the missing father

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 22, 2017

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Submitted: July 22, 2017

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The Lost Father

 

It was a dull rainy Sunday afternoon. I was working on my laptop and Jaish- my roommate, was busy on his study table. He was looking somewhere in his own world, staring at the roof with his head leaning backward on his chair. It was his usual pose of what he called a meditation. I always liked his this kind of absence, as it provided much peace. But this silence in the room was broken down by a hard bang on the door. I just jumped spontaneously and rushed to open the door.

It was a lady in our door. Well, this was not that much usual for the bachelors like us. But this was not whatever I was thinking of. She was breathing heavily, fainted and was almost drained. It was obvious from her attire; she had walked a long distance to be here. She broke up immediately, “Is this Mr. Jayesh Trivedi?” I was to open my mouth to answer in negative, but was interrupted with the voice behind me,

“Here you are Miss. Dipti.” Jaish replied while adjusting his pose on the chair. I noticed a glitter in his eyes and the lady- she was almost to collapse.

“How you know my name?” She literally screamed.

“Well it is known to everyone in the city by now. You have been in the headlines today ma’am!”

“Oh so you know it all. And the rests too. But trust me I am not the lady I am being supposed.”

“Well, they have termed you to be. But I would like to listen it all from you. Please have a seat. And meet my friend- Akash!”

“Hello!” This was all I could say after listening both of them for such a long. She replied me with a smile and rushed to the chair Jaish offered. I, too had read newspapers in the morning but how could I not remember someone as prettier as her in those rubbish papers?

“Well, before you start I insist you to have some coffee. Would you like to have some biscuits?” Jaish broke my links of frustrated thoughts.

“No. Thanks. Just coffee would be fine.”

Jaish looked at me. Oh, that meant I would be the one to make coffee. Thanks to my habit of having coffee while working; that always kept it ready in the kettle. I took three cups to the table. Jaish adjusted himself in the chair once again and asked the lady, “Please start from the beginning you remember. That will help me to reach the roots. And you Akash, sit here and listen to her carefully. That would be pretty helpful.” I nodded and sat on my bed. The lady took a sip of her coffee, gave a sigh and words came out of her mouth with the steam,

“Well, as you know, I am Miss. Dipti Patnaik; only daughter of the industrialist Mr. Sudesh Patnaik. It has been a week since my father has gone missing. We have talked last Monday morning when he was leaving for his office. But he did not reach there. Driver claims that he left him at gate and went to park the car. He was there till the evening. When my father did not came back at his regular time, he asked receptionist there to connect to my father. But receptionist says Mr. Patnaik did not come to office that day. In fact, she had to return the clients who had an appointment for a meet. She tried to contact him on his mobile, but could not. She called home for several times and was not answered as I was out with my friends. Call records proved she had really called. When I returned home at around 8 pm that evening I came to know the things from driver. We rushed to the police station immediately and lodged a complaint. Police are working on the case but have not reached to any conclusion till now.”

“Have they checked the footage at your office?” Jaish interrupted.

“Yes they have. But to our surprise, camera at entrance was not working for an hour that morning. And the interior cameras have not captured him, meaning he did not enter the office!”

“How could it be? Cameras out of order! That’s strange!” I vomited.

“No. It’s not. Cameras just show us whatever we are intended to see!” Jaish said.

“To me it was nothing less than a strike. How could my father disappear in thin air? He is the head of your company and must have been noticed by someone. But everyone refuses to have his sight at all. Even the door man has not seen him.

“Well, as if this thing was not bitter enough to swallow, a woman of around mid-thirties entered our home last night and claims to be my father’s second wife. She has some documents which she claims to be the papers of house and factory. But my father had never mentioned anything about her. And as she has some documents she refuses to leave our home. I do not want this to be open in media so I hid this from police. My driver suggested your name in the morning and I decided to visit you. But to avoid media to follow, I chose to walk rather than driving here.”

“And that is a great decision you had. Even I try to avoid media. And this is enough data to process on. Now, I suggest you to keep this a secret as long as possible. I will sure help you with this.”

“Thank you very much. You get that woman out of my house and I will make a good return for that!”

“Oh! It would be great deal. But I want you to pay me in advance.”

“Please name the amount.”

“A check of Five thousand would go great. Write it in my friend’s name- Mr. Akash Suresh Patnaik.”

“Oh that’s a great similarity in names!” She smiled at me. But I could not reply. I was not that with the name. I was Akash Ajit Revaskar. But I chose not to talk at the moment. She signed a check and handed over to Jaish. He rose from the chair and bowed to her.

“Thank you ma’am! Akash, would you mind to escort her to the auto stand?” asked Jaish.

I was really not happy to go out in that rains, but could not retaliate his urge. I went along the lady; make her sit in an auto ans returned to the room. To my surprise, Jaish was sitting on the floor with every inch of it covered with newspapers.

“So you are a detective!” I asked Jaish.

“Yes. Just a struggling one my dear Watson!”

And we burst into laughter with this. Soon he was deep into his thoughts. I could not stand the silence for longer. I was so much eager to listen how he would work on the case. I asked him, “So, what is your summation about this?”

“I was just verifying Ms. Dipti’s statements with these newspapers. It is perfect, than this note!”

“Note?”

“Yes a note! Here it is! Will you please read it for me?”

I was so fascinated to the moment that I took newspaper from him and started reading.

“Police found a piece of paper from the front gate of ‘The Patnaiks Industries.’ It was a note scribbled with a pen, reading- ‘Mr. Sudesh Patnaik, it is an emergency. Come at once.’ Police could not make any conclusion from…”

“There Akash! I wonder why Miss Dipti did not mention this thing.”

“May be she forgot that!”

“Possibility can’t be declined. Let it. Have a sound sleep tonight. I will need you to be with me to visit Patnaik’s home.”

“And not the office?”

“No. I don’t think there’s anything left in the office.”

The next morning was a pleasant one. The sun was good. We had our breakfasts and coffee and left our place at about 9 am. We reached the Patnaik’s villa in about an hour. The guards tried to stop us at the gate, but after listening my friend’s name, they let us in. To my surprise, Miss Patnaik was expecting us. She was in her lawn and we were asked to join her there. We took seats and Jaish spoke out, “It is a great mansion ma’am!”

“Thank you Mr. Trivedi. But this is just nothing.”

“I know that. A house without its master is hollow as hell. Isn’t it?”

“Well said. But I do not feel lonely even with the walls and roof of this building. But that creepy woman is the one making this house a hell. I pray you get her out of here.”

“That is why I am here. Where is she?”

“Oh! She has occupied my father’s room. And has not come out yet.”

“Well. I would like to go to your industry. Can you manage us a transport?”

“Sure. You can take my father’s car.”

“And your father’s driver too!”

“Here you go. Mohan, please ask Shyam to drive them to our office.”

She order her assistant. And he exported us to the car and we left for the office. Jaish took the seat along the driver and I was asked to sit behind. As the car was out of gate, Jaish asked Shyam, “How long are you working for Mr. Patnaik?”

“It has been nearly three years, sir. My father was his driver, he passed away and I was offered this job.”

“Do you take this same route every day?”

“Yes sir. Saheb is very strict about his routine.”

“How was that day?”

“It was as usual. Saheb usually got into the car at about 8:30 in morning and we reached office at 9:00. Then I parked the car and went to guard’s lobby. At 6:00 I took the car to front gate and waited for Saheb for nearly half an hour. Saheb had never missed his time before. So I went to receptionist and asked her to call him. But she told he was not there. It was a shock for me. How this could be? He never left without mine. I asked her to call Saheb on his mobile. But she coud not connect. At last I took off at about 7:30 and reached home. I told ma’am everything and we went to police station.”

“Was he in any stress that day?”

“Not at all. He was humming as usual. He was sporty as usual.”

“Alright Shyam. What about that lady in house?”

“I don’t know anything about her sir. I have never seen her earlier.”

“But she claims she is Mrs. Patnaik!”

“No sir. I have not smelled anything wrong in Saheb since I am with him. She is lying.”

“Well. How you know about me?”

“I heard about you from my friend. Do you remember a driver suspected in a case of lost diamond necklace?”

“Yes I do. Ramakant was his name, if I am right!”

“Yes sir. Same guy had told me how you got him out. And here is the office sir. This is same spot I dropped Saheb.”

“Oh… Shyam, would you please write here ‘These are Mr. Sudesh Patnaik’s guests. Let them in immediately.’ Here’s paper and pen.”

I wondered why Jaish is taking a driver’s note to enter that building. But shyam did as he was told. We reached the door and Jaish showed the note to doorman. He answered very politely, “I am ordered to let you in sir. Please proceed.”

“Of course we will. Would you write the same on this paper. Here’s the pen write ‘these are Mr Sudesh Patnaik’s guests. I let them in immediately!’”

How strange was this! First a driver’s note and now a guard’s. I was very much amazed by Jaish’s work. But could not ask him for an explanation. We moved into the office. Jaish stood near the receptionist’s desk and looked out of the glass door. He did not utter a word and started walking out. We went to the parking and he asked shyam to drive us to Patnaik’s place. He did not speak a word in the whole journey, nor I.

As we reached the home. Jaish went straight to the hall and sat on the sofa. Asked me to sit and I followed. Miss Dipti entered the hall, he pointed her to a chair. And asked her to call that woman. Soon the lady came. She was an average looking lady  in mid-thirties. Her eyes looked filled with fright. Jaish stood up immediately and to my surprise spoke in the softest tone, “Please have a seat madam. You are the real mistress of this house. Please feel at home!”

This sentence made all of us surprised, especially Miss Dipti, who was gone red with anger. But she did not speak out, nor did the woman. She acted to Jaish’s words.

“Well madam. What is your good name?”

“Minakshi” she spoke out.

“So madam. As I said, you belong this all. Right?”

“Yes. I have the documents.”

“Can you show me those. You can sure trust on me.”

“There you go sir.”

She handed over some papers to Jaish. He took those and sniffed them and started reading. After a deep examination he handed a piece of paper and a pen and requested the lady, “We will write your claim for me ma’am? Please put on his paper, ‘ I am married to Mr. Sudesh Patnaik and the marriage took place in emergency.’”

“Why would I do that?” she asked.

“Just because I insist ma’am. I assure you, this will not be legal.”

“Ok.”

She wrote down as she was asked. Jaish took the paper in his hand. Observed what she had written. And was about to say something, but Miss Dipti interrupted him, “What are you playing Mr. Trivedi? I paid to get this witch out of my house and you are declaring her the owner. Will you ask her to leave my house immediately?”

“Well I will. But before that I will like to ask you a question. Where is your father?”

“I have already told you, he is missing.”

“Abducted! Not missing. Abducted by your men!”

“How dare you say that?”

“I dare on behalf of the law. And the evidences are my strength. Now, here are my policemen to take you for a tour!”

Soon a troop of policemen entered the house. A lady cop took hold of Miss Patnaik and another one rushed to grab Mrs. Patnaik, but was stopped by Jaish, “I request you not to touch this lady. She is just a puppet, a puppet in Mr. Patnaik’s hand. And inspector I will like to tell you all the story of this crime. Will you not listen it?”

Everyone in the room was astonished. Inspector took a seat. Miss Dipti was made to sit on the sofa. And Jaish spoke out, “So Miss Patnaik. Correct me if I lose my track. The story began earlier this year. Your father wanted you to get married. But he was not ready to let you marry his own driver and if you did so he would have surely not given you a penny. You wanted the property, all for yourself. That’s why you asked me to get this lady out of your house instead of finding your father.

“You know all the spots in your office. On the Monday, you stepped out of house at 8 am. You reached the office and asked the guard to move to back door. You disturbed the camera and left. Your father reached office at about 9 am at the same time two men came in a car, handed him a note, and he was frightened! He dropped the note there and sat into car. Now I ask you, where your father is?”

“Incredible story Mr. Trivedi, but where is the proof?”

“Here it is ma’am. This is the check you offered me. Written and signed by you in the name of ‘Mr. Akash Suresh Patnaik’. Actually there is no friend of me with this name. Say your name Akash!”

“It is Mr. Akash Ajit Revaskar!” I answered.

“Well, Miss Dipti and here is the note which police found. I managed to get a photo of this on whatsapp from my source. I collected the samples from Shyam, the office guard and Minakshi. When I examined the samples of hand writings it matched perfectly with yours. It was you to write the note. Means it was you to abduct your father. Now, I am pretty sure he is at your farm house. You locked him there to die. But you did not know, this lady is a servant there and cooks food for the night parties. Your father had a meeting that day and his guests were to stay at your farm house. Hence she went there and found your father locked. Isn’t it Minakshi?”

“Yes sir. I untied him and was to call the police, but he stopped me and asked me to this drama for him.”

“And he signed these documents just in the evening you came here!”

“Yes sir.”

“That’s why the ink smells fresh. This is it Miss Dipti. You will now get a good room in the jail.”

Police took Miss. Patnaik to jail. And we started waking at our room. In the way, I asked Jaish, “How you calculated this all?”

“I doubted her at the moment she asked me to drive that lady out of home. Which daughter will care for property rather than finding her father? She did not mention anything about the notes, which stroked me again. I knew she was the only nominee to the property after him and it was a strong motive for the crime. You went to drop her at rickshaw stand that day and I observed from our window, you were being followed by a man. And he was Shyam, whom we met today!

“I made her write a check, with a wrong name, thanks to you for keeping mum at that time. Latter I asked my friend to whatsapp me a photo of that note. It was her writing. Her father recognized her writing and that’s why he trusted those men. She avoided mentioning him as ‘father’ just to distract police. If the note was not dropped that day, the case was to be closed earlier with no results! You might have observed how she talked about this house, when we were in the lawn. She was emphasizing more on that woman than her father. That strengthened my opinion!”

“And what about Minakshi?” I asked.

“Well, as Shyam was the one to guarantee us his master’s character, I believed him. When I saw Minakshi, it was not hard to say she is from a poor background. May be a cook. When I sniffed the papers, I realized the sign was not older than a few days. She was sent there just to make Dipti realize she was doing wrong. And rest was just a story I prepared from these all points!”

“It was a pretty one. But what about your fees?”

“My check is deposited into the police station.”

 

 

…..The End…..


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