Though the man’s face was stained with blood, his face was recognizable. Savitri started sobbing again. She was saying something incoherently. Kartik pushed back the casket and said soothingly, “It’s alright. He is dead.”
“It’s him!” Savitri turned, shivering.
“He must have jumped off at the wrong time. Shruti avenged herself immediately after her death and we understand it only now.”
“Anna, how did you know about Shruti’s husband?”
“I caught hold of the things Savitri had in her possession at the time of her arrest. I found Shruti’s diary, too and put 2 and 2 together about her murder. I asked a friend in Dehradun, where Shruti lived with her husband to find out about her husband. He emailed me the information yesterday morning. Shruti’s husband was a typical good-for-nothing, expecting his in-laws to pay for all his pleasures. I received his photograph, as well. I contacted all the hotels in Dadar area and asked my friends to do the same from CST to Bandra and Sion. The result was negative, so I turned to hospitals. When no hospital reported a casualty answering his description, I turned to the different morgues. His body was lying unidentified here. Now the only task remaining is to prove that you are innocent of these murders.”
“Anna, can’t you prove it, just yet?”
“No, I might prove her innocent of Shruti’s murder by an indirect method. But, in the other case it would be difficult.”
“No more witnesses, my Lord. I rest my case,” concluded the public prosecutor.
An ominous silence overcame the court room. Would Savitri be prosecuted, convicted of a double murder? At that moment, Radha ran into the court room. Apologizing for the disturbance, she walked briskly towards her brother, who was sitting in his chair and whispered something into his ear. After conversing a little with her, Kartik stood up.
“My Lord, some interesting facts have just been revealed to me pertaining to this case.”
“Objection, my Lord,” exclaimed the public prosecutor. “The case has been successfully concluded. My esteemed friend is trying to waste the court’s time.”
“Objection overruled. Mr. Kartik Mahadevan might have something vital, after all.”
“Yes, thank you, my Lord. I would like to call my last witness, Mrs. Kothare.”
Savitri recognized the white sari-clad woman. She was the deceased Rajan Kothare’s wife. Savitri was surprised that how could this woman, who had scorned her since her marriage to Rajan, be on her side.
Mrs. Rajan Kothare gave Savitri a scornful look and turned to the judge. “I am not here to convict or acquit this girl. I am here to bring out the truth about my husband’s murder. I would have stayed at home, if Radha, my friend would not have talked to me. I have always despised this girl, since she is more beautiful than me and every boy in our locality wanted to date her. I was told by my husband that she did not have a good character, so he despised her, too. But it was too late when I found out that he was no different than the other men of our locality.
“That day I saw him leave home stealthily after looking at someone out the window and he went to her house. I was right behind him but he didn’t know. I saw him enter her house and close the door behind him. I went near the open window and watched their struggle from there. I saw her kill him in self-defense. Within 10 minutes, she had changed into new clothes. I was contemplating on calling the police, aggrieved as I was due to my husband’s infidelity and death, when she came out of the house and locked it. She did not see me, since her eyes were filled with tears.
“I followed her till Dadar railway station and then saw her get into a fast train. The moment she got in a man jumped out of the same compartment and was killed by another train. I didn’t know what happened afterward. But, I do know one thing much as I hate her, I might very well have done the same thing.”
When the Mahadevan siblings entered the Gandhi Nagar Chawl, almost everybody living in the Chawl was standing in the ground in front of the Iyer residence. Fearing the worse, the Mahadevans rushed towards the Iyer residence and saw them loading their furniture into a tempo.
Mr. Iyer saw Kartik and Radha and asked them to come in. Inside, he revealed that they were shifting to a flat in Malad that day. As the Mahadevan siblings said farewell to the Iyers, they saw the residents of Gandhi Nagar having remorse written all over their faces.