“Sir,how many times do I have to say you—I…don’t…know…anything…”
Bakshilooked up from the crime photos. The man who was sitting in front of himcouldn’t be frame as murderer or cannot be charge as the murderer. His dis-abilityto see or watch put him under the special case—yes, he’s a blind person and theonly alleged witness to this whole murder case. Murder of Rukmini Devi.
Rukmini Devi was a celebrated name in the film industry. Her arrival on the screen was silent. Being orphaned at young age, she was raised by Rathores. They were one of the prolific producers who had given many hits and blockbusters over the years. The second generation of Rathores wants a daughter but they had a son. So they adopted the orphaned girl child named Mini.
Over the years Mini proved to be what a film star means. She was not only beautiful but she had a voice of nightingale, and being trained in Classical Indian Dance she was a gorgeous dancer. When her foster father launched her everyone was though not sure of her capability of acting, but, with four or five films she proves her worth. The young man used to get spellbound when she used to smile tilted and the gap used to fall on her cheeks.
But, last few years three out of her six films had flopped. They received lackluster comments and reviews from both critics and mass pushing her behind—far beyond her competitors. Last two years she had not acted in a single movie, but, had chosen to live in seclusion. Her brother tried to bring her back but she rejected all the proposal letting the daily to headline their paper then and now with her end, with her being finished.
Few months back her foster brother was killed in a road accident. This event shakes her off at the root, and she decided to direct and act herself in the movie that was her brother was planning to make. The script was ready; the locations were ready. The cast was only left and starting date of the shooting. When she declared she was going to act and direct the movie the industry had laughed; in two years lots of thing changed and these changes affected her. But, still she decided to go on casting few of her friends from the industry and new faces.
The antagonist of the film, which she was going to play, would be a blind woman who sensing the smell and sounds hatched her plans to create all the havocs. Being blind she was never doubted until and at last hero or the protagonist, a failed private detective, to prove his worth decides to spy on the blind woman.
Now for this Rukmini Devi wants to learn the ways and methods of a blind man not woman because she don’t want to create a female antagonist like a vamp that used to rage those days. This was only thing she deviated the story from her brother’s.
To learn the ways of blinds she asked one of her friend to help her out. He suggested Mr. Khurana to her. Khurana had been blind from his birth. He used to work as a teacher in a blind school which used to get run by a NGO developed by the actress’s friend.
On last Monday when Khurana left Rukmini Devi’s she was alive. And after thirty minutes she was found death in her kitchen. The doctor’s report puts the murder at the time when Khurana was present there. For last three days he had been questioned many a times. From last day it was Bakshi who was given charge of the case.
“Repeat it…because I know you will commit mistake…now or later…” Bakshi said.
Khurana shakes his head and started saying, “Miss Rukmini came to our school…two months ago it was…she was with this friend of her whom other says she shared a secret liaison…they inspect our school…I can sense her…she had following me all the time she was there…then before lunch I was called at Principal’s office…I knew Rukmini Devi would be coming to our school…for donations…so when I was called at the office of Principal I became sure of that never sensing her real purpose of visit…she asked me a lot of questions…and responses few to them…and after grilling for…for fifteen minutes…I was hired…as a teacher of Miss Rukmini…three days a week—Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday…
“She was a good obedient student…learning very quick…I could sense it…when she used to come close to me I could smell the rose; she used to smell like that…”
Khurana paused at this moment relishing the moments he had spent with her, it might seem, but he suddenly comes to recollect another thing.
“You never stopped here last day…so what did you recollect Khurana…let’s come to deal…” Bakshi said.
“Yes…it had missed my recollections…she used to smell of roses when she used to come near me…to hold my hands or when she needed to direct me to some place in the room, so that I can show her how to walk from that point to her…but…but, on that day when she opened the door I smelt of ash and smoke like that of the cigarettes you smoke…though the brand was different obviously…I know she smoke but that day that odor was surpassing her rose odor…and that day I was there thirty minutes—much shorter than other days…when I was leaving her I also smelt another thing…another odor…it was rustic, iron…sort of blood…yes Sir…it was of blood…”
Bakshi sat up and leaned his back on the chair, then, “see…we have come to deal…now that would do for to-day…”
This was not Bakshi does when he had a success in a case. He questioned more on that point and the people related to it. But that day he was disturbed. He had received a letter from her. And that had put him off the course.
“Sir, are you sure…I think you have few more things to know…” Khurana asked, “don’t looked at me like that…being a blind from birth I can sense the under the tone of a voice…I can say you are in deep rumination on something…though I was talking here…”
Bakshiremain silent. Khurana was correct.