the short story project


Prachi Panwar


“My grand-daughter Tanvi is missing , please find her ,please!!” an old man cried on the phone . On the other side of the phone was the police who replied “Don’t worry sir,hold yourself please ; can you tell us for how long is she missing ? ” , the old man in his trembling voice replied “She went to buy some groceries this morning and hasn’t returned since then .” The head police officer said ” She must have gone somewhere else , don’t worry , we can’t file the missing complain before 24 hours.” An officer interrupted their conversation and mocked  ” She must have ran away with her lover sir , teenage girls do so.” The old man got angry ” Are you mad?, I will call you after 24 hours ”  and 
hanged up. After 2 days the old man called the police again ” Tanvi has returned sir , but she is reacting weird and not talking to anyone. ” The police officer laughed and replied “Her boyfriend must have left her,  that’s why she has returned , relax she will be okay” . The next morning the house keeper Mamta was mopping Tanvi’s room when she saw blood , she shouted ” Saheb! Blood, Blood!” she tried to wake Tanvi up but she was dead. In the afternoon the police visited the old man’s house . ” I told you , she was not acting normally, you didn’t help me ,now she has left us forever. ” the old man cried badly. The head police officer replied” We aren’t psychiatrists sir , how could we know that she was suicidal .” The mocking  police officer said “She has committed suicide because of her lover , we should catch him sir.” The old man cried his eyes out , the police and Mamta consoled him. Police started their investigation ” We know sir it’s not a very good time for you but we have to ask you some questions. “
” It’s okay sir , you can ask ” the old man said wiping his tears.
“How long has she been living with you ? And where are her parents?”
” They died in a road accident when Tanvi was just 2 years old ,she has been living with me since then . I tried my best to give her all the love and support , I don’t know  why she took this big step” he cried.
” Hold yourself sir ! Where is your wife ? ” the police officer asked.
” She also passed away because of cancer . Prerna was a very loving and beautiful woman ,she died before Tanvi was even born “
” Did Tanvi have a boyfriend or any close  friend?”
” Yes , Vihaan from her school, they were good friends.”
“Okay sir “

The head was just going to ask the next question when a constable interrupted him “We have found her boyfriend sir!!”

On seeing Vihaan the old man cried  ” Vihaan! see what has Tanvi done ; she has left us all alone. “
” You have to come with us to the police statIon Mr. Vihaan” the police officer said .
” Why? I haven’t done anything ! I got to know all of  this when your officer came to my home .” Vihaan lashed out at the police officer.
“You will get all your answers sir , but you will  have to come with us for that.”
The police took Vihaan to the police station and now the old man  and Tanvi’s dog Bruno were left  alone at home.
” Why did you break up with her?”
Vihaan was staggered , ” Breakup? We rarely fought , why would we breakup? “
“Did you both run away two days ago?”
” What rubbish sir , why will we? We both are just in 12th standard, and I have been trying to call her since last three days, her phone is  switched off.”
” Why didn’t you go and see her then?” the police officer asked raising his left eyebrow.
“There is lock down because of Corona virus ,how could I go and see her ?” Vihaan said bluntly.
” How was her grandfather with you both?”
” He is a very good man sir ; he knew about our relationship and even supported us , just the colony people used to call him mad unnecessarily.”
“Mad! but why?” police officer asked curiously.
” I don’t know sir ” he exclaimed.
” Okay just don’t go out of the town , we will be watching you.”
” Sure sir. “
Ten days had passed and the police wasn’t getting any leads as the post -mortem report was delayed because of the lockdown .The police was on the verge of closing the case when they got an anonymous letter stating “HE KILLED HER!!”
The police got worried and started investigating the neighbours and close friends .
On asking about the old man from Dr. Ahuja who was their neighbour and a veterinary doctor , the whole story got twisted .
” He is a very good man sir , I have known him for 25 years .He loved his wife and son a lot, but after Prerna’s death he went into depression and a massive shock . Doctors recommended him to see a therapist but his son laughed “What will the people say ? That my father has gone mad !  He won’t go anywhere.” His health got worse and he started hallucinating Prerna . He talks to himself for hours and when someone asks , he says” Don’t disturb!! Can’t you see  Prerna and I are talking ?” said Dr.Ahuja
The police was just leaving when Mamta came running , ” Doctor!! Bruno has been vomiting since morning, he was playing in the lawn and I guess he has eaten something wrong.”
Dr. Ahuja said ” Sorry sir , I have to take Bruno to the clinic immediately !!”
The head police officer said ” It’s okay , inform us if there is something important.”

Again an anonymous letter came  to the police station which stated “IT’S IN THE LAWN.”

The police dug around the lawn the whole evening , and they found some tablets hidden inside the  flower pots.
The old man came running towards the lawn and before he could ask anything , the police officer’s phone rang , it was  Dr. Ahuja on the other side “I am not sure if this information will be of any use , but Bruno’s reports state that  Bruno had eaten sleeping pill Ambien by mistake which caused the vomiting.”
The police officer looked at the tablets in his hands and gave his side grin . The police rushed to the police station and on reaching they were informed that Tanvi’s post-mortem reports had finally arrived .
It clearly stated that she was already  been dead before her wrist was cut and  samples of Zolpidem Tartrate were found  in her blood .
In few hours , police was successful in joining all the dots and finally arrested the old man .
” Why did you kill your own granddaughter?”the police man asked in anger.
” Haha! It took you so long. I killed her for the same reason for which I killed my son and daughter- in law.”
The policeman was shocked ” You killed them ? How did you kill Tanvi? “
The old man looked straight into the policeman’s eyes and said ” I locked her up in the bathroom for two days and  reported her fake missing complaint ,I knew you wouldn’t come for help . I overdosed her with Ambien 2500 mg which caused her death and then took her body to her bed and cut her wrist , so that it looks like a suicide. “
” What if the post -mortem reports had came early ?” the police officer asked raising his left eyebrow .
” I would have told you that she was taking  sleeping pills as she was depressed because of her breakup with Vihaan. If that f*****g  Bruno didn’t eat the pills hidden in the pots , you would have never found the real murderer.” he laughed an evil laugh.
“This is disgusting ,and  how did you kill your son and daughter-in law ?”
” Ah ! That was simple! Just failed their car’s brake when they were going out to celebrate their anniversary.” he said without any regret.
” Oh Lord ! Why would you do that ?” the police officer cried.
” Why would I do that ? Why did the society do that to me ? When Prerna died , I went into the blues and severe dejection dispirited me. The society even pilloried me instead of supporting. My health has worsened to a level that I started hallucinating Prerna. . And you know for this society “Hallucination” is synonymical to “MAD”. In all these years I unraveled that “FOREVER”  of a relationship doesn’t exist . One of the companion leaves and the other one gets depressed and sad. My son and daughter-in law were a buoyant couple , but I postulated that sooner or later either of them would die and other would be in grieve sorrow just like their wrinkly elder, and will rickety mentally and society would laugh on them, so to protect them from this endurance , I had to kill them.
Moreover even Tanvi was falling in love with Vihaan , I tried to convince her that no alliance , no bond, no tie-up is perpetual, but she didn’t understand and used to say ” We won’t ever be separated ! ” but some separations aren’t in our hands .

Are you still thinking who the anonymous letter sender was ?



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