Saturday, 16 November 2013

The star tattoo


Write Over the Weekend theme for this week

This time your entry must contain, ‘He/She had seen that tattoo before! If only he/she could remember where.’

Ananya pressed the 'on' button and the blank, lifeless screen in a jiffy sprung to life. Sprung to life was an inappropriate term to be used here as a news of a murder/suicide  was being replayed umpteen times in a monotonous voice devoid of any emotions. This is the result of 24x7 news , concluded Ananya. 

Suddenly the camera panned on to something that caught her attention,' She had seen that tattoo before! If only she could remember where.' The tattoo was not clearly visible.

She raised the volume to a higher decibel. She scanned the hard-disk of her brain minutely but without success. The girl had found on the cemented ground floor of a high-rise building lying in a pool of blood. She was rushed to a hospital by the police where she was declared DOA (dead on arrival). The secretary of the high-rise said that she was not a resident of the building nor she was a guest. No purse or any belonging of hers was found to establish her identity. No-one had come forward to claim her body nor anyone had lodged a missing person's complaint.She was an enigma. Police and the press alike were requesting the public for any information leading to her , to report to the nearest police station.

Ananya had to reach her workplace. She had an appointment at 10'O clock.

 Purvi was still sleeping. Ananya finished her morning chores noiselessly least she woke her flat-mate. Sharing this tiny flat with Purvi or rather going dutch on the expenses prevented the size of the pocket hole becoming bigger. Phew! Mumbai is expensive , she grumbled but its roads are paved with gold. In a short time , her trade had picked up and there was respectability in her work, that puffed her chest with pride . Her parents back in a moffusil town would never understand her. But she loved them.

Reaching her workplace well on time and finishing off all her appointments she thought of the tattoo. She had text-ed Purvi for a request for a closer look at the tattoo.

 Purvi's colleague was covering the murder case. Having friends in the print media helped matters and the photograph of the enlarged tattoo was staring at her on the screen of her computer. She had seen that tattoo before and now she was sure of it.  Her pupils dilated and there were goosebumps all over her body and  a shiver ran down her spine and she sat huddled encircling her knees with both her arms.

Ananya had inked that tattoo last fortnight on the murdered girl's back.


A fortnight ago ..................

It was Purvi's birthday and Ananya wanted to wind up early and make preparations for the celebrations. And this girl walked into 'Ananya's Arcade'  without a prior appointment. Ananya tried to persuade her to come back the next day  but the girl, sweetly and politely explained her urgency. It was her boy-friend's birthday the next day and she wanted to surprise him with the tattoo of five stars of varying sizes. That girl was flushed with love and she had stars in her eyes. Ananya felt a pang of jealously . The girl wanted a simple tattoo with five stars and Ananya advised her that connecting the biggest star to the other stars with delicate creepers was artistic and appealing to the eye. The girl immediately agreed.

Ananya inked a permanent tattoo. This permanent imprint became her identity , a clue which would lead to the mystery surrounding her death.

But Ananya's mind forbade her from sharing this vital piece of clue with the Police. The murdered girl was not related to her in any way nor was she a friend or an acquaintance. She was just another client who had come to her tattoo parlor to avail of her services. Ananya did not want to get involved with the long arm of the law. It would spell doom to her budding business and her clients would dwindle and she had a loan to clear off and the running overheads of her business had to be taken care off. She would be a loser if she went forward to help a stranger. No , she decided against it. She would keep mum.

But a small part of her heart tugged her to step forward and climb the steps of the Police Station. The girl's parents or relatives will be worried. Was it a suicide or a murder? What were the reasons behind her untimely death? She too stayed in a big metro far away from her home and parents. God forbid , if in any untoward incident , she is left alone and on soul comes to her rescue. Now its pay-back time for her, to give something to the society . The public always blames and criticizes the police and the press for not discharging their duties but it is the responsibility of every citizen to co-operate . The dead girl's soul will not allow her conscience to be at peace. She had full faith in God and in herself.

She opened the red file which housed the records of each of her clients. She dialed a number and the voice at the other end said , 'Police Station.................

P.S. : In an accident or a murder , the general public is unwilling to share a piece of vital information with the law-keepers. This attitude has to be changed.  

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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