The Murder of Raj Verma

Raju was next and he said he had not heard anything till the ambulance siren woke him up. He was too shaken and feeling too guilty for not responding to Col-saab’s shouts, else they would have managed to save Raj-baba. Mr. Sharma, who lived a few blocks away, said he received a call from the Col saying Raj had been shot and he immediately called the emergency ambulance number and arrived nearly together. But all was over by then. “How did you have the ambulance no so handy?” the cops asked. Mr. Sharma’s wife was prone to getting critically ill in the middle of the nights, so they had kept the ambulance number in everybody’s cell at home and thus he dialed it immediately. Does he suspect anybody? No, why would anybody want to kill Raj, who was such a nice boy after all he was soon to get married to his daughter, Sheila. Could they meet Sheila? Mr. Sharma pleaded that they spare her today, she is still in a state of shock and can’t accept that Raj was no more. The cops insisted as they would not take too long. Sheila was brought in with a few of the ladies of the family. She broke down the moment they uttered Raj. The cops didn’t quite have any questions for her and she was allowed to go. They then apologized and left.

Some more of such meetings and the cops were clueless and the case was soon closed. Col Verma was left all alone with memories of his son. Sheila was trying to pick her life from where it seemed to have ended and life was trying to trudge from where it had come to a grinding halt.

Col Verma suddenly seemed to have aged ten years in the last two months. Sheila had lost the youthful self, but had begun to start smiling. During one of the nostalgic moments, she decided to go and meet Col Verma. She was shocked to see him bend and unshaven. Col though had retired three years back, shaved every single day and was a fitness freak and stood erect at his age. A slight slouch and one would get a yelling from him. To see such a broken Col, was a shock for Sheila. His face momentarily beamed, and his eyes became moist, but his determination did not shed the tear. She came in and sat down opposite the rocking chair which was Col’s regular place. Col came and sat next to her and asked her how was she and how was work. She did say something that she didn’t mean knowing fully well that Col was not listening as he was busy fighting his tears and was talking to take his mind away from the fateful night.

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