Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hanging Love

‘Shall I tell them to bring her down?’ sub-inspector Arjun asked Inspector Shokie.
‘Let her hang.’ But for the grimace on her face, Shokie’s response sounded contemptuous.
Arjun briefed his boss, ‘The maid who comes in the afternoon to clean found the door locked. She told Indira’s,’ he paused, pointed at the hanging lady, ‘her mother. They banged on the door; and, hearing the ruckus, some neighbors came over. Indira’s husband came home with their kid then. He is between jobs, and the four-year old is in playschool. Indira’s brother too turned up. Someone brought a sledgehammer to open the door. It was bolted from within, all the windows too.’
It wasn’t a big room, a study-cum-guest room. There was a small bed at one corner with a study-table next to it. A chair lay on the floor, in the middle, presumably kicked by the victim hanging from a hook. There was an attached bathroom.
‘You seem to be familiar with this lady,’ Shokie noted.
Arjun explained, ‘A month back, her husband filed a missing person report with us. It turned out that this Indira had run away with a lover, some married guy in her office. We didn’t have to do much. The families intervened and brought her back to her senses.’
‘How old is she?’ Shokie asked.
‘Twenty six…’
‘So, she married at twenty or so, had a kid a year later, and you think she lost her senses because she fell in love with another at twenty five or twenty six…?’
‘Come on, she has got a four-year old kid,’ Arjun said.
Arjun glared at his boss. Shokie’s deep-set dark eyes held the glare for a while before turning her attention to the crime scene.
‘Did she do it?’ she asked.
‘Looks that way,’ Arjun said, with a hesitation.
‘The height of the body seems fine but how did she get the rope through the hook in the ceiling? Bit of a stretch for her height, but not possible…’
‘By the way, there is a suicide note.’
‘How convenient…’
Shokie followed Arjun to the table.
The first page in a writing pad had a short note, ‘I love him. I can’t live without him. I am leaving.’
Shokie flipped the page and studied the next page.
Arjun remarked, ‘Yes, there is an impression on that. And, it’s her handwriting alright.’
‘But, when did she write this?’ Shokie asked. ‘Don’t they teach in school to date all correspondence? Maybe not suicide notes? And…’ She paused.
‘And, notice of eloping?’ Arjun offered.
Shokie nodded. ‘No note like this came up at the time of the missing person complaint, I guess.’
 ‘Any sign of struggle here?’
‘Doping?’ She answered that herself. ‘I guess we will have to wait for the postmortem. I am sure that won’t tell us whether it was self-administered or not?’
‘If this is not suicide, how did the killer get out of a room locked from within?’ Arjun queried.
‘When the room was unlocked…’ Shokie suggested.
‘But when they smashed into the room, they did not see anyone in this room,’ Arjun noted.
‘Did they check the bathroom?’ Shokie asked.
‘Someone would have noticed when the killer exited.’
‘Not if that person is a member of the house,’ Shokie said.
‘Indira’s mother and husband were outside the room.’
‘How about the brother…?’
‘Surely a brother won’t kill a sister…’ Arjun exclaimed.
Shokie raised an eyebrow, chewed her lower lip and gave an exasperated look.
She said, ‘Check out his movements. Cross-check with everyone who was here, the maid, neighbors, all of them…’
‘You don’t sound too hopeful,’ Arjun observed.
‘I am quite sure he will say that he was outside… or, upstairs, in his room, somewhere. And the family would vouch for that, and every other nincompoop here would contradict each other hopelessly with their account of that confusion…’
‘We can try to break him and the others…’ Arjun suggested.
‘We will…’ Shokie looked up at the hanging body, ‘hasn’t she hanged enough? Take her down, will you? Bloody love! One way or the other, you end up hanging…’
Arjun raised an eyebrow and gave a noncommittal shrug.


  1. Hello There....

    So... Shokie again.. but this time with a side kick.. nice!
    does this stay within the 700 mark???

    I liked it.. with the hanging ending... and a little side track of eloping.. gives the edge and motto...

    But I found it more hilarious at places.. like Arjun saying "brought to sense" and "brother wont do it"
    But my fav was when Shokie says about adding date to any correspondence..!!! :) real witty! :)

    Let me not dwell into the topic of being ethically or morally right!!! :)

    On the whole a very good read.. no questions here.. :)


    1. Thanks a lot for reading this one, KP.

      Hey, you HAVE to tell me whether it is ethically or morally right!? :-)))

      I guess you must have heard of the recent cases in this city. Nothing humorous about those real life incidents. But it is really crazy what people can do! Makes the old Agatha Christie novels seem rather tame.

      By the way, oh yes.. I did manage this with 699 words! Hahaha

      Many thanks once again!

  2. Another unsolved Shokie mystery, left to the readers to unravel! Wish it was longer than 700 words.

    1. Thanks a lot for reading this. Aha... I think Shokie leaves the nitty-griity part of solving to readers... :-))) Great to see you here.