John sat in front of Anjeni with disappointed, gloomy face.
“ Bloody Boss... He backstabbed me” John angrily banged his tight fist on the table .
Anjeni got up and went to him, caressed him, running her fingures though his hair.
“Before surrendering the gun I was tempted to fire all the bullets in his temple” John raged.
Anjeni retracted her hand from his head, went in front of him, “ Look John, it is useless to be raged on him... whatever he has done, its to save his skin, Anybody in his place would have done the same thing” Anjeni tried to cool him down.
“ No.. he was playing with me right from the beginning... he was waiting for the proper opportunity to let me down...” John slammed.
“ But how he has backstabbed you and how you are going to reply is not the issue right now.”
John looked back at her in puzzle.
“ How can you wash out the allegations made against you? ... that’s much important now”
“ How can I wash out the allegations against me?” John said in despair.
“ There is only one way out”
John again looked at her in puzzle.
“ And that is to catch the killer” She tried to convince him.
“ But how is it possible now, when all my authority and even the gun is retracted by them? ... Now even if I try... it will be like trying to fly high when all the feathers are snipped.”
“ No, don’t be disappointed... though it had become risky now .. But you should understand that you don’t have any other way out than that... “
John got up, went to the open window, and looked outside. He saw the water, calm and quite, in the oval shaped lake, shining in the lights around.
The water is very calm and quite.. as if suffocated within the boundaries...
He realized that his condition was somewhat similar to the water in the lake. As he saw the circular boundaries of the lake the thought of zero came into his mind. For sometime he stared continuously at the lake. Then he turned slowly and went to Anjeni, “ Who invented zero, do you know?” He asked.
Anjeni was confused with this unexpected, sudden question, “ No... but Why?”
John again went to the window, started to stare outside, absorbed in his thoughts. Then he started strolling in the room restlessly.
Anjeni was trying to get what was going on his mind.
Suddenly he stopped, “ Anjee ... Will you put on the computer for me please” he said, pointing to the computer in the corner.
“ Computer? ... What for?” Anjeni asked.
He did not reply, just continued strolling in the room. Anjeni went to the computer and put it on.
John stopped, went to her, sat before the computer, waiting for it to boot. Anjeni was looking at the boot messages appearing on the monitor. As the computer booted, calm and quiet John suddenly came into action. He swiftly started pushing keyboard and mouse buttons to give various commands. Anjeni opted to be quiet, just stared the monitor.
John first connected Internet, and then double clicked on the browser.
As browser appeared on the screen, he typed “Google.com” in the address field of the browser.
As Google site opened he typed “Zero invention” in the search string field.
By this time Anjeni could make out what was on his mind, “ Yes you are right.. The killer must be hidden in this question – Who invented zero?” She said enthusiastically.
John still was typing swiftly the various keyboard buttons and the mouse buttons.
She could not stop tenderly looking at him hearing the typical swift sound of the keyboard and mouse buttons, as she remembered of her husband Sani. When he used to work on the computer she used to have similar emotions. Now the same feelings she was feeling about John.
Its better that John has started to work on the case again...
She was feeling contented.
“You better continue.. I make a cup of coffee” She said and went to the kitchen.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte