Written by: Ishtiaq Ahmad
Translated By: Hafsa bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani Class IX Govt. Girls’ High School Tando Qaiser
The story until now:
"What can we say? You can go home if you want to. If we need you, we shall come to your house.”
“By all means. I just can’t answer your questions just now," Mamoon Kabuliwala said and left his office with his sons.
They looked each other. Then inspector Jamshed said to Arif Jolani, "We shall also come here some other time. We are leaving too. And yes, will you give us Mamoon's home phone number?" Arif Jolani did so and he noted them down. Inspector Jasmshed left the factory. Once outside, he called Ikram, gave some instructions, turned to the others and said, "Come, let's go home too.”
The story continues:
"I don’t understand this case," Farooq said, making a face.
“You will, you will. It will come to you slowly. By the way, we shall check the factory secretly tonight."
“You mean you want to come here without the knowledge of Arif Jolani, Maamoon Kabuliwala and his sons?"
"Yes, that’s right."
"And if we get caught?" Farzana asked nervously.
"Who’s going to catch us? We do have the special permission letter, don’t we?" Inspector Jamshed
said with a smile.
"Quite right, Jamshed, it will be fun," Khan Rahman smiled.
"Ok, we shall come here at 12:00 a.m. exactly. Ikram will have everything arranged."
"And if there is a watchman outside the gate or inside the factory then what will we do?"
“We’ll take care of that. The thing is I’ve sensed something."
"And that is?" Khan Rahman asked quickly.
"Maamoon Kabuliwala was quite all right when he entered the factory. He was not upset even a little bit. But then suddenly, he saw something that made him turn into stone. He stood there rooted to the ground. Then he had come to his senses."
"Quite right, Father, I noticed it too," Farzana spoke quickly.
"This is what I want to check. At night when there is no one in the factory, we shall see what made him do that."
"Very good, Jamshed," Professor Daud praised him.
"It means that our Mamoon Kabuliwala may also be an imposter."
"His actions are being monitored. It is very possible that he is not Mamoon Kabuliwala because facial features can be changed by plastic surgery and copying someone's signature is not a difficult task either. But then his fingerprints wouldn’t have matched the ones on the files. This is the biggest proof that he is Mamoon Kabuliwala and no one else. It was only after matching his finger prints that I started to believe he was Mamoon Kabuliwala. But then, I don’t know, in this modern scientific era some secret formula might have been discovered to enable people to create an exact replica of someone's fingerprints."
"No Jamshed that cannot be done. It is impossible," Professor Daud shook his head.
"I guess so. I was just speaking hypothetically. Anyway we’ll find out tonight."
That night, at exactly 12:00 o'clock, they were entering the mill. Ikram had arranged everything. The watchmen were on duty at the main gate only, there was no one at the back. The rope ladder came in very handy and soon all of them were inside the boundary wall. Entering the mill, they headed for the hall where Mamoon Kabuliwala had stood electrified. They inspected everything minutely but couldn’t find anything.
"There is nothing here which could have made Kabuliwala act as he did,” lnspector Jamshed said at last.
"Then why don't you ask Maamoon Kabuliwala about it, Father? Wouldn’t that be the best thing to do?" suggested Farzana.
"Don’t you remember? I did ask him but he didn’t say anything. He had suddenly said that he was feeling sick and wanted to go home. But then you are right, Farzana, why shouldn’t we go to his home and ask him? We might force him into telling us everything," Inspector Jamshed said.
"I agree. There is nothing to be seen here," said Professor Daud.
"Ok. In the morning we shall…"
"Oh my God! Just a minute father," Farzana said, her eyes wide open in surprise.
"Perhaps, we are thinking on the wrong lines. Mamoon Kabuliwala didn’t see something, he must have seen someone."
"Well, that is possible but it cannot be said with a hundred percent certainty."
"Well, we can ask Mamoon Kabuliwala about it tomorrow."
"Right. Now let us go home.”
As they turned to leave, Farzana’s body jerked and she stopped dead in her tracks. Her eyes opened wide with surprise.
“Oh my God! Now I understand," she whispered.
(To be continued)