“Rahul, we must leave immediately” yelled mom. Consumed completely by the TV screen, Rahul continued watching his favorite detective series “Crime Patrol”. Perched on sofa end, feverishly following each scene, Rahul nervously shook his legs in anticipation.
A stout ten year old, rather decorous Rahul, was different from other kids. While his classmates fired their fantasy reading Geronimo Stilton and Dog Man, he fuelled his imagination with Sherlock Holmes, Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown.
His love for mystery quickly graduated from fiction to reality .Lately he was glued to crime reports on TV. Rahul’s program selection, worried his mom, but seeing his insatiable thirst for thrillers, she made peace and called him “Karamchand” in making.
Suddenly the screen blackened. Rahul moaned at his mom’s tyrannical stance, but retracted knowing his limits. “Rahul, quick we go for an ice-cream treat” called out dad. Dotted with street vendors and jaywalkers, Marine Drive was alive on Saturday evening. Aided by a strong wind current tilling the Arabian waters, the clamorous sea waves rose high hitting the tetrapod rocks.
Years of reading crime and mystery books conditioned Rahul to be vigilant of his surroundings. Scanning the black waters and the scantily lit up beach Rahul behaved as if he was on a learning expedition. Electrocuted by excitement and shock he spotted a black figure wafting in water. Almost instinctively he visualized a dead corpse, floating face down. His thoughts were abruptly distracted as dad hauled him inside the car and drove home.
Visibly frustrated at being pulled away from the crime scene, Rahul faked composure. Drumming his fingers on the tissue box, he tried masking the frenzy and fracas brewing inside. Once inside his room, emerged the young, newly appointed chief investigating officer. Officer dexterously handled the crime scene. Shouting quick commands to cordon the crime scene, ensuring quick evidence collection and Identifying eye witnesses and possible suspects for interrogation. The night slipped fast but a new fork bothered him, warranting further investigation. Quietening the excitement he managed to grab some sleep, with the resolution to inspect at dawn break.
“Dad, we must go for morning jog to the beach”, shouted Rahul. Pleasantly surprised, dad readily pulled out of bed. Rahul, nervously alighted the car, expecting a big mob near the corpse. Frozen numb by the sight, Rahul saw not one but hundreds of corpses washed ashore on the murky sands. Surprisingly, with no sight of blood, no police in sight, the scene shouted normalcy. Dad too carelessly glimpsed at the holocaust and sauntered towards the coconut vendor.
Rahul, appalled at the apathy of all, realized that the genocide he witnessed was actually legal, necessitating no investigation or restitution. It was the death of sanity, by religious perpetrators. Lying ashore, lay a hundred Ganesh idols in shameful condition. Pulled rudely into reality, Rahul felt cheated as even the most venerated detective could not incriminate the culprits and deliver justice to the wronged sea.
Karamchand: Popular Indian detective series of 1980s.
Marine Drive: popularly called Queens Necklace in south Mumbai.
Ganesh: Hindu God
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