THE ADVENTURES OF PRADEEP CHATTERJEE
(Addresses and names used are completely fictional)
“Trring”….. “Trring”… The phone rang twice. Mr. Pradeep Chatterjee answered it.
“Hello, Ya, is it Mr.Chatterjee?”.
He answered “Speaking.”
“Yes, Mr. Chatterjee, I am Mr. Subirmal Basu. I wanted to meet you today. Could I get an appointment?”
“Yes, come at 5 … Sharp 5”
“Thank you Chatterjee Sahib, thank you.”
The conversation ended.
Like Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay’s hero is Byomkesh Bakshi, Satyajit Ray’s protagonist is Pradosh Chandra Mitter (Feluda), Arthur Conan Doyle’s lead is Sherlock Holmes, My lionheart is Mr. Pradeep Chatterjee, a 35 year old private investigator. He rented a small apartment in Barrackpore, North 24 Parganas. He had a sophisticated look, a thin moustache and wore glasses. Pradeep had great wisdom and his observation skills were brilliant. He was affectionately called “Shona da”. He was a bachelor and lived with his younger brother, Birju, full name Brijmohan Chatterjee and Bholadadu, full name Bholaram Das who worked for them and stayed with them was 71 years old. Their house was neat and tidy. Shona da was a punctual man and was also very famous in his locality.
Yes, now let us return to the story. After the brief talk, Shona Da called Birju and shared the case with him. He was fascinated and asked,” Another mystery, dada?” Shona da, with a timid smile replied, “Hopefully not!”
Meanwhile, the clock struck 2 and they had lunch. At 4:45, Shona da woke up from his sleep and got ready to meet his new client. At 5:12, the doorbell rang and Bholadadu opened the door. There was a tall man with a tensed look. He asked him, “Is Mr. Chatterjee here?”
Bholadadu guided him to the living area. He looked at the clock and told him, “Mr., You are 13 minutes late.” He genuinely apologised and requested that he wanted to talk to Pradeepbabu alone. BholaDadu and Birju were sent away. He told that, “See, I am Subirmal Basu, Rajarhat’s Wealthiest businessman and I possess Asia’s most expensive diamond, Kashm-E-Noor. It was given to my great-great-grandfather Mr. Jadavshi Basu by a King. I have been receiving some offers by 3 businessmen for the past 2 months and I have been ignoring them. But yesterday, I received a threat call stating that the diamond should be given to Mr. Jamnadas Seth, the first one. When I called him today, he said that he didn’t contact the man to threaten me. I am really worried Mr. Chatterjee helps me.
Shona da replied “Mr.Basu, I will ask you some questions, you have to reply them without lying.”
“Sure sir”, he replied.
Shona da: “Do you have any enemies or competitors in your business?
Basu: “No sir, no enemies I believe.”
Shona da: “Could you name them and give the address of the businessmen who were eager to buy the diamond?”
Basu: “1. Jamnadas Seth, 3/14 Birkaganroad,Kamirhati. 2. Babulal Ganpatrao Manglekar, Kasturi Apartments, Kamarpukur. 3. Munirdhar Ray Chowdhury, “Happylife” Mansion, Bapindhan Road, Monglibazar.”
Shona da: “Ok thank you. Will call you if required.”
Basu: “Ok sir. Thank you.”
He left and Birju came running to Shona da and enquired, “What did he say?”
Shona da just said, “Wait and watch”. He left his house after having a glass of juice to visit the businessmen and talk to them. First of all, He visited Jamnadas Seth, who was a fat, amiable fellow. He stated that he needs to expand his business thus wants that diamond. Next, Shona da visited Manglekar but he was not at home.
Finally, Shona da went to Roychowdhury’s sprawling mansion. He was a quiet man and just answered, “I want the diamond and it will be mine”. Shona da returned home and wrote his observations in his notebook. Next day, Basu called him and reported that the diamond has been stolen. Shona da went to his bungalow and found him depressed. Shona da wanted to know about his family. He replied that he lived with his wife, two children, a younger brother and two servants. His two sons were in college and his brother was the owner of an office firm. After having a talk with him, he left his place and didn’t sleep that night.
Next morning, at 8, Shona da left his home due to some important work and returned in the evening, quite relieved. Upon asking, he answered, “Brother, the case is going quite well”. Next morning Chatterjee, Birju, Basuji and inspector Ramsingho Mazumdar met and planned to go to Lucknow. Shona da said he had cracked the case .When they reached Lucknow, Shona Da told the driver to take them to richest dealer of diamonds in the city. The driver took them to Kishorilal’s Diamond shop. He entered and asked Subirmal to look for his diamond. Inspector Mazumdar told Kishorilal to raise his hands. After searching there, When Subirmal was about to exit the shop something struck his eye; it was bright light reflecting from a translucent box kept at the corner. When he went closer, Kishorilal resisted but Subirmal opened the box, and goodness it was the diamond. He was shocked. Shona da asked Kishorilal that who sold the diamond to him, and he told it was Mr. Babulal Ganpatrao Manglekar. Basu was perplexed. Also, Kishorilal told him that he is staying in Winds height resort.
All of them, including Kishorilal went there and found Manglekar sleeping in his room. He caught him and he said that he came here 4 days ago (reason his house was locked)…When he was pressurized by Mr. Mazumdar, he divulged the plan. He made a deal with Rajnand Basu, Subirmal’s brother, that he would get him the diamond and he would give him 30 lacs rupees in cash and Rajnand agreed because his company was suffering…So,for mutual benefit,he stole the diamond and travelled to Lucknow to give the diamond to Manglekar and he sold it to Kishorilal for 1 crore. Subirmal was heartbroken. Later, His brother was caught from Spice Caves, Patrakarpuram Road. He confessed the crime. But when Shona Da was asked that how he cracked the case, he told that one morning he went to Rajnand’s firm and came to know that they were in debt and were on the verge of bankruptcy. The employees told that Rajnand left for Lucknow few days back (next day after the theft) and when he went to airport he found another co-incidence that Manglekar travelled to Lucknow on the same day, and both were in the same flight…Shona da guessed the matter and finally after much difficulty, cracked the case. There was a round of applause. Mazumdar said,”Bravo Pradeep, Bravo”. Shona da remarked, “Let us visit Rumi Darwaza. It is quite famous.”
There was a roar of laughter.