John was sitting in the foyer, slowly taking swigs of whisky. It was evident from his face that he was disturbed. Doorbell rang. He got up, keeping his glass aside on the tea table. As he opened the door, it was Anjeni in front of him.
“ I was trying your mobile since long.. But it seems it is off...” Anjeni came in.
“ I put it off... to get rid of the press.. and their continuous calls...” John closed the front door.
As Anjeni came in the foyer, she saw the whisky glass kept on the tea table.
“ What’s wrong? ... looking upset?” Anjeni stared at his face, trying to get to his problem.
“ Sit...” Sitting on a chair he suggested Anjeni to sit on the chair in front him.
She pulled the chair to his left, sat on it, trying to give him the warmth of her closeness.
John again picked up the whisky glass and took a swig.
“ It’s better to share the problems with the closer ones, than to curse ourselves” Anjani took his hand in hers.
He kept his other hand on hers.
“ Any departmental problem?” Anjani asked, tapping on his hand gently.
“ I tell you... I will tell you the whole episode” He kept aside his whisky glass.
John took a deep long breath and started telling...
John was sitting opposite to his boss.
“ Sir, the corpse we found ... we have investigated about it and found some important information” John went through his file.
“ I see” Boss said.
Boss took a long puff of the cigar.
“ We found a revolver in corpse’s pocket... till now the past murders were executed by the same..”
Boss shook off the ash from his cigar in the ashtray kept ahead and said,
“ So to say... we got the killer automatically, for whom we were searching desperately, may it be dead”
“ Sir, I think it will be too early to conclude so”
“ Look John... the water has reached up to our necks ... now this is not the time to play with words... at least, time being, to make the situation normal we need to do something concrete... And why do you think the conclusion is wrong?” Boss asked, staring straight into John’s eyes.
“ There are so many reasons” John turned over few pages from his file.
“ For example?” Boss stubbed out the remaining cigar.
“ Number 1 - It is possible that the real killer killed somebody and kept his revolver in his pocket... he could have done it to divert our attention.."
" Number - 2 - When we have raided the so called killer's house, we found that the hard disc from his computer was missing... There are so many possible reasons for it... More than one person, such as a group or an organization could be involved in it... Or as I said earlier the killer could have done it to divert our attention... or even it could just be a normal robbery"
John paused to read reaction of his boss.
" Anything else?" Boss said blankly.
" Number-3 - This time the information given to us was not by the killer, as had happened earlier. This time it was some unknown person, who had not opted to disclose his identity... because the place from where he phoned, it was practically impossible to reach victim's house and kill him within such a short span... The person who phoned could be the member of their group who deceived them or could be some person who came to know about this information some how and did not want to disclose his identity..."
John said almost in a single breath and waited for his Boss's reaction.
Boss slowly got up from his chair, lit the new cigar while looking outside the window. He strolled around John taking deep puffs.
" Have you finished?" Boss said, staring at him.
John just nodded.
" Look John... As you know this incidence had brought us a bad name... and whatever you are telling are all those possibilities... We don't have any concrete proof about those..."
Boss was now strolling around in the room.
" But sir" Join tried to explain.
Boss interrupted him,
" I think working on this case day in and day out, you might be sort of tired, physically and mentally, and we do get to such conclusions when we get tired, it happens..."
" No sir... it's not like that" Join tried to explain his side.
" Look... whatever I say ...listen carefully" suddenly Boss's tone became hard.
" Now we have to call a press conference... we have to put forth all the facts to save our name and ... and then I suggest you to go for vacation for a week or so... I sanction your leave right this moment... You can plan your vacation with your friend Anjeni... to some hill station or wherever you like... "
Startled John looked at him. How did he know about Anjeni? and... about us?
Still surprised, the shock was visible on John's face.
" I am sorry... its your personal matter... but it's my professional way of working ... I need to keep a vigilant eye on everybody.."
Before John could say anything, Boss picked up his overcoat hung behind his chair and headed to the door.
He abruptly stopped at the door, turned and said, " Tomorrow morning 10 O' Clock I have called a press conference... How to deal with it.. I will see ... You just be there"
Without waiting for John's response, Boss walked off, echoing the corridor with his shoes sound. John in confusion did not understand to deal with the leaving boss, or to deal with the papers and the file held by him.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte