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Brita Roy

Drama Crime


4  

Brita Roy

Drama Crime


The Ring

The Ring

9 mins 24.4K 9 mins 24.4K

        Bithi Gomes fingered her wedding gown. It was so delicate, so soft to touch. She was almost bursting with happiness. She had selected a red gown, unlike the usual wedding dresses which were traditionally white. Her father was a Christian, so she had decided on a church wedding, and had opted for a gown. But her mother was a Bengali, so she selected the colour red, as Bengali brides always marry in red. The colour would go well with her complexion. Her skin was milk white, which she had inherited from her father, who had Portuguese blood in him. She could speak fluently in English, as well as Bengali. The dress had been ordered from a famous Boutique in Paris. She had planned to have a bouquet of white roses, which would stand out in contrast against her red sari. Her two sisters would be the bride’s maids.


         Bithi just could not get over the fact, that she would be marrying a multi-billionaire. She had met him at a dance, when she was in Goa six months back. He was tall, and hands, with very amiable manners. She was attracted to him outright. He had such a charisma that any woman would have been proud to have him by her side. Robert, her fiancé’, had told her that she deserved the best, and therefore he had ordered the wedding gown from Paris. He seemed to be generous and affable, and Bithi liked him for being that. He had said he was just a business man with varied interests. But he evaded telling her specifically, what his actual business was. He had also informed her, that his work entailed a lot of touring all over the globe. He had come to Goa, just to take a break in his busy schedule. 


            Robert wanted to get everything organized to perfection, from the beginning. So they went to a renowned Jeweller, to buy Bithi a wedding ring. She just could not get over the fact, that he was actually presenting her with a diamond ring, which cost seven lacs in Indian money. As was his nature, immediately he got the ring insured, so that it would take care of any mishap. Bithi was speech-less. She was in a daze. Her thoughts went straight to her parents. Her father had been a Railway Ticket Collector. They lived in a small one-roomed apartment, on rent. He walked three miles every day to the station, despite his arthritis. She looked at the sparkling stone, and wondered whether spending so much money on a stone was justified .She thanked her stars that she was going to marry such an affluent man.


          Her parents were elated. They hoped that after marriage, Bithi would be able to help them financially, and looking at the diamond they knew, that their future would automatically sparkle like the stone, after their daughter’s marriage. As for the two sisters Roma and Pinky, both envied their sister’s good fortune and were very jealous because they would have liked a ring like that.

         As the day of the wedding approached, there was hectic activity going on in their families. First of all Wedding Cards had to be printed, and sent out to friends, and relatives. Caterers were to be booked, Hall had to be reserved, and food menu, and drinks had to be selected.


                     The day arrived. After the Church wedding, was the reception. The Hall had been decorated with red and white roses. The music had been carefully selected. Snacks and drinks were being served by smart uniformed boys. The invitees were all dressed up, some in the gorgeous Indian attire, whilst some were dressed in suits, and dazzling dresses. The couples were dancing to the soft music. The parents of the bridegroom were busy seeing to the comfort of the guests. Bithi’s parents were beaming with happiness, though they seemed to be self-conscience, because of their social status.


        All of a sudden Bithi gave a sky-piercing cry,” My ring! My ring! Where is my ring?” Immediately everybody present just looked dazed. A frantic search began. Refreshments were stopped from being served any more. Instead the boys were requested to look all over the floor, to see whether the ring had fallen, as Bithi claimed that it was a bit loose. But even if it had fallen, there was little likelihood of the Finder giving it back knowing the cost of the ring.


Bithi started to bring the roof down with her crying. She sobbed uncontrollably, and it was not possible to calm her down. Robert, who was very practical, had immediately called the police, as the ring had to be recovered from whosoever’s possession it was. The police came within five minutes, and told the gathering that no one should leave, as they would be searching everybody who had been present. First their search would be of the premises. But after they had done their part of investigating the premises meticulously, they failed to find the ring. They then turned their attention to the guests. But before searching everyone in person, they apologised, that no one should take offence, as it was part of their duty.    


    After they had searched the employees of the Caterer thoroughly, they summoned the bridegroom’s parents. They asked for their Adhaar Card, which they did not have with them. They questioned the lady, as well as the gentleman separately, but their accounts did not tally. The police personnel noted down this discrepancy. They were not being transparent for some reason or the other. The lady said their house was in Lucknow, where they had been living for the past twenty years. The father of the groom said they were living in Kolkata. They were trying to hide something which had to be found out later. Then they interrogated Bithi’s mothers. She seemed to be flustered and admitted, whilst stuttering and stammering, that indeed if she had the ring, she would sell it off immediately and buy a house for herself. But on searching her person to see whether the ring was with her, the police did not find it.


As for Bithi’s father, he was very indignant that he should be subjected to the humiliation of being interrogated. He opined that it was a dumb idea, to have bought a diamond with so much money. He would have any day bought a car, which would have been useful, and sensible. He felt that those people who had money, it went to their heads, and they lost their heads, and their ability to reason. The Police heard them through but were perplexed that they could not lay their hands on the diamond, which could not have disappeared from the Hall. Then it was the turn of the two sisters. Bithi had mentioned that Roma and Pinky were very envious. But the men in uniform could not garner any clue even after prolonged cross-examination. Only one person remained and though he was the last, he was the least to be suspected, as he was the one who had called the police.


 Robert in his most courteous, and amicable manner, invited them to ask him whatever question they thought necessary, and he would be co-operative to the best of his ability. But the first comment that the police man made, had an intriguing effect on Robert. The policeman remarked that Robert’s face was very familiar. As soon as he said this, Robert lost his composure and his face became infused with a crimson hue. He stood up and protested vehemently that the police had no business to interrogate him, as he was the one to summon them. He almost became aggressive, and asked the policemen to leave. When the policeman mentioned that he knew about his antecedents, Robert seemed to cower down, and told the police they could continue. It was very suspicious that when the police asked him about his business, he started prevaricating Again on being questioned about his permanent address, Robert tried to evade answering.


            Then they addressed Bithi, “ Madam! we are sorry we could not find your ring for you, which is physically not present in the premises. We can say it with cent per cent certainty. But at present, we can save you from a massive catastrophe. Most probably in his ingenious way, Robert has made it disappear, for which we need some time to find out. But before we go on any further, we would like to ask you, did you get your life insured?” Bithi answered in the affirmative. She had drawn up a Life Insurance Policy for a Crore of Indian Rupees.


After hearing her reply the police man continued,” You see Madam,’ Robert Brown’ is one of his names. He has so far changed his name seven times. He has married seven times as a different person. He gets the wife insured for an exorbitant amount and then kills her and as the next to kin, he gets the entire amount. But in each case he has killed in such an ingenious way, that we have not been successful in bringing a murder charge against him. This is his eighth attempt. The names he changes through legal procedure, so we cannot catch him on that. Last time he was Lesley Ghosh.  As he marries every time with a different name, his past history is buried. Besides the murders have been committed so skillfully and subtly with no evidence at all, that we have not been able to lay our hands on him.”


                         Bithi heard the details without flapping an eye-lid, without showing any emotion. The pallor on her face did not show, as her complexion was white as a lily. She just stood like a marble statue. Then slowly she looked around like a lost swan. But a few moments later, she started to sway like reeds in gentle summer breeze. She tried to steady herself by holding on to the table. She could only clutch on to the table cloth, and she brought all the crockery smashing to the floor, as she collapsed. She lay on the floor still, and motionless. After a few moments, she started pressing on to her chest, and coughing nonstop, spasmodically. Ever body started running, trying to give her some relief. As they poured water into her mouth, she vomited. The onlookers were stunned.


She had vomited out the precious ring! Then again she closed her eyes, and lost her consciousness because of the mental trauma of having got duped into a dangerous marriage. But before she did so, she confessed that she had swallowed her ring to get money from the Insurance Company, as there would be concrete evidence that the ring could not be traced. She had also planned that she would give the money to her parents to buy a small flat. Then she added under her breath that she had hoped it would come out in the toilet the next morning.

Then the police took their leave as the ring had been found for which they were called. But before leaving, they warned Robert that the police were very much aware of his doings. and were only waiting for one false move, and he would be in their trap. Robert’s past having been revealed, he realised that from that day he had to live a respectable life, with his newly wedded wife..


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