It was 7:00 am and everyone was having their morning tea in the living room. Suddenly Rohit asked, ‘Ramdin, where is Papa? I did not see him go for his walk today.’
‘Let me see Babu. May be Saabji is still asleep’, replied Ramdin as he went towards Mr. Gulati’s bedroom.
As soon as he opened the door he stuttered and then shouted, ‘Saabji… Saabji… Rohit babu… Ritesh babu…. Memsaab… Look…. Look.’
Everyone rushed towards Mr. Gulati’s room.
‘What happened Ram…’, Rohan stopped mid sentence. His jaw dropped as he looked at the dead body of his father. He rushed towards the bed.
‘Papa’, shouted Ritesh and Sushma as they followed Rohan. Madhu stood rooted at the doorway.
‘Call the doctor Ritesh.’
‘Yes bhaiya‘, said Ritesh as he started to take out his phone from his track pants.
‘How could the doctor arrive, when we haven’t even called him?’, said Sushma.
‘Must be someone else. Ramdin get the door will you’, asked Rohan.
‘Yes Saab‘, and he went towards the main gate.
An eerie silence followed for a few seconds before Ramdin’s voice broke it.
‘Rohan babu, some Sharad babu has come. He wants to meet you.’
‘Sharad? This early in the morning.’ frowned Rohan.
‘Didi… Sush di.’
Sharad entered the room as he called for his sister Sushma.
‘I saw your new servant coming to Uncle’s room so I thought jijaji wa…’, Sharad stopped.
Tongue-tied, he looked first at the dead body of Mr. Gulati, then everyone else in the room.
Finally, he said in his deep baritone voice, ‘When did this happen?’
‘We found just now’, sobbed Sushma.
‘Did anyone call the doctor?’
‘I was about…’, replied Ritesh.
‘Do it urgently. I would request you guys to come out. There is nothing we can do now. Please.’
Everyone was led out of the room by Sharad. He still was in the room. Within minutes the family physician arrived. He was hurriedly led to Mr. Gulati’s bedroom.
‘….. then we rushed to his room and found him dead.’, Rohan filled him in as they walked.
Sharad made way for the doctor as they entered the room. Everything was the same.
‘Dr. Sharma, he is my brother in law, Sharad. And Sharad, he is our family doctor, Dr. Sharma.’ Rohan introduced both the men.
Dr. Sharma first checked the pulse, then the heartbeat and breathing. He tried pumping and all other things that he could have.
Finally he declared Mr. Gulati dead.
‘When do you think the death occured Dr. Sharma?’ Sharad asked.
‘I guess around 12-12:30 in the night.’ Dr. Sharma replied.
‘Cause of death?’
‘Heart attack it seems.’
‘Did he have a heart condition?’
‘Yes. Papa had had two attacks before.’
‘Hmmm. Okay. Natural death Doctor?’
‘Yes. He was a heart patient after all. Heart attacks at his age are not uncommon after all.’
‘Rohan babu.’ Ramdin intruded.
‘Babu…. The police have come.’
‘Police!?’ replied a shocked Rohan.
‘Ah yes! That must be Inspector Kumavat.’
Everyone in the room turned towards Sharad as he uttered those words.
‘You called the police Sharad?’
‘Yes jijaji. I think your father has been murdered, rather smartly. And, Inspector Kumavat is a friend of mine. So I requested him to come immediately. Don’t worry, this won’t be publicised. Now let us go outside.’
Sharad moved out of the room before Rohan completed his statement.
‘How is your brother in law so sure of this Rohan?’ asked Dr. Sharma as they hurried after Sharad.
‘He’s usually sure of such things uncle. He is a detective.’
‘What a real one?’
‘Yes. A pretty good one. Look at how the inspector is meeting him.’
‘Inspector K. K. Kumavat. How are you brother?’ Sharad broke into a slight smile.
‘Absolutely great man. How are you super sleuth The Sharad Saxena?’
Both men slightly hugged, hinting that their’s wasn’t just an acquaintance.
‘I am good. Just came here to surprise my sister Sushma. And stumbled upon this.’ he pointed towards the room.
‘Anything fishy?’ asked S.I. Kumavat as they started walking towards the room.
‘Nope. Everything Crocus sativus.’, and both friends entered the crime scene.