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Inspector Vikram Sinha rubbed his weary eyes and sighed as he sat down in his chair inside his tiny cubicle. It was his first moment of respite in the last 20 hours of pure madness and chaos. He remembered that he had been in bed, sleeping peacefully with his arms around his beautiful wife, when he had received the dreaded phone call at 4 AM. His wife had cursed loudly before turning her back at him and going back to sleep.
After talking on the phone for 5 mins, he got dressed hurriedly and rushed to his jeep. He drove through the silent streets towards Vasanth Vihar area, which was one of the top elite residential localities in Delhi. But as he reached closer to his destination he saw the throng of people jostling each other, trying to get their video cameras beyond the police barriers. Media!
He checked his rear view mirror. Sure enough! There were at least half a dozen cars tailgating him with the word “PRESS” written on their front windshield. He raced them to the front gate of Goel Villa and quickly entered the massive oak doors at the entrance. The media tried to push their mikes in front of his face demanding to know the situation but he remained tight lipped.
He met Ajay, his colleague and best friend, in the hall of the grand three storey house. Mrs. Rina Goel obviously had a very good taste since the house was done up very elegantly and artistically.
“Good morning Viks! Isn’t it an awesome way to start the day, huh?” Ajay quipped brightly.
Vikram gave him a withering look before marching into the bedroom “Ok, what’s the situation?”
Ajay briefed Vikram quickly as they both grimaced looking at the bloody scene. Mrs. Goel lay spread-eagled on the bed, completely naked, with blood all around her. Her body looked ashen probably because the blood in the body had drained out. There were several slashes on her arms and torso that looked like they were inflicted by a boning knife used in kitchens for slicing meat. But her face had taken most of the brunt of rage. Vikram found it almost impossible to believe that the beautiful woman with the delicate features, whose large portrait he had seen in the hall, was the same woman whose grotesque body now lay on the blood-stained bed for everyone’s viewing.
“She was raped before she was killed and her private parts were viciously lacerated. A kitchen knife was found at the scene when we arrived. The husband, Ankur Goel, was found in a semi-comatose state. His clothes were all blood stained but he was not harmed physically. There were no other servants in the house. They all live in the outhouse which is towards the back of the house.”
“Who called the police?” Vikram bent low to examine the body, although he had to control himself from gagging.
“One of the servants heard Ankur Goel howling loudly and crying out for help. But by the time he rushed here, his master had collapsed. Ankur is being treated in the hospital. The doctor informed that he’s fine. Maybe it was just the shock”, Ajay had something else to tell but he remained silent until he had Vikram’s full attention.
“Ok, so here’s the clincher. When the police arrived here, Ankur was in a delirious state, mumbling incoherently. But one of the officers thought that he was muttering over and over again “I’m sorry Rina, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it!”
Vikram raised his left eyebrow and Ajay knew that this was Vikram’s way of stating that he was not impressed by this little piece of information. He pulled Vikram to the side, away from the group of people from the forensics team who were all over the body, minutely examining for any clues.
“It’s a well-known fact that 7 years ago, the beautiful and stunning model Rina Malhotra married the owner of the multibillion company, FastTrack Communications, Ankur Goel, for money, status and prestige. It was a marriage of convenience. Ankur wanted a beautiful trophy wife who could further his social stature and Rina wanted a man who could provide her the material comforts. The gossip mills were running wild with stories around this couple; one of the strongest rumors was that Ankur couldn’t physically satisfy his wife.” Ajay paused here as Vikram looked at him incredulously.
“You know, he couldn’t play in bed, he couldn’t get it up.”
“I know what you mean, Ajay. Go on.”, countered Vikram.
“Ok, so while Ankur held important meetings with some high profile men in the business world, Rina used to have clandestine meetings with other men. Of course it was all under wraps and people would only hear about it but could never prove it. Like those urban legend stories.”
“Where do you get your information?”, Vikram asked amazed by Ajay’s in-depth knowledge.
“Uh, my wife loves reading Society Magazine. But it’s all true!” Ajay turned a shade crimson as Vikram shook his head, sighed and turned to finish his examination of the crime scene.
By noon, the police had a break in the case. The knife that was found in the crime scene had Ankur’s fingerprints all over. Traces of his semen were found in Rina’s private parts. Ankur was brought in for questioning and Vikram was itching to have a go at Ankur. But his seniors were treading delicately over this case because it had fragile written all over it. Ankur Goel was one of the richest, influential businessmen in India and arresting him for the murder of his wife was scandalous.
Finally late in the night Vikram got the green light from his seniors for the interrogation.
Vikram was bone-tired but he knew that it was going to be a long night. It was the night after the storm, carrying ominous menace in its pregnant silent winds that blew gently.
As Vikram stood outside the cramped interrogation room, he saw Ankur Goel with his shoulders hunched forward, sitting in a desolated manner. Ankur was short and stout and he appeared mild-natured. The kind of man you would see in the parks, playing ball with his children and smiling gently at his wife. He didn’t look like a murderer. But Vikram had sufficient experience with murderers to understand that appearances could be deceptive.
As he walked in, Ankur got up to shake hands with him.
“Hi, sit down. Are you comfortable? “, Vikram asked, keeping a close eye on Ankur’s expressions.
“Yeah, thank you for everything that you guys have done although I know the facts are all against me. But believe me I didn’t do it. Why would I kill my wife? God, I loved her so much. Did you know that I met her when we were 15 years old? She’ll always be my first and last love.” Ankur seemed to be distressed and continued rambling.
“Mr. Goel, can you explain the sequence of events that happened yesterday night?”
“Please call me Ankur. We had a few clients from Japan visiting us and there was a conference and then a late night dinner party that was arranged for them. It was almost quarter past 12 when I finally reached home. I have a key to the house so that I don’t disturb Rina when I come home late. But when I entered the hall I was surprised to see the lights on the hall were on and I could hear some sounds from our bedroom. I had a fright thinking that maybe a burglar had broken in. I rushed into our bedroom and then my memory fails me.”
“What do you mean? You can’t remember anything?” Vikram asked a little astonished.
“I remember feeling a little dizzy, maybe I got hit on the head, but I’m not completely sure about it. When I came to, I saw that Rina was on the bed and there was blood all around me. I ran to her and tried to see if she was still breathing but the carnage she had been subjected to, shocked me. I screamed and I think I fainted. The next time I woke up I was in the hospital bed”
“Can you tell a bit on how you and Mrs. Goel met?”
A sad smile spread on Ankur’s face as he reminisced. “We were neighbors in Jaipur where my parents used to live before. I first saw her in college and I fell in love with her instantly. You know she is that kind of a person. I mean she was.”
Vikram saw that Ankur was trying very hard to control his tears but he continued.
“She was a very warm, kind and an honest lady. Although I was a topper in college, I didn’t have many friends. But Rina always had time to spend with me. She was a stunner, extremely beautiful and most of the guys wanted to talk with her, but she maintained her dignity. She remained friends with everyone but declined all proposals from men. She was clear that she would marry the guy her parents would choose for her. She had a traditional upbringing and I respected her for her mature decisions.
Our family business flourished and from a small business in Jaipur we became a multibillion company. Upon my request, my family sent Rina’s parents a proposal for her and they accepted. I was on cloud nine the day Rina became my wife. For years I had dreamt of living a life with her, to be able to wake up each day looking at her lovely face, to be able to hold her hands and walk beside her. And all my dreams were coming true.
We had a wonderful married life, in fact we were inseparable. Whenever I went abroad for my business, Rina would be depressed and I had to promise to make it up to her by shopping for her. You know, she loved nail colors. She loved collecting them and whenever I went abroad, I would shop for nail polish in all brands for her. God, how will I ever live without her? I just can’t believe that my Rina is no more.
Tears were now flowing copiously down Ankur’s cheeks. It was obvious to Vikram that Ankur had loved his wife dearly. Was he really capable of butchering his dear wife? Vikram decided that either Ankur was innocent or he was a very good actor.
“Tell me Ankur, how was your personal relation with your wife. I heard there were some rumors about…”, Vikram decided to probe further.
“Oh you know the gossip mills! They can never see a happy couple. Rina was a very loyal wife. We loved each other deeply.” Vikram was staring at a nervous twitch around Ankur’s mouth as he spoke.
“As they say there’s never a smoke without a fire. I mean you were on a lot of business trips. How did you know that your wife remained faithful?” Vikram was now aware that Ankur was getting agitated. His eyes were beady and shifting rapidly.
“What do you think? I would spy on my own wife? Never! I loved her more than my life. I cared for her. I would have died for her”, Ankur now closed his eyes as tears formed a wet trail on his cheeks.
“Then why did you kill her? Why did you butcher your own wife? Why Ankur? Tell me!” Vikram shouted at Ankur.
When Ankur opened his eyes, Vikram felt his blood run cold. His heart missed a beat. Gone was the calm, pleasant demeanor of the mild mannered man. The person who sat before him now, with his feet up on the table with a swagger, was a different person altogether.
“Why are you asking that fucker? If you should talk to any person then it’s me. I’ll answer all your questions. You want to know who killed that bitch. It’s me, I killed her. I carved her body using a knife, with my own hands. “
“Who are you?” Vikram asked maintaining a stoic face when his heart was drumming inside his ribcage.
“I’m Karan. The man inside this fucker’s body. Of course he isn’t man enough to handle his own wife. Every time she slept with another male, the only fucking thing he did was to weep.”
““Boo Hoo, Rina doesn’t love me. Rina cheats on me.” Every day he wept like a girl and he didn’t do anything about it. He was scared that she would leave him if he confronted her. I say fuck that bitch! So that’s what I did!”
“What did you do to her?”
“Ha! She was in bed with another man when the loser entered his house yesterday. Of course he couldn’t handle it! He’s a dickhead! And I had to jump in to save his ass. The moment the bitch’s lover realized that they had company he ran to save his hide. Good thinking I would say, otherwise I had to handle two bloody bodies.
I showed her that I could give what she wanted. I tied her and raped her but that bitch wasn’t satisfied. I got the knife from the kitchen and cut her part by part. I had so much fun when I slashed her face. The bitch was so proud of her mug. She thought she was some fucking Miss World, you know! She deserved it. She married him only for his money and that bastard believed that she had loved him. Have you seen him? His own mother wouldn’t have loved him. He’s so fucking ugly! Sometimes I do feel pity on that son of a bitch”
Ankur then laughed maniacally but after few seconds the laugh turned into howls of desperation.
Vikram was stunned by what he had seen. In front of his own eyes he saw another transformation in Ankur as his face turned calmer and his eyes cleared. He became more composed, with his shoulders hunched forward anxiously. He lost his swagger but his hands shook as he spoke.
“Did anything happen Inspector? I.. I.. think I blanked out again. I feel so confused and dizzy. D..D..Did I do something? Why are you staring at me?”
Ankur continued to look around him vaguely as Vikram quietly left the room.
A week later the initial reports were at Vikram’s desk. Ankur Goel was diagnosed to be suffering from split personality disorder or dissociative personality disorder. It was an extremely rare case of mental disorder where in the patient’s behavior was controlled by two distinct personalities residing in the same human body. After several sessions of hypnosis and therapy, it was concluded that Ankur had loved his wife so much that her continuous adultery and her scorn towards him for his lack of ability to sexually satisfy her had driven him over the edge. His inability to face the stressful situation had created another person inside him who was completely unlike him. Karan was confident, brash, vulgar and never let anyone hurt him.
It was an open and shut case. Ankur had escaped prison because of his mental trauma and was put under special care in the psychiatry ward of hospital.
Vikram leaned back in his chair and wondered for the umpteenth time if Ankur was really a victim of mental disorder or if he was just a damn good actor. It was something he would never know!
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