There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in

The ambulance rushed through the empty lanes to keep signaling the emergency its occupants were facing. Sanjay kept comforting his unconscious mother, while his wife, Gauri continued crying incessantly. The old lady had tumbled down the stairs and slipped into unconsciousness. The lady accompanying them was the hotel manager Pema who kept wondering about the ill-fate of this family on vacation.

The Government hospital functioned despite the minimum set-up and restricted facilities. The nearest private hospital involved at least four hours’ journey through the hilly terrain and the family couldn’t afford to lose any more time.

As the ambulance entered the Government hospital, most of the hospital staff looked annoyed at being woken up at such an unearthly hour. The Resident Medical Officer (RMO), realizing the gravity of the situation called his senior who assured him of arriving soon.

Pema tried comforting a visibly emotional Gauri. “It’s been a while that we had taken a vacation together. My father-in-law passed away two years back. The family had been distraught. It was only recently that my mother-in-law, Renu Bakshi had started getting back to normal. If only we knew what fate had in store for us!” Gauri lamented.

The doctors struggled to bring Renu to a stable condition. A cardiac arrest in the wee hours of the morning made their efforts futile. After obtaining the requisite permission, Gauri and Sanjay left with Renu’s corpse for the last rites.

A week later, Pema received a call from Gauri to thank her and request her presence at the condolence meeting at their residence, three days later.

When Pema reached the address mentioned in the message, she saw a gathering. Gauri attended to the guests while Sanjay performed the rituals. After the usual pleasantries and prayer offering, Gauri got Pema seated. As Pema fiddled with her mobile in the second last row, she overheard a conversation between two ladies in the last row.

“Gauri is an amazing daughter-in-law. Renu had subjected her to such inhuman torture. If I was in her place, I would be celebrating Renu’s death today”, one of the voices said.

“Renu and her husband kept pestering Gauri’s father for more dowry while behaving atrociously with her. Her father died out of stress. They didn’t even let Gauri attend his funeral. Two years back when Gauri conceived, I thought things will get better for her. But look at her bad luck, she had a miscarriage”, another voice spoke.

“It was never a miscarriage. Renu had bribed one of the hospital nurses for the prenatal sex determination. The moment Renu knew it was a girl; she forced Gauri to abort it. Sanjay kept hitting her till she agreed. And then the abuse continued in all forms – verbal, emotional and physical. Last year, it stopped for a while when Mr. Bakshi died due to accidental electrocution. That incident should have put an end to their cruel behavior. But Renu continued punishing Gauri for not bearing the family a son.” The first voice said.

Pema looked at Gauri with new-found empathy. She hoped that Gauri and Sanjay discover happiness in the future. Pema smiled as she saw Gauri stealing glances at Sanjay. But she could never hear the words that Gauri whispered while looking at her husband, “Sanjay Bakshi, you are next.”

Favorite Indian Detectives – Niki Marwah by Swati Kaushal

Who –

Niki Marwah

Creator –

Swati Kaushal

Novels in the series –

Drop Dead

Lethal Spice

All that Glitters (short story – kindle edition)

About the Detective –

Niki Marwah, as the Superintendent of Police is in charge of maintaining the law and order of Shimla. At 5ft 6inches, this razor-sharp minded investigator loves her stilettos as much as she enjoys chasing down criminals. When she is not dodging marriage proposals from her mother , she finds herself meeting men set up by her best friend Kamini aka Kam who understands how intimidating a woman in uniform can turn out to be for future prospects. When a body is discovered at the Sonargram cable car base, SP Marwah along with her team consisting of Inspector Gupta from the crime branch, the veteran Inspector Pande and the new recruit ASP Shankar Sahay start investigating the death of the 37-year-old Rakesh Mehta aka Rak – President, and CEO of a publishing firm. As the highly competent cop and her team start delving into the details of the death, involved parties start getting exposed and the truth of the events turn out to be different from they are presumed to be. During the course of the investigation, she also runs into Captain Ram Mathur, a close friend of the murdered CEO and despite the development of a budding romance, a sudden discovery of past relationships lands him in the list of suspects. This action-packed thriller takes a reader through multiple twists and turns before revealing the identity of the killer.

Drop Dead by Swati Kaushal
Drop Dead by Swati Kaushal

Continue reading “Favorite Indian Detectives – Niki Marwah by Swati Kaushal”

Favorite Indian Detectives – Inspector Gowda by Anita Nair

Who –

Inspector Gowda

Creator –

Anita Nair

Novels in the series –

Cut Like Wound

Chain of Custody

About the detective –

Inspector Borei Gowda, more popularly known as Inspector Gowda (also referred to as B report Gowda by some peers and subordinates) is a resident of Greenview Residency, Bangalore. Presently posted at Bowring Hospital Station, his record of numerous transfers and delayed promotions is the result of having irked quite a few men in power. His medico wife Mamtha has taken a transfer to Hasan after their son Roshan has his MBBS course there. Riding a Royal Enfield bullet, Gowda leads a group of policemen named PC Byrappa, Gajendra and the new SI Santosh Gowda in the first novel ‘Cut like Wound.’ As the story unfolds, we are drawn into a world of crime, transgenders, sexual abuse while Gowda and his men try to unravel the layers of lies that can lead to the truth beneath. During this troublesome period where Gowda finds himself alienated from his wife and son, he reunites with his ex-flame from college, a child rights activist by profession, Urmila.

Cut Like Wound by Anita Nair
Cut Like Wound by Anita Nair

Continue reading “Favorite Indian Detectives – Inspector Gowda by Anita Nair”

Favorite Indian Detectives – Byomkesh Bakshi by Saradindu Bandopadhyay

Who –

Byomkesh Bakshi

Creator –

Saradindu Bandopadhyay

Novels in the series –

Originally written in Bengali, the stories/novels of Byomkesh were published in the form of a collection titled ‘Byomkesh Samagra’ in 1995. Most of these stories have been translated into English recently. The author’s sudden demise left the last story ‘Bishupal Badh’ in the Byomkesh series incomplete.

About the detective –

Byomkesh was introduced to the literary world as a private investigator on a mission to bust a drug racquet in colonial India. He appeared in disguise under the pseudo-name of Atul Chandra Sen in the novel ‘Satyaneshwi’. The plot was set in 1924-25. This is where he is shown to meet his future housemate, friend, and novelist, Ajit who eventually decides to pen down Byomkesh’s cases in the form of stories. This dhoti-kurta clad resident of Harrison road in Kolkata has his man Friday named Putiram and abhors the term private investigator or detective. Instead, he prefers to call himself as Satyanweshi (the one in search of the truth). Byomkesh belongs to that rare breed of detectives in literature who gets married and starts a family. He meets his future wife Satyaboti during one of the investigations where her brother is considered a suspect. Eventually, they get married and have a kid who’s known to the world as Khokha.

The author and his creation
Saradindu Bandopadhyay and his Byomkesh Bakshi

Continue reading “Favorite Indian Detectives – Byomkesh Bakshi by Saradindu Bandopadhyay”

Famous Indian Detectives – Vish Puri by Tarquin Hall

Who –

Vish Puri

Creator –

Tarquin Hall

Novels in the series –

The case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri 1)

The case of the Man Who Died Laughing (Vish Puri 2)

The case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri 3)

The case of the Love Commandoes (Vish Puri 4)

About the detective –

The Vish Puri series
The Vish Puri series

Vishwas Puri, more popular as the 51-year-old Vish Puri is the founder and managing director of Most Private Investigators Ltd. (that goes by the catchline ‘Confidentiality is my Watchword’). A detective based out of Defence colony, Delhi, this Punjabi loves food as much his curious cases. He is often found to devise ways to defy the family physician Dr. Mohan’s cautionary advice related to his high blood pressure and diabetes. His investigation methodology follows the age-old practices of observation and detection using disguise and undercover aliases. He has a unique and funny way of addressing his employees, relatives and close friends. He has a nickname for all like for instance his wife is called Rumpi, his driver, Handbrake; the lazy office-boy, Door Stop; his assistant – the one who takes time to flicker to life, Tubelight; the guy who was the first one to have a flush toilet at his home in his village, Flush and the Nepali woman employee, Facecream. The detective is also referred to as Chubby by his near ones though, for his employees, he prefers to be known as Boss only. A few more interesting characters in Hall’s books are the matriarch in Puri’s family, his mighty Mummyji; his secretary, Elizabeth Rani, and his archrival Hari Kumar.

Continue reading “Famous Indian Detectives – Vish Puri by Tarquin Hall”

The Mystery Blogger Award


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

This post has been pending for a long time. Thank you, Priya from priyareflects.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. The fact that I have written a detective novella ‘Deal of Death’ in the genre of mystery/thriller makes me feel extremely happy at receiving this award. Love the squirrel for being the cutest presenter of any award ever.

squirrel_play2-srgb-mystery-wb
Mystery Blogger Award

Coming to the award, it was started by Okota Enigma. She had an idea behind this award. “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

So here are the rules of this award –

1. PUT THE AWARD LOGO/IMAGE ON YOUR BLOG. LIST THE RULES.
2. THANK WHOEVER NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.
3.MENTION THE CREATOR OF THE AWARD AND PROVIDE A LINK AS WELL
4.TELL YOUR READERS 3 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
5. YOU HAVE TO NOMINATE 10 – 20 PEOPLE
6. NOTIFY YOUR NOMINEES BY COMMENTING ON THEIR BLOG
7. ASK YOUR NOMINEES ANY 5 QUESTIONS OF YOUR CHOICE; WITH ONE WEIRD OR FUNNY QUESTION (SPECIFY)
8. SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BEST POST(S).

The first three points are already attended to, so here’s the answer to number 4 –

Three things about me

  1. There are three men in my life who I love the most – my toddler, my husband and my father. There’s nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my Dad, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and playing with my toddler.
  2. I quit my Banking job to become a writer and it is only recently that I became a published author. I nurture the dream to continue writing Detective thrillers with my protagonist Raya Ray and hope to see my book in the bestseller racks someday.
  3. I am a night owl. I can work till the wee hours of the morning but if you ask me to wake up early, I find it extremely difficult to implement.

Now coming to the five questions that Priya had asked me –

  • If you were to choose a pen name what would it be?

It would be Raya Ray. It would be a lot of fun writing as the protagonist of the detective thriller itself.

  • Share your best memory ever?

There are too many to write especially during those years when my mom was still around. But the one memory is etched in my heart forever was when I held my son for the first time after his birth. 

  • Tell me about your most romantic date

My husband and I have been friends for two decades now. We had lost in touch for a good number of years before meeting each other again in 2010. We met at a restaurant called Casapicola in Bangalore for lunch. When we started talking, it never felt like there was a gap in between. Even without expressing our feelings, we knew that we were meant to be together. 

  • If you were to act in a movie (or play a literary character) which one would you choose and why?

I wish I could play Feluda – the sleuth in Satyajit Ray’s detective novels and essay the role of Vidya Bagchi (played by the super talented Vidya Balan) in Kahani. Both belong to my favorite genre of thrillers and Vidya Balan is a personal favorite.

  • What would be the absolute worst name you could give to a child?

If you have heard Bengali nicknames, you would know that there are quite a few names that could scar the child forever. So Pintu, Ghoton, Babla are just a few among them.

I nominate the following people for this award –

Poonam

Esha

Sona

Suhasini

Maya

Abhijit

Kalpana

Jaya

Maheshwaran Jothi

Aditi

Manas

Rashi

Sudip

Romila

Sanjota

Preeti

I would want them to answer these five questions –

  1. Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows.
  2. Which genre of books do you enjoy reading the most and why?
  3. What is the best piece of advice or feedback that you received for your writing?
  4. If you were stranded on an island, what things would you take with you and why?
  5. What is the weirdest or craziest thing that you have ever done?

My best post till date is also a personal favorite –

https://soniasmusings.com/2018/07/22/a-piece-of-my-heart-rests-within-you/

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had a great time writing it.

A new beginning at the seashore

Continued from the previous part here.

The TV channels had been abuzz with Industrialist Ajay Raj’s life imprisonment term. The CBI investigation had revealed a Bank locker in the name of his deceased second wife Nita containing shocking details of Ajay’s illegal dealings. He was arrested with charges of murder of Nita.

Tia sat on the cane chair sipping wine. The gorgeous view of the sea made her nostalgic.

Death in the lap of the sea
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

“Lawyer Misra has sent across the papers. You’re now the legal owner of your mother’s empire.”

Tia smiled at the lady with gratitude.

Ajay had killed Anu for her property. However, Anu had outsmarted Ajay by naming the then eight-year-old Tia as the official heir to her property. If anything happened to Tia until she turned eighteen, the property was to be handed over to a trust.

Except Anu and lawyer Misra, only Anu’s best friend Nita had known about this will.  Nita had stepped in to protect Tia by marrying Ajay.

Tia had turned eighteen last month. Knowing that Ajay had been planning to get rid of her next, Nita and Tia had devised a plan of faking Nita’s death. It had not only saved Tia but together they had managed to avenge Anu’s murder.

(199 words)

This is the 11th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. This is a sequel of the 10th post that can be read here. Link to the remaining nine posts is here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my second picture prompt. 

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter