Monday, 23 February 2015

The Bar Encounter - A Short Story

It was meant to be a bad day. Akash's best friend Sunil's wife, Gargi had been murdered. Sunil was inconsolable. He and his wife had a good time together last night, a good time together after ages. Letting all their ego to die, they spoke their heart out, cried together, made love after what seemed to be an eternity. In the morning, Gargi gave a kind kiss to Sunil before he left for office and in the afternoon when he went home for lunch, he found her to be dead, a cold blooded murder at that. 
The very sight was horrible.

Sunil was telling his staff that he and his wife had come into terms of understanding last night. He seemed so happy, and this had totally shattered everything. Akash had tried his best to console Sunil, but to no avail. He then turned up at a nearby bar to console himself. Gargi was a good friend of Akash too, they were classmates and her death was indigestible for him as well. He bought a cooling beer and settled down to drink. The man opposite him seemed so drunk, with his long unkempt hair that covered the most of his face, and the only thing that was visible on his face was the one week stubble.

Without giving any more attention to the rag of a person, Akash opened the seal of the bottle with his mouth and poured the drink in a glass. Before he began to drink, the man in the front started to talk to Akash. 'My buddy Karan, I had no other option. I had to kill Gargi'. Akash who was in a hurry to get to the next seat to avoid the man's blabbers, stopped in tracks and looked stunned.

Almost immediately, he retaliated and caught him by collar and pushed him up to the wall.

‘Speak up, you bastard. Why did you kill Gargi? Speak up, or I slice your throat’ said Akash as he broke an empty bottle that was lying astray on the table that was adjacent to where they were seated, and brought its sharp cracked up ends up to his neck. The man was clearly petrified, but he didn’t show it. He pushed Akash’s hand forcefully and placed a feral right hook that almost fractured his jaw. Akash was visibly stunned, but then, infuriation overcame it and he charged again like a raging bull and managed to tie his hand at the back and incapacitate him. If he wasn’t so drunk, Akash wouldn’t have stood a chance to do so. With more than fifty or so people getting into the world of theirs after drinking and the hustle-bustle in the bar, none noticed Akash carry the unconscious man slowly to his car. Naturally, everyone would have thought that they are two drunk fellows staggering their way back.
He drove straight to Sunil’s place. It was a grand one, Sunil’s ancestral property that seemed to gain lustre as the days rolled. He pushed Gargi’s killer, the self-confessed fully drunk man who was still unconscious and put him in front of Sunil.

‘He’s the killer, Sunil’ Akash said, crying. ‘He killed our Gargi’
‘What’s happening, Akash? The Police just confirmed it as a murder, and you turn up and say that he is the killer?’, Sunil asked, quite confused, and the sadness in his tone was still fresh.
‘I stopped by a bar to console myself, and this man was so sober and he thought of me as his buddy and confessed that he murdered Gargi’ he kicked the man forcefully which made him conscious.

He seemed as if he was familiar with the surrounding. Slowly gaining his control over himself, he pulled his long hair back and his eyes were fixed on two seemingly angry men. He recognized one of them to be as Gargi’s husband. He cursed himself for getting so drunk as he vaguely recollected from his subconscious his revelations about his crime.

‘Is it true?’ asked a genuinely angry Sunil.

Beads of perspiration formed and trickled down the man’s forehead. One could wonder why a man who was daring enough to murder a person looked terrified. Well, that was because Sunil cocked a gun and held its barrel right on his forehead.
Lighting up a cigarette, Sunil took charge, putting the best of his private detective skills to use.

‘You have just two options, dear. Confess as to why you murdered my wife or my assistant clears your corpse. Your brain will be fed to the stray dogs’, Sunil said, totally unperturbed.

Having heard this, the man’s fears seemed to have increased manifold.

‘Please, don’t. I beg you, sir’, the man pleaded.

‘This is not the answer that I expected, dear. I give you one last chance’ Sunil said and pressed the gun harder that it created an outline of the barrel on his forehead.

‘I am just a thug, sir. I don’t know anything. I just get my orders as to whom I should murder. That’s all I know. I get a call from a private number. I’ve only heard the voice of my boss, I haven’t even seen him. After completing the assigned job, the agreed amount will be transferred to my account. I'm just a tool. I know nothing more’ the man pleaded.

Sunil laughed. ‘I can’t believe that you could actually murder a person. You aren’t all that grotesque-looking mainstream murderer types. Pity that my wife had to die from your hands. Anyway, you tell me the reason, and I promise, I’ll let you go. Not even a case would be filed against you. I am a private detective. I will make a cooked up witness and shift the blame on someone else. There are some people who are indebted to me, people who’d do anything for me. I can get you totally off the record, baby. Just tell me the reason’, Sunil said, gaining back his professional ethics.

The man started to cry. This frustrated Sunil and he fired a shot in air and the man was shell-shocked. Sunil drew a deep breath and said, ‘Don’t fool around with me, you sick moron. My loyal friend has luckily caught you red-handed, and if you don’t tell me who sent you to kill my wife, I will kill you right here and bury you at a faraway place, without leaving any trace that would tell that you even existed. You will simply disappear’

The till then silent Akash intervened.

‘Calm down, Sunil. We will hand him over to the police. They will take care of him. We’ll tell the whole story to inspector Singh. I will make sure that this ragamuffin gets a lifetime’ Akash said.
‘But I am a private detective, Akash. I’ve interrogated and found about the people who were murdered and the reason too. Do you think that I will just let him off without finding out who wanted to murder my wife?’, asked a perturbed Sunil.

‘No, we will find. Let the police interrogate, and since you’ve been a great help to them in the past, I am sure they’ll help you this time for sure. Let them get involved. You are already broken, buddy. Don’t strain too much. I will call inspector Singh now’ a concerned Akash said, and Sunil didn’t retaliate, as he was too exhausted, from crying, interrogating and he knew the bitter truth as well. The man seemed to be telling the same thing right from the start and he seemed to be genuinely true.

Inspector Singh turned up with his team, cuffed the man and took him to the station. If the man could feel something, he felt relieved as the police van seemed to be a much safer haven.

‘I am sorry, Sunil. The doctor is preparing the post-mortem report now. You can collect the body tomorrow and proceed with the funeral’ said Singh, and patted Sunil’s back, in a way to console him.

After the police had left, Sunil thanked Akash and said that he’d be always grateful to him for all the he had done. After an hour, Akash left at about midnight, as it was getting very late.


‘All good?’ a voice from the other end asked.

Yes, master’, said the man who was arrested. The master’s influence and his contacts inside the prison made it possible for him to converse with his loyal servant.

‘Good. Remember all that I have told you, right? Singh doesn’t know about it. The constable who gave you the phone too wouldn’t utter a word. Maintain the lie, alright?’ the voice said, now domineering.

‘Yes, of course, master. I will always be grateful to you for all that you have done for me. Will not utter a word to the Police’ said the master’s loyal servant.
You are as loyal as a dog’, the call was cut.


Sunil came back home late. Gargi smiled at him, and Sunil didn’t reciprocate the same. She stroked his hair and tried to make a conversation.

‘A new nut case? Tough investigatory job, I assume?’, she asked.

‘Yes, and the revelation of this investigation seems beyond digestible’ said Sunil, trying his best to hide his anger and frustration, but it was quite apparent in his tone.

‘What do you mean, Sunil?’, asked Gargi, a little frightened, more because she hadn’t seen her husband so angry.

You exactly know what I mean, Gargi’ smiled Sunil, with a devilish glare in his eyes.


Sunil visited the bar that Akash had visited later that evening, before leaving for office. He had arranged for a meeting with a man who was indebted to him, for saving his life. Sunil had that type of friends who were even ready to give their life for him.

He told him the whole story, about his new investigation and its revelation. The man looked shocked and he was thrown off the rail as Sunil finished narrating the story. He told that he will definitely help Sunil by taking up the blame. This bar encounter with this man proved to be the sole cause for executing Sunil’s master plan.

The same man was later met by Akash who carried him all the way to Sunil’s place.


In a way to pull Sunil back to the present, his phone buzzed to life.

‘Master, do you need me for the final task?’, the man asked.

‘No thanks, John. This is a very special endeavor and I’d like to do it myself, thanks. There are some more loyal men who are ready to take up their place in jail, for the same anonymous boss’ Sunil said. They both laughed and Sunil said, ‘Be good. I’d make you come out in about three or four years, on account of Gandhi Jayanthi or Independence day’

‘I always trust you, master. I’ll be good’, said John. Sunil smiled and cut the call.

The finale had now come. He checked his grandfather clock. It showed two in the morning.

He placed a call to Akash.

‘Hello’ said a very sober voice.

‘Akkkaassshhh’, screamed Sunil that cleared the soberness and he instantly replied ‘What happened, Sunil?’

‘Come to my place, soo.. sooon. That man... That man... That maaa...’ Sunil acted perfectly.

Akash cut the call and started his car to Sunil’s place.

In the meantime, Sunil loaded his gun with the single bullet, yet again.

Never expected my wife to cheat on me. Highly unexpected that my best friend was her boyfriend. I had to kill her. She betrayed me. His death will be even more uglier. Thanks, John, for accepting my crime, I will always be grateful to you, Sunil thought and as if it was just about time, Akash turned up.

Sunil cocked his gun, but smiled as some other thought crept his mind that got the better of him. He placed the gun down and grabbed the kitchen knife and got ready, as Akash entered.