A video loaded as Maran emptied the coffee cup, an irritated constable sat at the screen, the local inspector sat in silence cap by his side with one hand on balding head.
“Why did they have to go public?” the inspector asked around. The remainder of the khaki population in the small Saidapet station kept up the silence; it had been almost a day since young Ramesh had gone missing. Still not a word had gone into the file, now the video had turned up and someone from HQ had seen it and alerted Maran and the police station.
Maran liked to think of himself as some kind of guardian angel, but what others thought of themselves rarely reflected in others minds, perhaps he still had a standing after the break through in the bomb scare case that originated from North Madras and went up to the Sansad Bhavan, that had brought him some press even from Delhi. But hardly the poster boy image of the Madras Police, he had of himself. For superiors and colleagues he was the self destructive and striving, stinking mostly and grudgingly indispensable detective. For his juniors, he was someone who smiled at everyone, known and unknown and at all times of the day.
The video was a public call out for help, it showed a mother in tears and a grim and serious father in the background appealing to the public, to report any findings of the boy; they also held up one of his recent pictures and descriptions of his school uniform. The final catch was however in the statement that father said out quite loudly even if the recording equipment was adequate, that was the only thing he said and that was the amount of money the family was willing to pay. There was no mention of the police, the inspector still had his hand on head in mock shame.
“It is not something we should worry about, unless of course the boy has been kidnapped” Maran said, he had expected more or less the same thing when briefed about a new video.
“Don’t you see sir, they have no faith in us; they want to find the boy themselves, let us all take leave and go vacation then” retorted the inspector, if it had been some other detective standing there, the addresser would have suspended for insubordination.
“It’s been 24 hours, Daniel naturally they would be worried and no ransom note yet, we will have to put a man at their place to regulate the response calls” Maran said, he suddenly observed that he was the only one in the room in colored suits; it had been a while since he wore the uniform. Lucky, he said to himself.
Not far from the police station, someone had not been quite lucky. In a mountainous garbage dump, a dog found a girl. A dead girl, aged twelve.