[if this is the first time you have landed here, I strongly recommend, you check this out first]
“N. NandaSwamy short for NandaKumara Balachari NandaSwamy. Senior researcher at aerial defense measure at DRDO. Aged 58, has a wife and 3 children, who are away for vacation in Kerala. There are 4 servants and one lab assistant, all of them live in the other wing. There is a internal phone to contact them if required. The body was discovered by the lab assistant when he was bringing in the notes from the lab in the basement to his study at the top floor. The body was reported at around 12 PM. Initial assessment put the death time at 11 PM. They are still interrogating the servants and the lab assistant.”
Inspector Kabir finally paused once he was finished with his notes. He had narrated them to Agasthya, as he walked up the stairs to the deceased scientist’s study. Kabir had worked with Agasthya before, and once he had been informed that someone from the NIA would be taking over, he was pretty sure Agasthya would be that guy. He knew Agasthya would be thorough, and he had tried to keep the crime scene as un-disturbed as possible. The body however had to be taken away both for forensic and civil purposes. Kabir had since then sealed off the study, and had deployed his forensic team elesewhere in the huge mansion. They cribbed, but Kabir knew it was better to let NIA handle such a high profile case.
Agasthya had nodded right across Kabir’s report. That was a sign that he was filing away those facts. He didn’t object once during Kabir’s monologue, showing that he was satisfied with Kabir’s report. They reached the door of the study. It was locked.
“Was this locked when you came in Kabir?”, Agasthya asked in a mix of Hindi and urdu.
“No Bhaijaan. When I arrived it was wide open. Later after we cleared the body I had it closed so we could secure the crime scene.”
Agasthya nodded,“Check for fingerprints on the door handle both inside and outside. Match them with Mr. Nanda, the assistant or the servants. Any irregularities let me know.”
“Absolutely Bhaijaan.”, Kabir made a note of that instruction in his diary.
Agasthya opened the doors and stepped inside, Kabir a few paces behind him. The study was in complete contrast to the rest of the house. Almost all of the mansion was a minimalistic marble made structure. There were very few objects around, and even then most of them were functional instead of cosmetic. The study however was plush. It had a wooden floor, covered by thick Kashmere carpets and rugs. The study was a pentagon, with 4 sides covered by high book racks and the last one a french window looking into the mansion’s garden. The books were neatly organized, and a closer look showed that they were arranged first in genre and then in alphabet. Mr. Nanda sure loved his books, Kabir thought to himself.
There were 4 armchairs scattered across the room: One next to the window on the left of the door, another slam bang in the center, the third one was right next to the door again on the left and the last one was where the body was found.
There were 3 tables too, one alongside each chair but for the one next to the window. All the table were clean and devoid of books, except for the one where Nanda had been working on. There was a lamp on each table as well, only one of them was on however. There was no shortage of light in the study though. After every 2 rack or so on each wall, there was a small column of empty wall, which had a light attached to it. The light was high enough to cover the top row of the rack and bright enough to see the name of the book at the bottom row. Apart from that there was also a Chandelier right in the center of the room, which was bathing the complete room in milky yellow light. “These higher ups don’t have to worry about electricity bills”, Kabir thought to himself.
“Have you taken a look at the crime scene Kabir Bhai?”, Agasthya asked as he started walking around room. He didn’t make a bee-line for the spot where the body was found, clearly marked with a white chalk. Instead he started off to the rack adjacent to the door on the opposite side of the chair. he looked at the books as he moved around slowly. It was almost as if he was more interested in the collection than the murder. Kabir followed him.
“No Bhaijaan. I had kept everyone away.”
“But you must have taken a look when they were taking the body away.”
“Yes Bhaijaan, I did make a pre-cursory round, so we can spot any blood etc.”
“So did you find anything interesting?”
“What do you make of the murder scene.”
Kabir had been waiting for this question as soon as they had entered the study. Agasthya always asked him this question. It was like he tested his skills.