John briefed everybody with the invention of zero and the concerned history.
“ And the secret of these murders lie in this zero... in the Indian ancient literature the zero has been mentioned everywhere as ‘Shunya’”
John took a deep breath and continued,
“ The first victim was Sani... whose name starts with letter ‘S’.. the second victim was Huyana, whose name starts with letter ‘H’ . Third victim, Utina’s name starts with ‘U’ and the recent victim Niyole, his name starts with ‘N’. That is ‘S’ ‘H’ ‘U’ ‘N’ ‘Y’ ‘A’ (Shunya). Means the next victims name must start with ‘Y’.”
Everybody, including Boss was impressed with the analysis John has done.
“But in our city, there could be thousands of people having there names started with ‘Y’ . How can we protect all of them” Boss expressed his worry.
“ To give protection to these many people is practically impossible” Sam expressed.
“ No we need not provide protection to all of them... I observed one more thing about the pattern of killings.. due to which the people who need to be protected will be narrowed down” John said.
Everybody looked at him as if they got one more thread of hope. John got up and went to the map of the city hung on the wall ahead. He carried some documents with him. Co-ordinating with the map and the document in his hand he made a red cross on the map.
“ First victim Sani’s house is somewhere around here”
Everybody was trying to understand what he wants to say.
John again made one more red cross on the map co-coordinating with the document in his hand, “ Second victim Huyana’s house must be somewhere here”
He made one more red cross and said, “ Third victim was Utina and she lives somewhere here... and the recent victim Niyol’s house...”
Again he referred the document in his hand and said, making a red cross on the map, “ ... should be here”
Everybody in the meeting room was still puzzled.
“ I am not getting what you are trying to prove?” Sam said.
“ Either you do not know what you are trying to prove or may be it is going over our heads” Boss said bitterly.
“ Have a careful look again .. think... see if you are able to get something?”
John said glancing over the officers sitting in the board room.
Few seconds passed, as they were trying to get something out of it.
Then John drew a curved green line through the red crosses. And what a surprise a green circle was visible on the map.
“ Look... what is this”
“ A circle” Somebody said.
“ Its not a mere circle ... it is a zero” John said mysteriously.
The faces ahead in the board room were beamed up realizing it.
“ Yes .. John you are genius” Sam could not stop to say.
Boss looked at him with displeasure.
“ First cross here... second here.. Third and the fourth here” John indicated towards the crosses on the map.
“ That means the fifth cross should be somewhere around here” John marked a red cross on the circle in the middle of the fourth and the first cross.
“ In this area the fifth victim is hidden... and his name starts with ‘Y’ ... The houses matching with these two information... hardly could be 4-5 houses and that too on the 10th floor possibly.. because for every murder the killer had chosen a 10th floor.”
“ Yes if we could keep continuous watch on these houses ... we would be able to catch the killer” Sam said enthusiastically.
Suddenly a peon came to Boss, bent to his ear, “ Sir.. there is an important call for you”
Boss got up, “You people carry on.. I will be back soon” he said, particularly to John and Sam and went out of the board room, echoing his footsteps.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte