Diaries Magazine

The Tangled Mess - IV

Posted on the 12 August 2014 by Rajrupa @irajrupa

Read Part IPart II Part III here.
The Tangled Mess - IVJha sat on his desk with his head bowed. His brows were knitted, yet a small hint of a smile was playing on his lips. He had just got off from a disturbing call with Bibha. The hatred that burst out of her was astonishing. She didn’t pretend to be shocked or sorry to hear the news. In fact she proudly announced that she was expecting his call and that she was already informed of this mishap by a resident who got in touch. She also announced that it was no shock to her to see Aditi killed this way because for someone who lived off of taking advantage of others this was the only possible end. While Jha was able to finally convince her to come down to his office for a statement, she didn’t agree easily. In the end, though she maintained that she wasn’t involved and didn’t know anything about the murder, she agreed to co-operate with the investigation as best as she could.
Now Jha knew a little more about the murdered woman Aditi. An orphan at the age of twelve, she made her way in this world alone. She worked in different types of jobs and it was while working as a tailor that Bibha met her three years back. She worked as an assistant of a designer. Although Bibha knew almost nothing about Aditi’s past, their friendship grew rapidly and after a year Bibha took her in. They moved in this apartment together: while Bibha brought all the furnishings, Aditi came with only her clothes. Of late, over some glossy details that Bibha obviously didn’t want to spill, they had fallen apart and Bibha had bagged a bigger job in Mumbai and moved out. But Jha could guess. Because when asked why she thought Aditi deserved this fate, Bibha had said, “because she used me, took advantage of my weakness, pretended to be someone she was not. All because it would benefit her. I don’t know how many more might have been there before me! Anyone might have wanted revenge.”Could it be a boyfriend? Did Aditi have one?“I would not know. Would I?” Bibha had said.It was almost unbelievable that as Aditi’s roommate Bibha didn’t know whether she had a boyfriend or not, unless the man was one of the exes of Bibha. But she had said, “wouldn’t know” and not “didn’t know”, which could only mean that they were in some kind of relationship. Jha could only assume, but probably that was what Bibha was referring to as “taking advantage”? It all made sense. Now all he could do was to wait for the sub-inspector to arrive from the hospital. But the phone had started to ring again. “Hello. Inspector Jha speaking.” “Hello.” A slurry voice drawled. “Who is this?”“It’s me. You are looking for the witch’s killer right? Don’t. She deserved to die. Don’t waste your time.”“Who is this?” Jha pressed the phone to his ear a litter harder.But all he could hear was a rustle of clothes, a small grunt and then the line went dead. For a whole minute Jha listened to the dead tone as he sat still with the phone pressed firmly against his ear. That was twice in five minutes that he was told that the dead woman Aditi deserved to die. No doubt she had ruffled a lot of feathers. But who was the caller right now? Who had the audacity to call up a police inspector and advise not to do his job? His breath quickened. That voice, he knew that voice. But why would he call? Did it mean? But how was that possible?“So concentrating hard? Any clues so far?”, Ambekar, the IPS officer called out from behind the plywood that served as the walls of his makeshift cabin. Jha jerked his head in frustration as his train of thoughts was interrupted yet again.“Not yet.” He called out.“I can help you out you know. If you have any difficulty you can always consult me. I am here for you.” Ambekar’s head appeared on the side of the partition.Jha’s temples were beginning to throb. But he fought down an immense urge to shout. He forced his voice to a calm whisper and said, “Thanks. I will remember the offer.”Jha couldn’t sit there a moment longer. He picked up his notes and stormed out of the police station. He hadn’t yet decided what to do but a moment longer with that snob IPS officer would surely have killed him. Now where was he? Ah, the mysterious caller. Mysterious? He supposed he could call it that even though he thought he knew who called. He was about to get on his motorbike when the sub inspector arrived looking harassed.“What is it Rahul? Anything interesting?”“I think so. But I am never being sent off to do your dirty works. Here.” He said and held a torn page of his notebook out to Jha.“What is it? P. Sharma? Who is he?”“A man obviously. Our victim happened to visit him last month when he had a surgery done in his abdomen.”“Wow. This can be a crucial clue. Do you have the address?”“I do. It’s 2F, same building as the victim in the Paradise. But to get it I had to almost kiss the Matron’s feet, literally. You owe me.” He had to shout the last part because Jha was already driving off.Love,
The Tangled Mess - IV

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