Akhilesh looked stony and so weak.
Aman: What happened that night?
Akhilesh: I was in the office that day. I was on additional duty as that was election time. My neighbour called me and said, something is burning in my house and my wife didn’t open the door when he knocked. I went to my house and saw my wife being burnt totally. I saw only her ashes in my house.
Aman: Do you suspect anyone?
Akhilesh: She was a nice woman, sir. She won’t even talk louder. I don’t know what happened.
Arnav and the crew left the place without getting any clues.
Aman: What’s next, sir?
Arnav: Going to Taluk office…
They reached The Taluk office in half an hour. They got information as same as the first case. Arnav felt so blank.
They were about to get in the jeep, they heard “Jeejaji”. Aman closed his eyes annoying. Arnav frowned seeing his weird expression.
Aman: Sir, please ask Mohan to start the jeep.
Arnav: Someone is calling you I suppose…?
Aman: That’s why I want to leave sir…
A man rushed to Aman and hugged him happily.
Man: How are you Jeejaji…
Aman: Don’t you dare call me Jeejaji…
Man(rightfully): Why? But why? We have your Dadi’s promise. You have to marry my sister. Don’t forget that.
Aman: Then ask my Dadi, not me.
Arnav: Are you engaged?
Aman: No sir…
Man: Yes sir…I’m NanduKishore. You can call me NK. His Dadi promised my Dadi that he will marry my sister.
Aman: Shut up. I don’t marry that fatty…
NK: Don’t tell her Fatty. She is healthier than us… with 110 kg… that’s all.
Arnav widened his eyes. 110kg….? he thought about Khushi who looked so thin.
Arnav: NK, what are you doing here?
Aman(irritatingly): Haann… what the hell are you doing here?
NK: I got a district transfer from Ghaziabad last week… especially for you… to meet you often.
Aman rolled his eyes.
NK: You tell me, what are you doing here? Did you come to meet me?
Aman: No… not at all. We came here for an investigation.
NK: Investigation…? About whom?
Aman: Megna Dhuta…
NK: You mean the one who got burnt?
Arnav: You said, you came here only last week. Then how do you know about the woman who got burnt a month ago?
NK: I know more than anyone knows about her here.
Arnav: What about?
NK: She had the worst past, sir.
NK: She got a voluntary transfer to Delhi only two months ago. Before that, she was working in Ghaziabad in the same office as me.
Arnav: Why did she get a voluntary transfer?
NK: She had an illegal connection with someone. That man’s wife got to know about it. she came to the office and scolded Megna in front of everyone and hit her by the slipper. Megna felt humiliated as she lost her dignity in the office completely. The man who had a connection with Megna decided to divorce his wife and his wife committed suicide right away. People started taunting Megna openly. So she applied for the transfer and shifted to Delhi.
Arnav: What about her husband?
NK: He is working abroad. He is unaware of her character it seems.
Arnav: where is he now?
NK: He went back to Saudi Arabia after her death.
Arnav: Thank you for your information.
NK: You are welcome sir.
Arnav: We will come for further information.
NK: Anytime, sir… for my Jeejaji…
Arnav controlled his smile, seeing Aman’s frustrating expression. They got inside the jeep.
Aman: It seems, something is there in the case.
Arnav: Every case has something in it. Do you have NK’s number?
Aman: Yes sir…
He said sadly.
Arnav: Why are you sad?
Aman: He is such an annoying fellow sir. Such a foodie his sister is. I don’t want to marry her.
Aman: Do you know how NK prizes his sister? 110kg TajMahal…
He hit his forehead whereas Arnav controlled his smile.
Mohan dropped Arnav in his flats. He saw Khushi’s niece playing in the park with other children. He ran his eyes at the surroundings, searching for her Bua. But she was not there. The Baby threw the ball and it hit on Arnav. She ran towards him.
Baby: Sorry uncle…
Arnav: It’s ok…
Baby: Did I hurt you?
Arnav was amazed at her concern.
Arnav (smiling): No beta…
Baby: I’m not beta but beti…
Arnav: Ohh what’s your name?
Arnav: Nice name.
They heard… “Poojaaaaa”
Khushi was rushing towards them angrily.
Khushi: What are you doing here? I said don’t come out of the house…
Pooja: It’s boring to be at home Bua…
Khushi dragged Pooja wrathfully.
Arnav: She is a kid…
She looked at Arnav with the same wrath.
Khushi: It’s none of your business, mister. Mind your job.
Arnav: What does she know?
Without answering him, Khushi lifted Pooja and went towards the lift. Arnav followed her and got inside the lift.
Khushi: Why are you following me?
Arnav: I’m not following you.
Khushi got down on the third floor. Arnav followed her. She went to her flat, looking at him, turning again and again. She saw him opening the opposite flat and getting inside. Arnav closed the door casually.
Pooja was crying not wanting to go with her Nani whereas Kushi was consoling her. Arnav stopped, seeing that.
Pooja: You also come with me.
Khushi: Look pooja… I have to go to the Taluk office today. You will get bored there. It takes a lot of time there. That’s why I’m sending you with, Nani. I will bring you tomorrow evening. Nani will play with you until then.
Nani: Haan beta…
Pooja: I’m not beta, but beti.
Nani: Yeah… (looking at Khushi) why not you come to our home in the evening?
Khushi: no maji, I have an interview tomorrow. I will prepare for it in the evening.
Nani: Ok fine. I will take care of pooja.
Pooja went with her Nani by auto whereas Khushi went on the opposite side to catch the bus.
Arnav removed his phone and dialled NK. He attended it right away.
NK: Good morning, sir.
Arnav: NK, you have to do a favour for me.
NK: Anything sir.
Arnav: A girl named Khushi will come to the Taluk office in a few minutes. Help her to finish her work.
NK: Sure sir.
Arnav: she looks fair and thin with hip-length silky hair.
NK: Is she your girlfriend?
Arnav was stuck.
Arnav: Don’t ask her anything stupid like this.
NK: Ok sir…
Arnav: call me after she leaves.
NK: OK sir…
NK waited for Khushi, cutting the call. She entered the office, in half an hour. NK recognized her by the identifications which were said by Arnav.
NK: Hi… Khushi right?
NK: What can I do for you?
Khushi: I want a Death certificate for my Bhai and Bhabi.
NK: Ohh… give me the details. I will get it for you.
Khushi looked at him confusingly.
Khushi: It’s ok sir, just tell me what should be done…
NK: No no Ji… Arnav sir will get upset if I didn’t help you.
He snatched the proofs from Khushi’s hand and went to the particular department to get the signature of the officer.
Khushi (in mind): I think he is expecting some other Khushi. He should have misunderstood that I’m the girl.
NK handed the certificates to Khushi within an hour. Khushi couldn’t believe that her job got over. She didn’t expect that the toughest job would get over easily.
Khushi: Thank you so much….
NK: …Nandkishor… you can call me NK…
Kushi: Thank you NKji…
NK: Anything for Arnav sir…
Khushi wanted to say “I don’t know anyone named Arnav”. But before that, someone called NK.
NK: I have to go, Khushiji… see you.
She left the office in confusion.
Khushi’s job got over easily that day but Arnav couldn’t finish anything as no one was available for him who he wanted to meet. He sat in the office and thought about the collected details of the case. He didn’t notice the time that it was midnight. He left the office all fed-up as that day went in vain.
As usual, Mohan dropped him in the flats. Arnav headed towards the lift. He forgot the statement file in the jeep. He rushed out to call Mohan who was already left. That’s when he saw someone running towards his building via the main gate. He waited to see who that is. He got horrified as it was none other than Khushi.
To be continued…