[This is the first story that I wrote and through this story, I ventured into the world of creative writing. This story was written almost five/six years ago! Please forgive the mistakes and errors in grammar, sentence construction and plot loopholes. This was more than four years ago, hope you guys like it!]
Seldom have I seen a boy of my age (17 yrs.) with so much intellect and natural reasoning as his. He has an excellent logical ability and reasoning which may be compared to any world-class detective. The boy I’m referring to is Zaid and he prefers to be called ‘Z’ in short. “Sounds sexy” is his standard reply if anybody asks why. His dream was to become a detective and he literally ate, slept and drank detective novels throughout the world of varying writers. Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Feluda, Byomkesh Bokshi, Shawn Spencer, Thomas Magnum was among his private investigator heroes, but he adored Clouseau from Pink Panther as well. I am just his best friend stealing a chance to write down some good detective stories (based on true events of course!).
Balaram Chakraborty’s family like any other nuclear family was small, happy and cheerful. But this was not for long, as Balaram’s only son Bijoy was the source of the problem. Though good at academics from the beginning, he began deteriorating during high school when he figured his son was going down the slope instead of accelerating upwards. His grades were getting poorer with each passing day, his temper was up all the time, came late night from tuitions and even hanged out with boys whom many parents considered outcasts. Instead of being diligent he was becoming more and more lethargic and tired all the time. Being a government servant, he tried everything he could within his meager salary to get his son’s attention on studies but of no avail. Balaram’s wife, Bijoy’s mother, Madhumita even left her job so she could remain beside her son and gives him the much needed moral and vital support but again the results were far from improving. This was going until the doom’s day arrived!
Bijoy was a good student and though everything made sense to him, he was not one of those love crazy boys running after girls wasting their time, but he was a nerd and scored quite well in class. But hell broke loose when his parents wanted him to try harder and be the topper. Buried with expectations, Bijoy realized soon he had no desires or good friends, both of which were plenty in everybody else’s life. Though he loved one girl, she did not heed him and this made Bijoy a whole lot more frustrated than ever and added to the ever-increasing bedlam in their house. His parents had almost surrendered when the unthinkable happened…
He was on the edge of the roof and the sun was setting, it would be dark soon and then no one would bother about him, he would disappear and finally pursue anything he liked. He had grown frustrated being a mama’s boy and wanted to re-live life, have more adventures… Another step and he would vanish into the dark. He would spend hours on the roof of his house contemplating about the next move which he would take.
Meanwhile on the other side
Exams were over and we heaved a sigh of relief, little knowing what would befall on us.
Well, look at me, I forgot to introduce myself to you! I am Rishi and I am in the same class as Z. One Sunday morning myself and Zaid planned, we’ll roam with our society friends and it so happened me and Zaid lived in the same society and studied in the same school and was the best of friends.
But we had a swarm of other friends in the society from different schools and Bijoy was one of our good friends. We were worried about him, not because he wasn’t doing well in studies; most of us were awfully good at it except Zaid. He used to get top grades in his favorite subjects but failed (or just barely passed) in all the other subjects. And all these by just studying a week before the exams! Such were my friends’ prowess and power. Sometimes I wondered Z was human or a greenish, sludgy alien species locked in a human camouflage spending his last days in exile on earth!
Anyways Z wanted to roam and have some ‘adda’ (which by definition is a talk among friends involving no agenda) with our close friends…among them was Debu, Rohan, and Baccha (we called him so because even though he was of our age, his parents treated him like a two-year-old baby!). We were in the society park when suddenly we heard the sound of a police jeep… Zaid was quick enough to throw the cigarette from his hands. Zaid looked at me and said ‘these raids are becoming frequent in our society, aren’t they?’ I replied angrily is none of your business Z! Let the police do their work!’
Yeah at this point I tell you Zaid has a bad habit of smoking. But I personally found it surprising Zaid did have the perfect figure of a detective… tall, fair, (he did have a few extra pounds, but I felt it was ok) a machine of logical thoughts with a Gold Flake Light attached to his mouth.
Mr. Aggarwal and Mrs. Aggarwal lived in the flat opposite to Balaram Chakraborty; who was a kind couple who loved Bijoy a lot. One reason might be because they were childless. Mr. Aggarwal was a retired marine engineer and Mrs. Aggarwal was a nice housewife. They were worried about Bijoy too. Apparently, the news of Bijoy spread throughout the whole society.
Apparently one day, Mr. Aggarwal thought that for one last time he and his wife should go to Kashmir to revive their old honeymoon memories again! And after many days of debating with his wife, he finally decided to go to Kashmir with her knowing little that they, rather their humble abode would be helping Bijoy in his plan.
A boy here was planning cunningly and he knew he would be successful… another machine of thoughts had already started.
ONE WEEK LATER…
I and Zaid were aimlessly roaming when suddenly again a police jeep came and stood right beside us (thank god Z didn’t have any cigarette attached to his mouth). A bulky police officer asked me in authoritarian manner ‘Boy, do you know where AL-256 is in your society? I and Zaid locked eyes… I managed to ask ‘uncle what happened?’ and the officer replied disturbed ‘some case of suicide and robbery attempt…’ okay, he said, ‘why don’t you guys hop in?’
Reaching Bijoy’s house, we were shocked in awe. Here is a brief description of what happened. Yesterday, after a petty fight with Bijoy’s parents, Bijoy without telling anyone went to the terrace, his parents did not think much of it as Bijoy went to the terrace often; it was normal for him to behave like that. However, when he didn’t return even after 3 hours Madhumita called him but his phone was switched off. From that time till now there has been no trace of Bijoy.
Kakima was crying over and over and fainting every now and then, Bijoy lived with his parents on the top floor and the apartments in our society were G+4 i.e. 5 floors. Some people from the 2nd floor were present on the terrace, according to them Bijoy was sitting on the edge of the wall of the terrace and he was just inches from falling and dying. They tried to warn him, but he rejected their cries and Mr. Das, at a point blurted out, “he must have jumped later on…” at this point Bijoy’s mother in a fit of rage slapped Mr. Das of 2nd floor and started crying saying ‘my son can’t do, what you have seen is definitely wrong’.
‘Contradiction’ Zaid recalled is the root of all problems like these, the bulky police officer made an attempt to stop Madhumita but Mrs. Seth stopped him… she knew what Bijoy’s mom was going through the moment. Let’s inspect the roof… said the bulky inspector, now in the light on the roof I could see his name in the batch… Biswanath Maity… though compared to his name, his coolness was nowhere visible or to be seen… Mrs. Das went with us reluctantly and showed Biswanath the place from where Bijoy jumped…directly below the railing of the roof 4-5 feet below was a sunshade which I believed was Mr. Aggarwal’s. Zaid had a good look below the railing and became pensive for a moment or two… then Biswanath came to Bijoy’s ma and asked a handful of questions…’he was a bright student and was about to give boards next year… recently, he was rolling in bad company, he was stealing money too… then we decided to take him to counseling but it did not help… after passing class X with a 92 % aggregate he felt he was the king… he is 6 feet tall, fair and is thin…’ have you made an F.I.R or diary name? The bulky officer asked… no, a male voice replied. Turning back we saw a Bijoy’s father at the roof door. This was the first time we saw Bijoy’s dad. He was short and his eyes were sore and red behind the spectacles.
In a business class seat, Mr.Aggarwal was tensed with Mrs.Aggarwal on his side, he was one of the firsts to hear the news. There was another bad news, it seems someone broke into his house and stole around 3000 rupees. What perturbed him most was his all other valuables remained intact though they were not locked in the safe and were strewn all over the bed. And he was also sure of this no one could have broken into his house unless he/she made a duplicate key.
Mrs.Aggarwal continued looking through the small window seeing the sunset, but she was not enjoying the heavenly sight, rather something at the back of her head came up repeatedly and her face clearly showed signs of stress and pensiveness. Was Bijoy into bad company or rather dead? Whatever the answer may be, she prayed to Lord Ganesh to keep the lovely boy safe.
Back home we refreshed ourselves and again went out. Zaid had lit his patented Gold Flake Light and said aiming me ‘What do you think?’ ‘Who me?’ I asked, surprised. ‘Well according to me its clear Bijoy didn’t die, for god’s sake but is missing.’ how can you say he didn’t die?’ Quipped Zaid… ‘Oh come on’, I said; ‘I think nobody’s going to roam with his body on his shoulder, to make it look the body’s vanished.’ I was going to speak something more when he said,
‘Come on, we’ve got work to do’ said Zaid and he pulled me so hard I nearly fell. ‘Back again to investigate?’ Turning sideways we got pleasant surprises in the form of debu, baccha, and Rohan. I heard Zaid mutter under his breath ‘they add to the commotion.’
Reaching Bijoy’s house Zaid straight told Bijoy’s mother he had a solution. Bijoy’s mother’s face lit up with expectation but Z showed no signs of life. He mundanely asked a couple of basic, routine questions and went straight to Mr. Aggarwal’s door and examined the lock carefully. Then after putting his hand in his pocket and what seemed an eternity he pulled a small plastic bag and scrapped something with a small stick. After that, he went to the terrace and before I could shout he went over the railing swiftly and sat on the sunshade. I could barely whisper, but Z understood and smiled reassuringly.
But we were not much reassured. Suddenly I saw Bijoy’s mom and her white face, but Z climbed out of the railing and smiled saying, ‘I solved it!’ The police couldn’t solve it then how could you? Asked Bijoy’s mom with a questioning look! ‘Well’ I said getting agitated, ‘I suppose the police department doesn’t go on reading Feluda, Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot!’ She only smiled faintly.
Okay one question to Bijoy’s mom, ‘did he go to the terrace often?’ ‘Yes, yes!’ she cried… ‘Okay’, said Z with an air of accomplishment.
‘Impossible’, said Bijoy’s mother… ‘Well’, Zaid answered; please call the police if you wish, but I do not think Bijoy is dead, otherwise you would be planning for his funeral now would you?’; in the blink of an eye Kakima was calling Mr. Biswanath.
Being gifted with such high IQ rendered Zaid sans feelings, I guess. He never empathized with anyone nor did he felt anything. No wonder he did not have a girlfriend yet.
After an hour the police arrived and again I saw loathful Mr. Biswanath… looking narrow-eyed at Zaid, he began ‘aren’t you the boy…’ Zaid completed him ‘who showed you the way?’Yes I’m Zaid and I’m solving, rather finding some clues so I can help you guys.
Mr. Biswanath looked at Zaid from toe to head and growled ‘Looks like you found out the solution to the problem we’re facing…’ ‘As a matter of fact’ Z said, I have. ‘What you are telling? You are insulting the whole damn police force. Biswanath was furious and his face was a hue of red; anyone would be especially police as they think they have gifted minds for solving cases. Do one thing, give me your answer within tomorrow morning and if the answer is satisfactory then I won’t say anything. But, if the answer is far from satisfactory and foolish as many boys of your age try to then mind you, you will have to spend one night in jail and I myself will beat your degenerate ass to the 3rd degree.
‘Ok I won’t mind’, said Zaid confidently. Something told him he was right, it was a gut feeling all detectives feel while taking a major decision and Zaid knew this feeling well.
Suddenly something happened to me, I don’t know what, but the prospect Zaid was going to get beaten made me furious, and I shouted to Mr. Biswanath, ‘I myself will go with Zaid too.’ Mr. Biswanath eyed me and laughed, growing up, aren’t we? Showing your worth little boy?
Back home I scolded Z like hell! ‘What the shit man?’ said I. You tell me, have you figured it as yet? Yes replied Zaid, I could see some light now…stop taking shit Zaid, please.
‘Ok let me think now, would you mind closing the door behind you?’
‘Yeah’, I muttered, so much for friendship. It was Zaid’s thinking time and he wanted some time, not I disturb his free-flowing thoughts a lot, but being a stubborn ass as he is, I left.
I didn’t see Zaid for the whole evening. Next day I was beginning to worry about him when his call arrived. ‘Where are you’ an excited voice asked. In my house you idiot, why didn’t you meet me yesterday? ‘Leave those,’ I think I’ve figured out everything. Come quickly to Bijoy’s house as fast as you can.
Bijoy’s ma was astounded at first but hesitatingly she called Mr. Biswanath. Minutes later Mr. Biswanath came grumpily as if we had done something wrong by calling him. ‘Tell me, young boy, what have you figured?’ ‘Well, to begin with, Bijoy is not dead but alive and happy… Mr. Biswanath said, ‘not to disrespect you mam but Zaid can you prove he is alive?’
Of course, I met him yesterday and talked with him, he is quite aware of his mistake. But ho…..w? Mr. Biswanath was spell bounded… Zaid was enjoying every second of his last statement; it was a glowing indicator he had won. Z went to the railing and climbed on top of it and the next moment he was on the sunshade.
He then started saying ‘Bijoy is an extremely intelligent fellow; he gathered the duplicate keys of Mr. Aggarwal’s flat. Since he visited there often he was able to manage to make an impression with this dough kind of thing and saying so he put out from his pocket the small packet in which he scrapped the pink colored substance and handed it to Mr. Biswanath. Given Bijoy is tall he will be able to move easily from this sunshade to the adjoining grill which was situated beside the sunshade but a little lower. But the problem is, Zaid resumed for some time and continued, there is again a grill and it seems entry is impossible. But since there is an A.C machine in the grill (it was the other part of the split A.C which regulates the flow of air) so a small opening has to be made in the grill for maintenance purpose. Saying this Zaid showed a small opening enough for Bijoy to pass. But again a problem, this lock needs to duplicate too.’
And saying this he handed a small packet containing a piece of shirt. Bijoy’s mother gave an astonished cry. ‘I founded this sticking to the grill yesterday.’ Said Z. ‘Go on’, said Biswanath visibly impressed. ‘And one question to Bijoy’s ma, how did you know there was a thief in Mr. Aggarwal’s house? ‘I think in the dark I heard some noises and saw a dark figure… for the previous week every day we had been having load shedding’s and day without fail the current went off at 11:00 pm.’
‘Thanks’ said Z and resumed ‘taking advantage of the situation, Bijoy crept out of Mr. Aggarwal’s house and deliberately made some noises. He knew his parents would be dejected and would not care so much about theft… But Bijoy was careful; he combined the two events carefully. Last night I met him and…’ before Zaid could complete there was a sharp ring of the bell.
I opened the door and found Mr. Balaram (Bijoy’s father) and Bijoy standing side by side… Mrs. Madhumita ran towards her son and out of sheer joy started crying. ‘Well, it’s a happy family reunion’ said Mr. Biswanath moving aside Z. He smiled at us pleasantly surprised by Z’s logic. Bijoy while hugging his parents and crying gave thumbs up to Zaid. Zaid to smile and we came out of the flat.
“Well I underestimated you young man but Bijoy you need to get rebuked,” said the inspector with his eyebrows raised like an arc and it is going to be a while before you pay everything you stole. I hope you’re definitely sorry for wasting our precious time. Its ok inspector, we said in chorus, feeling already sorry for Bijoy. “I ain’t sorry for what I did,” Bijoy muttered under his breath but since I was standing close to him, maybe only I picked up his lines and realizing what he had just said, he looked at my face apprehensive and in anticipation, I just smiled back.
‘But how did you managed to find Bijoy?’ asked the officer. ‘Well, you know’ said Z satisfactorily ‘I’ve friends in low places.’ Well, you are an asset to us and quite a useful one too…he exclaimed.
I had finished writing the story… (actually Zaid solved the case only yesterday)… suddenly I saw Z beside me, well you are becoming faster day by day… he laughed a little… well you know there are certain facts about the case, Bijoy actually went through the process a couple of days before he attained perfection, he even brought his luggage through process. Even Bijoy’s mother’s necklace was missing… now, how the hell do you know? I exclaimed. Well, when you wear something on your neck and go out too often you could understand the difference because the area covered by the necklace is partially white. ‘To hell with your observation’ I said.
Zaid lit his last Cigarette of the day (he has a definite quota) and told me smiling ‘ all’s well that ends well.’ Sure I said now give me a fag… Z reacted as if he fell from the skies. ‘And since when did you start smoking?’ he said smiling and releasing the smoke at the same time. ‘Now’, I blurted and quickly took the salvaged treasure from him.
Image courtesy- https://www.ndtv.com/hyderabad-news/hyderabad-student-jumps-off-building-says-was-asked-to-end-life-in-dream-1772427