2 Jan 2018 – 11:00 AM – Assistant Commissioner of Police office, South Mumbai
A 50’ish lady, a typical police official walk into the office corridor. Embedded National emblem with three stars rapped our her shoulder and the raised salutes of the cops on her way echoes “Look, here comes the ACP. Give way folks !!“. She curiously peeks into her room in an anticipation to see Mukund. He is not around, a set of case files and a voice recorder is found at her table with a label printed over them as ‘Case 453/5, evidence testimonies and report’. Realizing the placed possessions, she pushes down the bell to call for the subordinate and settles down in her seat. So-called ‘babu’ (a subordinate) in the Mumbai region rushes in..
“Where is Mukund? Did he drop any message for me?” ACP inquires. “Mam, he was waiting for your since 10 AM, before leaving, he dropped some case files at your table and informed that he would be back around 12 Noon“. ACP signals the babu to leave upon absorbing the required message.
ACP grasps the backdrop of the case and glances through the investigation report for the details collected and analyzed so far. Starts listening to the testimonies of the evidence in the voice recorder. Pranav’s evidence audio is on, ACP discovering the life of Pranav as a genetic scientist back in 1997. Now she is in the phase where he got lost along with another fisherman in the middle of the sea and the audio goes on as..
“The strong winds took us miles away from any possible help. After a stupendous swim for an hour, We found a decomposed wooden block, which was strong enough to float us. The water currents drifted us to few miles to an orphan island. The only spirit that left in me is Leena. Despite odds and diminishing chances of hope, I was up there with a will to see her and our unborn baby. My fellow mate is another reason to sustain the great hope for such long. In fact, it is close to 3 months, till we strike the fortune in the form of a passing by inspection boat. My euphoria was short lived as I reached back, Leena is fighting for her survival and on the verge of delivering our baby over an operating table. The fear and excitement were such, I couldn’t even acknowledge my gratitude to the onlooking Jenny aunty and my Dept.Dean for supporting and standing by Leena through the difficult phases of pregnancy. They are kind enough to reciprocate their joy in seeing me back at the hospital. Almost an hour has gone by, My mind and heart are in a complete void and the waiting corridor is filled with silence. My Dept.Dean tried to console “Son, don’t worry! she is gonna make it. Your baby should arrive safely in few more minutes. The doctor is a friend of mine, he is the best in handling this. Be at ease”
As he completes, the doctor walked out and took Dean aside to explain the happenings. From the expressions of Dean, my instinct sensed a dark streak. You know what, my instinct was right and the Dean came up to say with a downcast expression “Unfortunately, we lost the baby. Leena drifted into the coma, the doctor is hopeful that she would be back in few weeks as this is a case of a trauma.” Pranav breaks down while proclaiming this, Pranav’s weep in the playing record disturbs ACP for a moment. It was such a loud whimper, the ACP pauses the audio for a while to cope back. She takes a deep breath and releases the pause to hear back Pranav.
I fell back on Dean “I may deserve this, but Leena ?? My worry is not about her coma. How can I reveal baby’s death once she is back ?? She would have built her future around this bud, oh no!! what should I do ?? what can I do now ??” in that dark passage of darkness, this idea hit me as a bright light “Why shouldn’t I try the experiment of bettles on the dead baby DNA sample ?? eventually my next step post the thesis approval was towards human cloning. The formula, stimulation hold well. I should do this. Now! Yes, Now !!” When I opened up my decision to the Dean, he was positive and helped with the dead baby’s DNA sample and we locked up the news within us.
The reproduction yielded twin baby girls, we were ecstatic. Soon the routine health checks of newborn babies revealed one of the twins had weak lungs, which can’t pass through more than 10 years. It was a completely undesired blow. Leena got used to a life without me, but she may not take it if one of her souls leave so soon, that pain can’t be released throughout.
I adored, cried, talked with the sleeping Leena as much as I can. I know, I can’t be there once she is back. Leena got back to life after few months. I hid my presence before Leena. Jenny aunty and Dean enacted the decided plan of uniting the hale baby with her. I moved to Mumbai silently with the other bud. In Leena thoughts, I am lost in the sea and I stay so. Yes, I am, deep down I am in the sea of gloom for years, a day never went by without the thoughts of Leena. An hour never went by, without the fear of losing my baby. With the aid of inhalers and drugs, Kalki fought hard for odd 20 years. In the final stages, she didn’t want me to witness her deterioration, hence moved to the hostel.”
Mukund walks into the ACP room as the voice recorder is playing up. Realizing him, ACP pauses the audio. “Sit down Mukund. Hmm, look at this adorable father. An ideal husband too. Who says, Love is about being with each other ?? Sometimes detachment is a true testimony of Love too. Anyways, how is it going ??”
“Mam, I hope you got hold of the case progress with these evidence testimonies and records”
“More or less, Yes. But I see few answered questions. Of course, I am yet to run through all the testimonies and reports. As you are right here, why can’t you fill in?” Mukund nods “sure, Mam” for the ACP’s call.
“If no one pushed her off as claimed by the report, how initially it was reported as so ?”
Mukund giggles before explaining, “Optical illusion Mam, before I saw the visual I was informed by Satya that someone has pushed her off the bridge. My mind pre-conceived as so. Just like watching a rotating wheel. Based on your conception it seems to run in clock-wise or anti clock-wise. If we remove the pre-conception and look at the CCTV footage, you may also agree it was an attempt to pull her, rather than pushing her off. Why Satya claimed so ?? you know the reasons for the best.”
ACP laughs out “Maybe I should watch more episodes of ‘Science of Stupid’ for that Gyan. What’s the stuff inside the Loftier Inhaler ??”
“Nothing different, it is a usual permissible dose of intake for weak lungs. As Kalki, had a pair of weak ones, she was consuming it”
“How can autopsy couldn’t trace Kalki as a human clone ?” Mukund responds in an exaggerating tone “That’s the brilliance of manufacturing, really this guy would have been a superpower if he had traveled into the trade. I see a reason for his hunt.”
“Hmm, Who is the guy behind this hunt for clones??”
Mukund responds in a disappointing note “We haven’t cracked down yet. The only way out is the crossword puzzles. The best chance we have is to hold the secret of Kalki from the world, so that he may continue to try seeking the formula. So !! the search is to be continued….”
* * *
Same time – Pondicherry – Leena’s house
Leena, a middle-aged lady with a streak of grey hairs steps in from the kitchen to open the main door that is been knocked up. As she opens, a teenage girl resembling dead Kalki is standing at the other side of the door.
“Ma, how many times should I knock up, did you call up for the electrician or not ?? this calling bell is out of order for a week now.”
Leena responds with a giggle “Kalki, get the electrician’s number from Jenny aunty”
Kalki walks out in a despair…..
Yes, her name is Kalki too..