the whirling siren – Pt. 1
The flashing amber began to flicker and then abruptly went out, the red began to flash. A vehicle stood stationary under the traffic lights, with a silent whirling amber siren.
His eyes, drooped under the weight of his puffed eyebags on his thickset face, stared at the lights in the darker stage of the night, waiting for it to change to green. A 66 yr-old senior Deputy inspector, with a head of short curly grey-white hair. He was a burly man with a bump of belly. Mr Khan stood behind his open door, in an white shirt-the sleeves of which were folded about quarter on his forearms, and Indian khaki trousers.
Chewing an eclair toffee chocolate, the wrinkling bump bulging out on one side his mouth, lower back set of teeth. The clouds were heavy grey, anytime soon it would start to rain. But the lights didn’t change.
He drilled his teeth into the “bruise” of the toffee-the chocolate, and gush came the juice. Soon the chocolate would spray his teeth, eventually clear away after he would be done swallowing it.
Mr Khan took a deep breath, or rather sighed, not in relief but with grave disgust. He had just visited the morgue and received an autopsy report in the mysterious death of a young 18-yr-old female, identified as Maya Sampath. An engineer graduate who had seemed to have died from drug overdose, despite being wounded. Her dead body had been dumped. He recalled when he and Inspector Suchdev Singh had arrived at the crime scene, neither of them, were without a dry eye. Mr Khan had stared at her young face for minutes, without ever breaking his sight as Inspector Suchdev gently kneeled beside her. Traces of dark red blood barely visible between her closed lips.
He pressed hard at the wrapper which had been scrunched into a small ball, held between his thumb and the tip of his index finger. The thought of Maya grew heavy on his heart. She would have had a life ahead of her. Mr Khan pressed his back left teeth together and turned his head away with a soft blink, disheartened. Then fished through his trouser pocket, and pulled out an eclair and questioned. He wasn’t alone.
“Suchdev, do you want a toffee?”
“No Khan-Saab, shukriya.” Saab translated as Sir, and shukriya as thank-you.
Inspector Suchdev a 47-yr-old who’s dark brown eyes were hidden from aviator Ray-Bans, with receding dark brown streaks of grey hair, in his full khaki uniform, short sleeves that fit almost tightly around his biceps. A tattoo inked over the inner side of his right forearm, it was evidently visible. He was also a part of the Maya Sampath murder investigation with Mr Khan, both man from the Mumbai police department. A smouldering cigarette rest between his fingers, in one hand, whilst in the other he held a pen as he made notes from the explained autopsy on a notepad, in Hindi. He was sat on the front-corner bonnet of the vehicle.
Compared to Mr Khan, Inspector Suchdev was half his weight, body-buffed and toweringly taller. With thick dark strands of moustache. They’d be mistaken for being father and son, that’s how close their faces resembled each other. Mr Khan did treat Suchdev as if his own through. Considering also that both men were insomniac, staying up wasn’t a real problem here.
Mr Khan hunched inwards as he sat in the passenger seat, with the door still open. There was two cups sealed from the top with lids, one regular coffee and the other, decaffeinated coffee for Inspector Suchdev. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mr Khan was a strong coffee-addict.
He was reminded of the whaling cries of a young woman he saw, torched herself on fire after being sexually assaulted, many years ago when was as young as Inspector Suchdev. He had out of anger and despair with tearing eyes pulled the trigger at the assailant, then drenched him with petrol and torched him to death. The fact was, he didn’t care of the consequences, a trait Inspector Suchdev also possessed. He hadn’t come to forget her screams since.