by Nirupama Akella
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Jyotsana badly wanted to tell her to go and stuff her face, but loudly she said with a trace of importance, “I have to go now -- I have an interview with the police!”
“Ah, Yes! Something about a disappearance, isn’t it? Maybe you can tell me all about it in the evening!” Hiran said. Smiling wickedly like a gnome she turned and vanished into the crowd-- a flash of vivid peacock green.
Jyotsana sighed – “she disliked ragging! But she had to go through it with a smile- that’s what she would do tonight in Hiran’s room, smile and brave everything!” She skipped nimbly down the stairs and went to the reception. Midway she saw Parul looking a bit dazed and bewildered. Seeing her roommate, Parul smiled and stopped. “Hi, going to the lion’s den, are you?” she asked.
The Lion’s den meant the inner hall constituting the Matron’s office in college jargon. Jyotsana nodded and then childishly said excitedly, “How was it?” Evidently Parul had just finished her interview with the police.
“Pretty boring actually -- don’t know why they want to talk to us -- you don’t even know her but then I guess those idiots don’t know that you are a fresher!”
But even her flat voice did not dampen Jyotsana’a bubbling spirits. “I usually see such stuff in movies but now the police are actually here -- in my college -- going to talk to me -- I simply can’t believe it!” she said.
“Well… don’t start doing cartwheels! And you better get some stuff to write in your report about the disappearance,” said Parul grinning.
“Right -- who is there?” asked Jyotsana smoothing her yellow skirt.
“Oh, Matron in her usual blue sari looking severe and grave. Then there is a young constable -- military type,” Parul added. “Then there is a chowkidaar in shorts who is taking dictation!”
Jyotsana looked a bit confused and Parul laughed saying, “Bye, see you later!”
And she went on her way, leaving Jyotsana to enter the reception. She was ushered into the hall where Matron sat unsmiling and stern. Occupying the seat left vacant by Parul. Jyotsana vainly tried to help the policemen -- had she known Shanta -- had she ever seen her – when had she come to the college! And Jyotsana replied in negative to all. Then, it finally struck Junior Constable Pathak that this girl was a brand new comer to the Mayfair College. He hastily ended the interview afraid that the girl would use her imagination and spin yarns of unbelievable stories, to please them! Jyotsana, on her part was thoroughly disappointed. She slowly got up. The Constable walked out with Matron talking in hushed tones. She turned to the Chowkidaar and smiled sweetly, “Could I please copy your notes?”
Bahadur looked suspicious, “What for?? These are confidential -- police stuff!”
“But please,” Jyotsana explained coming clean, “I have to write a report on the disappearance for college work.”
“A little white lie meant no harm!” she thought. The Chowkidaar finally consented and showed her his notes, which she hurriedly copied in her fastest speed -- illegible awful handwriting covering eight pages of her register. She duly thanked him and happily ran out. Now she did not have to worry about that damn report.
To be continued.....Back to previous page of Chapter 8 Back to 1st Chapter Back to Novel - Main page