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 doctor 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 Ibn-e-Safi, 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.