Prologue : The Call
The phone starts ringing and Mr. Banerjee looks at the screen. It is an unknown number. Mr. Banerjee picks up and mumbles an apprehensive “Hello”.
“Is this Mr. Banerjee from 37 East Jadavpur.”
“Yes… Who is this?”
“Mr. Banerjee, I am Superintendent of Police Nishi Nath calling from your Purulia residence. There has been an incident at your home, and you need to arrive here as soon as you can.”
“Is everything all right?”
“Please come soon. This is something that cannot be discussed over the phone.”
“I am already on my way Sir. I received a call earlier from my wife that my youngest daughter had a fractured hand. I got worried and I am heading towards Purulia. I should be there in another 30 minutes.”
30 Minutes later.
Mr. Banerjee comes and sees the yellow stripes all around his house which says “CRIME SCENE DO NOT ENTER”
“Can I talk to the Superintendent Mr. Nishi Nath please?” asks Mr. Banerjee.
A man in uniform approaches and shakes hands with him “I am the Superintendent of Police Nishi Nath.”
Mr. Banerjee replies “I received a call from you about 30 minutes back. You said you wanted to discuss something. Can I see my family please?”
The policeman accompanies him inside the house. As he steps inside, he is welcomed by the most gruesome and bloody scene.
“NO-NO-NO… THIS IS NOT HAPPENING… WHAT HAPPENED?”
Mr. Banerjee couldn’t control his emotions and stepped forward to hold the lifeless bodies of his 2 children who were lying there in a pool of blood.
The cops present there, held him back and told him that its an active crime scene, and he shouldn’t touch it.
He dropped to the ground shakily and started hitting his forehead with his hand and kept muttering “I am sorry my child… WHY-WHY-WHY…”
He caught hold of the officer crying uncontrollably and kept saying “What did my children do to deserve something like this.”
His 9-year-old son’s and his 11-year-old daughter had their hands tied up together behind their back and were lying with their faces down, their mouth gagged and a dark piece of cloth blindfolding them. The killer must not have wanted then to see their death.
Someone had shot them on their thighs first and then right in the middle of the forehead.
Garima’s hair was red-blond stained and discolored when they found her. Her face was bruised, covered with huge blotches. The cops replied that three of her ribs had also been broken.
Chirag’s head had drooped forward and over his body, a great mat of blood had spread like a bib. Some brain matter had exploded from the back of his skull and splattered on the Persian carpet. The body had slumped to the floor like some ungainly life-sized doll.
The SP replied “We believe the murder weapons were not brought from outside and were found lying around the house. We have also recovered the gun used to commit these murders which is registered in your wife’s name.”
His wife was tied up to the couch with her wrist and throat slit. It looked like her throat had been cut and she laid like a butchered animal in a waste of blood. Her mouth was wide open, the head almost cleft from the body. The severed vessels were sticking like corrugated pipes through the clotted blood.
“We believe she died due to blood loss from her wounds. Our coroner believes she has been stabbed 13 times before they decided to cut her throat” replied the Superintendent.
He continued in a hesitant tone, “We have reasons to believe that your eldest daughter has murdered the whole family and have run away.”
“What!!! That’s not possible. She loved the family way too much to even think of committing such a heinous crime.” replied Mr. Banerjee.
The S.P. replied “You cannot understand the mentality of today’s kids. Probably she must have fallen in love with someone and your wife didn’t like it or prohibit her affair. Any small disagreement might have sparked a bigger confrontation between both of them. Your daughter might have committed these crimes in a fit of rage. You have no idea how many such similar cases we have been dealing with almost everyday. We found a mobile phone in a locker, which we believe belongs to your daughter.”
The Superintendent asked “Can you tell me whose room is that?” pointing towards a room.
“That’s my wife’s room,” replied Mr. Banerjee.
“That explains everything and the evidence found fits our conclusion. This is a crime of passion and revenge. Your eldest daughter had killed the family, probably along with her boyfriend.” replied the officer.
Sudden, Mr. Banerjee started looking around and asked “Are you absolutely sure that you have found only 3 bodies in the house. Have you checked every room?”
“Yes, we have. Why? What are you implying?” asked the policeman.
“I don’t see Geeta anywhere.” Replied Mr. Banerjee.
The superintendent directed the rest of the cops to go and search every room in the house once again in case someone was hiding during the crime. He looked around and picked up a photo frame of the family lying around. He kept looking at the frame and then one of his subordinates came and said they have searched the whole house and they were unable to find anyone.
“Mr. Banerjee, is this your family?” showing him the photo-frame.
“Yes, it is.” Mr. Banerjee replied.
“And where is your so-called daughter that you are talking about?”
Pointing towards the picture in the photo frame he said: “I believe this is the son who is lying there, this is your other daughter, she is there too, your wife, you and this is believed is your eldest daughter who is missing.”
“Would you mind telling me what parents would not include their child in a photo frame?”
Mr. Banerjee was looking at the inspector blankly and seemed to be in a catatonic state.
“Even if you say she was the one who took the picture, I still am not able to find any photos of anyone other than you, the victims and your elder daughter. Your words do not make sense to me, Mr. Banerjee. Are you sure, your grief is not causing delusions?“
“STOP CONFUSING US MR. BANERJEE.” shouted the officer frustratedly as Mr. Banerjee failed to respond to his accusations. “We know it’s your eldest daughter who is the culprit. The evidence and the crime scene proves it. We have started a manhunt for her and very soon we will find her.”
“You can leave and let us do our work, we will release the crime scene in 2 day’s time. In the meantime please don’t leave the city.”
Mr. Banerjee started walking out of the house in a daze. The only thing running through his mind was the mysterious phone-call he received 2 hours ago.
“Mr. Banerjee, we are calling from your house in Purulia. If you want to say any last words to your family, now is the time, else you may not get to hear their voices again. Please choose wisely.”
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“It does not matter who we are or what we want? The only thing you need to understand that this is the final chance you have to talk to your family. Now don’t waste our time and start talking.”
“Can you please put the speaker on. I want my wife and children to hear what I wish to say.”
“I wish I had good things to tell my family. But after recent events, I only feel hatred and pity for them. My dear SUMITRA, Chirag, Garima and my favorite child Aamaya, I had given you a lot of opportunities to be good to Geeta, however, you have never considered Geeta a part of your life. Even though Geeta has always been kind to you, you could never reciprocate the same for her. Sumitra, how can you forget the sacrifice Geeta did, because of which Chirag is alive today. The day Geeta was born, all of you promised to me that you will be good to her. You broke your promise again and again and I could never forgive you for that. What you have done to her makes me regret my decision to trust you all with her.
Dear Geeta, if you are listening to me, I am sorry about what my family had done to you. I really hope you can forgive me oneday. Promise me that you will honor me by becoming someone great in life. I know you have the courage and heart in you to be forgiving and great. My blessings are always with you, Geeta.”
As he spoke these words, he heard a loud bang and the phone get disconnected. The steady sound of the bang that he hears before disconnecting the phone will haunt him through eternity.