MMZ – The Inmate.
Please ignore my typos and grammatical errors.
“three missed calls…….jailer is going to kill me today.” Muttered Radhika. Neil’s crazy…Why does he always have to call when I am in the shower?
The jailer, Neil Malhotra was an honest and tough cop, who took his duty very seriously. Neil was always coming up with ideas and plans for the welfare of the jail inmates. He didn’t think of them as hardcore criminals, but as common people, who were forced by situations to commit a crime. He believed every criminal could be reformed and he was correct, indeed. Central jail, the jail he was incharge of, had the highest rates of reform and moreover, the people who had been under his wing even once, never committed even the smallest of crime again. He didn’t only reform them, he taught them to start their lives over again, and Radhika helped him in this.
Dr. Radhika was a psychiatrist, who often came to talk to the inmates. She treated each and every patient of hers like family. She had the ability to make them feel loved and welcome, the inmates opened up to her instantly.
Neil and Radhika were more than colleagues, they were childhood friends.
Radhika quickly called him, she deliberately teased him “yes sir?”
Neil smiled, “Radhika, how many times have I told you not to call me sir…..you are my friend first and then my colleague.”
Radhika smiled, “umm, let me count….around 367,yeah okay…neil, so whats up?”
Neil chuckled a little, Radhika wasn’t going to change ever… “actually, I want you to come down to the central jail tomorrow. You remember the patient I told you about the other day at dinner?”
Radhika thought for a second, “uh-huh…..yeah….mehra…..arjun mehra…right?”
Neil was proud of her memory, “yeah, that’s the one. He is the inmate you’re dealing with tomorrow. He is withdrawing further more into his shell. Doesn’t talk to anyone. Does his duties and chores well and quickly but Doesn’t open up. I don’t know, Radhika….he seems like a good man at heart…”
Radhika knew neil was never wrong in judging people, there must be something in this case, that he was calling her specially, “okay, just one question, what was he convicted for?”
Neil, “for grievously injuring a man, who incidentally , died in another fight three months later.”
Radhika paused a little, she was trying to understand the situation, “okay, will sort the rest of the details out tomorrow morning.”
Neil agreed, he wished her for the night and hung up.
The next morning
The alarm was ringing continuously, it’s rhythmic symphony, ringing in radhika’s ears. She buried her face deeper in the pillow. God! Why wouldn’t the alarm stop ringing? Geez, I am awake…okay?
She sighed, yeah obviously. She turned the alarm off and stretched her body lazily. She got up thinking about all her appointments for the day, suddenly it clicked her mind, that she had promised neil to come and visit Inmate Arjun Mehra.
She quickly called her secretary and checked with her, the other appointments for the day. Thankfully, it wasn’t a hectic, full packed day. She sighed with relief…. how much she hated cancelling appointments. She felt really glad, that neil had already contacted her secretary and told her to kept her day free. How thoughtful of him!
She walked over to the balcony and sat down, her hair tied up in a messy bun and mug, half full of coffee in her hand. She felt her soul awaken from the long deep slumber with the cool breeze kissing her face and cooling her coffee. The breeze brought memories stirred all the deep buried memories, happy memories. She smiled wide and faint name escaped her lips, “Sammy.” She chuckled to herself reminiscing her best friend cum roommate. All the childhood pranks….All the fun they had in college….all the teasing….how she and sam troubled neil….sam was the bestest roommate…the way she left little notes on the bathroom mirror….her cooking….radhika sighed a little thinking how she was thousands of miles away. Why in the world she had to accept the invitation for psychology speak at Stanford university? But then, it was only good for her. Radhika chuckled a little remembering that it was her who had recommended sam’s name for the lecture…moreover, she was best they could ever get. Well, its just for a few more days. She thought. Geezz, why am I behaving love struck puppy….god! Radhika, she is just away for a week…stop missing her already. She slapped the back of her head.
She sat there for another few minutes. She was brought out of her thoughts by her ringing mobile phone. It was sam. Radhika smiled and picked up.
Sam teased her, “missing me early in the morning…huh?
Radhika covered her eyes with her palm. God! This girl can enter everywhere, even my thoughts.
Sam smiled, she knew radz was missing her because she herself was missing radz. The girls chatted some more talking about every possible thing. Radhika in the midst of her chat told her about the inmate Mehra she was going to see today. This brought the conversation to neil.
Sam asked, “so how is he? That stupid fellow didn’t even call me once. Idiot he is, I swear, radz I am gonna kill him once I land back in india.”
Radhika smiled wickedly, she had added neil on conference call, a few seconds back.
Neil who had listened to sam’s blabbering, smiled, “waiting for it, Sammy.”
Sammy frowned, she shouted, “radhikaaaaaaa”
Radhika jerked up, “you are gonna make me deaf, you witch!”
Sam smiled, “that I am.”
Neil teased her, “radz, see she finally agrees. Sammy, why in the world couldn’t you realise that in college?”
After a bit more teasing and getting teased, sam wished them both and hung up.
Neil reminded Radhika of her meeting, “radz, you remember naa….central jail today?”
Radhika smiled gratefully, “yes, and thank you for coordinating with my secretary before hand.”
Neil, “why are people being so formal these days? Okay, I know that you are still in your pyjamas, probably sitting In your balcony with mug, exactly half filled with coffee in your hand…right?”
Radhika slapped her forehead….this guy knew her like the back of his hand, “don’t you think, you know a lot more than that is required?”
Neil pretended to think for a second, “I don’t know….maybe….but what I do know right now, is that you need to get your lazy a*s moving ……all you have is 15 mins…I am all ready and will come to pick you up.”
Neil continued after a pause, “and don’t bother with breakfast, I’ll bring you a sandwich..”
Radhika added as if giving him motivation to go on, “and…”
Neil sighed, there was no wining against this girl, “and a bar of chocolate.”
Radhika squealed with happiness. Well, neil could know a lot of things but he could never understand her happiness of being a foodie.
She quickly ran to shower, knowing that the door bell would ring in exactly 15 mins. After a quick shower she dressed herself in a professional grey one piece which skimmed along her knees. She had just set her hair and had applied kajal. When the door bell rang, she glanced at the wall clock, exact 15 mins not a second early, not a second late. She hurried to the door and there he was, the one and only Neil Malhotra, dressed handsomely with his uniform perfectly fitting his biceps and abs. She opened the door wide and rushed back to her room without a word. Neil ushered himself in, wondering why girls take so much time to get ready. Radhika reappeared a minute later with her sling bag hung on her shoulder, her phone in her hand and her feet curled up in comfortable kitten heels.
Radhika announced, “I am all ready.” She twirled around with her hands spread in the air.
He got up and grabbed the keys, “after you.”
Radhika pouted, “ my food?”
Neil smiled, he tossed her his car keys, “waiting for you in the car.”
Radhika rushed out, while neil locked the door of the apartment, she shared with sam.
Throughout the drive, Radhika kept talking…she gobbled her food up. She teased him with the chocolate and neil just smilingly glanced at her. She was just like an innocent kid, well, a innocent kid who deals with psychologically ill patients. He chuckled.
Once they reached the central jail, they both turned serious.
Neil ordered for all the case files regarding Inmate Mehra to be brought immediately. Radhika at once, engrossed herself in those files. Neil didn’t disturb her by providing her all the details himself. He was aware of the way, Radhika diligently did her homework before meeting any inmate.
After about an hour, Radhika entered his cabin, “neil?”
Neil looked at her, pulling away his eyes from the dusty old file, he was pouring them over, “uh-huh….caught up on all details?”
Radhika nodded, “yep…I know everything….”
Neil teased her, “oh really?”
Radhika knew it was all teasing but she decided to show off, “ohh yeah….arjun mehra was sentenced for two years, and has completed one. And can be freed about six months from now for good behaviour. Convicted for causing grievous injuries. The strange part that struck me the most is that he didn’t even try to defend himself once. No information available on his background or the reason that caused the fight. See? There everything covered.
Radhika continued, “neil, I am all ready. I would like to meet him now.”
Neil called a prison guard and asked him to take Radhika to inmate mehra’s cell.
Just after Radhika left, neil called another guard and ordered him to stay near Arjun mehra’s cell. Well, neil was worried for Radhika. Since, Arjun wasn’t a talker. There was no saying of what he might do or think. And neil, he didn’t want his best friend to get hurt at any cost.
Arjun jerked up and turned around when he heard the keys rumbling In the lock of his cell. Radhika pushed the gate a little and entered in. As soon as looked up at inmate mehra, a shocked gasped left her lips. Her body trembled.
His steely eyes showed a flicker of emotion which died the second it appeared.
Her mind zoned out “Arjun….”
Guys, this is a short story, maybe three or four chapters….thats it. Actually had intended for it to be one shot but one thing led to another and here I am, introducing it as a short story.
I just cant resist…..something or the other just keeps popping in my brain….god! Why cant my days have 48 hours. 😜
Love you all….sorry, for being absent in the comments section for all your ffs…to be honest, I haven’t even been able to be go through all of them. I just spend whatever little free time I get writing.
Silent readers please give your reviews.