Jay Mehra. Indian citizen, born in 1985 in Delhi, to a Mr. Aakash Mehra and a Mrs. Meenu Mehra. Had a clean record, no jail visits, no court cases, not even the usual college triffle. Alma meter; St. Stephen’s, Literature Honours. Impeccable record, lustrous achievements. But it all went dead on the 25th December 0f 2007, when a fireworks factory in Sivakasi exploded mysteriously (but then, what’s mysterious about a blast in a godown full of explosives?) killing two boys from a college graduates party on a tour in the region; Jay Mehra and Vikky Arora.
Yet, after all those years, a similar visage to Jay Mehra, with his name too, walked into the New Delhi Central Police Station, on the 7th May 2012, and showing his ID to Officer Rajiv Yadav, asked permission to speak to Mrs. Virmani who was under their protection, the same three policemen guarding her house.
“Why?” asked the laconic policeman dryly. Why? What amount if fiction did people create every single day in answer to that question, those threes imple letters. Rarely did anyone explain, truly.
“I used to live next to her house about ten years ago.. I just flew in from Bangkok to meet her, and found the poliocemen outside her door. A neighbour told me all that had happened. I can’t leave without seeing her, Officer. And now that all this has happened, I musn’t.”
It had been easy to fake a flight ticket, in case tyhe Officer asked. But all he did was tell him how inconvenient such a meeting would be at the moment. Jeremy used all his drama skills from the days of countless stage plays and acts, in the college days. Officer Yadav checked his ID through and through. No thinning paper anywhere, no fake photos, light passed al right. It seemed valid enough; well, years ago, it WAS. And as he always did, he brought the Officer to a compromise. If Mrs. Virmani allowed it, ‘Jay’ could have a meeting with her, completely supervised by atleast two police-officers. Jem was fine by both terms, because he didn’t expect to talk to the lady if she refused and he was prepared for crypted talk. Anyway he had a strong feeling, more like an intuition, that she would co-operate.
In three minutes, he had travelled down to Paschim Vihar in the roaring police jeep with two constables from the police centre. One moment discussion among the five policemen, and Jeremy was in her house, and they were calling for her. Mrs. Virmani ambled, as she alwys did, towards the sweating young man. Jeremy saw her appproaching and shivered a little. There was something about this lady that no bullet had ever achieved.
Mrs. Virmani came out, facing him. Jeremy waited for a sign, doubting if he was trusting her too much. She smiled. Despite the sweat running into his palms, he cried, “Ohh Aunty!” And hugged her before he gave himself away.
He whispered in her ear, “Thankyou.”