Diaries Magazine

The Tangled Mess - VI

Posted on the 14 August 2014 by Rajrupa @irajrupa
Read Part IPart II Part III Part IV Part V here.
It was eight o’clock by the huge clock on the wall. Ambekar was stretched in his chair, relaxing after a vigorous interrogation session with Raja who was now lying in a foetus position on the cold floor of the lockup. The constables had caught him in little less than fifteen minutes in the woods. His mother, Mrs Murthy, was sent home by Ambekar about an hour ago and asked to come back with an attorney.The Tangled Mess - VIEverything seemed calm. Except Jha. There was a discomfort, a nagging discomfort that was keeping him restless. He couldn’t go home; he couldn’t peel his eyes off the twenty two years old autistic man who lay like a child on the prison floor. He still couldn’t make peace with what everyone said, that he was the killer: even though he confessed doing it, he couldn’t give the details of how he did it. There was something, there must be something that he was missing. Or was it simply that he didn’t want to accept that this time also Ambekar pulled one over him. He got up. A walk in the fresh air would probably do him good. There were so many questions that were not answered. Jha thought as he walked on the road outside the police station. What was the boy’s motive? Why would he kill the woman even if he did it? Why would Aditi go to visit Sharma in the hospital? As a friendly neighbour? Then why would his wife deny any knowledge of knowing her. It meant only one thing. They were having an affair. Why would Basu lie about being alone in the morning when he was clearly with Sharma? Or was it that Mrs Basu was lying? Why would she lie though? It didn’t make sense. Was Sharma really a good husband or was Mrs Sharma lying? His pacing grew quicker and quicker as his thoughts got wilder and wilder. He collided with what seemed like a rag ball. It was Mrs Murthy. She fell unceremoniously on his feet, “Please save my son. He’s all I’ve got. He didn’t do anything.”“How can you be sure Mrs Murthy? He has confessed.”“He doesn’t even know what he is saying. I am always there to keep watch on him.”“Would you deny that your son hated Aditi? That he used his sling shot and shattered their window glass? And it happened not only once but repeatedly? You have failed to restrain your son from doing that, haven’t you?”A look of pure shock crossed through her face, “how did you…?”“Know this?” Jha completed her sentence for her. “It was quite easy actually Mrs Murthy. The maintenance folks told me. They got quite a few complaints from 9B about your son.”Mrs Murthy sobbed loudly.“Listen Mrs Murthy”, said Jha, “I too believe that your son didn’t kill Aditi. However this is just another information that will help to prove in court that he did. I won’t be able to help you unless you help me.”“How can I help you? I know nothing about who killed her.”“But you do know more than you told me in the morning. Don’t you? After all, your window is barely 5 feet away from hers. And your son’s been keeping a tab on her, he keeps saying that she deserved to die.”“I really don’t know much Inspector. But Raja’s been like this ever since his father left. He doesn’t like young women since then.”“Hang on. What do you mean by ‘left’? I thought he was dead!”“Oh no. He is very much alive. He left us for a younger woman five years ago. After our divorce I moved in here. We live off the small alimony he pays; I tell people it’s his pension. I don’t want to stir up a gossip. So I keep to myself.”“I see.”“Yeah. Since then Raja doesn’t like young women. He seems to think all young women are bad, they break homes. I don’t know if he saw anything that fueled his dislike, but I know he didn’t kill her. He couldn’t have, he’s too soft hearted for that.”Jha was starting to feel restless again. The conversation was turning out to be useless. “How well did you know these two women who lived in 9B?”“Not much. I think they were very busy. All the time I walked past their apartment to get to the elevator, I saw it locked. Yes. They were cautious. They used to put a big padlock. I remember that was why I noticed it first. Only during weekends they used to be at home, I guess, because I didn’t see the lock during weekends. I remember I used to wonder inwardly, how these two girls would manage once they got married. Would they quit working? Would they become housewives like I once was? Would they be able to keep their husbands interested?”“What else do you know? Any acquaintances? Any visitors you saw?”“No. I don’t remember seeing anybody. But, I don’t know if it’s of consequence, day before yesterday when I was coming back from the doctor appointment, around seven in the evening, the padlock wasn’t there, the door was closed but the padlock wasn’t there, so it must mean that she was inside and there was a pair of slippers by the door. It was kept there casually. I remember because I stumbled on them.”“A pair of slippers! How interesting! Do you reckon someone was visiting her?”“I don’t know. Really. It could very well have been hers. Maybe she forgot to take them inside!”“Do you remember how they looked? The slippers?”“Not much. I wasn’t paying attention. It was blue I think. Dark blue rubber slippers with white flowers if I remember correctly.”
“Thanks a lot Mrs Murthy. I will see what I can do.” said Jha. A small hint of a smile was playing in his lips. He had to go to Paradise, again. He had to speak with Sharma and Basu again.
To be concluded tomorrow.Love,
The Tangled Mess - VI

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