As my car traveled forward, my thoughts traveled backward. My evergreen childhood memories lined up in front of my eyes. I my mom and dad lead a very happy life in our peaceful lake side villa. My dad was a police inspector. I felt very proud of his big moustache; he had very broad shoulders and was so taller giving him a majestic look. He used to carry me on his shoulders during our evening walks. He was my guide, well-wisher, care-taker and whatever it may be. We used to share everything during our walks. He used to be hearing with utmost patience all my childhood blabber. I wonder will I be so kind with my children.
My mom showered her utmost care and kindness on me. She never scolds me, prepares sweet dishes for me, teaches me and dresses me up like King. Most days, she used to do my home-works. When I was 8 years old, we had a new addition in our family. Christened Akshaya she was the queen of our family. Akshaya’s first birthday was celebrated with pomp and gaiety. On one fine Monday, everything turned into turmoil. I couldn’t understand anything. My mom was hospitalized. I knew nothing, Akshaya was not at home. I sat lonely with my mom in the hospital. She didn’t talk to me. Her panic-stricken face stayed in my heart forever.
Later that evening, I knew that Akshaya has been kidnapped by someone. Mom got paralyzed on knowing it. She was in bed for few more years and then closed her eyes peacefully. Dad tried all legal ways to find Akshaya, but every attempt was futile. I don’t even remember my sisters face now. Dad still believes she is alive. I have lost all my hopes on Akshaya.
I slowed down my Indica as I entered Crimson Street. A stout man was standing tensed in front of Sathya Jewelers. Two men in police attire were questioning him. He was answering them patiently, with brimming tears in his tiny eyes. Varun said, “Meet Mr.Jayaram, proprietor of Sathya Jewelers”. I smiled at him and said”I am Satish”. Hearing my name his face became bright; he welcomed me and took me inside the showroom. Meanwhile the police had left. They had finished all the legal formalities. I know they wont be doing anything more. They have completed their work.
Jayaram a man at his fifties looked me through his tiny eyes. He was thinking whether this small boy could find the thief. I gave a majestic smile, so as to remove his fear and tenderly asked, “What happened yesterday Sir? Do you suspect any one?”
Jayaram thought for a while and said “No Sir. I don’t have enemies.”
Yesterday’s mysterious tale goes on like this.
At 9.00 after closing the sales, manager Karthikeyan checked all workers as usual. Before that the sales details and the stock available were checked manually by Karthikeyan. Everything was intact. None was missing. All workers came out of the showroom the grill and the big wooden shutter were put on. Jayaram checked the locks before leaving with the key. He placed the key in his personal drawer near his bed and closed it. Today morning took the key and opened the showroom. When we entered precious diamond crown and a diamond necklace set are missing. Sales woman Kala found it immediately, as she entered her section. No sales had been done till then and no third person had entered the showroom. All workers were once again checked. The key or the lock was undisturbed.
I thought for a while and asked details about Jayaram’s family. He is living with his wife and only son Sathya. No other people are with them. I queried” Don’t you have a watchman Sir?” He said”Yeah, watchmen are there in our showroom as well as in our home. They didn’t see any miscreants or doubtful persons.” I casually asked him “What’s your son doing Sir? Can I meet him?” He informed his manager to call Sathya. He was standing out discussing about the theft with his friends.
A happy young man in his twenties entered the showroom. He was so handsome. Hair colored golden brown added more beauty to his blue tee-shirt. He didn’t seem to be worried about the chaos. I asked “Hai Sathya, I need to ask you some questions regarding the theft. Will you co-operate with me?”. He gave a prompt reply” Sure Sir. Its my pleasure.”
“Have you entered college young man.” I was sure he is studying in some college, just to make him proud of his young look, I asked him in such a manner.
With pride filled eyes he answered “I am doing my final year in engineering Sir.”
“Where were you yesterday night?”
His face turned pale for a second, I smiled at him as though I haven’t noticed it. He continued, “I went for cinema with my friends Sir.”
“Fine Sathya, will you please give me a tour of your showroom”
“It’s my pleasure Sir. Come with me”
I moved with Sathya and signaled Varun to inquire the workers in the showroom. Showroom was painted blue with pink curtains. Was so pleasant and colorful. I inquired, “Sathya who is the interior decorator for your showroom. It looks so beautiful.” Sathya smiled sheepishly and said “It was designed by me and my girlfriend Sir. She likes pink and I blue Sir and so we used this combination.” I smiled and didn’t disturb him with more questions. I noted all the things in the showroom. Theft case really seemed to be confusing.
It was already ten minutes past two and I decided to leave. Already my hunger has crossed its limit. As I walked out of the showroom with Varun and Sathya, I was shocked to see BLUE ANGEL once again. She was getting down from the Lancer and was coming towards Sathya Jewelers. Seeing me and Varun, her lips expanded little expressing a smile. Varun said,”Hai Reshma, why are you following us today? And don’t you know that Sathya Jewelers was robbed yesterday? Today you can’t do any purchase.”
Reshma modestly said “Sir, I haven’t come for purchase. I came here to meet my friend, Sathya.”
My heart nearly broke and I stood stumbled.
Will be Continued...