He was the biggest singing sensation the country had ever seen. He was dead. Shot dead. They got the man without much ado, considering, he did not even try to run.
Even then they handcuffed him and led him roughly to the police station, parading him in front of a hungry media that wanted to show the world the face of the man who killed the sensation.
“Why did you do it?” queried the station chief. The man did not answer. He maintained a dogged silence that they could not break.
Slowly, a little at a time, they learned about him. He was the singer’s best friend at school. They both came from a village tucked away into a dark corner of obscurity. He had come to the city about three months back. He was an agent for an insurance company. Yet, why would he kill his childhood friend?
He did not break under interrogation. It was an open shut case. They gave him life imprisonment.
Four years later, in the prison yard he told an old dying man the reason. “I came to town and telephoned him. He was very happy to hear from me. We would meet, he said,” confided the killer. “And so you killed him?” the old man could not understand. “I killed him because after that he did not answer my phone calls for three months.”
The old man only stared, perplexed.
“Do you know, nothing makes you feel more irrelevant than an unanswered phone call. When a person races ahead in life, he feels he has the right to ignore the people who he has left behind. He robbed me and I killed him. Would you not kill a thief?” The old man nodded, “Perhaps I would, but what did this man rob?” he inquired.
“He robbed me of my dignity. Everyday I felt more and more worthless. I could have dealt with rejection, cause there I still exist. When I am ignored, I don’t exist. Now he does not exist, I do.”