Book Review: AHMAQON KA CHAKKAR (Jasoosi Duniya #10 By Ibn-e-Safi)

Plot Summary

Two buildings in a middle of nowhere, seemingly clean businesses, but a load of crap going on under the hood. Ahmaqon Ka Chakkar has quite a twisted story line.

The Beginning

The story begins in a cozy setting as Faridi, Hameed, Shahnaz, and a few of Hameed’s friends (Ashraf, Sheena, Suraiyya etc) are planning for a picnic. They go to Jharyali, located in the outskirts of the city, suitable for picnics (and crimes).

Faridi enjoys their company but does not refrain from lecturing Hameed. In Faridi’s opinion, a successful detective should not be distracted by anything, especially women.

Hameed casually mentions that Faridi doesn’t show interest in women because “angoor khattey hain”. Faridi avenges this. He says a few things and Shahnaz gets upset with Hameed, just like that.

Things get serious then. They find a science laboratory with funny board, hence the title Ahmaqon Ka Chakkar. Intrigued and curious, they meet the doctors who gladly give them a tour. The doctor demonstrates how a simple injection can turn a lazy and take fox into an aggressive dog. Something is fishy, we all know. Faridi isn’t dumb, either.

That’s not all. They witness a truck driver changing number plates. The truck goes inside another building in the vicinity. That other building makes wooden pillars.

Wait, there is more. Hameed finds a diamond necklace, which reportedly belongs to a little girl. She is daughter of a retired colonel and is kidnapped.

Let the investigations begin.

The Investigations

Faridi casually brings up the topic of the kidnap and extracts some information from unsuspecting Ashraf. When they are back to the city, Faridi meets inspector Jagdish and finds more about the case.

Colonel Saeed has remarried and even though the stepmother is affectionate towards the missing girl, she becomes the obvious suspect. To add to the confusion, colonel starts to bark like a dog at random hours during the night. The condition is short-lived and Faridi senses danger for him. He kidnaps the colonel and keeps him in his underground cell. I love it, that Faridi doesn’t hesitate to break the rules and laws for greater good.

His law-breaking streak continues as he bribes the watchman and steals a bamboo from the pillar company. The pillar isn’t made of bamboo, but rosewood. It is hollow inside and alcohol is filled inside. Aha, so it is a 2-in-1 operation – a pillar factory that is actually a distillery.

Gradually, alongside witty yet thought provoking conversation, Faridi and Hameed uncover the connection between the two odd buildings in Jharyali. A systematic raid is planned including inspector Jagdish and hundreds of constables. Finally, as always, criminals are nabbed and the truth is revealed.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The stepmother has an affair with Dr Waheed, who is treating Colonel Saeed. Colonel’s young daughter once catches them in the act. Terrified, they kidnap her and she’s strangled to death. The science laboratory, in reality, is the distillery. The supply is done through hollow sheesham pillars. Colonel Saeed is devastated and does not want to live in the city anymore. Faridi respects his wishes and arranges for him to move to a different place, his secrets safe with Faridi, forever.

Review

This story mentions Jharyali for the first time. It is a very prominent fictional locations as a lot of other stories in and around the city have Jharyali in common. Yep, I say that because Faridi and Hameed do travel around solving cases, investigating crimes. These smart men have even traveled abroad chasing the goons. Even police gets onsite opportunities as well. Of course, more on that later.

I also like that the author himself understands the coincidence play an important role in the initial investigation. The author has thoughtfully planted these coincidences. Here is a snippet that conveys the same.

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We also learn a little bit about a sleuth’s life. Don’t we?

Faridi wanted to meet Colonel’s family without alarming them. Therefore, he asks Jagdish to go to Colonel’s place. Faridi puts on a getup of an elderly constable and arrives at the place, too, pretending to be searching for Inspector Jagdish. I love that part. I mean, Faridi pays attention to the tiniest detail.

By the way, Jagdish is promoted as Station Incharge.

Jagdish Promoted
Jagdish Promoted

Congratulations, dude!

I wish that the scene where Faridi steals one of the wine filled pillars was in active voice instead of a narration to Hameed. That is the only bit I did not like in this story. Also, what happened to those injections that transformed humans and animals alike? I wish there was more explanation for that.

In the last scene, when Faridi narrates the whole story, he also mentions PUR ASRAR KUWAAN. I like the self-referencing / self promotion, subtly asking the reader to read that story.

That concludes the review for AHMAQON KA CHAKKAR – the second story of the third issue. What do others feels about this one?

Shabana Mukhtar

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