Next day, a new agility filled me up. That day, Khalid had announced, ‘We have a half day today’. When everyone asked for this sudden change, he casually admitted, ‘U all need some rest from your boring, monotonous life so I had to give you all a half day’. As far as I knew
Khalid, he NEVER gave us a half day. I went over to Richa and she hugged me happily, as though she had met me after a very long time. She said, ‘Good morning Ananya. How r u
today?’. I replied, ‘I am fine. Any idea why Khalid sir has this change of mood?’. Richa laughed and said, ‘Oh yeah.. I know. After getting my sources back to work, I got to know that we are
going to have a new input editor for which there will be interview conducted. So we are having this “short vacation”‘. I laughed and replied, ‘OK ok. So let’s go shopping after work, what say?’.
Richa smiled and agreed. She said, ‘Alright. Let’s take Baby along too’. I nodded. I looked at Ronnie’s table and sighed, fairly deep. Then my gaze shifted to the peon who put a pile of file on
my table. I looked at him annoyingly and he said, ‘Sorry Madamji. Manav sir aaj bohot garam hai. Wo mujhe bole ki ” Jao jakar ye files Ananya ko dekar aao aur jaldi”. Unko laga hai ki mai kaabil nahi hu’. I replied, ‘It’s not so. Aap jitna mehenat iss office mein koi nahi karta. Trust me’. He smiled and left. Great! Plethora of work!! I had to hurry up so that I could leave early.
4 hours later, me, Richa and Baby had reached a mall. Baby said,’ In my village, we used to go shopping very often…’. And there she started with her stories. Whenever I went out with Baby, always a tension gripped me. The tension of listening to Baby’s “childhood talks”. Richa, thankfully, interrupted her, ‘Sorry Baby, but we should start shopping. If we waste our time here, we get less time for shopping. As such reporters hardly get much free time as they always manage to preoccupy themselves in some strange sort of cases’.
Meanwhile, a mysterious identity, covered up her face in a dupatta and walked in between a labyrinth of corridors to escape. A new case, a new lead. She/he walked out of the mall and ran, as fast as he/she could, to get to a safe place. The murderer was escaping the mall, where I, Richa and Bay were. He/she had killed someone and went away, unnoticed.
Richa wasn’t exactly the shopping type. After buying 2-3 dresses, she was tired. Baby seemed never-ending. She was like a continuous circus joker who entertained both of us with her tantrums. No wonder Sunny got a perfect match, I said to myself. Richa, completely exhausted said, ‘I need to go to washroom. I made a big mistake by bringing Baby along’. Irritatingly, she left. She entered the washroom to find the washer woman hardly knocking on a door and yelling, ‘Madam!! Please come out!! There are others waiting too. Mam!!’. Richa went over the washer woman and asked, ‘What happened?’. She explained, ‘There is this girl who went to washroom and is not coming out. It’s been an hour’. Richa knocked on the door and said, ‘Mam! Please it’s a request to not cause inconvenience and come out’. Still no response. Richa said to the washer woman, ‘I guess we will have to open the door’. She tool out a pin from her purse and slid in between the lock. In a few clicks, the door flew open. And… The sight… Was horrible!!!! Richa at instant yelled at the top if her voice, ‘Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!’. I heard that shrill to be that of Richa and sensed, ‘Vacation over’.