Shot Dead – Episode 11

 

 

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. He finds a knife in Sudha’s house and an old photo of Sudha with a man. He then meets Chembian who reveals another side of Shravan and Sudha. Chatur’s wife, after hearing this case, tells him to talk to Sudha’s friend. By her, he gets to know about Sudha’s ex Srinivas and he goes on to meet him in Bangalore. He gets new clues there from Srinivas’ wife Madhavi.

Episode 11:

After finishing all the formalities, Chatur boarded the flight to Madras, however, not before calling his wife from a phone booth.

“Hello” her sweet voice was reason enough for him to be alive.

“Gayu… Chatur here” he said.

“Chatur! What happened? Is everything fine?”

“Yes. I saw Madhavi”

“My goodness” she exclaimed. “Is the case closed?”

“No Gayu. She didn’t kill Sudha. There was someone after she left.” He said and sighed.

“Who is that? This case seems never-ending” she sounded worried.

“I’m however closer to the killer. I will solve this case soon. I’m coming back now. How are you? Did you eat? Did you feel any contractions? Even if there are mild symptoms please don’t hesitate to go to the doctor…”

“Chatur… Chatur… breathe.” She joked. “Your questions are suffocating me.”

“Don’t joke. Answer”

She promised she was fine. With reluctance, he placed the receiver as there was already a queue behind him.

The day was falling. He lacked sleep. For two days, he had not got enough sleep and his mind desperately wanted a rest.

He was thinking on his way to airport: To whom did sudha say ‘Why are you here’?

Shravan? He could have showed himself at the door when he should have been abroad.

Mythili? Sudha hated her. So she could have asked her.

Nandhini? Vinayak? They never visited her.

Chembian? He hated her.

The watchman? He should have been with his wife.

He mulled over the reasons for Sudha’s string of words. But, he couldn’t get any solution. His head ached.

He fell asleep as soon as the flight took off. He had a dream: His wife was admitted to the hospital for delivery. She was screaming in pain. Chatur was waiting outside. Then a man came out from the operation theatre with a knife and blood dripping from it. The killer ran outside. Chatur followed him. There was that one-handed auto driver standing outside with the auto, ready for the killer to get in. Then Chatur heard a baby crying. He ran inside to check on his wife but he skidded and fell down.

Chatur jolted up. He didn’t apologise to his neighbouring passenger for disturbing him. He was thinking only one thing: why did the auto driver go to a comparatively uninhabited area at the time of murder?

As soon as the flight landed, Chatur hired a cab and went to the auto driver’s house but he was told he was out for work and that he was was not in the shed too.

“He has gone with a passenger. What happened, sir?” another auto driver in the shed said.
Chatur had no other way but to wait. His brain couldn’t come out of the case. It kept on rewinding the confessions and clues. Madhavi said that there was no one in the streets surrounding sudha’s house except the auto driver and there were no houses either. Then, why did the driver go there out of all the other busy places?

He waited for about fifteen minutes and the driver arrived. On seeing Chatur, he gave a warm smile.

But Chatur gave a cold gaze.

“Where to, sir? Shall I take you?” the driver asked.

“I have come for an investigation. Why did you go to the murder place?”

“Sir? I don’t understand. For two days, I was ill. I didn’t go to work. You know that…”

“But you picked up Madhavi two days back from that place”

“Sir that was my last ride of that day. The following two days, I was sick.” The driver was visibly afraid.

“I’m asking about that day only. Why did you go there? Your house was not there. Why…”

“I went with a passenger” the driver said.

“Who was that?”

“How do I know sir?”

“Can you describe them?”

The driver commenced the description. Chatur started to feel that the person was acquainted. Scratching his head, he started to think and then something in the lower region of the black board of the auto behind the driver’s seat caught his attention. Chatur found out who that passenger was.

 

You can read the tenth episode by clicking on the  link below:
Episode 10

 

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).