Pradyuman: “Hello, Madam Tilottama. I’m Inspector Pradyuman. I will be interrogating you on the Dr. Surve murder case.”

Tilottama: “Hmm. Your aura. It’s cluttered. You need to meditate more often.”

Pradyuman: “My wife says that too. Please focus! Dr. Surve was found hacked to death with a machete. You were standing by his body when his colleague Dr. Kamat found you. That makes you the prime suspect in this case.”

Tilottama: “Dr. Surve was a good man. I started seeing him two months ago, when I heard voices from the firmament. He prescribed medicines.”

Pradyuman: “Did the voices persuade you to kill him?” 

Tilottama: “Of course not. Why would I commit something that heinous?” 

Pradyuman: “Can you tell me what happened?”

Tilottama: “I went for an emergency consult yesterday.” 

Pradyuman: “Let me reconstruct the crime scene. You arrived at Dr. Surve’s home at 8:00 PM. You were his last patient. His assistant had left already.” 

“At around 8:15, Dr. Kamat drove over to Dr. Surve’s for a meeting. He looked through the window. He saw his colleague assaulting you and pulling your hair. You grabbed the machete and defended yourself. By the time Dr. Kamat stormed in, it was too late.” 

“Dr. Surve was lying in a pool of his blood. You were standing over his body, machete in hand, splattered with blood, and mumbling incoherently.”

Tilottama: “I don’t remember anything.”

Pradyuman: “We found hair and prints on the crime scene consistent with Dr. Kamat’s statement. Were you assaulted? Are you OK? You look wabbit.

Tilottama: “It’s like chunks of my memory have vanished!”

Pradyuman: “But…”

Tilottama: “Wait! Dr. Surve gave me a magic eye because I kept forgetting things.”

Pradyuman: “Eh? Magic eye?”

Tilottama: “The brooch on my saree. It has an in-built camera. He used to tell me to switch it on for every session to recap it later.”

Pradyuman: “This is a huge breakthrough! I will play the video on my computer now.” 

Tilottama: “What if it shows that I killed him? Ah! It has started to play.”

Pradyuman: “The time on the wall clock shows 7:55 PM, that was when you entered. What is this? Dr. Kamat is attacking Dr. Surve. Oh, that final cut! Rascal! This explains everything. He murdered Dr. Surve, not you!”

“He wasn’t expecting you. You had a nervous attack then. You suffer from trichotillomania, don’t you? That explains the hair. He witnessed your anxious confusion and pinned the murder on you. He didn’t know about the camera. If he had, he would have killed you too.”

Tilottama: “But why?”

Pradyuman: “This probably was a quid pro quo arrangement, as the honest Dr. Surve had many enemies who would want him dead. I suspect Dr. Kamat has a fondness for gambling, and debts to settle.”

Tilottama: “The voices say that he will pay for his sins.”

Pradyuman: “Err, about that, you might want to see a new doctor. I will arrest Dr. Kamat. You are free to go, for now. Take care.”

Image credits:, Andrea Piacquadio

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  1. Any attempt at thriller demands coherent plot which you’ve tried to build with great success. 1000 words would have been better and justified for your story woven skill… but in 500 words also you achieved what was required for the prompt. Keep weaving more such masterpiece

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