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.


4. Revelation

Mr. Jadhav revealed that three people who knew Minisha, were in Pune, on the 21st of January, when the SIM card was purchased. They were Ms. Mansi Grover- Minisha’s sister, Mr Harsh Dubey-Minisha’s boss and Mr. Rishabh Bose, Minisha’s colleague. Everyone started staring at them. Mr. Bose got up but he was forced to sit down. Mr. Jadhav continued in his Hercule Poirot style. He said, “Minisha was aware of Mr.Harsh Dubey’s liaison with one of his French clients. Not a woman but a man. In India, we all know how gays are treated. According to the people who know him Mr.Dubey is a happily married heterosexual. Minisha had been blackmailing him for almost an year. She wanted a promotion which she didn’t deserve. So Mr.Dubey had a motive.” There was perfect silence in the room. Mr. Dubey was perspiring profusely.

Mr Jadhav moved towards Mr. Bose. He said, “Mr. Rishabh Bose was hopelessly in love with the mesmerizingly beautiful Minisha. However, she heartlessly rejected all his overtures. In fact, she had an affair with Mr. Bhaskar Tiwari, an H.R executive in the same firm. Mr. Bose couldn’t tolerate to see them together. He had told another colleague that he wanted to take up another job because if he remained there, he feared he might kill the lovers.” Mr. Bose started crying volubly, saying that he was madly in love with Minisha. After this little drama, Mr. Jadhav continued, “Ms. Mansi Grover was also in Pune on the 21st of January, 2009. What motive could she have? Let’s see.”

It all seemed like a movie or the climax of one of Agatha Christie’s novels. The three suspects – Mr. Harsh Dubey, Mr. Rishabh Bose and Ms. Mansi Grover, sat there, petrified. It actually appeared from their faces that they had together conspired to kill Minisha. I gave a warm smile to the much relieved Kulwant. After a short break Mr. Jadhav continued. He said that in the first week of January, 2009, a marriage proposal had come for Mansi. According to the age old tradition of arranged marriages, the prospect groom and his family arrived at the Grovers’. They liked Mansi but the boy thought that Minisha was more attractive. This had happened many times before. There was constant comparison between the two sisters. Be it academics or looks, Minisha was considered to be better. Mansi had developed a complex at a very early age. She hated her sister but never showed it, so Minisha never suspected that Mansi could do her harm.

According to records, Mansi had gone to attend a friend’s marriage in Mysore and was on leave from her office from the 20th till the 25th of January. This was her biggest mistake. She had told her parents that she was going on an official trip to Mysore for five days. Her office had never sent her. She went to Pune instead. She purchased a SIM card from a local showroom on the 21st of January. On the 23rd of January she drove down to Vadhkal in a rented car. She reached the campsite, two hours before the girls arrived. At about 6p.m. she made a call to Minisha who came out of the tent to talk to her sister. She was overwhelmed. After all, her sister had come all the way from Mysore to join her on her birthday. Mr. Jadhav went and stood next to Mansi. She broke down. Mrs. Grover, her mother, slapped her on the face, a couple of times. She had to be dragged back to her seat by Mr. Grover. After around ten minutes, Mr. Jadhav asked Mansi to tell everyone how she had killed her own sister.


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