Started at (K)nighted Men-Part 1

Contd from What choice did he have- Part 5

“Sudha, think again. Are you sure you absolutely made no mistake?” he asked again, this time with a hint of desperation rather anger in his voice.

***

It was raining outside. The soft rap of the raindrops on the window pane interceded the voice of the old lady, making it all a rather well woven conversation to the ears. And wherever the pitter-patter became too less to hear, one could feel her tears running down the cheek even more clearly.

“She was fifteen. It was only minutes after the train pulled out that we realised she wasn’t there. Somewhere in the crowd we had lost her. All of fifteen and not more, we wonder whatever happened to her,” she stuttered.

“But then destiny is beyond man and his control. We can only pray that wherever our Sudha is, she is happy and content with her life,” the man in grey suit, sitting in that perfect poise, spoke in a crisp tone. His calm demeanour formed a rather contrasting match to his counterpart.

Sudha. How many years had passed since he last met the old couple. Almost five.

“She had an eye for trouble. One could say she didn’t get lost, she perhaps found herself,” the parting comment from the man often made a rather contradictory emotion for a grieving parent.

“Ramlal, file mili?” Salim suddenly called out.

***

“The Suris are busy with their son’s wedding plans. They have replied saying this week is impossible for any kind of appointment,” the response he received in the callback was far less than satisfying.

Apparently a part of his motive to kill Rehan was lost just on that. But he died on me? He thought. They had probably never thought this could ever be the end to their rivalry. One of them dying. Bankruptcy yes, maybe even jail if seen from the eye of corporate espionage but death? No. Never.

“That’s okay. Keep trying to get time from them every other week,” he replied calmly.

He paused for a minute. Thinking about his last meeting with Rehan. It was very ugly. Emotions ran high on both sides. Murder was a common idea in their minds. And the fact that it didn’t happen was only because she was there, standing calmly. Observing the exchange with such nonchalance.

“Send him in now,” in a jiffy he picked the phone and said.

***

Inspector Salim had spent last one hour read magazines, ogle at women half his age and also contemplate on the exchange he was about to embark on.

“Sir would like to see you inside,” and one of these women in a dream like sequence, walked really close to him and spoke.

He smiled sheepishly, tipped his head and walked into the room ahead.

Mr. Satyam Malhotra. The man they say had all the right reasons to either kill or have Rehan killed under any circumstances. If rumours are to be believed they almost came very close to doing it every now and then. So motive wasn’t a question. Yes culpability was.

“Mr. Salim, please come in. I am sorry to have kept you waiting. There were many odd jobs since morning waiting for my action. Yes tell me what can I do for you, besides having to convince you that I didn’t kill Rehan,” Satyam’s charismatic smile didn’t drop a decibel throughout his speech.

“Well that should do the job perfectly well,” Salim instantly retorted.

***

“Sudha why did you ever marry me? Someone who cannot even fulfill your basic needs? You could have had anyone you wanted,” watching the different mood swings of her husband all day Sudha couldn’t help but get amused.

Though the situation didn’t demand so, but then she never quite worked according to situations.

Why else would she have gone to attend the sabziwala first and keep the ‘job’ waiting.

Maybe she liked the idea of it. Trouble. Spoiling a perfect plan.

Her smile didn’t lose its sheen throughout these trains of thoughts.

contd. at We have sinned-Part 7

 

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