The Dark Forest

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the results of my imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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2. Aftermath

When I woke up, I saw Kulwant, the stern Mr. Ram (the person who had rented us the campsite) and several policemen. It all seemed like a nightmare. The desolate, dark place was suddenly teaming with life. There were policemen, forensic experts, media persons and photographers all over the place. They asked me several questions but I couldn’t even answer a single question, convincingly. I had forced my friends to take this trip. Now they were dead and gone. Never to be seen again. My best friends! What was I going to tell their parents? I hated myself. I hated everything around me. I was never going to be normal again.

After all the legal formalities were over, the bodies were taken to Mumbai for post mortem. I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. After being discharged, I had to seek help from a psychiatrist. Owing to my condition, neither the media nor the police troubled me much. Just a few questions from time to time, that’s it.

The Mumbai Police had appointed a certain Mr. Raghav Jadhav and his subordinate Mr.Vikas Tendulkar, to investigate the case. The post mortem reports proved that the two girls had been poisoned first and their bodies were mutilated after their death. It was hard to imagine that so much activity had happened in an hour’s time.

The police had questioned everyone who was associated with Rose and Minisha. They clearly suspected Kulwant. What was he doing there? He had told them that he was unhappy with my decision to camp in a forest. He thought it was unsafe and had followed us all the way to the forest. However, he did not tell the police that Minisha was his ex-girlfriend. The two had dated each other during our school days. But that was ten years back. The police found this little detail and held it against him. I also had my share of suspicions. However, I pretended to trust him and was overtly kind, thinking that he would betray some secrets which could help in the investigation. He never did.  

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