The Ice Blade
“Oh! What a bother and that too in the morning,” thought Rohit as he put the alarm on his cell phone back to snooze mode. The holidays had just started for him and yet his mother insisted on him putting up an alarm for eight in the morning, knowing fully well that he was not going to get up so early. He snuggled up to his pillow. However, he found that he was only lazing about on the bed as sleep eluded him. Fed up of lying on the bed he got up and made his way to the bathroom where he showered and brushed his teeth. As he got down to the dining table, he found that his mother was already dressed and was leaving for office. She reminded him that breakfast was getting cold, before leaving.
Rohit marched on to the dining table where he sat down and started to have his breakfast. While chewing his food, his eyes fell on the headlines of today’s The Times of India. “Famous actress, Savita Agnihotri had been murdered in her apartment, yesterday. The police were still carrying on investigations. However, post mortem reports have still not been able to pin point the weapon with which she had been murdered.” “What a bore, yaar”, Rohit said to himself,” Bollywood had only one good looking actress and now she too is gone.” The rest of the news did not pose any interest to him and he started reading the account of how Cook had ‘cooked’ the Indian cricket team.
Suddenly, the phone rang and he leapt up to receive it. It was his father, Inspector Roy –“Thanks God, Rohit! You are awake. Do me a favor by bringing me the file that I had kept in the cupboard, to the Savera Mall”. With that the line disconnected leaving a very dejected Rohit, who had already made up plans for the morning. “Got a slave for a son,” muttered Rohit.
Rohit took an auto to the mall where his father was already waiting for him. Suddenly it dawned on him that the actress, Savita Agnihotri who had been murdered also stayed very near to the mall. He was sure that his father was associated with the case for he worked with the homicide department. His suspicions were true as indeed Inspector Roy had been assigned that particular case. After a lot of badgering, finally his father took him to the crime scene on the condition that he was not to touch anything and if he found anything he was to call his father. The body had already been removed with the chalk outline still intact on the floor.
The forensic investigator came to Roy and said,” Death occurred due to a strike to the jugular vein. However the weapon had still not been found. Moreover, the body was found to contain a high percentage of a narcotic substance – traces of which was found on the table.” Rohit was quite confounded on hearing this report as well as his father who started scanning the room for clues.
Roy suddenly noticed that one of the legs of the glass table was wobbling. On a closer look he found that the leg had become loose as if it had carried some huge weight. Suddenly he heard his son calling,” Papa, just have a look over here.” On reaching the spot he found that the floor of the room alongside was wet and seemed as if someone had splashed water on to it. Moreover there was a rope tied to a fan, in the shape of a hangman’s noose. Roy was confused on seeing that.
He asked the constables if they had removed anything or not. One of them said, “Saab, one of the investigators moved the table to the drawing room to examine it. Other than that nothing had been removed.” Roy silently cursed the ineptness of the forensic investigators as they did not follow the standard norms. However, even after searching the room thoroughly he could not find any clues. Finally, he had to admit defeat and decided to call it a day.
When the father son duo returned home they found that Rohit’s mother had already returned and had prepared lime soda for them. As Roy sat contemplating on the case, his eyes fell on to Rohit, who was busy stirring the ice in his empty glass. As he watched, noticed the ice slowly started dissolving and finally ended up forming a layer of water. Suddenly Roy stood up as if he had been struck by lightning – “Oh, so that’s the case.” He placed a call to the forensic department and asked them to give him a chemical analysis of the wound and check if it had any abnormal water percentage.
Rohit who had overheard his father asked, “What’s the matter, Dad? What really happened………did you guys get any clue?” Roy replied, “Son, I think I have solved it although it would not have been possible without your help.” Roy’s doubts were soon proved correct as the analysts called back to state that his intuition had been true – indeed the area about the wound had a high water composition – almost as if someone had injected water into it. Roy then explained to his son that just as the ice had dissolved, leaving a layer of water in the glass, he too thought that maybe the actress had been attacked with a weapon or rather a pointed weapon made of ice.
The rest of the investigation went in a flurry as the police soon found out that Savita had been a drug addict and had been to a party that evening. One of her accomplices gave her testimony to the police in which she stated that Savita had been depressed for the last few days as she had been trying to shed off her bad habit but was unable to do so. Roy added in the last part – Having returned home, she must have been feeling guilty or ashamed of her addiction. Due to that she tried to hang herself from the ceiling, however the table must have tripped or something and she had slipped and fell on the statue of the goddess in front of the table which was made of ice. The statue had been gifted to her by one of her fans and she had asked her servant to keep it over there.
The following morning, Rohit looked eagerly at the newspaper to see if there was any mention of him. However, one look at the headline and he groaned,” Yaar, why don’t these guys make proper headlines?” and dropped the paper on the table and went out to play.
The headline followed, “Actress Savita Agnihotri murdered by her fan…………..”