Bansal was
walking swiftly towards his office. His colleague Ramu cornered him on the way
and dumped a large bundle of files into his hands. Bansal was a senior officer
in the CBI headquarters in Delhi. He had worked in the police force for 30
years now and had only 3 months to retire. “You have to sign all these papers
now”, said Ramu. “Okay, but I might take time. I am going to prep the new
guy”, replied Bansal as he carried on to his office. He entered his office and
kept the new set of files with the existing dump on his table. He sat on his
chair and told the guy standing opposite to him to take a seat. He opened a
file placed before him and said, “Sub-Inspector Avinash Verma huh? I went
through your files yesterday and the level of your involvement in the Nithari
killings was the only reason I selected you in my team which is investigating
this case”. “Thank you sir”, replied Avinash. “You are going to start
work from today 
on wards  You will be in charge of the evidence. Your job will be
to collect all the evidences, some which we have and some which we will get in
future. Since you are new to the functioning of a high profile team like ours,
I can’t send you to the field right now”, said Bansal. “That’s okay sir,
I just want to make myself useful”, said Avinash. “Good, now you can go out
and meet Inspector Ramu who will brief you about your work in the office and
answer all your questions. All the best!”, said Bansal as he stood up and
shook hands with Avinash. After Avinash left the room Bansal switched on the
t.v and started signing the files one by one. A breaking news report was being
telecast on CNN-IBN. A group of well known psychologists and politicians were
debating on the Nithari killings. Bansal looked at the tv with disgust. “All
they do is yap, I bet none of them has the balls to even look at the photos of
the crime scene”, he said. Just then Ramu came into the room to tell Bansal
that he had told Avinash about his work and everything related to his work when
he glanced at the tv. “You should not be watching such shows, it might get
you worked up”, said Ramu. “If it hadn’t been for those dirty politicians
I would have become DGP at least by now”, replied Bansal. “Hey, it’s over
buddy. This is your last case so let your last case be a slap to their faces”, said Ramu. “Thanks Ramu. By the way, the next hearing on the case is next
week so tell the new boy to start his work”, said Bansal. “I have already
told him everything, take it easy. You need to go home and get some sleep.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day with the press conference and Commissioner
visit coming up”, said Ramu. “Okay, as you say boss to-be”, said Bansal, as
he picked up his coat and patted Ramu on his back on his way out of the office.

With 5 days left
for the Supreme Court hearing the mood in the CBI headquarters was tense.
Bansal had to work late nights and had to live on coffee and biscuit packets
kept in his office. One such night when Bansal was working intensely in his
office he heard some noise outside his room. He got up from his chair and
slowly opened the door. He saw light in Avinash’s office. He was packing up
his belongings after being in the office for 18 hours straight. Bansal didn’t
move from his spot as he was carefully observing Avinash. After packing his
suitcase he picked up a small box in his hand and left his office not noticing
the hidden figure in Bansal’s office. Bansal remembered seeing a confidential
mark on the box. He was apprehensive of the sudden inclusion of Avinash in the
team and now he was all the more suspicious of his activities. He switched off
his light and locked his office and decided to follow Avinash. He jogged down
the hallway and signed in the register as he saw Avinash taking a U-turn in his
black Lancer. He waited for his car to go a few meters ahead of the main
entrance of the building and then bolted out of the door, unlocked his Skoda
and dived into the driver’s seat to catch up with Avinash. Initially it was
tough to follow Avinash as he was driving slowly but when he picked up pace it
became easier for Bansal to follow him. Avinash drove till Connaught place and
parked his car in front of Zen bar. Bansal parked his car 100 meters behind the
Lancer and saw Avinash entering the bar. He decided to wait for Avinash to come
back. Bansal was tense and his tension was only increasing as each minute
passed. Finally, after 10 minutes of torturous waiting he couldn’t take it
anymore. He got out of his car and walked towards the bar. After entering the
bar it took a few seconds for him to get used to dimness inside the bar. As he
scanned the whole bar with his eyes, a waiter came up to him and asked, “Sir,
table for one?”. “No, I was looking for my friend who asked me to meet him
here. Do you remember seeing anyone wearing a coat and carrying a briefcase? He
might have come around 10-15 minutes back”, asked Bansal. “No sir, I have
been standing at the door since 9:45 PM and my turn will end in another 5
minutes but I don’t remember anybody carrying a briefcase”, replied the
waiter. “Can you please check once more? It’s a very important matter that
we need to discuss”, said Bansal. “Sure sir, let me take a round and come”, replied the waiter. After 5 minutes the waiter returned and shook his head with
a smile on his face. Bansal was disappointed at having come so close yet losing
Avinash and suspicious of the waiter. As he came out with a long face Bansal
was shocked to see that the black Lancer had vanished. He ran towards the spot
where it was parked, but there was no sign of it ever being there. All this was
too much excitement for the old man and he didn’t have the energy to pursue
this investigation any further tonight. But he had made up his mind to question
Avinash the next day.

couldn’t sleep all night, so he came to the office early. He went and checked
in Avinash’s office but it was locked. He roamed around the office like a mad
man not knowing what to do. He settled down in his chair deciding to go through
Avinash’s file. At 9 AM Ramu opened Bansal’s office after knocking twice.
Bansal was sleeping on the file drooling all over it. Ramu walked over to his
desk and shook him till he opened his eyes wide and stretched. He suddenly
remembered the events of last night. He jumped out of his seat and ran past
Ramu to check on Avinash. He saw him working in his office. Ramu came up to
Bansal and pulled him back to his office. “What is the matter with you? I
know when something is bothering you”, said Ramu. “This time it is
someone”, replied Bansal. “Just like the old times huh?”, asked Ramu. “Not quite. I saw Avinash carrying a package marked confidential last night
after everyone had left the building. I followed him to a bar in Connaught
place. After entering the bar he just disappeared”, replied Bansal. After a
long pause Ramu said, “What do you want me to do?”. “Do a background check
on him and check all of his files and record. I want to know him better than I
know my son”, said Bansal. Ramu saluted Bansal and swiftly walked out of the
room. After 15 minutes Ramu came back into Bansal’s office. “Promise me you
will stay calm and not shoot that guy”, said Ramu as soon as he entered the
room. “Why? What happened?”, asked Bansal. “That guy is a fake. It took me
less than 30 seconds to find that out after entering his name in the database.
According to our records this guy has been dead for the last 5 years”, said
Ramu. Bansal was dumbfounded when he heard this. “This thing has to be dealt
with immediately Ramu and I don’t want to make this public. This guy has made
the whole police force and the CBI a laughing stock. I will be sacked for
this”, said Bansal. “Listen to the whole thing first. I called the police
station from where he got transferred here”, said Ramu. “And?”, asked
Bansal in an irritated tone. “The inspector on duty, Ashish Singh told me
Avinash used to work there. But after he died, Ashish got transferred there. He
said he will check the old files and call me”, said Ramu. Just then his phone
started ringing. “Hello”, answered Ramu after picking up the phone and
putting it on loudspeaker so that Bansal could listen. “Sir, its Ashish
speaking”, replied the voice on the phone. “Yes Ashish, I was waiting for your
call. Did u find anything interesting?”, asked Ramu. “Not much sir, I found
Avinash’s file among some old records here. All that is written here is that
Avinash was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a bar”, replied
Ashish. “Ask him which bar”, whispered Bansal to Ramu. “Is the name of the
bar given?” asked Ramu. “Wait a minute sir, I had just seen the name
somewhere. Here it is, Zen bar in Connaught place, Delhi”, replied Ashish.
Bansal fell back on his chair, he had heard enough. “Sir, the case is still
under investigation but it has reached dead end. Even this file was dusty and
almost ruined when I found it. But there is one interesting fact or myth about
this case which I don’t think is even related to the case”, said Ashish. This caught the attention of both Bansal and Ramu. “What is it?”, asked
Ramu. “I asked the head constable about this case as he and Avinash got
transferred here at the same time. He told me that 2 constables had died after
seeing dreams about Avinash”, said Ashish. “What kind of dreams? And how did
the constables die?”, asked Ramu. “I don’t know about their deaths sir.
The head constable told me all this. Personally, I think all these are myths. I
have been working here for a long time now and I haven’t heard about or had
dreams about this guy”, said Ashish. Bansal nudged Ramu to ask more questions
but he saw the futility in asking anything and thanked Ashish for his help
before keeping the phone. “Don’t be so worried sir, it’s just a case of
someone impersonating someone to get something. Let’s go confront this guy
and sort everything out”, said Ramu trying to reassure Bansal. “What if
someone comes to know?”, asked Bansal. “Just come with me sir, nothing will
happen”, said Ramu as he pulled Bansal out of his chair. Both of them walked
briskly towards Avinash’s office. Both of them walked into his office and
locked it from inside. When they faced him he was looking at the ceiling with
smile on his face. “You have some questions to answer Avinash”, said Ramu in
a menacing tone. Avinash looked down at Ramu, he raised his finger and started
humming, “Inkey pinkey ponkey!”. Both Ramu and Bansal looked at each
other, perplexed at Avinash’s behavior. “What the fuck is this Avinash? You
can’t get out of this” said Ramu at the top of his voice as Avinas continued
his chants. “donkey died father cried inkey pinkey ponkey. There is a way out
Ramu, but not for me, for you”, said Avinash with his finger pointed at
Bansal. A sharp noise filled the atmosphere at that precise moment; Bansal
turned left and right and rolled on the ground as the sound filled his head.
His eyes and ears were paining and suddenly he jumped up and opened his eyes.
And he woke up!

Bansal looked at
the clock as it said 7 AM. Ramu his house help was filling tea in a cup for his
master with his back towards his master. “That was a weird dream that I was
having. Thank God it’s 7″, said Bansal as he stretched on the bed. “Awww, did my baby get up? Let’s put my darling back to sleep”, said Ramu as he
turned towards Bansal. Bansal looked at Ramu’s face and stopped breathing,
his eyes filled with fear as Avinash came up to him and kept his hand on
Bansal’s head.

Ramu ran
from his room and seeing Mrs.Bansal sitting in the front lawn ran up to her and
asked her, “memsahib, where is sahib?”. “What do you mean where is sahib?
You didn’t wake up in the morning and make tea for us. I had to get up and
make tea and your sahib didn’t wake up even after I shook him for 5 minutes.
I don’t know how you wake him up because you do it everyday”, said
Mrs.Bansal. Ramu didn’t wait for her to finish and ran inside the house as
Mrs.Bansal kept on yelling behind him. 

Isaac Mathew

My work does not define me, now that i think about it i guess nothing ever will.

Leave a Reply