UNDERCOVER10 mins 306 10 mins 306
Note: This story is dedicated to my favorite detective character Sherlock Holmes and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was heavily inspired from the story "The Dying Detective."
Dinesh, the associate of ACP Arjun came to Naveen and said, "Arjun is dying, Naveen sir. For three days, he has been sinking and I doubt if he will last another day. He would not let me get a doctor. I told him I could not stand it anymore and would get a doctor."
He replied, "Let it be Naveen then."
Naveen was horrified to hear about the illness, which he have never heard before. Already Wave 2 of Corona is spreading like anything in Coimbatore. Now, there are news that Wave 3 is going to attack. Naveen suspects that, his friend is suffering from the contagious disease and a thought runs in his mind.
"How did he got fever and gone to bed rest?" Naveen asked Dinesh.
"I can tell little to you sir. He has been investigating a case down at Singanallur, near the Noyyal river, and has brought the contagious disease with him. He took to bed on Wednesday afternoon and has never moved since. For three days neither food nor drink has passed his lips."
"Why did you not call a doctor?" Naveen asked.
"He wouldn't have it sir. I didn't dare to disobey him." Dinesh replied.
Naveen drives towards the home of Arjun and while driving, he recalls how they were close friends since childhood days.
ABOUT ARJUN AND NAVEEN:
Arjun and Naveen lost their family in 2005 Delhi Bombings, when they were eight years older. They joined in an orphanage trust. Naveen grew up to become a smart, brilliant and calm medical doctor. While, Arjun studied for Criminology and became an IPS officer, completing the UPSC examinations.
He is a trained martial arts guy. Knew Karate as well as Adimurai. Arjun soon got recognition due to his smart and intelligent way of handling complicated cases, using his presence of mind. The main highlight with Arjun is that, he would connect to every small and minute details, that's needed for handling a case.
At present, Naveen reaches Arjun's house in Ganapathy Police Headquarters. He was indeed a sad sight. In the dim light of a hot June day, the sick-room was a gloomy spot, but it was the gunt face starting from the bed that brought chill to Naveen's heart. Arjun's eyes had the brightness of fever, his cheeks were flushed and his hand twitched all the time. He lay listless.
"My dear friend!" Naveen cried approaching him.
"Stand back! Stand right back!" Arjun cried.
"But why? I want to help you," Naveen said.
"Certainly Naveen. But, it's for your own sake." Arjun said.
"For my sake?" Naveen was surprised.
"I know what is the matter with me. It is the disease from China. It is deadly and contagious, Naveen. As a doctor, you know I think- that's it, by touch." Arjun said.
"Good heaven, Arjun. Do you think this can stop me?" Naveen said approaching him.
"If you will stand there, I will talk. If you don't, you must leave the room" said Arjun.
Naveen have always given in to Arjun's wishes. But now his feelings as a doctor were aroused. He was atleast his master in the sick room.
"Arjun" Naveen said, "you are not yourself whether you like or not. I will examine your symptoms and treat you."
"If I am to have a doctor," said he, "let me at least have someone in whom I have confidence."
"Then you have none in me?" Naveen asked Arjun.
"In your friendship, certainly. But facts are facts, Naveen. You are a general practitioner, not a specialist of this disease." Arjun said to him.
"If so, let me bring Sir Joseph George or Durai Senthilraj, or any other best man in Coimbatore." Naveen said.
"How ignorant you are! Naveen! What do you know about Corona or Delta Plus disease." Arjun said with a groan.
"I have heard of Corona Wave 2 and Wave 1. But, I just now heard of Delta Plus." Naveen admitted.
"There are many problems of this disease in several countries. I have learned that much during my recent researches. And during this course I caught this illness," Arjun said.
"I will bring Dr. Varun then," Naveen said going towards the door. Never have Naveen had such a shock when the dying man bolted the door and locked it, shouted in an uncontrolled way and in a moment, he was back in his bed.
"You won't have the key by force from me Naveen. Be here till 6 o' clock. It is four now." Arjun said.
"This is madness, Arjun."
"Only for two hours, Naveen. Then you can get a doctor of my choice. You can read some books, over there. At six we will talk again."
Unable to settle down to reading, he walked slowly round and round, looking at the pictures. Finally, he came to the mantel piece, where among other things he saw a small black and white gift box with sliding lid. As he was about to held the box in his hand to examine it, Naveen heard a dreadful cry, "Put it down! Down at once, Naveen. It's for your safety," he said, "I hate to have my things touched. Sit down man, and let me have my rest!"
Then Naveen sat in silent dejection until the stipulation time had passed.
"Now Naveen," he said, "Have you any change?"
"Yes," Naveen replied.
"How many half-crowns? Put them in your watch-pocket. And all the rest in your trouser pocket. You will light the gas lamp, but it must be half on. You will have the kindness to place some letters and paper on the table within my reach. Now place the gift box on the table within my reach. Slide the lid a bit with tongs. Put the tongs on the table. Good! Now you can go and fetch Mr. Ravi Shankar, of 13 Indira Nagar Street near R.S.Puram.
Naveen was hesitant to leave him now. He was delirious.
"I have never heard of the name," Naveen said.
"Well, he is the man who has the final stock of vaccine for treating this disease but he is not a medical man. He is a pharmaceutical shop owner. He lives in Palakkad, now visiting Coimbatore. I didn't want you to go before six, because you wouldn't have found him in his study. I hope you will be able to persuade him to come. You will tell him exactly how you have left me." He said.
"You must tell him that I am dying- plead with him, Naveen."
"I will bring him in a taxi." Naveen said.
"No. You will persuade him to come and return before him. Make any excuse. Remember this, Naveen." Arjun said.
Naveen saw Dinesh was crying outside, trembling and crying. Below, as Naveen waited for the cab, he met Inspector of General Rajendran of Singanallur. He was not in his police uniform.
"How is he?" asked IG Rajendran.
"He is very ill," Naveen answered.
Naveen reached Mr. Ravishankar's house. The butler appeared at the doorway. Through the half-open door Naveen heard a man's voice telling the butler, "I am not at home, say so." He pushed past the butler and entered the room. He saw a frail man with bald heald sitting. "I am sorry," Naveen said, "but the matter cannot be delayed. Arjun............"
The mere mention of his name had a different effect on the man.
"Have you come from Arjun? How is he?" he asked.
"He is very ill. That is why I have come. Arjun has a high opinion of you and thought you are the only man in Coimbatore who can help him."
The little man was startled.
"Why?" He asked.
"Because you have the vaccine for protecting Arjun from that Corona," Naveen replied.
"How did he get it?" he asked.
Naveen told him everything. He smiled and agreed to come. Pretending that Naveen had some other appointment, he left him. With a sinking heart, Naveen reached Arjun's room. He told him that Mr. Ravishankar was coming.
"Well done! Naveen!" he said. "You have done everything that a good friend could do. Now you disappear to the next room. And don't speak, or come here."
Naveen heard the footsteps. He heard a voice say, "Arjun! Arjun! Can you hear me?"
"Is that you Mr. Ravishankar sir?" Arjun whispered. "You know what is wrong with me sir. You are the only one in Coimbatore who can cure me."
"Do you know the symptoms?" asked Shankar.
"Only too well, Mr. Ravishankar sir," and he described the symptoms notably: fever, cough and tiredness.
"They are the same, Arjun." Shankar said, "Poor Ram was a dead man on the fourteenth day- a strong and healthy young man. What a coincidence indeed!"
"Sir. I know that you did it," said Arjun.
"Well, but you can't prove it. Because there's no single evidence or clues, that's left behind the death of Ram."
"Give me some water, please," Arjun groaned.
"Here." Naveen heard Shankar's voice.
"Save me with the vaccine, please. Well, about Ram's death. You did it. I'll forget everything, but cure me. I will forget about it."
"You can forget or remember, just as you like. It doesn't matter to me how my niece died. Naveen said you got it from the giftbox. Could there be any other reason?"
"I can't think. My mind is gone, help me sir," pleaded Arjun.
"This giftbox come by post?" A box by chance? On Wednesday?"
"Yes sir. I opened it and there was a a drop of blood inside it. A joke perhaps. As I touched the pool of blood, it started to react indifferent and I am now in the bed since Wednesday," said Arjun.
"No, it was not a joke, you fool, you have got it. Who asked you to cross my path? You knew too much about Ram's death. Your end is near, Arjun. I'll carry this gift box in my pocket. The last piece of evidence and the same method, with which I killed Ram! So much thanks to Corona virus."
"Turn up the gas, sir," said Arjun in his natural voice.
"Yes I will, so that I can see you better." There was silence. Then, Naveen heard Shankar say, "What's all this?"
"Successful acting," said Arjun, "for three days I didn't taste anything- neither food nor drink."
There was footsteps outside. There was door outside and Naveen heard IG Rajendran's voice, "I and Arjun arrest you on charge of murder," he said.
Rajendran arrests Ravishankar and takes him in his car. There was a sudden rush and scuffle, followed by the clash of iron and sudden cry of pain. There was a click of handcuffs. Arjun asked Naveen to come in.
"Sorry, Naveen. I was rude to you. I undetermined your capability as a doctor. It was just to get Ravishankar here. And I didn't want you to know that I was not ill. This one is indeed an undercover investigation, aided by Rajendra sir."
"But, your appearance--?" Naveen said,
"Three days, I was restless and tired due to the duty and work pressure. This one did the trick. I had food and drink. Infact, I lied to you and Ravishankar about my foods and drinks."
While speaking with Naveen, Arjun gets a call from Inspector of General Rajendran. He tells him about another murder case, which is complicated and tough.
"What happened?" Naveen asked him.
"Rajendran sir have called me for an important case," Arjun said.
Naveen looks gaze at him. "But, this time it's....."
"This time!" Naveen whispered.
"This time, he asked me to close this case officially. Because Ravishankar's case dragged a lot, as I gone as an undercover officer, in between the period of Investigation." Arjun said and they both laughed.