Shot Dead – Episode 8

 

RECAP:

Industrialist Shravan Ram’s wife Sudha is dead. Detective Chatur Nath is given the case. As Shravan’s family is his prime suspect, he investigates his family members first. While investigating the watchman, his suspicion on mythili increases. He finds a knife in Sudha’s house and an old photo of Sudha with a man. When he goes to investigate Shravan about this, he meets Chembian who reveals another side of Shravan and Sudha. Then, when he returns home, he finds someone inside.

 

Episode 8

Chatur ran into his house and stood dumbstruck.

 

“Where were you Mr. Chatur Nath?” she asked.

 

“I told you to call me when you arrive” he said slowly.

 

“Well, who knows, with which dead person you were enjoying your time!” she joked. He chuckled.

 

“I love your smile”, she said casually.

 

“Oh really?” his ears went pink. He looked around the house to avoid her eyes. The house was not messy anymore. She laughed at his shyness.

 

“The famous detective Chatur Nath is speechless in front of his wife! The eighth wonder!” she exclaimed.

 

“No Gayu. You won’t believe me if I tell you all the things that happened today and all the times it made me speechless. But before that, shall we eat? I’m starving.”

 

“Sure, Mr. Husband. Guess your child wants some food too” she said, placing her hand on her baby-bump. He hugged her. He surely did miss her and the child in her warm womb. She was his crutch in life.

 

Chatur told her everything about Sudha’s case. She didn’t interrupt, which he liked the most about her. She had a capacity for understanding more than anyone he ever knew.

 

“Chatur, I don’t know who might have murdered her. But I feel that it was someone from her close circle. Instincts you know? You said that, apart from the weapon, the killer had left very less clues right? Then it means that the killer had a well devised plan or had nothing to leave behind.”

 

Chatur nodded. She was right. He started thinking. Then she asked, “Doesn’t she have any friends?”

 

The next morning passed in a jiffy – but with an exciting new clue. Chatur got to know about Savithri, Sudha’s college friend, from Shravan, who was having a hard time giving any more information due to a hangover. Savithri, a heavy, beautiful woman, revealed another side of Sudha. When Chatur showed her the photo, she looked at it as if she was used to it. “This” she said, “is Srinivas. Sudha’s ex-boyfriend. They were together in college.” Chatur was unaffected by this piece of information. But he was shocked to find truth in Chembian’s claims.

 

“Sudha married Shravan when she got his proposal. Srinivas couldn’t satisfy her financial needs and so she left him. I told her that it was betrayal and she stopped contacting me ever since. I wasn’t even invited for her marriage. I didn’t hear from her after that”

 

“Where is Srinivas, now?”

 

“I’ll give his address. But I haven’t met anyone for months. I was not in town for a year. I returned from my hometown only this morning, to have the police stand at my door”

 

“So, you weren’t shocked on hearing your friend’s death?”

 

“Sir, I always knew, she would be abandoned by Shravan one day or the other. ButI was pretty shaken when I heard the news. It is not in the nature of Shravan to forgive. You are saying that you found this picture at their house. Couldn’t have Shravan found it too?”

 

Sudha’s case was really challenging him. It was growing as a tree with messy branches. He was the wind that blew across the tree, trying to make the leaves fall. But the leaves stayed on stubbornly, refusing to wither.

The meeting with Sav

ithri made nothing better. The growing suspicions and the deep dark sides of everyone’s lives were making it worse. When he went to Srinivas’ house, a neighbor of him informed Chatur that Srinivas was out of town and shut the door on his face. “Why doesn’t anyone like detectives?” he thought. He reached his house to check on his pregnant wife. Seeing her talk away with her unborn child was all that took to relieve him off his stress.

 

“If he talks about anything bad, I’ll shake my bangles. You close your ears. Trust me, I have no clue why I fell in love with him” she was telling without noticing Chatur who was peeking through the window.

 

“When you come out, I’ll buy you a puppy. It will grow with you. You can play with it till you get a brother or a sister.” Chatur chuckled but closed his mouth immediately. He didn’t want to disturb the cute conversation.

“You know, dogs can find the things you lose. They are pretty good at sniffing things out. What say? Shall we get a dog? You come out soon… Hey, don’t kick” she said, smiling and looked out of the window to see whether Chatur was coming home for lunch. Chatur was not there.

 

He was on his way to the airport. Gayathri always triggered the connection between the clues, knowingly or unknowingly. Dogs never commit mistakes. The police dogs stopped in front of the airport. Srinivas was out of town. “But why was there a lady’s slipper?” he asked himself. He knew he was on the right track when he found Srinivas’ name in the list of passengers who took-off to Bangalore on 23rd May.

 

Chatur booked a seat on the next flight to Bangalore. He hoped that he wasn’t following the wrong clue. When he landed in Bangalore, the next challenge awaited him.

 

You can read the previous and the next  episodes by clicking on the respective links:

Episode 7

Episode 9

Shot dead – is an exclusive bilingual crime novel series, jointly written by Swathi Mohan and Anirudh Ramesh (English) and Arun Balaji, Kishore and K.Pavithra (Tamil).