The Lone Orphan – Part 3

Read Part 2 here:

I rush to my cupboard and take my red shawl, the one in which I was wrapped and left in front of the orphanage. The same symbol is stitched in the corner of the shawl. I hurriedly translate the text in the script and read it aloud.

Deep in the forest of exile we dwelled, treasures of nature we protect

Close to the heart of lord now we reside, law of the lord we abide

Trespassers be aware, wrath of lord is what you will invite

I cannot comprehend what it means. I read the text many times but cannot understand how it is related to the symbol and to me. Suddenly, I think of Shankar, he might have an idea. I call Shankar and he picks up the phone instantly.

“Hello, are you alright?” he asks me. “I have something very important to discuss”, I tell him and brief him about what I have just seen. “This sounds strange,” he says, pauses for a moment and continues “You find a symbol stitched on your shawl in the scripts which is very strange .Let us meet in the cafe at 10 AM tomorrow to discuss,” and he cuts the call. I try to sleep but cannot, being in a state of shock due to the events that have unfolded today. I wrap my red shawl around me. It is raining heavily outside and my mind is also in same way disturbed by thoughts. With a jolt, I remember Prasuti madam. She had joined the orphanage as a care taker in the same year when I was left there. May be she will know anything about this. I see it is very late in the night but still I go ahead and call her.

After a few rings, I hear her voice. “Hello!” she says. “Hello madam”, I say and before I continue she interrupts me. “I expected your call, but not this soon”, she says calmly. “What do you mean madam?” I ask her obviously surprised by her statement. “Meet me in my office tomorrow at 11 AM. We cannot discuss on phone”, she says and cuts the call before I can say anything.

I am waiting in the cafe for Shankar; it is already 10:45 AM. He has promised he will be here by 10:00AM. There is no sign of Shankar yet. I will be late to meet Prasuti madam. I feel restless as I have to meet Prasuti madam at 11 AM. Just then I see Shankar walking towards the cafe. I observe him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”

I always count in reverse when I am in tension. This helps me calm down. “Sorry I am late. I went to the professor’s house, requested the police and got the remaining papers so that we can work it out”, he says. I cut him short before he continues and tell him “I have called Prasuti madam after I spoke to you yesterday night as she joined the orphanage in same year when I was left there and I always felt her behaviour bit strange towards me. My guess was correct. As soon as I called her she told she was expecting my call.” Shankar looks confused and says “What? She said she is expecting your call? But why would she say that? “I shake my head and say “I have no idea why she said that. She asked me to meet her at 11 AM. Let us just rush to orphanage, meet her and later discuss our details,” I say to Shankar.

“The papers I have brought have some more texts and longitudinal directions”, says Shankar. “Let us talk about the papers after meeting madam as we might get some information”, I cut him short. I am already late; it is 11:30 AM now. I see a lot of crowd in front of the orphanage. “What happened?” asks Shankar to a person standing nearby. “Prasuti madam was found killed in her office today”, the man replies.

I stumble with shock and Shankar holds me.

To be continued…

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