This review covers the four stories of Jasoosi Duniya Issue #1. Daler Mujrim, Khaufnaak Jungle, Aurat Farosh Ka Qatil and Tijroi Ka Raaz.
Daler Mujrim opens with a conversation between Dr Shaukat and Seeta Devi, a Hindu practicing woman who has raised Shaukat. Dr Shaukat has to go for an operation. Seeta Devi thinks of sleeping in his bed to keep it warm. The next morning, Shaukat arrives in his room to find her dead.
Enters inspector Faridi. He’s a 30-32 years old man with sleepy eyes. He is a disciplinarian. Sergeant Hameed is about 24, a bit of show off, and a bit feminine. This is where they begin. You meet the legen, wait for it, dary, lengendary, characters on page 5 of the first story.
Faridi questions a bit, takes on look at the body, the room and the knife and declares that the knife is made in Nepal. Say what? Yep, the man is observant, well read and remembers every little detail. So, from the make of the knife he can tell it’s origin.
The investigation continues, with the initial suspect being a Nepali. But he’s killed during investigation.
There is quirky professor who is supposedly interested in astronomy; a family doctor who doesn’t allow to operate on the Nawab; a Colonel Tiwari who wouldn’t let the doctor operate on Nawab; Nawab’s relatives Najma and Saleem who aren’t what they seem and Dr Shaukat who himself has lost a dear one.
One twist after the other, the events unfold. While investigating the matter, the newspapers also print obituary of Inspector Faridi. Really? The protagonist died? Nah, Faridi staged his death and funeral and disappeared to solve the case. This is one trait that was later established as his quirks.
The mystery is solved and the murderer is caught. It was the same old greed for inheriting the money that was the motive behind the murders.
Daler Mujrim gives just a glimpse of the ultimate detective in the making. He is observant, notices and remembers the tiniest details about every damn thing. However, he doesn’t have the extreme control over his feelings. He is still vulnerable and cannot deal with creeps or creepy surroundings. We also see a glimpse of bromance between him and Hameed. Hameed had very little to do with the investigations. Those who have read other novels by the legend, will know that his writing had evolved much more. In that comparison, this seems one of his weak works but it entertains nonetheless. That was my review of the first story of Jasoosi Duniya’s first issue. What do others feel about this story? Please comment.
Khuafnaak Jungle opens as a man, Randheer Singh arrives at a railway station and informs about a dead body in the jungle. When they place party arrives at the jungle, things are not as reported. Suddenly, there’s firing. One constable gets hurt but the police party saves itself.
The investigations don’t lead to any success, and hence the CBI is roped in. Being observant, Faridi identifies a few misconducts right at the beginning. On surface, it is a murder mystery, who-dun-it, and the culprit isn’t hard to guess. The murderer keeps twisting the situations to misguide the investigations. Faridi, however, is undeterred and sets out to unfold the mystery, one clue after the other.
There is a rich landlord Dilbeer Singh; a widow Saroj who was married to a renowned scientist; a girl Bimla who was visiting her friend; and her fiance Randheer Singh who wanted to meet her but loses his life. In the end, it is revealed that a bunch of goons were operating together and killed a bunch of people for secrecy.
I know I claim to love his work, and I am a big fan even though I don’t like some of the stories. This one was one of those stories that I hated. I must admit, I read this very recently, when I was on a mission to READ EVERYTHING by Ibn-e-Safi. I just didn’t like the series of events. There were too many things happening without leading to anything concrete. The other story that I absoltely HATE, is Khatarnaak Boodha and Masnooyi Naak. I find the story line of those two very sbsurd, but more on that later.
Although the mystery elements were dull, the banter between Hameed and Faridi to lighten up your mood. I wish my boss was as good as Faridi. Sigh!
This story also establishes Hameed as a perpetual love-struck young man who cannot seem to control his tongue when women are around. Faridi, on the contrary, seems to derive pleasure from surrounding himself with danger.
Just like the previous story, this story also reminds us that Faridi isn’t interested in getting promoted. He doesn’t want monies either. He belongs to a rich family and the money and properties he has inherited are enough to last for seven generations. It is his khoji nature that has forced him to be an inspector. We are introduced to his other quirks – dogs, snakes, and whatnot.
That concludes the review for second story of the first issue. What do others feels about this one?
Aurat Farosh Ka Qatil
Aurat Farosh Ka Qatil is a murder mystery laced with some romance between Hameed and Shahnaz. The story, other than providing a mystery to be solved, focuses on various character types prevalent in the society.
It opens with fun, a LOT of fun. Hameed has now moved in with Faridi. The inspector-seargaent duo is quite popular, and envied upon. Hameed has a new girlfriend and he insists Faridi to tag along. Faridi does oblige.
After As one would expect, Faridi teases Hameed by dancing with his girlfriend Shahnaz. Agitated, Hameed starts to dance with a very old angle Indian woman. This banter doesn’t last for long, as Faridi hears a gunshot and soon the recreation room is shutdown. Let the murder mystery begin.
The murdered is the same guy who was dancing with Shahnaz when Hameed and Faridi arrived at the hotel. He isn’t wasnt a prince as he claims claimed. Faridi arrives at the to room where two sub-inspectors are investigating the alleged suicide. Within minutes, Faridi reasons that it cannot be a suicide but is definitely a murder. He impresses others and the readers alike.
Shahnaz is also bullied by the police regarding the investigation. Of course, Faridi has to help her. Not because she’s Hameed’s girlfriend, but because she’s innocent. Faridi doesn’t help people who are guilty.
The story progresses as Shahnaz is also kidnapped. Instead of looking into the matter Faridi goes out of station to attend an international dogs exhibition. The bad guys try every trick in the book to implicate Shahnaz in the murder.
There is a 50-somethjng knight sir Seeta Ram; his young, beautiful and adultering wife Lady Rekha Seeta Ram; a billionaire diamond’s dealer from Africa Colonel Prakash; and Seeta Ram’s nephew Sudheer who has an affair with Lady Rekha Seeta Ram.
Hameed has done everything in his power to save his lady love, but without losing his mind.
Faridi wasn’t much around. But, the climax does have a wicked surprise.
The story focuses more on character types and less on solving the mystery. Most of Ibn-e-Safi’s work tries to address the character traits, big or small, that range from mildly annoying to outright wrong and illegal. I guess it is his way of subtly asking the reader to refrain from it. Dr Mehmood, in this case, is a guy who boasts too much is annoying little person to read about. There are such people in real life as well and they are much more annoying. Beware, and try not to be one of those 🙂
There is also occasional social commentary. Shahnaz was questioned about her dance partner, and after her subsequent kidnap; her image is tarnished.
One of the sub-inspector in the story is Jagdish Kumar, who became a recurring character in other Jasoosi Duniya novels. The older sub-inspector Sinha tries to steal the credit of Faridi’s analysis. Faridi, helps to solve the case and instead give the credit to Jagdish.
This story also highlights a few character traits of Faridi.
- Wherever he goes, Someone gets killed. This theme is repeated so often that people start calling them manhoos.
- Acute sense of hearing. He hears a a gunshot above the loud music. He knows all the dances and the littlest nuances and differences between various dance forms. It has always fascinated me, but it isn’t something I’d ever want to learn. But in Faridi’s defense, in his own words, a detective must know these things. As you say, Colonel!
- He is often expected to be an old and grumpy guy and people are ALWAYS shocked to see such a young handsome man as the infamous Inspector A. K. Faridi.
That concludes the review for third story of Jasoosi Duniya Series. What do others feels about this one?
Tijroi Ka Raaz
Tijori Ka Raaz is one story without any murder. The author, in his note, mentions that this story does not have any bloodshed but relies on mental gymnastics instead.
The story opens as two men fully clad in black break-in into a mansion of a rich man. They steal nothing and leave. They are almost caught, as the cinema-goers have just left the theater. How do they save themselves? By throwing a wad of cash. The crowd gets busy in collecting the currency and the two make a fast exit.
The same thing happens twice with two other rich men of the city but both report that nothing has been stolen.
Sub-inspector Jagdish reappears as he is investigating the robbery. Faridi helps him again. The story is about a will and inheriting some property. I didn’t enjoy the premise as much.
This was a story that started on such high note that simply blew my mind. Even today, the whole robbery and the first 10-12 pages are awesome. The reader is dumbstruck to see the law-abiding citizen and law-enforcing officer breaking the rules himself.
Kyunki ismein kick hai.
The storyline then goes south and ends in a tain tain fish.
If it wasn’t for the hilarious banter between Faridi and Hameed, the cute romantic scenes between Hameed and Shahnaz and extremely witty lines, it would have been a dud for the readers.
That concludes the review for Tijori Ka Raaz, the fourth and last story of Issue 1 Jasoosi Duniya Series. What do others feels about this one?
I will take a couple of week’s break before reviewing the next issue.