“Spill the colour even more on the floor and splash it more to the left side wall, how many times do I have to give you the same instructions?” Arav shouted at the spot boy. It is this dark red colour that makes the audience go crazy. This is the colour which is rocking the silver screen all over the world. The more you will show the bloodbath the more your viewers will get high on the madness of the vermillion tone. But who will make these idiots understand! The shooting is almost over, it will take another day to do the final pack up. Tonight they have an overnight shooting plan for the climax so that by tomorrow they could declare the final wrap up. Then they will hand over the flat to the professional cleaners and later to the painters after which finally they will give the flat back to its original owner who rented it to the shooting team for three months. So Arav have absolutely nothing to worry about even if he floods his shooting floor with a little tsunami of scarlet.
“Cut and it’s a wrap” Everybody started clapping as Arav declared the formal end of the shooting. Arav looked at the clock it’s 3:30 am in the morning. The hero and the other actors started leaving. Arav switched on his mobile as during the shooting he keeps it turned off and notice there are seven missed call from his brother’s girlfriend Nancy. Nancy is an impulsive girl by nature and often calls Arav when they both get into any kind of fight but at this hour of night he has very little energy to get into petty couple issues so he decides to ignore the call till the morning. Almost the whole unite had left by then only two spot boy and a security guard was lingering around expecting Arav to leave so they could lock the flat and head towards their home too. But Arav was in no mood to drive 20 km to his house at that point of time, so he took the extra keys and told them to leave for their home taking the shooting van. He told them that he would like to take rest on the dressing room couch like he sometimes do, for few hours before driving back to home and he instructed them that tomorrow they should hand over the original bunch of keys to the cleaning parties and then their responsibility will be over.
The bright rays of the yellow sun penetrated the flimsy net curtains of the dressing room window and stung his eyes. A loud knock on the door made him woke up panting. He hobbled to the door and was quite surprised to find two police officers standing in front of him after opening it. “ Mr Arav Dhawan we are coming from Thane Police Station your Brother Gaurav’s girlfriend Madam Nancy lodged a missing report of your brother yesterday night we are here to ask you some questions for our investigation.”
Arav was not actually ready for something like this after a little hesitation he let the both officers come in. The site of inside was horrific every corner of the house was covered with blood red colour except the one room which they were using as the dressing room and the other one which is a small store room and always remained locked. Looking at the expressions on both the officer’s face Arav could not hide his smile. He chuckled and said “yesterday night we were shooting the climax of our upcoming thriller, today the cleaners will come and clean the mess.” Both the officers looked at each other trying to hide their embarrassment, as they should have understood it’s a shooting set and all these voluptuous spread of red couldn’t be blood. They asked Arav few routine questions like when he saw Gaurav last time?
For which he answered “I saw him last, two days back he came to my house very early in the morning as he needed some money I gave him the money and also gave him a ride and dropped him near Andheri station as he was going to give that money to someone there. I had shooting that day so I came back and got busy with my life you can see the footage of my security camera which will justify my statement.”
The officers asked how their relation was?
Arav said with genuine affection in his tone “My brother was very close to me but due to my work I was not able to keep touch all the time, but in problems I was always there for him.”
The officer now asked how his relationship with Nancy was or how was her relationship with Gaurav?
This time Arav took a pause and answered “ Nancy is an impulsive girl she has a history of drug addiction too. I have little touch with her and could tell you very little about her to you but I believe Gaurav was having a troubled relationship with her and I believe she somehow dragged him into the Norco world with her . But I may be wrong it’s just an assumption.”
“Thank you Mr Arav it is very helpful talking to you. You added a new angle to our investigation by letting us know about the drug connections of your brother and his girlfriend. Now we would like to take your leave.” Both the officers left the apartment shaking hands with the famous young director of the Morden age crime thrillers. Arav took his jacket from the hanger of the dressing room and looked around the apartment for the last time before leaving it. He felt a strange pain in his chest as if he is getting departed from a part of his own and shut the door behind his back.
The car engine roared and the wheels started rolling on the streets of the busy morning roads of the metro city. Cutting human flesh with a brick cutting hand saw was the perfect choice from the aspect of lesser noise and more ease. It merely took him three hours to cut his body in small pieces and pack them in different plastic bags and lock them up in the store room. It is so much easier to dispose a body when it’s just mere pieces of flesh you know. Some you dump here some you dump there some you throw deep in the sea some inside any big abandoned lake . Who is going to find the pieces from different places and assemble them !! I mean for God shake you are no celebrity that our overburdened police force will invest such huge amount of time and effort behind a single case. After all real life police investigation is no Netflix web series. Yesterday dawn when the city was very lovingly hugging their deepest hours of sleep Arav scattered the evidence of his crime all over the city and flooded the crime scene with theatrical blood which very easily covered the original trace of the blood.
It’s not that he didn’t love his brother but he was tired of getting blackmailed day in and day out. Gourav knew about his affair with one of the biggest hero of the industry who is married and also has kids. But the relation he shares with Arav is also true and both of them doesn’t need to explain or justify it to anybody. Love is a very personal experience it can’t be always judged by the rule book, but we are emotionally attached with many other relations apart from love which are equally precious to us. It is not always possible to declare your true self to the world sometimes we need a hide to keep alive ourselves somewhere beneath our shells. But Gourav started taking advantage of his weakness and used to brutally squeeze him for money to keep on his drug addiction. He became a blood sucking parasite and Arav couldn’t take it anymore and there was absolutely no way to stop him at all so that morning when Gaurav came to ask for money again, he did what he had to do. And he had a very little regret about that. Arav looked at his watch, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon he is sure by now the cleaning team has arrived in the flat and started their work. They will wash every trace of the red mixture of the blood and the food color and by tomorrow there will be nothing left in the flat except the trace of bleach and disinfectant substances which they are going to use. Arav turned the car radio on, he needed to relax.
Debjani Mukherjee, an MBA in applied management, has a passion for studying human life and put her observation and feelings into words. Her poems, articles, and short stories are published in many international anthologies and magazines. She is a regular contributor to magazines like GloMag, Destiny Poets, Different Truths, Tuck Magazine, etc. Her short story “The Summer Moon” won the summer contest of the USA-based magazine Academy of Heart and Mind. Her other short story “The Paper Boat” recently managed to secure its place in the top ten list of the prestigious Bharat Award for international literature.