Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The encounter

“I have been watching you. You cannot overcome your bad mood by drowning yourself in liquor. What is bothering you? Since last night I have seen you turning on your bed without sleep and now you have started drinking heavily even early in the day” asked Selvi
Inspector Kesavan, his eyes bloodshot, turned towards her but did not reply.
“I know you have a problem. I hate this wretched profession of yours always hunting criminals but I cannot allow you to spoil your health. Please confide in me” pleaded Selvi..
“I killed a young man last evening cold bloodedly when he least expected. There was no fig leaf of a fight as justification as he was unarmed” replied Kesavan
“This is nothing unusual for you. You have killed innumerable persons ruthlessly calling them encounters. Why shed tears in this case?” Selvi asked
“In most cases we chase them and they attempt to defend themselves by shooting. Such encounters are justified as in self defense and the authorities are aware but gloss over such incidents” he said
“Why then this guilt now?”asked Selvi
“No, Selvi.This is different. If the man I had killed were the ruthless criminal involved in many murders, holdups, ransom and what not, I would have no regrets for killing him. He was a menace to society. But the man who tipped us had made a grievous mistake. It was a case of mistaken identity. The guy whom we killed is a small time criminal acting as recovery agent for private debts. There are no serious charges against him though the police were looking for him. It was the pathetic cry of this man’s wife whom I saw after the shooting that fills my heart with remorse. Hardly 25 she was in advanced stage of pregnancy. Her long and shrill wail on seeing the bullet ridden body of her husband is still ringing in my ears. I am unable to get over, Selvi” Kesavan was seen sobbing.
“Oh, oh, I feel so sorry for the poor woman” Selvi said.
“Actually we inveigled him out of the house by asking his confidant to warn him on mobile that police would be soon there to nab him and that he should escape. This fool misled us unwittingly though. The poor chap trusted his friend and came out of the house. We followed him till he was what we thought out of sight of his wife but never knew she was watching him leaving from the terrace. We surprised him and shot at him when he tried to run back and planted a gun in his hand” he said
“How sad” she remarked
“The woman had seen the cold blooded murder and screamed beating her chest and head. She is very young almost my younger sister’s age. It will take a long time for me to forget her face filled with horror and shock” he added
“Forget it as a bad dream. This is one of the hazards of the profession. Ask for a change to another department and be done with killing. I will also have peace of mind. You do not know how much tense I am daily till I see you back in home” Selvi said.
“I have already asked the departmental head for a transfer. I wish to help later that woman indirectly to salve my conscience. Where is Arjun?” he asked.
“Dad, I am here. I came in a few minutes ago and overheard the conversation between you two. The only saving grace in this sordid episode is that you had not killed him intentionally. There had been a mistake though you should have made doubly sure about the identity. Grieve not for it was not a deliberate act. But the wrong done to that young woman cannot be easily brushed aside. As your son I will make suitable amends for it after the furor dies down. I may even given her life time protection as atonement” said Arjun the 27 year old young man.
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Kesavan straightened his shoulders and looked at his grown up son with immense pride.


  1. I may even given her life time protection as atonement” said Arjun the 27 year old young man.

    ..... That is a good attitude.

  2. Really Interesting. As always, good thinking. Liked the character Arjun.

  3. Very touchy and nicely written..! It lingers for some time in the mind.. :)

  4. commendable son of a commendable father !

  5. I am sorry to say KP I could not continue to read it beyond two lines...

    But I believe there is a great story in it, will try a little later when my heart is strong for such... :)

    You don't mind do you?

  6. His son's words show what type of father, he has! Good family! Nice, emotional story!

  7. Making the less priveledged able to take care of themselves is the true spirit of service. Arjun is not required but a clear and sound start for the young mom to be so that she is not dependant anymore.

  8. That’s an action thriller :P
    Nicely wrought as always…

  9. is a feel good factor, when we see people react positively to life situations.. i like this story..

  10. A nice story again.surprised at the way you write.

  11. Some grave mistakes can not be forgiven nor forgotten..but can be atoned for..

  12. Namaste.....
    one need not ascribe to traditional religious denominations to believe in an infinite Divine....

    interesting characters

  13. “This is nothing unusual for you. You have killed innumerable persons ruthlessly calling them encounters. Why shed tears in this case?” Selvi asked
    The wife is accustomed to take this in a stride.(got used to it)
    The story is a good one.