"Sorry to keep you waiting, Dr. Chaudhary", the sharply dressed young man said as he swung open the door and burst into the room. "Hurry up, I have an operation to perform at 11" grumbled the doctor. "I haven't properly introduced myself, I'm the officer assigned by the Bombay high court to take your official statement for the case of..." He paused to read the title of the file he was carrying. "...The state of Maharashtra vs Doctor Nilima Chaudhary." "I want my lawyer present here!" blurted out the doctor, visibly annoyed. The man simply laughed, "You've watched too many English movies doctor, there's no such practice here in India!" "Get on with it then", she retorted, glancing impatiently at her watch. The man sat down across the table from her and opened his file. After a few moments of silence, he said, "So, Dr. Chaudhary, did you or did you not perform a surgery on a Miss Alizeh Hussain on the fifteenth of March, twenty-twenty-one?" "I did", she replied.

"Could you please explain the procedure you performed on Miss Hussain for the record?"

"It was a simple wisdom tooth extraction, nothing complicated. You create an incision in the gums, cut the tooth in half and remove both parts of it, one after the other."

"Seems fairly simple. How did the victim die on the operating table, doctor?"

"She was not a victim. This was not a murder or whatever you're alleging it was. The girl was given local anaesthesia but she started reporting intense pain during the extraction. So Dr. Prabhat gave her general anaesthesia so that we could complete our surgery. He gave her a dose too strong and she couldn't be resuscitated. Accidents happen in the operation theatre, you cannot blame us doctors for it. We fight to save our patients till the very end."

"Would you say Dr. Prabhat is an able doctor?"

"Not really, no. That buffoon couldn't tell the difference between a scissor and a scalpel when drunk and that day in the operating theatre, he absolutely reeked of alcohol."

"Dr. Prabhat phoned the local police station on the twenty ninth of July, twenty-twenty-one and wanted to talk to the SHO. After being told that the SHO was not there at the time, he said he would come down to the station later. His phone was unreachable that evening and he was nowhere to be found. Subsequently, he failed to show up for work the following day. A formal missing person report was filed on the first of August twenty twenty one. Highly suspicious, don't you think?"

"It was a tragedy. Rumors are that he, under the influence, thought he murdered the poor girl and racked by guilt, wanted to confess, before taking to his heels, being the coward that he is."

"A tragedy it definitely was. The girl's parents ended up divorcing after the untimely death of their only child. The mother overdosed on drugs last month and the father lives as a recluse in his native village somewhere in Madhya Pradesh now. This case was filed by the state after the father refused to do it himself."

"Why are you telling me all this? I'm terribly late, wrap this up so I can attend to my work." "I know Dr. Prabhat didn't kill Alizeh" the man said softly.

"What?" She replied, dread in her voice.

"You did. I do not know what happened inside the operating theatre but she was dead by 10:30 am, according to the autopsy report. Dr. Prabhat's entry logs that day report that he arrived in the hospital at 11:00. We have footage of him being in the bar before driving to work. You fooled him into thinking Alizeh had woken up. You had him give anaesthesia to her corpse. You then gaslighted the drunkard into believing he killed her. You may have slipped up sometime, an inconsistency in your stories or he might have noticed the same discrepancy I did. He put two and two together and uncovered the truth. You got wind of this and killed him to cover your tracks. The assisting nurse refused to cross you out of fear once you threatened to kill her family back in Kerala. I want you to confess, on tape, that you murdered Alizeh Hussain and I want to know why."

"I got carried away. Simple as that. The power of choosing life or death for my patients is in my hands. I do not know what took over me. I wanted to see the life drain out of her. I injected her with more than she could handle. It was a quiet death though, she peacefully slept while her pulse dropped. She wouldn't have felt a thing."

"Tell me doctor, do you believe in the Indian judicial system?"

"Yes I do. I wish for a fair and just trial and I shall accept my punishment."

"I trust in the judiciary too, with all my heart, doctor. However, we have to admit, you're rather wealthy. You are a client of the best law firm in the country. Your case is under the radar. You won't face much punishment. You will walk away with a slap on the wrist. There will be no outrage because apparently nobody cares about the little girl that lost her life for you to live out your twisted fantasy. Worst case scenario, you will lose your medical license, serve a few years in prison and be a free woman. It isn't much, seeing how many lives you destroyed."

Dr. Chaudhary, at this point, was pale as a ghost. She got up and rushed towards the door, only to find it locked. Frantically, she tried pushing it, pulling it, trying to get it open any way she could but to no avail. The man laughed. "I paid a huge bribe to have the police get you here, do you think I would let you go this easy?"

Late that night, the man walked into the local police station. Seeing the man covered in blood, the lone police inspector could only stare, mouth agape, as he emptied the pouch he had in his hand. A set of thirty two perfect teeth rattled down onto the policeman's desk as the man plopped down on the opposite seat and said "Officer, I have a confession to make."

Author: Rohan

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