I was an out-of-work screenplay writer and being neighbours with him was one of the best things that could have happened to me.
Though I didn’t get to accompany him everywhere, I knew and could visualize everything.
He was a loner and I was a dreamer.
But, I was not his friend. No one could be his friend.
How can you be friends with someone who had no sense of legal and illegal? Truth isn’t everything.
After a few weeks of working together, I broached the topic of keeping an account of all his cases.
He tersely said, “I may be Holmes, but you are no Watson.”
How could we ever be friends?
However, he was right. I was just the sounding board when he lit up a cigarette and thought out loud.
We then came to a truce.
Tapping into his love for cinema, I suggested that it will help in making his stories into movies later.
He liked the idea so much that it was he who suggested the necessity to dramatize a few portions.
I wanted to call the series, “The Adventures of Detective Sa…”, but he butted in and started brainstorming for alternative names.
He wanted to protect his identity. I could understand.
After a few hours, 13 cups of coffee and 7 cigarettes, he zeroed in on the name.
This is the first entry into the series or memoirs or case study or even franchise.
This here is a story of the woman who made 59 calls to the office on a Sunday morning.
The curious case of her dead father. A father who was sentenced to death by hanging.
THE MYLAPORE BANKER
A Detective Mahadev Investigation
Twelve minutes to Twelve a.m
A street, MADRAS
The street was deserted and creepily silent.
The only source of sound was the intermittent pitter patter of the residual rains from the downpour earlier that evening.
There was a singular street light flickering away incessantly.
The spookiness in the silence of this night was mildly accentuated by those leisurely placed footsteps along the waterlogged street.
A cat, nestled under the street light, scurried off when those footsteps came closer to that light.
The silver on his wrist made his eyes squint when he turned it against the light to check the time.
He wiped his glasses, put it back on the bridge of his nose and checked the watch.
There were ten more minutes…
Adjusting his hat and holding the umbrella firmly, he walked towards the phone booth nearby.
Folding the umbrella and placing it next to him, he sat on a motorbike parked outside the booth and lit a cigarette.
At the end of the ninth minute, he stubbed the cigarette and entered the booth.
He removed a piece of paper from the inside of his hat and dialed the number.
The call was picked after the third ring.
Adorning his hat, he said with the baritone that was chilling and assuring at the same time,
“It is done…”
He put the receiver down, walked out of the booth and sat on that motorbike.
The silence of the night was disrupted by an extremely loud noise. A noise that got almost all the houses on that street to light up.
All hell broke loose.
The roof of the shiny red car was damaged and there were glass shards everywhere.
This is what happens when a person falls on a car, any car, even the shiny red car.
There was widespread commotion and everyone ran towards the car to see what had happened and to have a closer look at the blood stained body of the motionless person.
Amid all this, no one noticed the cigarette-smoking man with a Hat riding out on his motorbike into the darkness of the night.
Everything was going to change.