F IS FOR FRIENDSHIP (A-Z CHALLENGE)
By Neel Anil Panicker
I thought you would be in the Nilgiris or worse Himalayas when your cell went unreachable for three whole days, Willie.
‘Cut the crap and come to the chase, Joe.’
Any other person and Superintendent of Police Isaac John would have given him the treatment; the guilty would have been unable to even pee for the next three days.
None had the temerity to even stand leave alone utter such words to him; equally none knew or would ever address him by his childhood name Joe. None except Willie, the guy with whom he had shared not just his childhood but a greater part of his adulthood.
The senior police officer under whose whole sole commanded rested the bustling megapolis of Cochin City smiled, or what he thought was smile__ a slow half arc that originated from the extreme tip of his handlebar moustache and then curled, painstakingly slowly, all the way round to the other end\-the rest of the facial features blithely oblivious to the change that had taken place.
“Willie, there’s a case…”
‘Ah! Isn’t that the case always. Another crime blows up in your face and and once the heat’s turned on and you reach ahead end, you remember your childhood buddy and come on all fours, begging for a speedy resolution of the case’. Isn’t that the reason why you’ve come now and disturbed me from my reverie? Do you have any idea how heavenly is it to hear Mariah Carrey hit an E flat in the dead of the night when all of humanity has bidden goodbye to their consciousness and embraced the dark?’
Issac dropped the half eaten pastry back to the bone china and looked at his friend.
He had not one fig of an idea what his friend was jabbering about.
To him it all sounded Greek, or worse__gibberish.
“Willie, there’s a case. It’s about this IAS officer’s wife. She’s dead and her body parts ….”
Detective Willi cut him short with a wave of his hand.
I know about it. It was in the papers. Big, bold headlines. At times I think such crimes are committed for the unalloyed pleasure of the retirees of the world so that they get to exercise their fast depleting grey cells and spend hours dissecting the finer nuances of the case over endless bouts of chess and coffee, or whatever is their poison of the hour.
Anyways, so there’s this IAS officer’s wife and she is dead and her limbs and torso strewn all over your city, right?
SP Isaac nodded his head.
“So what keeps you from solving this on your own, Police Chief.” The last words were a slow rendition, uttered in ultra slow motion, the voice dripping with sarcasm.
‘Look Willie, this is a high profile matter. It involved the brutal murder of a young and beautiful woman, one who is, or rather was, married to a senior IAS officer. Further, she herself comes from a family of reputed industrialists. Her father Muthuswamy is …”
Detective Willie again cut him short, this time with a perfunctory wave of his hand.
‘The Muthusamys. Who doesn’t know them? Ok. I got the drift. So there’s powerful people involved. Pressure could come from the top, both from superiors who want you to solve the case ASAP, and also from those who don’t the case solved, or worse, want it solved their way, right Joe?’
The litmus test of true friendship lies not essentially in one being there for the other but necessarily in one being there for the other and vice versa when a dire need arises.
‘Consider it done. Have your man bring me the case file and I shall get cracking on this case’.
Isaac heaved a sigh of relief and nodded his head but was immediately cut short.
‘Not so soon, dear Joe. You still have to pay me for my services’.
SP Issac John looked at his watch. It was fifteen minutes past two. He needed to get back to the city; a Central Minister was to arrive from Delhi for a National Highway By-pass inauguration.
He had at best slightly less than an hour before teh madness would start.
Resignedly he got up and was escorted by Willie into the study room inside.
If a game of chess was the price he had to pay for solving a case, then so be it.
After all, everything exchange in this world had a price tag attached to it, even thick as blood childhood friendships.
#neelanilpanicker #A-ZCHALLENGE #Fisforfriendship #fiction #episode6ofA-Zchallenge #daysix
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