Started at (K)nighted Men-Part 1

It was probably close to three a.m when she heard the news. She had been staring at the the ceiling contemplating her exit options. Ends seem so funny though. Just when they come true.

She had a soft hint of smile on her face when she received the call. It was a distress call. His mother had probably decided to quietly tell her the news before it got down to courtroom dramas.

“It’s a loss to you in many ways than one,” the expression may sound innocent to one’s ears. But she knew it was far far from it.

He had left no will.

“You should be able to realise that better for yourself, Mala,” she replied with interceding sniffs but nevertheless having the desired effect, a soft murmur on the other side.


Inspector Salim had set his alarm to a healthy five am but alas his line of duty often called for subtle two hour changes to it. With half shut eyes and a cigarette in his hand to awaken the other senses, he reached the crime scene.

Saheb, its a suicide. There is absolutely nothing one can read more into it,” the constable on duty, operating on high dosages of sleep deprivation stuttered into the night’s cold.

Chai lekar aao,” but the inspector’s sharp command left all his conclusions out in the cold.

It was a long night, Salim mused. What with this case becoming another point in question for a long list of events.


By the time it was four, Mala had wiped her tears and settled her saree to a more befitting look. Men from all walks of life had been coming in. Did they question her for what had happened? Sadly yes. Her only son lost at his prime. If not looks or age but surely money.

“For the last time I was sleeping in the room next door. And before I knew it I heard the gunshot,” she finally started to lose her patience at the meandering maze of questions.

“What was the last thing you remember about him?” but the dark skinned, cigarette smelling inspector was persistent with his interrogation.


It was probably why he did it. Mala quietly sat in the corner and thought. There was that phone call, rather the argument on the phone call, just when she had gone to get the custard from the kitchen.

She had deliberately held herself back to overhear whatever she could pick.

There was a long silence on this side and then suddenly he burst out saying, “Then go. I cannot take it anymore. Everyday you have something to add to my misery.”


Inspector Salim was diligently taking notes. He was scribbling his name over and over again in a little red notebook. He was looking grim and nodding his head a lot.

There was something about the setup that it looked created. Somewhere someone was hiding. Or something was being hidden.

“Barkhudar woh chai ayee,” he suddenly shouted out.

contd at He dies a natural death-Part 3


I hope you enjoy this ongoing short story (again in parts). Looking forward to hear from you!

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