2019

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