Story: The Parrot – Prose
By: Sam Rapth
When inspector Ranjan, came to the Scene of Crime, the individual house at Vasantha Vihar on the ECR of Chennai, photo session was going on. The house was lonely in the street and there stood a Renault at the portigo. The Main gate was huge, black in colour and was wide open. There were decorative coconut trees on either side that stood amidst of a beautiful well maintained lawn. The house was tall to two floors above the ground level, mostly having closed windows on all sides.
The watchman, who was in his late fifty was held in custody by two constables at the gate.
There was a big cage, sticking to the balcony in the first floor that hosted a parrot on a small wooden stick. Ranjan looked at it for a moment. The parrot kept flying from one corner of the stick to the other, and then walked backwards.
Ranjan , escorted by sub-inspector Marthandam entered the individual house through the main gate, approached the stairs, climbed to reach the first floor. To his right, in a bedroom, on the bed, was the body of the girl whom, he suspected, was brutally raped and murdered.
The room had a wooden shelf which was broken and empty. The room had everything that a teenage girl would prefer to have. A music system, flower vase, computer table, CD rack and posters of Brad Pitt and Hrithik Roshan. The Books in the Book shelf seemed mishandled, which led him to suspect of a possible theft.
After the photo sessions were over, the body was taken to the General Hospital for Autopsy.
Ranjan, came down the stairs carefully observing all around, while sub-inspector Marthandam escorted him showing the different sections of the buiding.
Ranjan again looked at the parrot caged. The parrot kept flying from one corner of the stick to the other, and then walked backwards.
His eye brows shrunk on the cement work done at the ground floor, opposite to the portigo, that lead to the main gate. A platform inclined at twenty degrees, which had impressions of shoes, that were pointing towards the Main gate.
‘Sir, look at the impressions. Somebody must have stepped on it yesterday while going out of the house’ said Marthandam.
‘How are you saying that it happened yesterday marthandam?’ asked Ranjan.
‘Sir, Cement is now dried. Therefore has held the impression very strongly. Normally cement takes atleast 8 hours of time to dry sir’ said Marthandam.
‘Good catch Marthandam. please include this in the list of visible evidences list’ said Ranjan.
They together approached the watchman. The watchman Rengan was crying by the time.
‘So you are the watchman for the house?’ asked Ranjan while Marthandam watched over.
‘Yes sir’ Rengan managed to reply while crying.
‘You have family?’
‘Yes sir, my only daughter. Ramya. It is for her that I still hold my breath. My wife passed away 10 yrs back’
‘Sir, We have already taken his daughter under custody for formal enquiry sir. She is over there’ Marthandam murmured to Ranjan, pointing his finger to a girl, who stood at a distant. She was also crying.
‘Marthandam, get a statement from her, while I check with Rengan’ Ranjan instructed Marthandam.
While, Marthandam proceeded to Ramya,
‘So what happened here last night?’ asked Ranjan.
‘Sir, Our landlord prakash has gone to his native place Trichy to attend a function with his wife, leaving behind Anjali, his only daughter sir. His daughter Anjali is doing 10th grade in the nearby school. she has mid-term exams therefore she stayed back. Yesterday, our landlord had arranged my nephew Ragu, who is a carpenter, to do cement work near the portigo. Once He was done his job, he too left. While leaving, by mistake he had left his shoe impression on the cement work, because of which the cement work was spoiled. I later called him and asked him to come today as it was very late in the evening yesterday and it would become very difficult to set it right at late evening. He promised to come sir’
‘How did you tell him, when he already left?’ interrupted Ranjan.
‘Sir, I found the spoiled cement work later after he left. So I called and informed him on his phone’
‘What time was it by then?’
‘It must be 8PM Sir’
‘Ok go ahead’
‘After that, I ensured that Anjali went to bed. I came back to my seat at the gate and since then I am here only sir’
‘Then how did you know she was dead in her bedroom?’
‘In the morning, my nephew came to fix the cement work. There was no water. The control for motor was at first floor. So I went to switch it on and that was when I found that she was dead in her room sir’
Rengan cried more this time.
Moments later Marthandam approached Ranjan. Both Ranjan and Marthandam, moved a few steps away from Rengan.
‘Sir, I had a chat with that girl Ramya. It seems she was home yesterday at around 8 PM when Rengan called her. While Ramya responded, rengan had told her that Ragu had spoiled the cement work’
‘Yes Marthandam, Rengan told the same’
‘It makes sense now sir. The Cement work has Ragu’s shoe impressions which I have double checked using forensics. That proves Ragu, had actually left the building before 8PM yesterday. That leaves only Rengan and that girl Anjali. In my opinion…..’ Marthandam hesitated for a moment.
‘Go ahead..Marthandam..in your opinion?’
‘Sir, in my opinion, I think it is only this guy Rengan who must have killed her’ said marthandam
‘How do you say that Marthandam?’
‘Sir, Rengan lost his wife 10 yrs back. So he must have been starving for sex. The landlord and his wife were away. He was the only one left behind to take care of Anjali. Once Ragu had left the building, Rengan must had tried to misbehave to Anjali’
‘How could you say that , he misbehaved, Marthandam?’
‘Sir, My instinct sir. May be at forensics we could get something positive in that line, if we check sir’
Ranjan remained thoughtfully at that.
Post noon, next day, Marthandam came running to Ranjan with the forensic report.
‘Sir. The forensic report has come. I was right’ marthandam almost shouted.
‘Oh really!! whats the news marthandam?’
‘Sir, the forensic report says that the girl was raped and then, murdered’
‘Okie.. but its still not established that the culprit was Rengan himself, Marthandam’
‘Sir, I had made arrangements to check that too. I sent rengan’s DNA samples for testing sir. Got the results too. The DNA in the semen traces found in Anjali vagina matched with that of Rengan sir’ Marthandam announced with bright face.
‘hmm’ Ranjan grinned.
He then took the forensic report from Marthandam , went into his Jeep and started carefully going through it, while Marthandam waited.
Later after 3 PM, Ranjan visited Rengan’s house along with Ramya. Upon looking at a pile of clothes bundled at a corner,
‘What is this?’ asked Ranjan.
‘Ragu used to do laundry for us. Once in every 3 days he comes and collects the used clothes’ said Ramya.
He had Ragu’s house nearby, searched and found bills from a nearby medical shop. He approached the medical shop and conducted a formal enquiry and came back to the scene of crime.
He, looked at the cage. The parrot kept flying from one corner of the stick to the other, and then walked backwards.
He called Marthandam.
Marthandam came near the jeep.
‘Marthandam, is that guy Ragu taken in custody?’
‘Arrange a medical checkup for Ragu and Rengan at the General Hospital’ ordered Ranjan.
Marthandam ensured that Ragu was taken to hospital, while Ranjan talked to the doctor on the phone for a few minutes.
Again, after taking the results from the doctor, after around 4 hours, Ranjan and Marthandam met.
‘Marthandam, correct me if i am wrong. Are you sure, after 8PM yesterday, there was none other then Anjali and Rengan in that big house?’ asked Ranjan.
‘Positively sir’ Marthandam replied.
‘How? How are you saying so?’
‘Sir, the cement takes 8 hrs to set. Now it is dry and has the foot impression of Ragu’s shoes. So Ragu must had walked over the Cement when it was wet and the cement eventually dried. Ramya also confirmed the same Sir.’
‘Okey..But what makes you think that Ragu went out of the house? why it could not be otherwise?’
‘But Ranjan, the shoe impressions are straight facing the main gate…..’ before Marthandam could utter anything further, Ranjan Interrupted.
‘OKey agreed,..but think this way… what if that person, who walked on the cement work, walked beckwards so that though the impressions made us arrive at a wrong conclusion? The person must had actually walked in to the house?’
‘…………………………’ Marthandam remained silent thinking.
‘Why can’t it be like, the suspect had actually entered the house and stayed the whole night within the house, raped the girl and murdered her?’
‘But, Ranjan… The forensics says that the semen traces taken from the girls body, matched with that of Rengan’
‘Yeah, but you must note this part in the forensic report.. The girl’s hymen was tored widely and there was not abundant semen found on her vaginal walls..’
‘What are you trying to say Ranjan?’ Marthandam asked puzzled.
‘In my suspicion, it was not Rengan who killed the girl Marthandam’
‘How do you say that Ranjan? The evidences are clearly against him’
‘Do not trust the very obvious. Ragu must had left his shoe impressions cleverly in order to let others believe that he moved out but he actually went in to the house and stayed. I enquired at the medical shop. It seems he had bought condoms two days before but he is unmarried therefore not a regular guy at buying condoms. He do laundry for Rengan’s family too it seems. In the morning it was only Ragu who had Rengan alerted on the crime. So the rest of the story, Ragu must be able to tell in his own words Marthandam. Bring him to me’ said Ranjan.
The puzzled marthandam, went and brought Ragu with his hands cuffed.
Ranjan took his latti, smashed it across his knee. Ragu shouted aloud in pain , fell on his knees. He cried aloud.
‘I know you are the culprit. I know you have used those condoms and Rengan’s used pants to do this but how and why, you are now gonna explain to my dear colleague Marthandam in your own words ok?’ commanded Ranjan.
Ragu looked into Ranjan’s eyes. Salty tears came rolling down his cheeks.
‘I had an eye on Anjali and found that she was alone at home. I wanted to do her. I bought condoms from the shop. I knew being a partnerless man, Rengan used to cum in his pants at night. From his used pants, I collected his semen. I applied it on the outside of a condom. On that particular day, I wore my shoes and walked beckwards on the Cement work to create evidence that would let me escape later. After it was dark, I went to Anjali’s room and raped her using that condom. Since the condom’s outer surface had rengan’s semen, I knew, I would not be caught. In a fear that Anjali might complain later, I killed her. In the morning I came out and pretended as if coming to work’ said Ragu.
Marthandam embrassed Ranjan, shook his hand.
‘Amazing Sir.. what a finding? But how did you suspected him?’
‘The parrot, Marthandam. It made me suspect on the impression on the cement work and I had my eye on Ragu. There were three involved in this. Anjali was the one who was murdered, Ragu and Rengan were the suspects. As per the forensic report, Anjali was indeed raped but her hymen was tored wide. But medical examination revealed that Rengan’s manhood was not worth the size. That excluded Rengan from the two of the suspects, which left only Ragu to put the blame on..’ explained Ranjan.