We, the team Potliwale Baba, are writing a fictional story as a part of #CelebrateBlogging – Game of Blogs.
Read the previous and next posts here:
Tara was visibly shaken by the sudden turn of events that had taken place in the past few hours. Her entire world had come crumbling down. First, it was Roohi’s accident and then this, the murder. Naina had been her trusted man Friday for the last several years. She had taken care of the house just the way Tara would have. It was difficult to fathom the loss now that she had lost her.
It is often told that you don’t really realize the value of a person in your life until you have really lost them. Tara could piece every part of Naina’s life that she had shared with the family. Right from the time when she first came in during the pregnancy through the period when Tara declared her career aspirations to be more important, et al.
When she was pregnant, Naina cared for her like a mother. When she was down, she saw a sister in her. She had hardly found any problems with her services over the years. Off late, however had been different. She had caught Naina off guard trying on clothes from her wardrobe may be once or twice. She had warned her not to repeat it while also threatening her with dire consequences if this continued.
Java was still interrogating Jenny while she patiently waited outside. She had no idea why she was one of the last people to be interrogated when she was in fact the lady of the house. Shekhar had been called in first followed by Cyrus and Jenny. She hardly knew Jenny having met her just a few hours back and Cyrus was an absolute stranger. She had met him only because he saved Roohi, however, was it before or after the fall, she did not know. She had had her own apprehensions as well, but Roohi’s closeness to Cyrus made it seem like she knew her from quite some time which somehow she found it difficult to digest.
The wait was now killing her. She was still wearing the same clothes that she had worn since the morning, but by now, they were smelling of sweat. Nobody had bothered to turn on the AC after the powercut. The smoke from the inspectors on and off smoking also made her nauseous. She had emptied the contents of her stomach twice over but felt a churn once again. Agreed, Shekhar would smoke as well, but his was mild and she was used to it by now. This was a very strong smell and not something she was used to. She had decided that she would take the cigar out and stub it out on the ground if that bloke ever lit it again in front of her. He had absolutely no manners and did not know how to treat women. She had seen the lust in his eyes when he was talking to Jenny. She would take none of it.
“Mrs. Dutta, please come in,” said Java interrupting her flow of thoughts and then continued as she stepped in, “and take a seat. You seem to be very nervous and not really in the pink of your health.”
“Well of course, if you would stop smoking that wretched thing I would be much better,” Tara snapped back.
This conversation was enough for Java to fathom that this was no easy fish and may fight back a lot. Her husband had instead been very easy.
“Let’s start with the basics, shall we?”
“Please ask what you are here for and let’s be done with this once and for all. Look at what a mess you have made of my house. It no longer looks like the home that I so painstakingly built!”
“Look ma’am, I am sorry that it no longer looks like your home but I had no other choice. Besides, this is a high profile case which calls me to interrogate each one of you before long.”
“Now will you please start and spare me the torture of smelling a room full of smoke?”
“Sure, what’s your name and how long have you known Naina, your maid?”
“I am Tara Dutta, Tara Shekhar Dutta! I have known Naina for several years now. She came from a small town at the behest of my grandmother.”
“And why would she do that?”
“Her mom had been employed at my Granny’s place. When we moved down to Mumbai, life had already been difficult. Then I got pregnant. That’s when at my Granny’s insistence I reluctantly agreed to have her.”
She continued, “I was never supportive of having a full time maid. I somehow had always felt pity on them. They had no life, no family other than ours. It was downright cruel. However, Naina settled in right from the minute she stepped in my home.”
“What had your relations with Naina been like? Had she ever shared any of her deep secrets with you?”
“Naina was just like any member of the house. She took care of me like a mother when I was ill and joked with me like a sister when all was well. She was my soul sister.”
Further, “She had never hidden any secrets from me. There was no use really. She had nobody but us in her family left. Her mother was dead long ago and she had no idea where her drunk of a father was. As far as the question about her siblings goes, she had none. She was the only daughter.”
“So are you trying to tell me that your relationships were never strained and there was no reason for you to think that somebody might want to kill her?”
“She was found dead on the floor wearing your clothes. Did you share your wardrobe with her?”
“No. Those clothes were given to her by me. They were too old and besides, they were out of fashion as well. Wouldn’t have gone with my personality and stature.”
“Would you like to say the same about the shoes that she was wearing? The mink scarf? None of these looked old or out of fashion. Pardon my ignorance about fashion ma’am but I am as good as a kid lost in a big mall when it comes to fashion.”
“That’s alright. Several people say the same thing to me. Yes, those shoes and scarf were relatively new and still very much in vogue. Naina had this uncanny habit of trying on my clothes once in a way when I was not around. She seemed to derive some kind of a pleasure… a kick out of doing this!”
“So did you never stop her for that? Never reprimand?”
“I did. I had caught her precisely two times doing this to me. I had warned her not to do it once again. But those warnings seemed to have fallen on deaf ears!”
“Only warned her, despite her repeating it. Don’t mind me, but doesn’t it sound strange?” with this Java started to light another cigar.
This irritated Tara to point of no end and like a stroke of lightening, the cigar was down on the floor and crushed to smithereens.
“Enough Mr. Jawalkar! Have you no mannerisms on how to behave with a civilized lady? I have been seeing you light the cigar on and off despite the fact that there are ladies in the house and to top that a child as well.” This pricked Java and he was not only visibly taken aback, but also very offended. However, he chose to keep calm and let the storm pass. He was not here to pick another fight with a lady. A lady who worked in media as well.
“No offence ma’am, but you need to not only mind your tongue but temper as well. Let me remind you that all that you say and do could be taken against you.”
“I am sorry, but it is a request. Please stop smoking now at least until you are done with being in the house. I am not able to tolerate the smell!”
“I will try but I cannot promise. Now let’s get back to where we were. Did you only warn her or anything else?”
“I had threatened her dire consequences once. But it was just that. An empty threat. I could never fathom anything more to her. Why, I find it difficult to even kill a fly!”
“What are your relations with Mr. Dutta like?”
“Does this have any connection to this case?”
“Please do not answer my question with another question. I do the asking while you shall do the answering only. Now let me repeat my question, what are your relations with Mr. Dutta like?”
“They are perfectly normal like a husband and wife anywhere in this world.”
“Did you ever suspect that he could be having an affair with Naina behind your back?”
“What rubbish are you talking about? Shekhar can never do this! He was, is and will always be only my man. Loyal as always.”
“Do you think any of the people in this house could have any reason to kill Naina?”
“That’s up to you to find out Mr. Jawalkar. And now, if you are done asking may I please leave?”
“Sure you may. I am done asking. But please do keep in mind that I may call you back for more questions if I feel the need to.”
Tara walked out of the room without anything as much as nodding her head. She had had enough of him.
Java, on the other hand now was apprehensive on the killers. Tara had all the reasons to kill Naina. She had confessed herself that she had threatened Naina of dire consequences. But was this event an enough trigger to spark off a murder. Was Tara hiding anything more. He had to find out.
~to be continued here…
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