No more chance could be created in the remaining time. The game ended in a draw as no one could score. Sunrise Club remained champion for the sixth time. The result was that the coach immediately resigned.

The story of football ends here. But the story of the murder still lingers.

He felt like a defeated soldier. Such a long preparation, long period of practice, so much hope – everything went in vain. He felt relegated from a hero to a villain in his failure. He did not venture out from his flat for two days now. He felt that he would be greeted with some faces full of scorn and ridicule. He is still not mentally prepared to face such a situation.

On the third day, the person again arrived at his flat. That very CID personnel. Here, the mental state is in shambles and he has chosen this moment to interrogate him again! So much fury is accumulated in his mind that he wants to punch his face squarely. But, after all, an investigating officer. So, though he controlled his hands, his anger emerged through his sharp voice, ‘What do you think? Humph! You have thought m – m – me (he stammered in extreme irritation and anger) to be the killer. Ok, arrest me – do it now. Don’t enact some silly drama here’.

The person appeared to have dropped from the sky, ‘Who told you that I am a CID personnel? Have I ever interrogated you? Even now I have come to express my compassion. So much of practice practically went down the drain. The shot should not have missed the goal at least.’

He practically lost his patience. A slang word slipped out from his mouth ‘Look – (composing himself), if you are not a CID personnel, then (slang), why had you been interrogating me so long? As if I am the murderer! Humph’ (All his anger was evident in the last humph)

The stranger shook his head, ‘Ohh, you don’t know yet? It’s just because you do not read newspaper, watch TV news etc. The murderer has been nabbed, the watchman is the murderer. The very person you did not encounter as you entered the gate. The scoundrel attempted to outrage the modesty of the lady taking the chance of finding her alone. He is caught, you know, police arrested him.’

What! The murderer has been caught? He roared in anger, ‘Then why you, a C.I.D. personnel, has been tormenting me since long? Humph’! And hit the table heavily with clenched fist, that he actually wanted to punch the person with to change his facial geography permanently.

The man appeared unperturbed. He said calmly, ‘What to do. I am a hapless writer, not a CID personnel. This editor, Ojha, has been after me asking for a story. That too one on football this time. Where do I get one? Actually had the goal been scored, the story could not have been complete. Thank God, the goal was not scored. Please read, when the story is published.

The person departed from the flat before he could punch his face with full force. 

About the authorHarekrishna Deka is one of the most prominent poet-critics of his generation. He started writing poems and short stories since his student days. He was one of the most prolific writers of Assam's Ramdhenu Era. He was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award for his poetic contribution in ‘Ann Ejan’ in 1987 and the ‘Katha Award’ for his short story, Bandiyar (Prisoner) in 1995. After retiring as the Director General of Police, Assam, Shri Deka was Editor of the English daily, The Sentinel for a brief period before serving as Editor of the Assamese literary monthly, Gariyasi He won the Assam Valley Literary Award in 2010 which was instituted by the Williamson Magor Trust to honour the writers of Assam once a year. His translated Assamese poetry is being taught in English Major Courses in Bangalore University, India.

About the translator-author: Bibekananda Choudhury, an electrical engineer by profession, has completed his MS from BITSPilani in Systems and Information. He has also earned a diploma in French language from Gauhati University. He has got published works (both original and translated) in Assamese, Bengali & English in popular periodicals and newspapers. His translated poems has been published in 'Indian Literature', ‘Poets International’, Poetry International’, Rupsi Bangla, etc. 'Suryakatha', the Bengali adaptation done by him of the Assamese novelette in verse in the same title by Prayag Saikia was well accepted. His English translated publications include – one short story collection and four poetry collections and one Information Book on Kaziranga, apart from few others in manuscript form. He hails from Bongaigaon and presently stays at Guwahati.

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