BY GIRISH RASAM & SAEE PATKAR
“Dimag ki batti jala de”, said Dr. John Waghmare while offering his joint to Shairlak Khan, the best consulting detective Bhiwandi has ever seen.
Just this morning, Dr. Waghmare had received a phone call from Mr. Cheater Mukerjea regarding murder allegations against his wife, Mrs. Bindrani Mukerjea, which has left Bhiwandi in a state of shock. “Kyu bhai, Waghmare? Don’t you remember how I ripped Moriarity’s case in the bud? I don’t understand why you’re making a big deal out of it. It’s elementary, my dear Waghmare, it’s elementary!”
* Puff, puff, pass *
Shairlak Khan’s mind was racing like the fastest ‘ R x 10 ‘ in Bhiwandi, as he went through the case files. As was his method, Shairlak put his thinking cap (SWAG wali topi), finished his cutting chai and entered his mind palace.
* Slow music *
An hour had passed…
Shairlak was still engrossed, trying to figure out the killer in Mr. Cheater Mukerjea’s case when suddenly, Dr. Waghmare interrupted him with a phone call, “Shairlak bhai, Shairlak bhai, it’s Mr. Cheater Mukerjea himself.” “It’s about time….
Shairlak : Yes, Mr. Mukerjea I have been through the files but first, tell me how are you doing? Are
you in good health?
Cheater M. : Bhai please help me, bhai! You’re my last resort. Everyone has refused to help me
out. My wife has gone through a lot. I haven’t eaten anything since the past two days.
Shairlak : Have a biscuit then, Mr. Cheater.
Cheater M : That’s exactly what I’ve been eating for the last two days.
Shairlak : Biscuit. (BANG)
A moment of silence before Shairlak slams down the phone.
* Shairlak has an epiphany *
“Waghmare, I think I’ve cracked the case!” said Shairlak excitedly.
Waghmare opened his mouth and was about to ask more before Shairlak went into a fit of rage.
“SHUT UP, SHUT UP WAGHMARE. DON’T THINK, DON’T MOVE. You know nothing, John Wagh…
* Third person perspective flashback *
“It was just any ordinary day for Meena Gora, daughter of Bindrani’s second husband. Boarding the train, getting to college, chilling with friends, wagera wagera. Little did she know that that very day, her evil mother had planned to change her from Meena Gora to Meena No-More-a as was planned, Ramu kaka, Bindrani’s driver, picked up Meena from her college, and drive her home to meet her mom. Bindrani, CEO of Marle-G (the irony!) Industries, was anxiously awaiting her daughter’s arrival.
Bindrani had secretly gotten a special batch of Marle biscuits laden with a very deadly poison. It was conversation as usual between the mother and her daughter, sharing crushes and coffee.
Mid-convo, her mother offered her the plate of the “special” biscuits. Meena, or rather “Mayoos” Meena was dead within a matter of minutes, her last moments filled with pain and misery. Although for Meena, her favourite biscuits and proved to be a bane, but for Bindrani’s wretched soul, they were “taste bhi, health bhi.”
“Oh, bhaaaaaii! Kya samjayla bhai!” exclaimed Waghmare as he gave Shairlak a tight hug. “Call Mr. Cheater and ask him to meet at B10 Bhiwandi Investigation Department as soon as possible.”
* At the B10 HQ *
Trying to catch a hold of his breath, Mr. Mukerjea climbed the stairs of the B10 headquarters and arrived at Constable Pravin Tambe’s desk. “I was expecting you Mr. Cheater Mukerjea, or should I say, Mr. Cheat-ed Mukerjea?” Shairlak asked Mr. Mukerjea.
* BADUMTSS *
He glanced at Waghmare expecting a hint of smile to acknowledge the best pun Bhiwandi has ever seen. #Punoftheyear
“What are you saying, Shairlak? Whether my wife is out of the jail or not s my only concern.” Asked a worried Cheater.
Mr. Mukerjea was grief stricken on hearing Shairlak’s version of the case which was further solidified by the evidences uncovered by the talented and multi-skilled Constable Pravin Tambe.
* Case closed *
* Returns home *
“Shouldn’t you have been less harsh while revealing the truth to Mr. Mukerjea?” Waghmare said while unlocking the door to 22/B Bhimshankar Marg, Kaldongri.
Shairlak shrugged and said, “My dear Waghmare, emotions are like spices – they only add color to life and distort the truth. The case might spicy or bland, but what matters is the truth. The real test of any Bhiwandi detective lies in his ability jiski voh sacchai aur bhavnaon ko pehechan sake. Asli masala sach sach!