Joined: 29 August 2012
"Guys! We have a new case!" shouted Rathore, to Arjun, Chottu & Shree, who were standing outside the office. Shree was explaining to Chottu his latest idea to equip his taser with a GPS, in case he ever got lost & Chottu was laughing away. Arjun was with his ever trusty sidekick, his cup of chai, staring into the horizon. "A lady has been murdered in broad daylight in Baraud Marg." continued Rathore, coming out to join them. "She was walking back from a friend's house when a van pulled up in front of her and 3-4 guys shot at her. We need to go to the crime scene right now."
Arjun calmly finished his chai & put on his glares. Shree & Chottu got into the SUV, while Rathore, clearly irritated with Arjun's slo-mo antics, got into the front & banged the door. "Arrey Chottu, dekho, Rathore sir is glaring at Arjun through his glares. It makes me want to taser myself! So Scary!" Chottu gave a small laugh. " What??" snapped Rathore turning back. " No Sir, we were just saying...I mean asking..when Riya will be back?" Shree managed. " Hanh sir, shez not joining us for this case either?" continued Chottu. " Riya is already back, shez in the office...there, shez coming out now" said Rathore said glancing to his left.
Shree & chottu looked out of the window surprised, to see Riya hurrying down the path to get into the vehicle. Arjun slightly turned to the side & quickly turned back again.
Chottu: When did she come back? Has she been in the office all morning? How come we didn't even see her?
Shree: Hanh yaar!! When did she make it back? Didn't tell us also. All this time, how come we didn't know she was there???
Arjun thought to himself "She was there all morning? How come not a single statistic could be heard all this time then? Funny. Didn't know she could be quiet even for a minute." Then he remembered how she had taken that article. H gripped the steering wheel in anger. And then he remembered how she had apologized, how he was still angry at her for interfering in his life...he shrugged and resolved to put it out of his mind.
Riya got into the back with shree n Chottu n smiled at them.
Shree: Ree!! When did u come? How come u din meet us till now? 1 day off n u already forgot us??
Chottu: Hanh Riya. Is this how u treat ur frendz? First u don even call us from ur hometown, then u behave like this??
Arjun had started the vehicle n they moved forward.
Riya: Arrey guyz..I'm sorry...just made it to office 2 hourz ago. U guyz were out na, when I came in. N besides, I had to file some important reports. It took some time. I'm sorry..
Shree: Still...Its weird ree..n why do u look so pale?
Chottu: Yeah, Riya..kya hua?? have u been sick??
Arjun glanced into the mirror, n saw her. Yes, she definitely looked pale. N her eyes seemed to lack that sparkle. What was the matter? None of my business, he thought. What does it matter to me? He focussed back on the road & put his foot down on the accelerator.
Rathore, glanced back concerned. Kya hua Riya? If ur not well, u can take an off.
Riya bit her lip & quickly smiled. No No...itz just travel fatigue..I'll be alright by tomorrow..just a bit tired..thtz all..
Everyone relaxed with that..Arjun glanced at the mirror again. She was looking at him? No at the mirror..But her mind seemed to be somewhere else.
Rathore: BTB Riya, u went home, is it? Where is ur hometown anyway?
Riya: What??..oh...I actually came down to Mumbai...to sort out some issues..my hometown is in Delhi actually...
Chottu: Mumbai? Kya issues Riya? Nything u need help with?
Riya: No..no...everythingz fine..itz just a few family issues...
The car suddenly came to a stop.
Arjun: If everyonez done with their chatting, I would like to inform u, we are here.
Rathore: I told u to stop with this attitude. Stop talking...
Arjun interrupted..Next time...I'll send u a sms to let u kno something then...SIR.
Rathore fumed & got out of the car banging the door. Arjun smirked & got out.
Shree: Inn donon ke saat, hamara kya hoga?
Chottu: Arey Kalia, get out...or else Arjun sir will come n Samjaunify u.
Riya smiled n all three got out of the car...
They found the body, took the measurements n chalked out the outline. Rathore was speaking to a few witnesses, while Arjun was scouting out the general area. Riya was writing down the observations in her diary, glancing at the body now & then. Arjun looked at her.
In the sunlight, she looked even more pale. As if the spirit in her had been leached out. He turned to look at her properly. Something was missing from her. What was it? N then he saw. The clip. It was not on her head. Her braid was softly swaying in the wind. But tht red clip...it was missing. What was her problem? Now her hair would start flying in the wind & disrupt whatever she was doing. He was irritated. Why can't she just do her work efficiently? N then, he realized...she did work efficiently. Never did she give any cause for concern or complaint. Arjun stared at her...why was he thinking all these thoughts?
There was a sudden gust of wind. He looked at her hair, expecting it to fly n fall across her face. But it didn't. He saw then, it was kept down by a small black bobby pin. He was so surprised, that he took a step forward.
She looked up. Stared at him for a second n stood up. He kept looking at her, not uttering a word.
Riya: Kuch chahiye sir?
He was brought back to reality. He looked at her, became angry for a second.
Riya looked at him, saw his anger n was at a loss of words. She was surprised, then a bit scared. What had she done now?
Arjun saw the slight fear in her eyes, turned away n started walking. What was he doing? What was his problem? If she wore the red clip, the black clip...or dammit!!what did it matter to him, what she did?
But it was not just the clip that was missing...something else was gone from here...the Riya he had seen, he had worked with these past days..it was as if, something that made her tht Riya was gone now...the courage...the liveliness...the energy that made her Riya Mukherjee...that was missing...what had happened suddenly??
Riya still stood there, shocked...what did she do..for him to be so angry...hadn't she apologized to him?? She didn't mean to pry into his life. It had just happened. Why was he still punishing her for that, which hadn't happened intentionally? How could she tell him...that she had felt the pain that he had too..that she knew how it felt when... The last two days in Mumbai also came into her mind suddenly and she couldn't control her emotions any longer.. Her eyes suddenly filled with tears...
Arjun suddenly stopped, turned n stared at her. She was bending down, picking up her diary, n waking back to join the others. Did he see a tear glistening in her eye? He suddenly remembered how she had stood that day, eyes filled with tears, outside the car. How he had turned and looked at her..He remembered that day..when he had shouted at her...when he was so blind with rage for what she had done...then he remembered how she had apologized..how she had told him it had happened by accident..he closed his eyes n tried to compose himself..but all that came before his eyes was Riya..how she had looked at him now...pale..scared...confused...
Arjun opened his eyes...she was probably upset that he was angry with her...Arjun sighed...it didn't matter to him...he told himself...but if he was the reason for Riya Mukherjee becoming this worried n nervous version of herself, then he would have to set it straight...
He resolved to talk to Riya soon...n started walking back to solve a murder...
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