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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

The Lead

Read the previous part here
'The dead body of a woman in her late twenties was found mangled in the forests near Swarg Sadan. Her face charred, disfigured beyond recognition. Police are trying to identify her on the basis of the silver bracelet with the letters Sriram embossed upon it.' Nisha was reading the panchnama.
'There must be thousands of persons in the country wearing bracelets with the words Sriram upon it.' Vinay said.

'Do the documents anywhere speak of involvement of Ram?' Vinay asked.
'There you are! The body was found near Swarg Sadan. The bracelet said Sriram. So the police linked the murder to Ram Madhvani.'

'Don't you think the link is too far stretched?' Vinay was totally unconvinced with the logic offered by Nisha.
'When a dead body is found beyond recognition, police have to begin the investigation based on some hypothesis. They have the pressure of media and public opinion as well. Whether that hypothesis sticks up in the court during the course of the trial is another story.'

'Hmm... But why would a person leave a dead body near his house. The natural course would be - he will try to dump it in some secluded spot.' Vinay raised a valid point.
'Isn't Swarg Sadan secluded?' Nisha asked.
'It is I agree. Ok enough of what we think. Please tell me what the reports say.'

'The reports say that Mayur Madhvani was the prime suspect in the case. He was even arrested and latter released on bail. Mr.Mehta stood surety for him.'
'And then?'
'The case was closed for want of evidence.'
'Can police do that?'
'Yes, they can and they do. What is the point in continuing with the investigation which is heading nowhere? General public doesn't know about it for it doesn't happen in high profile cases which are covered in the media.'
The serpentine roads cut through the mountains offered breath taking views of the valley. Vinay stopped at a view point, got out of his car and admired the beauty of the valley. He had never seen so many shades of green in his life. The sky was cloudless and blue, the cool air pleasant.
'Chai?' Nisha asked.
'Chai with pakoda.' Said Vinay as both of them walked toward the makeshift stall that stood at the ledge of the valley. The valley was slowly rising from slumber and was still lost in the magical bellowing mist. Vinay could smoke emanating somewhere at the bottom of the valley. Perhaps someone lived there.

'I sometimes wonder how people in the past lived. How did they travel? Life must have been so difficult for them.' Vinay said.
'We are lucky. In the past there was no electricity and even a shaking tree was enough to scare the hell out of a man.' Nisha inadvertently said and then bit her tongue.

Meanwhile, the pakodas arrived, straight from the frying pan onto their dishes.
'Street food is not healthy. They use palm oil for frying. Further they reuse the same oil, which makes it worse for the heart. Yet, I must admit, this street food tastes amazing.' Nisha said with a wink.
'I am hearing such candid admissions from a doctor for the first time.' Vinay said and both of them had a good laugh.

Vinay kept the empty plate down and took the cup in his hand. He stood up, walked a little farther from the stall. He placed his left leg on a boulder and had slow sips of the hot chai while admiring the beauty of the valley. With every sip, he was soaking the divine beauty of the nature. The greenery, the cool breeze, the chirping of birds. It was divine. Suddenly, he had a feeling that someone had come and stood behind him. He turned around. But there was no one. Nisha was a little further at the stall, paying the bill.
'Nisha everything is so confusing. Was the woman who was murdered Ram Madhavani's paramour? If yes, then why did he kill her? Is it her soul that is haunting this place.' Vinay looked around the room as if to search the mystery woman.

'Vinay we can't ignore the fact that Ram is missing too.'
'It could have been the other way round?'
'Other way round?'
'Yes, she could have killed him and disappeared with all his money.'
'No. That is not possible.'
'Because if anybody siphoned off money of a notorious person like Ram Madhvani, it will not certainly go unnoticed.'
'I guess you have a valid point Vinay.'

'Whoever that woman may be, the question is why is she appearing in front of us?' Vinay asked.
'I had asked that question to Mauli.'
'What did he say?'
'Mauli and his metaphors. He said, consider you go to a lion safari and a lion appears in front of you. Will you say why is the lion appearing in front of us? Aren't you the one who has entered his habitat?'

'Still, I feel there is some reason, perhaps she wants to convey something to us.'
'If she had something to convey, she would have done that long back.'
'Nisha, I remember reading in one of those books on occult sciences that souls need a medium, a body to express themselves. They can't do that on their own.'
'See, petrol can make the car run, but the petrol requires a medium, a car, it cannot run on its own. Souls don't have bodies. To speak you require a body, to walk you require a body.'
'But you saw her.'
'I did Nisha. I am on the point that she may not be in a position to express herself the way we humans can. She is unable to convey it directly and hence, is simply giving us pointers.'
'She hasn't given any. That is my personal opinion.'
'Or perhaps she has given and we are not able to discern it.' Vinay said and then adjusting his chair asked Nisha, 'What happens to the bodies of those who are murdered?'
'We conduct a post mortem and try to find out the cause of death. '
'What was the cause of her death?'
'The report says...'

Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey 

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