Jeremy sat down. “Yeah, let’s start.”
Karan had called him for an explanation, at his house, the latter being the more significant announcement. The two had yet to pick their car up from near Mrs. Virmani’s house, but Karan insisted to talk first. They sat down at the dining table and Karan brought the two of them some coffee, along with a sheet of paper and a pen. And then he started.
“Friday night, two days ago, Sunny Aggarwal, Ankur Jain, and both of us are confirmed at Jevenia Club at eight. Varuna was late, I noticed her hassled entry at eight twenty. The host was a charitable Delhi-ite, eminent personality for the Paschim Vihar crowd, directly knowing all Ankur, Sunny and Varuna. We, on the other hand, used a louder option to get in, your 500 bucks.”
“Sunny talked for about half an hour to Varuna and not for one moment Ankur left her. We were busy being inconspicuous and noticing. We were in constant contact. But the at nine I went over to Sunny as Ankur left to get them drinks. I had precisely seven minutes to win her before the bastard returned. Where were you then, by the way?”
“Looking at Ankur… He went to the bar alright but he gulped down two vodkas before he ordered the drinks he had come for. He took them and then- I lost track.”
Karan raised an eyebrow. “Lost track?”
“Jeez man, where was the guy supposed to go? And as I was trailing him, I saw her at the floor man, Varuna… She was pretty, Karan…”
Karan sighed. Neither of them were being remotely professional in this mission. Both were tired and they suddenly felt low about their jobs. Karan knew just how exhausted he was. He remembered, how many times as they had danced, he had wanted to trash it all and just leave with her…. but neither was possible. Except to find the person who had killed Sunny, he had no motivation to go on. This was more important to him than what they actually had to do, with the ‘subject’.
“Ok, so Ankur went missing at that because he didn’t return to the table by nine fifteen and neither you-” Jeremy nodded “-nor I saw him afterwards. Sunny was with me till twelve, this is after the smoothie. Sunny, me and you accounted for, I remember seeing you looking at us, and Varuna-?”
“Ok, so everything is virtually fine till then, except of course for that moron Ankur. At twelve, Sunny faints. And here we start at the questions.”
Jeremy exhaled. “First, why did she faint? I told you it must be the food, but now she seems murdered. So we have to check into that.”
“Then, neither Varuna nor Ankur come up, why? You don’t know where she went?” Jeremy nodded in denial.
“Ok, two missing. Then, it’s pretty much clear till the- death. She died of a heart attack, natural or intended is questionable. And then the body count. First Ankur, under ITO Bridge, we know it’s him because of the face released in the news, but nothing else. Then Varuna, warned, shot, in her own house. Then Mrs. Virmani, but why a hairdresser is so important we don’t know. A shooter is bent at eliminating just everyone we seem to need to talk to- everyone Sunny was with that day. The police is now directly involved, and this should be first in its agenda though they might not have yet connected all the pieces. Actually neither have we, because there is some new information…”
Jeremy was expectant. That was pretty much their position, nothing spectacular, and advancement would be just good news.
“Ankur, or whoever he really is, is Mrs. Virmani’s son.”
Good news?! This was more like an explosion- good or bad yet to be decided. “What?!”
“As we were running towards the balcony, I saw the inner wall, the one hidden from the drawing room side… there she was with him at a park, sitting together on the grass. And not just that, there was a whole film-roll of his life right there. She is his mother, Jeremy. Or was, if its really is this Ankur who’s body was found under the ITO Bridge.”
“That means- But- That makes no sense! If Ankur knew Sunny personally, like friends, enough to go to that party with her, Mrs. Virmani would know he was taking her along. Sunny would become more than a customer. And anyway, that man who came to see her at the parlour…. it wasn’t Ankur then?”
“I don’t know Jem. But I think we will need to talk to Mrs. Virmani once again. But of course, in disguise….” Jeremy didn’t like the tome Karan had picked. But he had a feeling that was the least he should be troubled by.
“Umm… you still have your actual ID? The one you went to college with before changing your name to ‘Jeremy’?”
“No, Karan! Please!”
“Jem, I’m all ears for a better plan, but where do you plan to get fake IDs so soon, for this time we are talking meeting her under police protection… an electricity department official ID will not exactly be convincing.”
Jeremy shook his head, trying to undo all the conversation. Nothing had been in the least bit inviting. But going back to his former ID, even for just that short stint, was something he DID NOT want at all, over anything.