INCOGNITO is the story of Anjali. Anjali’s story could be any man’s or woman’s story. Take a peek:
“Age?” the man behind the desk asked without looking up.
“75,” she answered.
He slowly looked up at her, his pen poised mid-air,. A moment passed – still and awkward.
“Haven’t you ever seen a 75-year old woman?” she snapped angrily. “First, you make me wait for almost half an hour, and then you take your own sweet time to fill out a simple form,” she rebuked.
“Oh! Sorry ma’m!” he said, quickly looking back into the form in front of him.
His desk was a mess. She could never imagine herself working in such clutter. “I am sure he spends half his working life just searching,” she thought disgustedly. She swept a glance across the desk from left to right. Her mind went into overdrive.
Well, all that he had to do was to stack all those papers into a neat pile on the left side of the desk and keep the files piled up on the right. The two phones could well get into the niche between the two piles. And, over there, there was even some space for a nice little vase. She decided to bring him some orchids and a good vase on her next visit.
“Please wait,” he told her. He picked up the phone and announced into it: ‘Anjali’.
“Please come! Sit,” the man pointed to the chair across his desk. He was smiling.
Anjali slowly shut the door behind her and cautiously walked towards the desk.
She studied him as she walked towards the chair.
His bald head framed a face dominated by chubby and rosy cheeks. Round steel rimmed glasses complemented his circular features. His broad smile was the only linear line across his face. If they make a movie on Winston Churchill, this man would fit the bill for the lead actor, she bemused!
She pulled out the chair and sat. She gave him some time to study her before she began.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hello Anjali!” he said cheerfully. “What brings you here?” he asked.
Anjali let a few moments pass as she gathered herself.
“I have a confession to make,” she said haltingly.
He smiled and nodded encouragingly.
Her tongue froze, stuck to the roof of her mouth. She opened her mouth a couple of times, but no sound emerged.
He pushed a glass of water towards her.
“Thank you,” she muttered and sipped the water watching him over the rim of the glass.
He sat patiently, watching and smiling.
“Murder,” she whispered.
His face was a sea of calm. His nod prodded her on.
“Four of them,” she continued to whisper.
He nodded again.
“But… but…, I didn’t kill them,” she added hurriedly.
“But,” she looked earnestly at him. “I know who killed them,” she said in a hushed tone.
“He leaned forward and said, “Oh?”
“They did it. But, I feel guilty, because…because I know they did it,” she said desperately.
“Who are they?” he asked in a whisper.
A few moments passed in silence.
“They are people very close to me,” she said.
“Shailee, Rachana, Anuradha and Shakti,” she revealed.
He was looking at her. There was much warmth in his gaze. She felt comfortable.
“How well do you know them?” he asked softly.
“Very, very well,” she said.
There was silence.
“Would you like to tell me about them?” he asked.
“I want to tell you everything,” she said looking into his eyes.
“Well Anjali, where would you like to start?” he asked returning her steady gaze.
“Shall I tell it to you the way they told me?” she asked.
“That’s a good idea,” he smiled settling back comfortably in his chair.
“Thank you, Doctor,” she sighed.
INCOGNITO is available on Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/incognito-9381576694; Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Incognito-Lata-Gwalani/dp/9381576696 and other online sites.
Also available at all leading bookstores across the country.