Part II
  • 06 Oct - 12 Oct, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Rehan switched on the TV and paid close attention to what he was about to hear.

The newscaster narrated. “A Twist in Maimoona Alam’s Murder Mystery: A pistol has been discovered from the room where Maimoona Alam was found murdered. And surprisingly, the fingerprints on the murder weapon match those of the unidentified young man found dead in the same room.” The news story ended.

“Oh God! Really?” Rehan said while gawking at the TV screen.

The news story continued: “The police don’t seem to respond. They are not disclosing a lot of information regarding the case, since no one has been hired yet to investigate on this case.”

“What are they saying?” Maria asked Rehan.

“The murder weapon has been found,” he responded.

Maria paid attention to the news and read the ticker at the bottom.

“Oh, dear lord!” she gasped as she realised the entire situation.

“I think the case would be easy to solve now,” Rehan said. “Don’t you think so?”

“You mean, you actually think that the unidentified guy murdered Maimoona?” she asked Rehan.

“Yes, why not? I mean, don’t you think that?”

“No, the question is that if he murdered Maimoona Alam, then who killed him?”

“It can be a suicide.”

“No, I don’t think so. The case won’t be that simple, I’m telling you.”

“What makes you think it’s not a suicide?”

“You know that his face was hardly recognisable due to facial wounds. Do you think it’s an easy way to kill one self and commit suicide?” Maria posed a question.

“That’s right, I agree with you now,” Rehan said.

“You know what, these news channels will only confuse us. They will highlight every point and give us a wrong direction. So instead of following them, I suggest we wait for more episodes of Crimes at Corners.”

“I guess so. So how long do we have to wait?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll watch them together. Just a few hours are left.”


Meanwhile at a police station, a lazy and greedy police officer Adnan Zaka sat with his feet resting on the desk. The head constable came by and handed over the cell phone to him. Officer Adnan was not in the mood to talk and asked, “Who is it? What does he want?”

“Sir, you’re being assigned to Maimoona Alam’s murder’s investigation.”

“Oh!” he said putting his feet down on the floor and continued, “So this means a lot of bribe is coming my way.”

“Yes!” the head constable said with wink.

Inspector Adnan took the cell phone from him and answered the call after taking a deep breath.


In the evening, Rehan and Maria were anxious, as they sat together to watch the crime reality show, Crimes at Corners. The episode revolving around Maimoona Alam’s murder was about to begin. Maria was more interested in the show than Rehan, who was merely giving her company.

The episode began with photos of Alam both, before and after her murder, accompanied by a narration in the background: “Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know that our beloved actress Miss Maimoona Alam was found murdered a few days back, which has left us all upset. The only way she’ll get justice is when her killer is arrested after thorough investigations and much-needed tracing of all the suspects involved in the case. For those who don’t know, Maimoona Alam was a 40-year-old star and she was one of those struggling celebrities who had climbed the ladder of success without anyone’s help and support. She earned her fame after immense struggle. She begain her film career starring as a lead actress in a political thriller The Candidate From USA in 2003. Films like Black Sheep and Prisoner of Love were a huge success in her career. She was working on a movie with director Sajid Ahmed which could not be completed after her sudden demise. Quite recently, she had a rough break up with Nasir Ghias who hasn’t spoken anything regarding the slain actor’s murder. This death mystery can be a benefit to some and real trouble for other people in showbiz. However, that is an inevitable situation when someone famous gets murdered.”

Some scenes from Alam’s movies accompanied the narration, while Rehan and Maria’s eyes were left wide open watching the show.

Short videos of the actor’s old and recent interviews were being broadcast, where she spoke about her fame and all that she has achieved:

“I have what I have because of my parents’ prayer. I am what I am because of my loving fans. I say what I say because of my education. ”

Maria looked amused watching those clips and said, “Oh, I do remember Maimoona’s speaking style. This is the way she would always speak.”

“Do you think her fans admire that?”

“Yes, they do; because it’s unique. There’s no other celebrity who can talk like this. She was known for her sentences.”

“I see, but Yasir Javed was better than her. I mean in terms of his speaking skills.”

“I agree, but there’s a difference between possessing certain speaking skills and practicing them wisely.”

“What do you mean?” Rehan answered getting confused.

“Yasir was good at arguing but here Maimoona was smart with her speech.”

“Well, the sad reality is that they both are dead. I’m sorry, I don’t want to sound disrespectful, all I’m saying is that they have passed away and their words are now useless.”

“Yeah, right.”

The show continued with the host taking it forward: “Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am Zafar Mohsin, the host of Crimes at Corners. Right now, I am on a mission to uncover the face of Maimoona Alam’s murderer.”

“Oh, so he’s the new host of the show,” Rehan said.

“He’s not new, he’s been hosting for several months,” Maria replied.

“Well, good for him.”

The host, Zafar, continued: “So far we know that the murder weapon found in the room had the unidentified guy’s finger prints. At the moment, we are standing outside the hotel where the victims were brutally murdered.”

“Oh, really!” Maria said, as if in shock.

“You can see the building behind me. Yes, this is where Maimoona Alam was murdered.” The host said.

“Impressive,” Rehan commented.

“Exactly,” Maria responded.

“People of Pakistan!” the host exclaimed. “We must take into account that there are two murders, which means the investigations shall be two-folded. As much as it is important for us to investigate Maimoona’s death, the unidentified guy’s murder is equally crucial in terms of investigations.”

The host of the show moved back and the cameraman followed him. He spoke as he kept walking: “Now ladies and gentlemen, we will go inside the building and see the room where Maimoona was staying.” Then, it was time for a commercial break and Maria didn’t like that, for she wanted to watch the show uninterrupted.

“How long does the commercial run for?” Rehan asked Maria.

“It runs for more than five minutes. The show is really interesting though.”

“It’s just the beginning, what did you find so interesting?”

“I don’t know, almost everything, maybe.”

Rehan waited for the show to resume. He wasn’t so delighted, as the show wasn’t as interesting as he was expecting it to be. Maria stood up and left for the kitchen to get a glass of water. Before leaving, she asked her husband, “Do you need water or anything else?”

“No, thank you my dear.”

Rehan was feeling a bit awkward about something but felt better after a while. Maria came back in the room with a glass of water in her hand. Rehan didn’t notice, as she came and sat next to him.

The show resumed.

“That seemed like a short break,” Maria commented.

“Felt like a long one to me though,” Rehan replied.

“What?” Maria asked.

“Nothing... umm... nothing,” Rehan replied and increased the TV’s volume.

In the show, Zafar Mohsin climbed up the stairs, saying: “Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, as you all know we are headed towards the room. This room is not an ordinary one. A homicide has taken place here. In fact, a double homicide and we are going to investigate on this keeping in mind the limitations of our state’s law.”

He stopped walking and turned towards a door labelled with a yellow strip stating ‘Crime Scene Do Not Enter’.

“Alright people! As you all can see, this is the room we’ve all been hearing about. This is the place where Maimoona Alam was attacked and murdered by a cruel murderer, along with the mysterious guy. Right now, we can’t say much regarding who the killer was. We can’t convict the other victim found dead in the room to be the woman’s murderer. Even though we have his finger prints on the murder weapon, but a little thorough investigation is needed and jumping to conclusions has never been a policy of our team.”

Rehan was still not interested but Maria was engrossed in the show.

The show’s host, Zafar, moved away from the room and continued: “Local police has allowed us to enter the room and investigate this murder case. One of the police officers will stay with us throughout our time in there. They’ve also shared photographs of the crime scene with us and they are enough for us to examine the murder closely.”

Some images of the murder scene appeared on the screen. Zafar’s voice continued in the background: “We would like to tell you that this woman who was brutally murdered does not demand justice for herself; in fact, it is for the millions of fans who loved her. She had fans in India, too, and even they are demanding her killer to be arrested. Therefore, the team of Crimes at Corners is here to pay heed to Maimoona Alam’s admirers and achieve our objective successfully.”

“One can only hope so,” Rehan said, sounding really bored of the show.

“Why?” Maria asked him.

“Excuse me?” he retorted in a sarcastic manner.

“Why are you saying that?”

“It’s because I don’t find this show serious at all. This guy, Zafar Mohsin, he’s just talking and wasting time. This show just seems very fancy.”

“Fancy? Hold on, could you please define the word fancy?” Maria asked him.

“I mean that they’re just spending so much time on showing these pictures and all, but nothing substantial is coming out of it.”

“Well, that’s because it’s the first episode. They are introducing the case to those who don’t know much about it.”

“Why don’t you watch the show alone for a moment? I need to get some work done in our room. Call me when something interesting comes up,” Rehan stood up and told Maria.

“Oh, come on Rehan! Let’s watch it together. I’m only watching this show because I want to watch it with you.”

“Fine! I’ll watch it,” Rehan sat back but looked rather annoyed.

Back in the show, Zafar Mohsin kept going: “A forensic investigator told us that the criminal might be right handed as the finger prints found on the weapon are that of a right handed person.”

“Now that’s progress,” Rehan quipped.

“There are three leading suspects in this case. First is Maimoona Alam’s ex-boyfriend Nasir Ghias. The second suspect is TV producer Jabar Kansiro. Yes, you all must be really surprised to hear his name, but let me tell you that he has a very strong motive behind this situation, as he wanted to sign the late actor for a drama serial with strict conditions in the contract, like not signing another movie when working with him. Maimoona initially agreed but later breached the contract and signed a movie with producer Sajid Ahmed, all while keeping it a secret.”

Maria looked astounded as she said, “This is a real turning point here.”

“Yes, nobody knew about it,” Rehan endorsed Maria’s viewpoint.

The show continued: “Jabar found this out and insulted at Maimoona in front of everybody. The actress was disturbed because of this and cancelled the contract with him. Jabar was now even more furious than before, as he had invested millions on this contract and drama serial project. So he tried everything to stop her, but Maimoona was firm on her decision and refused to ever see him again. The third suspect on our list is an ordinary guy who was in love with Maimoona. He was a crazy fan of the actress and she had approached the court to issue a restraining order against him, as he had tried to attack her before. Now, we are going to interview all of these suspects in our upcoming episodes. Our episode today ends here. Goodbye and take care!”

to be continued...