‘What?’, Shivani was literally screaming over phone.
‘Yes. The daughter of Taurani has been murdered and hell has broken loose at the farmhouse, Shivani. Cops are yet to come’.
‘ How did it happen?’, there was not even an iota of concern in Shivani’s voice, even though Abhimanyu remembered seeing an Insta post where Shivani had called Taurani her BFF.
‘ It’s gruesome. While the masquerade ball was going on, someone strangulated her, took her to the washroom, and took her eyes as if the murderer was collecting some trophies. And both her mid-fingers were chopped and taken away. Its fiendish, Shivani, absolute fiendish. Unless you see the corpse, you cannot imagine what must have gone through her.’
‘My Gosh! I want you to be there. I am asking the printing team to halt the late-night edition. I will ask for Gaurav’s consent. And this is going to be our lead tomorrow. I want the preliminary article for the webpage in half an hour. I hope Vineet is in his senses. ‘
‘He is. No problem with that. But how can I? I mean, I am just a petty page 3 journo with no sense at all in such stories.
‘Just keep quiet and do as I say. The time our frontpage warriors will rush there, it will no longer be a scoop. And one thing Bose, be liberal in your imagination in describing the bloodbath. No issues if you can mix some air of left-wing extremism in such gruesome act’.
‘ As of now, it’s just a murder Shivani. And there is no other angle in it.’
‘ This is the reason why you can never make it big, Bose. Do as I say and ask Vineet to send me some pics ASAP. And do not forget to get a snap of Taurani in her distressed best. Tears, blood, and missing body parts will go well together’, she disconnected.
Perplexed, Abhimanyu asked Vineet to get the snaps before the police arrived. Taurani was hysterical. The crowd in the ballroom has thinned. Shivesh, Saad, Ritu and Naik and some relatives of the Taurani family only huddled around the bereaved mother. Very few in the world want to be close to the mother whose daughter has just been murdered. Abhimanyu suddenly became sombre, seeing the sudden turnaround of events and how people react to such a situation. For the first time he was feeling pity for Taurani, who so far appeared nothing but a symbol of unabashed opulence juxtaposed with innate stupidity.
Soon the Inspector and his team arrived at the spot. The event manager received him and narrated him the case briefly. Rana, the inspector looked to be in his mid-forties. Abhimanyu remembered seeing him somewhere, where he could not recall. His memory suddenly flashed. He was the guy who had solved the Saahil Arora murder case. A tough nut to crack. After they were done with inspecting the body which was still lying at the washroom adjacent to the entry point one of the ball room and its immediate surroundings, the police barricaded the crime scene and asked those who were still there not to leave until the initial proceedings were done. The once beautiful Shanaya Taurani was now just a cadaverous figure horrible to look ats. Blood has already dried up. One of the cops collected all the requisite materials for forensic examinations with dexterous hands. Rana asked the manager to provide the guest list and the list of all the workers engaged. He also wanted the plan of the compound along with a detailed account of the emergency exit points and CCTV footages of the venue for at least 15 days. Whoever has done it must had come earlier. Doing a crime is easy, evading a crime scene is not. A team of four went to check all the entry and exit points of the farm house. As Taurani was not exactly in a state to be a part in any coply talks, Shivesh who was at the ballroom while the crime was taking place came forth and volunteered to give minute to minute details of the events that unfolded at the ballroom.
Shivesh’s account had nothing to indicate anything abnormal. He even informed the officer it was he with whom Shanaya, Taurani’s daughter had danced at the beginning before switching to another partner. There were around fifty couples in the room and it was not possible to track who was dancing with whom as most of them were changing partners after a minute or two. The lights were dim as any such ball room would have and Kenny G’s music was playing in the background. It was around 10.30 when the ball started and by eleven, the damage had already been made. He was genuinely shocked and such an incident could definitely affect his blooming showbiz career. Some others who were at the ballroom also verified the statement of Shivesh. As a protocol, Abhimanyu had asked Vineet not to record any part of his statement. It was the job of the police. Vineet was already gone. He must be in some corners, transferring the pics from his camera to his phone via mobile hotspot and sending those to Meenakshi, Shivani’s assistant. Saad narrated the scenes outside the ballroom. Abhimanyu, too pitched in and corroborated the narration.
The lists have been already handed over to Inspector Rana and he was giving those a cursory glance. He asked one of his deputies to take the lists and call each one of them to appear for hearing tomorrow. Rana asked the guests present not to leave the town without his permission and till the preliminary investigation was complete. Abhimanyu shook hands with him and ensured any kind of assistance if needed. He was not in a state to face Taurani. He just waved his hand to Shaad and Shivesh and called Vineet to join him at the gate. The phone was unanswered. “Come to the gate”, he texted Vineet. Deep in thought, he has already walked to the lavish entry point of the gigantic compound.
The farmhouse which was buzzing with glamour, clamour and amour even a while ago, has suddenly been stabbed to lull broken intermittently by Taurani family’s hysterical weeping and activities of the police. Gloom has set in the posh property. Abhimanyu was toying with the flood of ideas coming on his mind to narrate the story for his newspaper. It was the first time he would be writing for the front page. Suddenly his mobile buzzed. It was from an unknown number. He picked up.
“What?” shouted Abhimanyu and started sprinting to the main building.
The next chapter will be available on 13.06.2021. Stay tuned. You can read the other chapters here
Read Chapter Four here
Read the review of The Family Man- Season 2 here