Entangled Lives – Chapter 28 – #CelebrateBlogging – #GameOfBlogs


Hi, guys, We, the team Potliwale Baba, are writing a fictional story as a part of #CelebrateBlogging – Game of Blogs. potli Read the previous and next posts here:

Round 1: Chapter #1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|#7|#8|#9|#10

Round 2: Chapter #11|#12|#13|#14|#15|#16|#17|#18|#19|#20

Round 3: Chapter #21|#22|#23|#24|#25|#26|#27|#28|#29|#30|#31

“Naina… Naina…” he whispered staring at the photograph of her corpse. He neatly placed back the photo on the board and pinned it along with the other photos. He stared at the photo adjacent to the one he pinned. It was a passport size photo of Naina, which he had got from the Duttas. “Pretty… very pretty,” he admired. Removing his gaze from the photograph, Java took a step back and looked at all the other photographs on the board.

board Shekhar Dutta, balding man in his early forties, who doesn’t have a full time job. Java was reminiscing the conversation with Shekhar. Within Java’s mind, the devil was slowly giving him those little things that Shekhar could have given away in that interrogation.

“Naina had become quite the woman of the house.”

“Roohi liked spending time with her.”

“She enjoyed listening to my poetry and articles.”

These lines from Shekhar’s interrogation were disturbing him. Was he in love with Naina? If so, why he killed her? Or was he obsessed with her? If so, why kill her without fulfilling his passion? Or did he mistake her to be Tara? But, can a husband who spend so many dark nights with his wife, mistake her identity? Or was it something that wasn’t surfacing? He took a sip from his cup and felt a weird taste of peppermint from his tea. He immediately regretted the decision of buying those tea bags. However, the peppermint distraction opened up another angle for him. Was Naina blackmailing Shekhar? May be… So far, neither Java could find proof of Shekhar and Naina’s relationship, nor he could find any signs of sexual abuse from Naina’s post-mortem.

The reports said there were no traces of any sexual activity before the murder. However, lack of evidence can’t make one innocent. According to Java, there is something fishy between Shekhar and Naina. “These creative people who write poems and shayaris they always have a secret life,” he thought.

Shekhar Dutta, Age: 42

Profession: House husband freelance writer

Whereabouts during the crime: Nearby crime scene

Past records: Drunken driving in Delhi during college days.

Motives: To kill Tara: Infidelity – of either his or his wife’s

To kill Naina: Obsession/Hidden secret/Blackmail

Writing the aforementioned things on a sticky note, he moved to the next photograph.

Roohi Dutta looked pretty in the photograph where she was smiling heartily. Sadly, he didn’t see her smiling in the recent times. How can a child smile, when such bizarre things happen in the household? Also, he had learnt from her parents that she was unable to concentrate. He quickly ran through his conversation with her.

“Mom fought with her because Naina uses my mom’s things.”

This was the only clue the baby doll left in her conversation. Was that an enough reason for Tara to murder Naina? Also, Roohi seemed to be a person who would easily be attracted to others. She was quite friendly with Cyrus and the Jennifer girl too. Poor child. The devil in Java’s mind was suspecting even the kid once, but he secretly tested his suspicion getting her fingerprints checked with those in the crime scene. However, all through the crime scene he saw 4 sets of fingerprints, Shekhar, Tara, Roohi, and Naina. Also, the poor child was just at a wrong place in wrong time.

He quickly scribbled these in a sticky note and struck it next to her picture.

Name: Roohi Dutta

Age: 9 Class IV student

Whereabouts during the crime: Found about the murder

Past records: NIL Motive: None

Remarks: Might know who the killer is or might be not

He lit his cigar and took a deep sigh. “Tara…” he gazed at her photograph. “Ooh, Mrs. Dutta…” he was smiling to himself. How much he had fun investigating this case, especially when there are two pretty ladies as suspects. Although the malayali beauty made him shiver with her godly features, it is always the tall and sleek girl who did something to his hormones. Although, Tara wasn’t a girl but a woman, her mere presence gave him jitters. He quickly brushed away his thoughts and started to hear Tara’s interrogation tape. He was amused by the fact that Tara went from patient to hysterical, to courteous, to enraged in a matter of 10 minutes of interrogation. He played the tape again; she was patient while she entered, then became hysterical when he asked her name. She again became courteous while she spoke about how close is Naina to her, and finally she became enraged while he probed about the wardrobe sharing issue. He paused and replayed these sentences.

“What rubbish are you talking about? Shekhar can never do this! He was, is and will always be only my man. Loyal, as always!”

If only, Tara knew of Cyrus, and how he is related to Mr. Dutta. He didn’t reveal about this to anyone, not even to Shekhar himself. He strictly adhered to the work ethics of discussing any developments to the suspects and other people involved in the crime. “If Tara is the culprit, then the victim was Naina. If Tara isn’t the murderer, then the victim can be either Tara or Naina,” he thought loud. “Yay Naina Tara – Nayantara… I am going mad… Faaa…k,” he swore.

The devil in him kept his calm at times, in situations like this. He took another sip of the cold and weird peppermint tea and jotted down in a sticky note.

Name: Tara Dutta

Age: 38

Profession: Media

Whereabouts during the crime: Last person to arrive on the scene

Past records: NIL

Motive: Might know about Naina-Shekhar’s relationship.

As he jotted down this, another thought hit his mind. “What if she had an illegal affair?” “What if Naina knew about it and blackmailed her?” “What if she had affair with Cyrus?”

“Whoaa… Chill, Java,” he spoke to himself. “Listen to what you just told. You told that the step-mom is having affair with her step-son with or without knowing about their relationship,” he wondered.

He argued with himself, “Although this might sound odd, it can be perfectly feasible too. Especially after what Jenny said in the recent interrogation.” “Okay, given that this is the case, what are the possibilities?” he wondered aloud.

He quickly jotted it down. Naina knowing of Cyrus-Tara affair and blackmailing her; Tara and/or Cyrus may have murdered Naina. Jenny knowing of Cyrus-Tara affair and murdered Naina thinking that it is Tara. Naina knew of Cyrus’ revenge plan and assisted him or opposed him? To know answers to these he probed further into the remaining tapes and forensic report.

The post-mortem report was clean, and that made him think more. “Clever, very clever,” he thought. He silently played the series of events in his mind. The killer should have put out the power, followed the maid into the kitchen stealthily, and stabbed her in the spine. This way she would have not had even a moment to struggle or react. Java wondered if at least Naina would have seen the killer’s face. Feeling suffocated with these many thoughts, he came out of this room and locked it.

Somewhere in the same Mumbai, the killer was writing down, in fact washing off the feelings,

While the truths lay,

My mind goes astray.

All these were for a cause,

Trust me, it’s their flaws.

While the truths lay,

My mind goes astray.

After having a strong glass of cutting chai, Java was finally able to think again. However, something distracted from going ahead, and it was the freshly baked coconut filled handmade biscuits that were placed in the tea stall. He grabbed two and munched it on his way back to the room.

Back in his room, he checked Cyrus’ pic. Without a need of thinking a lot, he had known the motive for murder. He jotted down the things in a sticky note;

Name: Cyrus Daruwala (Using mother’s maiden name – Cyrus Dutta)

Age: 19 Law student

Whereabouts during the crime: nearby crime scene but farthest from the corpse

Past records: NIL

Motive: Tara could be the victim, and motive is revenge against Shekhar Dutta.

The devil in his mind clearly said that it was Cyrus, but how did he do it? No fingerprints, no signs of struggle, and no eye-witness. How can he go away so unscathed after doing a cold blooded murder? Or wait, he didn’t do it, maybe? He made someone do it? Jennifer? Or maybe Tara? Java was so sure that he or one of the ladies were involved in the murder. However, which one and how? That was the puzzle.

Also, he can’t completely ignore Shekhar Dutta. Just because there are no big evidences against him he can’t be out of the suspects list. “What if he knew of Cyrus-Tara affair?” Java pondered. He quickly revisited Shekhar’s sticky note and scribbled this in the list of motives. Finally, he looked at Jennifer’s pic. Something about her made him uneasy; she looked like a woman who would do anything fearlessly.

He reminisced.

Well there was a power cut and it was kinda dark you see… I just saw a silhouette

Was she the silhouette that walked out or was it her lover boy?

In fact, he moved on.

Does that mean there was something about Cyrus’ new life that irked her? Tara… Somehow Tara seems to be a target in Jennifer’s case. Tara

He quickly jotted down certain points:

Name: Jennifer Joseph

Age: 21 Photographer

Whereabouts during the crime: Nearby crime scene

Past records: NIL

Motive: Target could be Tara – either assisting Cyrus or doing individually.

Remarks: Might know more than what she reveals

“Why?” he wondered. His thoughts were disturbed by a knock on his door.

His sub-ordinate Hari Prasad entered when Java signed him to come in.

“Sirrr…” he stammered. Java gave him a cold glare.

“Sirr, I want to tell something,” he said with submissiveness.

“Speak,” Java said in a cold tone.

“Sir, you asked me to study the inquest sheet and post-mortem report, when I did that I noticed something.”

Java guffawed, “What you noticed? That you vomit on seeing post –mortem reports too?”

Java had mocked about how Hari Prasad has vomited when he first saw a human corpse badly damaged, a couple of years ago. pm Ignoring the mockery, Hari went on, “Sir, it says that ‘Stab wound on the lower spine caused by an inch wide kitchen knife, the sharper edge pointing to the right of the deceased’”.

When Java didn’t respond, he continued, “The knife used was this,” he pointed to the one on the green board where Java had pinned all the pictures. “The sharp edge will generally be on the left if the stabber was right handed and vice-versa,” he said as a matter-of-fact.

Java’s face shone. The devil inside him said, “Java… how did you miss on that?”

Controlling the excitement, he said, “Yes, I too thought about it, but there wasn’t anything said in the post-mortem report about the murderer being left-handed, so we can’t take this as evidence.”

“Sir, sorry, but I had a talk with Sohal, before coming here. I shouldn’t have, but my curiosity played the trick. He said that it’s highly probable that the murderer might be left-handed, but since the knife’s handle was rounded and also, since knife was in the body, it can be the other way too,” he completed the sentence really quick.

“Very good, very good, now you go. I will have an official word with Dr. Khan,” he said. After having a brief phone call with Dr. Khan, he realized that what Hari said was indeed right. However, as he predicted this can’t be taken as evidence.

If only he could beat the confession out of the killer. “But, who is the killer, Java,” the devil screamed. He stared the fully filled board. pinboard As he kept his phone back in his pant pocket, not only the phone, but the missing piece of the murder mystery was falling in place. Cyrus, Jennifer, Shekhar, and Tara – all of them had the habit of keeping phones in their pockets. While 3 of them kept it in their right pocket. One person preferred it inside the left pocket. Lighting the cigar, he marched out of the room. “Here I come!” he yelled to himself.

Pen in left hand, cruelness in the eyes, the shadow whistled, while writing,

Withering in pain, It’s time for me to gain;

Freedom, I did get, But, it’s painful, I bet;

World is not so kind, For it is tormenting my mind;

All I want is to twist the knife,

Watch their eyes when I take one more life.

~to be continued here

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Our Team Members: Srilakshmi Indrasenan (myself), Sneha Bhattacharjee, Hemantkumar Jain, Shameem Rizwana, Shoumik De, Nirav Thakker, Tushar, Ritu Pandey.

Did you think we are forming a nail-biting thriller? Share our blogs through FB or Twitter with #CelebrateBlogging #TeamPotliwaleBaba tags 🙂

~Love,

Stri

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