24th Aug’09 1. 45 am– Chinmay breathed his last exactly at 1.45 am. Road traffic accident. A head injury. The doctor checked his pulse once again, not because he wanted to double check but he did it as a reflex… A practiced reflex. Breaking the news to the people outside would be difficult. It always was, more so if the patient was only 18 years old.
23rd Aug’09 11.00 pm– Dr.Ranjita Baruah felt relaxed after a long time. The landline phone was set in a silent mode and the cell phone switched off. She had called up her colleague in Downtown Hospital to report her unavailability citing her mom’s illness as a reason. A lie.Though she was not on duty, she was on call and she was on roster to handle emergency cases which were referred from the casualty, but now she could sleep in peace for the rest of the night. If she had checked the landline, she would have seen that there were 22 missed calls from her hospital.
23rd August ’09, 10.35pm – Animesh looked agitatedly at his watch. It was the 7th call in 30 minutes from Rudra Senapati., over a small, stray incident of stone throwing. It must have been a tramp or some drunkard with a mind for mischief – not at all a case befitting the rank of an ACP, Animesh mused. But none the less, that had sent Mr Senapati in a fury irritating the peace and quiet of his home as well as Animesh’s.
“See Rudra! Don’t worry, I have asked the SP to look into the matter. He is a diligent chap… No, no sealing the area will not be a good idea…No we cannot do that without a search warrant… Trust me. We are at it and we will find him…Err… Rudra , you see my mother in law has suddenly taken ill and I have to go to Nagaon now… yes yes!.. I will get back to you as soon as I return in the morning…” He hung up and switched off the cell phone with a grim expression while his wife looked on from the door.
23rd August ’09, 9.55 pm– He must have stood there staring at the big house, maybe for a minute or two, but it seemed an eternity to him. The evening incident flashed before him again. The scratch hadn’t been his fault, but still he was slapped, punched and kicked around in front of hundred odd people. None came forward to intervene, not even the police. He felt the anger rising inside him and in a mad fury, picked up the stone lying nearby and threw at the house blindly , with all his might. The stone smashed into a window pane somewhere, shattering the glass as well as the stillness of the night. He didn’t wait to see what happened next, and was swiftly on his feet, the panic beginning to replace the anger.
23rd August ‘09,7.00 pm – The group of three was about to depart from the club house, their cars already driven up by the valets. Rudra Senapati shook hands with ACP Animesh Baruah warmly, while Dr Ranjita looking dazzling, smiled at their bon homie.
“Ah I envy you both. What a combination! One an IPS officer and the other a neurosurgeon.”!
“Oh come on! But the real power lies at the hands of future leaders like you” Animesh said with a chuckle”
‘Future leader??? Cummon, I m just an entrepreneur!” They parted with a hearty laugh proceeding to their own cars .Rudra Senapati was indeed an entrepreneur, but it was doubtful how he became one. Some say he was an ULFA whose fortunes changed after he surrendered. But whatever the case maybe, there remained no doubt that there was something menacing and ruthless about him.
Rudra revved up his Skoda and started towards the club house gate with Animesh following him behind. The area was well lit, which was probably the reason he forgot to switch on the headlights nor did he honk his horn, as he zoomed towards the gate. He barely missed the auto rickshaw, which had sped up the gate on the main road, in the process scraping the iron gate which gave a nasty scratch to his pride-his car.. The auto-rickshaw had screeched to a halt, probably due to the shock of the sudden appearance of the car. In other words it was apparent whose fault it was, but Rudra thought otherwise. He jumped out of his car and charged at the Auto driver. He behaved like a man possessed, hurling abuses and hitting him over and over again. The crowd looked on as usual without any reaction. Animesh came in from behind and somehow managed to hold him back, but not before placing a tight slap himself on the poor autowala . No body realized that a fine evening was turning into a nightmare for all of them…
23rd August ’09, 10.00 am
“Dad I am taking the ford Ikon today. We are having a night out with friends” Chinmay called out to his father as he made his way to the door.
“Alright, son! Just don’t bring it home smashed like last time”, both laughed out heartily at the memory of the last time he drove the car.
His mother pursed her lips in disproval.” You shouldn’t spoil him so much! Someday he will get himself into trouble.”
“ Ah! He won’t. After all he is Rudra Senapati’s son. No one can dare cause trouble for us. No body messes with me or my son!”
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