PEDDLING SOME THOUGHTS
By Neel Anil Panicker
“Ok, tell me all you know of the murder?’’
The old woman sat herself gingerly on the edge of the rickety bed by the lone window, then swot a non-existent fly off her deeply lined face and began, her voice no more than a whisper, “I was here, seated exactly where I’m now and peering out into the street.”
‘The time, what time was it?’
The nonagenarian squinted her cataract ridden eyes, her brows furrowing into a frown.
‘‘Patience Sharma, patience.’’
Inspector Sharma squirmed in his chair, but quickly overlooking the infraction, merely nodded his head in acquiescence.
The old lady continued.
‘It was ten minutes past two and don’t ask me how I know it was so because that’s about when I am done with my lunch__a single scrambled egg with two slices of bread__and gape at the gang that cycles up and down the street.’
Inspector Sharma waited with baited breath for what was to follow.
‘They’re there, three of them___the one in the red jersey, long blond hair, leading the pack as usual. And then…’
Inspector Sharma craned his neck, his head inching forward, his ears cocked to one side, straining to catch the next few words.
It was a wasteful exercise.
The old lady had conked off.
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