Anjana was standing in front of Sameer’s apartment, the one he stayed in at Kolkata. It was a simple three-storey stand alone apartment in a humble part of the city. Anjana entered the building and knocked on the first door that met her eye. A boy of about her own age opened the door.
“Hi… Do you know of any Sameer Bhatia who stayed in this apartment?” inquired Anjana.
“Baba…” The boy turned around and called his father. He turned back towards Anjana. “Just a moment.”
Anjana gave an approving smile.
Just before the silence at the door started to get awkward, an elderly man with a huge pot belly and no hair on the head, came to the door.
“Yes?” Asked the man facing Anjana. It was probably the father of the boy who had gone back inside the house the moment the man stepped in.
“Are you the owner of this apartment?” asked Anjana.
“No, I’m the secretary. How may I help you maa?” replied the man in a calm voice.
The man sounded too soft to go with his threatening looks.
“I was here looking for a Sameer Bhatia. I got to know from his office that he stayed at this apartment.” Anjana informed.
“Ah yes… Sameer. Nice lad. God knows what happened. The fellow just went missing all of a sudden without a trace…” said the man while drifting away in his thoughts.
“Do you have any leads?” Anjana broke his chain of thoughts. “Any idea where he might have gone? Did his parents come here?”
“How will I have any leads maa, when even the police do not know anything?”
Yes… The cops. It had completely skipped Anjana’s mind. If a man was missing, the cops must be knowing about it.
“Sameer’s parents came here and filed a missing complaint at the nearby police station. They said they would get back as and when they got any information on the matter. Been way over a month since…” continued the man.
It was Anjana’s turn now to drift away into her thoughts or rather plan her next move, but it was the man’s turn to interrupt now. “But who are you maa? Are you his friend or…?”
Anjana came out of her thoughts. “Ok uncle. Thank you so much.” Saying this, she rushed out of the apartment.
“Maa…” the man kept calling her from behind, but Anjana had no time for all that now. She just had to make it to the police station.
Anjana got to the street and hailed a rikshaw.
“Patuli Police Station?” said Anjana while already getting onto the rikshaw.
“Didi… Ei toh thana.” Said the rikshaw puller pointing his hand straight ahead.
Anjana did not understand a word.
“Patuli Police Station,” she repeated once again.
“Patuli Police Station,” the rikshaw puller repeated still pointing his hand in the same direction.
Anjana looked in the direction that the rikshaw puller was pointing towards and saw a building with a blue signboard outside that read “Patuli Police Station”.
“Oh…” said Anjana, more to herself than to the rikshaw puller and got off the rikshaw and started walking towards the police station.