Zaheer’s temper flared when he saw someone spitting frequently. A man in front of the house was constantly spitting after a while. Zaheer stood up, he couldn’t stay here long because it grossed him out too much to have this disgusting person spit so close by. Zaheer was sitting on the verandah of Mr. Baset’s huge duplex house as dawn settled in, watching the sun rise over the city.
He got out of the house and started walking down the street, but he had to be careful or else his shoes would get caked in mud. It was raining this morning due to which there were puddles all over that weren’t just made up of rainwater; they also consisted of some dirt from earlier days as well. Zaheer is a week into his new job as the manager of this house, and he has to say that it’s not been an absolute blast!
Construction work is going on in front of the gate and it’s getting really disgusting. Mud from outside coated Zaheer’s shoes, but he wasn’t about to take them off for nothing so he carried on walking. Suddenly his mood got worse as a fat man stood there spitting incessantly without even noticing him or sparing any thought at what might be underfoot - like himself! Unable to go any further due to mud that has accumulated at this point from a recent rainstorm, he perseveres back home where life was more bearable for him: one room away from the construction site north-eastward across.
Maid Rahima’s voice broke the silence as Zaheer entered. His headache had been acting up more than usual today, and he felt irritable when the maid asked if she could pour him some tea. “Would you like something to drink?”
You should knock from outside before entering the room, don’t enter in such a hurry. Zaheer says.
I can’t knock so much; there’s so much need! Why don’t you keep your door closed?” Zaher looked at Rahima’s for a while and then turned away with disappointment- it would be foolish to go and argue with this woman. He says, well a cup of tea would be nice. Make the liqueur a little thicker. Having quite a headache.
The old maid left the room grumbling, Huh, two-day-old boy, teach me to knock on doors. Zaheer is feeling quite disappointed. He has not been able to cope with the people of the house for a week. The people of this household are different; their faces always seem sullen and there isn’t any laughter in anyone who lives here. So far he has not met Mr. Baset’s daughter Aditi. Who knows, if Aditi also likes them or not?
Zaheer is a bit irritated when he sees the clock; it’s stopped. Why am I so upset today? He thought, puzzled at his own sudden concern for time. His eyes wandered to a mobile on the table and saw that the current time was 11:00 AM - no wonder! The sky outside looked dark with clouds rolling in from every direction during what should have been noon hours of sunshine before this afternoon storm came up out of nowhere.
Zaheer looked out the window and saw that it was dark outside. The sky had an ominous look to it, but he could still see some blue peeking through in patches. He opened the windows as if they were a portal into another world--a better one where things didn’t go wrong so often for him. Zaheer lit up a cigarette while Maid Rahima came in from behind carrying tea on plates made of clay and placed them onto their table before pouring each cup full of hot liquid goodness; she then left without looking back.
Zaheer savored his tea and felt better. This home cooking was perfect, just as he wanted; the tea had turned out exactly like it should have been - not too strong or weak but sweetened to perfection with sugar cubes that dissolved slowly in hot water.
There are countless members of the staff in this house, but Ali is one that stands out more than most. The man always has a wicked smile plastered across his face. From his room, Zaheer watched as a black car emerged from the misty night and came to stop in front of Ali’s who was standing at the gate. Although Zaheer couldn’t see inside through the thick windows, it was clear that whoever drove this vehicle had some clout given its size and elegance.
The man in the black suit opened the car door and entered. The doorman Ali did not ask anything, which means that this house is a regular stop for him. As manager of this house, it’s his job to know those who come here regularly! Zaheer lit up another cigarette as he checked his watch; half past eleven...
Zaheer sits with Mr. Baset every day at 12 o’clock and provides him with updates on various accounts for a few hours. Every week Zaheer also looks over the final account of the business which takes up only one hour in total but is still an essential part of work even though it’s not too strenuous or time-consuming.
After smoking, Zaheer looks out the window again to see that it’s still just as cloudy. He is excited about what lies ahead of him and knows he will be staying in Mr. Baset’s room until 3 pm today because they have important meetings or calculations scheduled every day at this time...
Zaheer leaves his room and climbs the two-story staircase next to the drawing room. The whole house is dark, but he can hear a faint sound coming up ahead. He walks slowly on with caution as if there’s something in front of him that could jump out at any moment like an animal ready for attack or maybe even worse...a ghost!
Finally reaching the top floor, he walks down an adjacent hallway until finally coming upon Mr. Baset’s door at its end before turning around into darkness again where Zaheer can only hear himself breathing heavily from both anxiety and climbing these many steps so fast.
After knocking on the door of Mr. Baset’s room a few times and not finding any solution, Zaheer pushed the door open, and Zaheer found him lying on the ground with a knife in his chest. The man had blown out both eyes in what looked like an excruciating death as he stared blankly at the ceiling.
Zaheer had never seen such a scene face-to-face in his life, but he was sure that it would haunt him for the rest of his days. He could feel panic running through every inch of his spine and fear gripping the back of his neck as if trying to strangle him from this world.
Suddenly, caretaker Ali entered the room and saw Mr. Baset in this condition, he looked at Zaheer with frightened eyes and asked him frantically if he killed Sir?
Zaheer shook his head quickly while shouting no, no! Why am I going to kill?! But suddenly Ali raised up for a loud scream of murder! Murder! He killed mr baset! Zaheer got panicked by this and starts looking at him wide-eyed like never before. What trouble he got himself into!