Who Did It
Who Did It9 mins 24.7K 9 mins 24.7K
Piyali was deep in thought. Fifty years had elapsed since she had got her daughter Rupali married. But the consequences of her action had been perceptible in the years to come, in bigger dimensions, like the ripples in the water, after one flings a small stone into it. One is helpless then because the stone is irretrievable, but the ripples multiply and grow in size.
Piyali had been on the lookout for a suitable match for her daughter. Sujit had at that time come back from the UK, with foreign degrees, a qualified Doctor. His family was from the upper strata of society, and in looks, he was tall and handsome, and charismatic. He was just the right choice for Piyali’s daughter, Rupali, who was also very accomplished, and highly qualified.
But slowly Sujit showed his true colors. He was a womanizer and was boastful about his conquests... Rupali protested vehemently, which resulted in an acrimonious relationship. He would use his physical force, and bash her up so violently that Rupali would not be able to leave her bed for days. He had a vicious temper, but her daughter would not think about a divorce, as their son Ronodeep, and her daughter Meghna, who were twins, had become a part of her family. For the sake of the children, Rupali did not want them to be from a broken family. The children grew up, seeing their mother abused. The son had taken after his father in looks, and lopsided views, nurturing the impression that it was the prerogative of the male members in the family to treat the weaker sex with disdain. Such was the domestic backdrop of her daughter’s married life, for which Piyali blamed herself and felt responsible.
In the morning her daughter had called and had been crying over the phone. Her son Ronodeep had been aggressive and was in a wild temper as his Mother had proposed to give his twin, Meghna, the family heirloom, which was a silver Tea Set, with exquisite carvings. He had told his mother that he would see to it that the set did not leave the precincts of their house. His sister had become a member of another family, and as such, had no right to the set. If his Mother dared to go against his wishes, she would have to suffer dire consequences. With that ominous threat, he had left the house in the morning, with the parting words that it was better not to have a mother at all, rather have one like her, who was so partial, and unjust. Hearing the details of her grandson’s behavior, Piyali felt very down, and depressed. She picked up her mobile phone to call up her daughter. A word from her might have made a lot of difference to her, who had no one to confide in and share her burden, excepting her. Piyali thought dejectedly, there again it was her fault, as this domineering strain of temperament was in the genes, which had come down from the father. She should have found out more about the person, and his family, with whom her daughter would be spending the rest of her life! She was full of bitter self- recrimination and felt miserable.
Piyali picked up the phone and dialed her daughter’s number. She heard Rupali’s voice from the other side, distinct and clear. She asked her, whether she had had her lunch. Rupali could not finish what she was going to say as her “mama”, became a long wail. It sounded as if somebody had stopped her from screaming, by gagging her. A muffled sound emanated, and then stopped abruptly. Piyali made a frantic effort to reconnect, but her efforts proved futile. She just did not know what to do. Her head throbbed, her heart hammered, and her body shook with agitation. She dialed the Police, but at the critical moment, no one responded from the other side. Again and again, she tried the number. Then, at last, the person to pick up was a junior staff, hard of comprehending. Finally, somebody took down her complaint and her daughter’s residence number. The police informed her that they would go to the location immediately and take action. Piyali ran downstairs to hail a cab, and in the hurry and scurry, she forgot to put on her shoes.
When she reached 17 Park Street, she found the door was ajar, people had assembled in the corridor, and the Police personnel was in the sitting room. Rupali lay sprawled out on the floor in a lifeless heap. As Piyali rushed to her daughter’s side, the policemen held her back and advised her not to touch anything. In the meantime, both Sujit and Ronodeep had been asked to come home.
The policemen were busy taking fingerprints and trying to find any other incriminating clue. They had also gone down to the Security Personnel of the Tower, to find out if there had been any visitors to the flat. The servant who had been in their service till two days back and a Carpet Seller had gone up to the flat. The latter had come with a few designer carpets, as ordered by the lady of the house. The policemen noted down the time of their visits. Though Sujit could furnish them with the address of the servant, he had no idea about the identity of the Carpet Seller.
The Policemen took each family member to a different room and cross-examined them. First, it was Piyali’s turn. They asked her about her communications with her daughter that day. She told them that her daughter had been upset, and also what had transpired between the mother and the son. They noted down the detail of the threat and Ronodeep’s last words. So they could not give him a clean chit. Then they asked her about the relationship between the husband and wife. Piyali felt she was duty-bound to tell them everything, as otherwise, they would not be able to get to the real culprit. The Inspector hearing all the details commented, “It is very interesting”. Then he painstakingly noted down whatever she had said.
When they asked, where Ronodeep was at two in the afternoon, he said, he was at his office, in a meeting with the Board. When they called up the office, they were told that Ronodeep had applied for leave, and was not present for the entire day. That sounded very suspicious and the policemen were happy to note it down.
When they asked Sujit where he was at two in the afternoon, he said he was having lunch with his Secretary at Bijoli Grill Restaurant. But when the Police called her up and asked her for a few minutes of her time to help them with the investigation, she was indignant. She denied point-blank of having lunch with him ever in her life. This reaction left the policemen in a quandary.
Then the Policemen went all the way to Ranaghat, where the Chef resided, to get some information about the family. The information that they could garner from him was that both son and father had a fiendish temper, and could have killed the Mistress in their uncontrolled rage. The information was very useful. When they cross-examined him about the purpose of his visit to Park Street; he stated that Rupali had refused to give him the increment she had promised, so he had left the job, and in his temper refused to accept the amount, without the pay hike. He had gone back therefore for his dues. The Inspector maintained that though the Chef had worked in their household for the last ten years, men when they are angry, lose their senses, and are capable of even killing. The policemen concluded that Gerard the Chef could also be the possible killer.
As for Carpet-Seller’s address, it was difficult to get. They would have to make a round of all the Carpet Dealers in town, who might be doing business with a certain Arif Salim. At the end after a lot of effort, and considerable luck, they came upon one Arif Salim, who supplied carpets regularly to Kolkata Carpets Ltd. He was known to them for the last thirty years and had always maintained a respectable demeanour. They trailed him to his village in Krishna Nagar District. After a lot of questioning, the Inspector could gather the information that Rupali had ordered a carpet for Rupees Fifty Thousand, but when he had taken the carpet up for Delivery, she backed out and offered only Rupees Thirty thousand for it. Naturally, a heated altercation ensued. The police Inspector shook his head meditatively as if he had been put in a tricky situation, with another viable murderer.
In the meantime, the Police had ordered an autopsy of Rupali’s dead body. But the Police were intrigued as the culprits had left no tell-tale marks. Even the cloth with which Rupali had been gagged was nowhere to be found. They had searched Sujit’s apartment, Gerard’s flat, as well as Arif’s rented room in the village. There were no fingerprints to identify the Killer.
But with the available information collected by the Inspector, it seemed the son had a major role to play as on the same day he had threatened his mother with dire consequences and had stated it was better not to have a mother at all than to have one like Rupali. Besides his chauvinistic attitude towards his mother, as well as his temper, were two pointers to his actions. There had been some unpleasantness with her husband too in the morning when she had told him that she had ordered a carpet for fifty thousand. He was furious at her and had told her that he would give her thirty thousand and no more. The policemen came to know this from Sujit but to their estimate, it could not have led to the murder.
Now the Police Inspector had no lead to take him to the Murderer. He waited patiently for the Autopsy report which arrived finally. The report said a red-colored fiber was found in the Deceased’s lungs. The Inspector could now put two and two together. When the murderer had gagged the victim with the cloth, the fiber must have been on it. The cloth must have been initially used to tie up the carpet, from where the fiber might have come. The color of the fiber matched exactly with the carpet.
No one could have imagined that such a well-known face, such a gentle and polite senior citizen, could have tarnished his name and fame by such a rash act. But as the Inspector had opined from his experience, that men might even kill, when they are in a fit of temper. The mystery had been finally solved. The Court would take its own course. That ended the tragic story of Rupali Bose.