Detective inspector Thomson looked gravely at the body of a 6 year old boy laid down by the pool.He looked at the young man, Shylesh and asked him “Can you please repeat for my benefit how this happened from the beginning to now.I will jot down the points as you keep talking."
"My wife Paru left this morning to a neighbouring town to attend an official meeting leaving the boy under my care.I did not go to work and stayed at home.We were sitting by the pool side.He was playing with the balls.One ball fell into the pool and he started asking for it.I told him that I would retrieve it later for him and that we better go inside.I took him along with me.I switched on the TV for him to watch a comic.I went to the adjacent room and was working on my computer.I did not notice the time till a call came from my wife asking me how her son was doing and whether he was giving me any trouble” he said
“Sorry for interruption.Did you say her son?”asked the inspector.
“Yes, it is her son by previous marriage.She got divorced.She had come to consult me for some ailment and we became friends.I was a single.We fell in love and married 8 months back” he answered
“Are you a medical doctor by profession?”asked the inspector.He nodded his head in affirmative.
“Pray proceed” said the inspector
“When she called,I felt bad working without being by the boy’s side.When I rushed to living room,I found the TV on but the boy was missing.I then went out and to my great shock and dismay found the boy floating on the water.He had obviously gone to retrieve the green ball”
“Did you say green ball? Did you not lock the doors as the padlock is high and he could not have opened by himself” queried the inspector.
“Yes.He was very particular about the green ball and insisted I get him that.I think he must have been impelled to try on his own when I was busy with the work.I am not sure whether I locked.Normally I do.Frankly I don’t remember.I feel guilty in not making sure” he replied
“It is ok.It happens.Did you not rush him to emergency when you took him out?”
“No, he was already dead.I have asked Paru to rush back.She is on her way.We will take her to a clinic nearby to obtain a death certificate for a formality.I am shattered what Paru would feel as she had left the boy in my care”Shylesh said
“Were you and the boy very close?” asked the inspector casually.
“Oh, he loved me so much .A very pleasant boy, he called me papa.I am numbed with shock”he said in a choking voice.
When they heard a car draw up, ”please allow me to talk to her first in private..Plesae do not talk to her about the incident till I am done with.You can hug her to comfort her and express your moral support but please be seated till I have finished talking to her” the inspector warned Shylesh and turned to his assistant and said “Dave, please be by the side of this gentleman”
Paru came running with swollen red eyes and wailing “Sanju, my dear Sanju, Where have you gone leaving me behind”. Shylesh put his arms around her and took her silently to the body of the boy.After allowing her to let out her emotions, the inspector led her to a separate room.Shylesh stayed behind.
“I am very sorry for you.But there are certain routine questions to be clarified.Would you mind answering me truthfully a few questions”the inspector asked.She agreed with a gentle nod.
The inspector softly said ”It may be an accident but still I would like to get it confirmed.How did you meet him?Did you know him earlier?How was his relationship with the boy?The pool was behind the living room and the boy had insisted earlier on retrieval of the ball that had fallen into it, may be by mistake.I am not sure..When your husband had said he would get it later, the boy was very particular in getting that ball.Still when he brought the boy inside the house, your hubby had not locked the door especially when he knew well that the boy was keen on the green ball.This sounds odd.Did he accept the boy whole heartedly when he married you?Please think carefully and reply”
“Did he say the boy wanted green ball? Did he mention specifically the colour?”asked Paru
“Yes, he repeated it many times to show the boy’s interest in getting the ball and his foolishly getting into water later.Why do you ask?” questioned the inspector
“I am confused.I do not know how I would answer this question”she sobbed.
The inspector gently prodded her.She said “Sanjay was colour blind” and closed her mouth with her sari and sobbed loudly
“Just two more questions, madam.I would not trouble you any more.First,did he know he was colour blind?Secondly When you said you had a boy by previous marriage,did your hubby welcome the news and not object?Please answer carefully” he asked
“Now that you are asking, I see things in a different perspective.He doesn’t know my son was colour blind.He was insistent that the boy be left with my parents.He did not want him with us.When I said I would marry him only if the boy was with me,he relented” she said
“Thanks .That clinches it.We will be taking him with us for further interrogation.The dial of suspicion clearly points to him.The truth will be out soon..My own hunch is he is not a good man.You made a bad choice,sister”
The police vehicle left soon with Shylesh in cuffs leaving a shattered Paru behind.Dave stayed back for the homicide people to come.