• 29 Sep - 05 Oct, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

It’s 11 o’clock at night. Sajid Ahmed, a TV producer and director sat in a luxurious bungalow, while reading a magazine. He had a coffee cup resting on a table next to him. As soon as he picked up the cup to take a sip, his cell phone began to ring. While holding the coffee cup, he reached to pull out his phone from his pocket and answered the call.

“Yes? Who is it?” he said and kept listening to the caller for thirty seconds and suddenly, the cup fell off his hand in astonishment. It shattered, as it fell on the ground. Sajid stood up immediately and said, “Oh my God! When did this happen? And how?”

He then listened to the caller for a few seconds until he finally spoke.

“Alright sir, please give me the address. I’ll be on my way. And secondly, please don’t inform anyone else, especially the media.”

He disconnected the call and prepared to leave.

At a distance in the same city, police officers stood inside a hotel room. A woman’s dead body was lying on a huge bed. And a young man lay dead on a sofa nearby. They both were murdered. There were wounds on their chests.

The police inspector leading the investigation was looking at the murdered guy on the sofa. His face was smashed so badly that it was hardly recognisable.

“I can say one thing for sure that the murderer had something serious against this guy.”

“And what about this woman?” the head constable asked.

“This woman, Maimoona Alam, was one of the country’s most favourite celebrities. News of her death will be a shock to the entire nation.”

“I know that, I’m just asking who might have murdered her? Is it the same killer who killed this guy?” he asked.

“Not necessarily,” the inspector responded.

“I see.”

They heard someone rushing towards them. They saw that it was the TV producer Sajid Ahmed. Sajid rushed to see Maimoona’s dead body. He seemed really upset and regretful.

“Please don’t get closer to the dead body,” the police inspector told him.

Sajid looked at the actress’ dead body with fury in his eyes and then looked at the murdered guy. Seeing his smashed face, he felt disgusted and asked the inspector, “Who the hell is this guy?”

“We haven’t discovered that yet,” the inspector replied.

“Oh man! This is a huge loss,” the producer said to the police inspector.

“Ma’am Maimoon’s death?”

“Yes, I had invested a huge amount on her.”

“How so?”

“She was the lead among the cast for my new movie. The shooting was almost complete. Just two scenes were pending, and that too, with her.”

“I see. Well, who else would be more upset about this?”

“No one,” the producer replied quite firmly, “not as much as I am.”

“Well, we called you first because your number was in her recently dialled call log.”

“Yes, we talked earlier during the evening. Tomorrow was supposed to be our shooting day.”

“I see. So Mr Sajid, do you have any clue regarding who would benefit from her death. I mean whom would you suspect for this murder?”

“I don’t know, her ex-boyfriend would be the first on the list.”

“Nasir Ghias?” the police inspector asked.

“Yes, but no. I mean, I’m not sure about it. I can’t take anyone’s name at the moment because she had other enemies, as well.”

“Look sir, we can’t hide this news from the media for long. This investigation will take some time. It is better that you let us…”

“No! Not at all,” Sajid interrupted, “the media should not know about this. There will be chaos. I and the other stars of the film, we’ll be interviewed by every channel. And the more we’ll try to ignore them, the more they’ll find it suspicious. So just forget about it.”

“I get it, but I don’t think that you’ll be suspected since you are the one who has to suffer a great amount of loss.”

“That’s an alibi. And the guy with the alibi is equally suspected as much as the guy with the motive.”

“Wow! That was smart thinking.”

The police inspector moved back as Sajid walked towards the room’s exit. Before finally leaving, he said, “This guy lying dead on the sofa, you can reveal his death to the media. Maybe his death’s investigations will give you a clue regarding Maimoona’s murder.”

“I’ll see,” said the inspector.


Next morning, Sajid woke up on his bed and looked up at the wall clock. It was 12 o’clock. Maimoona Alam’s death was the first thought on his mind. He felt extremely uneasy after recalling it. He got up and switched on the TV in a bid to distract his mind. As he switched different channels, he came across this one news channel, the headlines of which read: Pakistani actress Maimoona Alam found murdered

“Oh no!” Sajid exclaimed with regret as he read the news.

The news further stated: Another unidentified guy was also found murdered in the same room

Angry Sajid threw the television’s remote on his bed and walked towards the washroom.


In the same city at a distance, Rehan Riaz sat next to a computer inside a small firm’s building. He was doing his office work, when one of his colleagues passed by and said, “Did you hear about Maimoona Alam?”

“Who?” Rehan asked.

“Maimoona Alam. She just died.”

“Who’s Maimoona?” Rehan asked, turning his chair towards him.

“You don’t know Maimoona Alam, the famous celebrity?”

“I’m familiar with the name, can’t remember the face. Can you help me?”

“Have you seen Blue Nights, the movie?”

“Yes, maybe,” Rehan said, as if trying to recall.

“She was the lead actress from that movie.”

“I see. So what happened to her? You said she had died.”

“She got murdered last night. The news is all over news channels.”

“Oh dear, that’s terrible. Who did it?”

“She was with a guy in a hotel room. The guy was also found murdered with her.”

“I’m asking who murdered her?”

“The cops are still working on it. There are no clues yet.”

Rehan remained silent feeling terrible. He later asked, “So, who was the guy with her?”

“The serial killer destroyed his face. He smashed it with something so bad that it was hardly recognisable.”

“Oh God! That’s awful. The killer must be an insane sadistic person.”


There was a moment of silence until Rehan’s colleague spoke up. “But I’m really surprised to know you didn’t even know Maimoona by name.”

“I hardly know anyone from Pakistani media, seriously.”


“You’ve got to believe me. I don’t really watch TV, except for news channels.”

“I wish I could believe you,” the colleague chuckled courteously.

“Anyway, I’ve got to work. I’ll see you in a while.”

“Yeah, sure.”

The colleague left the spot and went towards the other room. Rehan turned his chair back towards the computer.

As his colleague had left, he made sure that no one was watching him. He then looked up Maimoona Alam on Google and saw a news item right on top of his search page. It stated: Pakistani Celebrity Found Murdered in a Hotel Room

“Oh, dear God!” Rehan uttered, after he read the news item. “He was right. Let me see what more they have to say.”

He clicked on the news and began reading.


At her home, Maria Rehan was preparing lunch when she heard the doorbell ring. She went to answer it and opened the door to find her husband Rehan standing outside the door.

“Do you know about Maimoona Alam’s death?” Rehan asked his wife, before even entering the house.

“Oh yes, I saw it on the news channel. The news was quite shocking for me.”

Rehan entered inside and closed the door. He kept his brief case on the sofa and asked his wife, “So, what else are they saying in the news channels?”

“Well, they also found another body in the room and its face was badly smashed, so much that is not recognisable.”

“Yeah, I also read that but…”

“You read?” she asked interrupting him. “This news is published in newspapers already? But the incident took place just yesterday.”

“No, I read it in an internet news item.”

“Okay, sorry.”

“Anyway, I was asking... haven’t they revealed anything new so far?”

“No, not yet?” she guessed. “But we can check now. Let’s see what they are saying about it.”


He went towards their TV lounge. As they switched on a news channel, there was news regarding Maimoona’s murder but Rehan immediately changed the channel.”

“Rehan, let it be,” Maria said, as she saw him changing the channel.

“No, not this channel,” he replied. “We’ll find it on another channel.”

“What was wrong with the previous one?”

“You know, I don’t watch that channel.”

“Why? Oh, because of Crimes at Corners?”

“Yes, it brings back some really bad memories.”

“Oh come on, it’s been six months. You should move on with it.”

“You’re right,” he replied feeling uneasy, “but I don’t want to talk about it now.”

“Okay, but I’m just saying that it shouldn’t be your weakness.”

“Sure,” he said, while switching between channels.

He stopped at one channel and watched the news carefully. A female newscaster narrated:

Maimoona Alam was shooting for her new movie with TV producer Sajid Ahmed. Today was her day of shooting and just one night earlier, she was found murdered. Surprisingly, no one including the TV producer Sajid knew where she was staying. She had kept everything confidential from her team.

Rehan and Maria were watching the news quite carefully and they appeared pretty shocked.

“Oh dear,” Maria said. “It’s terrible!”

“Tell me about it,” Rehan replied.

The images of Maimoona’s dead body lying and her face kept appearing on the screen.

“Death of people in showbiz...” Rehan spoke, “is usually big news for every channel. I don’t think it’s a good way to increase the number of one’s viewers.”

“The number of viewers doesn’t increase if every other news channel is showing the same news.”

“Unless you’re the first one to break the news on your channel.”


Their conversation stopped for a moment as they kept watching the news. Rehan changed the channel and heard a narration on another news channel:

Will this murder mystery be resolved? Or will it remain unsolved forever like Yasir Javed’s murder? Let’s wait and see.

Hearing his cousin Yasir’s name, Rehan felt really uncomfortable and switched off the TV.

“Oh come on, Rehan. It’s over now,” Maria said, trying to console him.

“Maybe,” he said.


He stood up and loosened his tie. Then, when leaving for his bedroom, he said, “You can watch it. I’m sorry for switching it off.”

She kept on looking at him while he walked towards their bedroom. Maria was concerned about Rehan.

Several minutes later, after Rehan had changed and was wearing his casual clothes, Maria came to the room. He looked at her while he was also looking at the mirror.

“Rehan,” she said in a soft tone. “We got married two months ago and promised each other that our all problems are meant to be shared. Isn’t that right?”

“Yes, it is,” Rehan replied.

“So, I just want you to know and understand that in dealing with your past regarding your cousin’s murder, I am with you. And I am telling you that your cousin’s deeds have nothing to do with you.”

“I liked him in the beginning but now, I feel like I hate him. That’s what is causing the problem here.” said Rehan.

“There’s no reason to hate him. He paid the price for his crime.”

“Yeah, I guess. Anyway, thank you. I’m glad we had this talk.”

“Before ending this conversation, I just want you to know that you must learn to face all those things that remind you of him.”

“Sure,” Rehan smiled.


Two Days Later

Rehan returned home from work and saw Maria waiting for him.

“I’ve been watching this one news channel that is broadcasting season two of Crimes at Corners. They are doing a special show, where they will investigate Maimoon Alam’s murder mystery.”

“Oh… really?!”

“I’m thinking of watching the episodes everyday. If you’re comfortable, I’ll be more than happy to watch them with you.”

It was a little difficult for Rehan to refuse. “Sure, I’ll let you know,” he said.

He walked towards the washroom and after keeping his brief case on the table. He kept thinking about his wife’s idea to watch the show.

Deep down, he was also interested in finding out who had actually murdered the famous celebrity and why. He asked his wife about the show’s timings.

“Seven o’clock in the evening,” she replied. “You’ll be free from work and we can watch it together.”

Seeing the eagerness in his wife’s tone, he smiled and said, “Alright, I’ll watch it with you.”


Maria then stood up and went to the kitchen to cook. Rehan picked up the remote and as soon as he switched on the TV, he heard a news anchor narrate the following:

A Twist in Maimoona Alam’s Murder Mystery.

to be continued...