She exuded sincerity and focus as we discussed a paper mill. Slickly groomed and accessorised from her Gucci glasses to her Choo footwear. Fashionably slim and business-like. Infrastructure, financials and coffee dealt with, she unbent so far as to take off her glasses and shake out her hair. And disclose the reasons for her tardy follow-up to her e-mail.
“Over the last two weeks I’ve spent half my working days in police stations …”
Eh? What could SHE have been accused of?! The left half of my brain swivelled in its orbit and clawed at air. It must have showed on my face. She hastened to explain.
“Oh, nothing against me! It’s all about my boutique …”
I know she also has a boutique. A lingerie boutique.
For which she has to visit police stations in Calcutta? My eyes widened, the camera zoomed in on my pupils and farther inwards … slow dissolve to the Duty Room in Bhowanipore P.S., Inspector Gobindo Nandan Guchait bridles a little as she holds out a lacy scrap of almost-nothing, frames it against his heaving chest and exclaims “It’s so YOU!”
Fast cut, series of jerky frames in grainy finish … S.I. Shubol Kormokar prances off to the Armoury to try on a blood-red thong, Detective Constable Deodhar Parshad Singh fastidiously steps out of his sandals and dhoti and into some high-support panty-hose, Boga the handy-man (“daily wage” worker, makes his living from tips) wistfully strokes a silken camisole …
The Krazy Kross-Dressers of the Kolkata Police?
The last shards of reason gave way and crashed into nothingness with the tinkle of breaking windows.
Epilogue. She was talking to me. I opened my eyes wide and tried to listen. “neighbours … encroachment … I filed a complaint … ” Reason stirred, shook its head, clambered groggily back onto its tottering seat.