Taking a sip from the freshly brewed makaibari tea Prasad had just served him, Lebuda glanced on the day’s paper. It had been a week since his last case, and he was feeling bored. Patesh had called him up last night to enquire about his health.
“Bhalo achi re….”, he had replied.
Physically there wasn’t a problem with him. But he missed those days of hectic activities when the three of them- Mohanlal Babu in tow, would scout the country running behind a clue or an an unknown perpetrator.
Cases were still aplenty- he couldn’t complain on that count. The loss of faith in the local police department meant more people had flocked to him in the recent past to get their problems solved. The men in uniform were more busy protecting the people in white.
He tried to immerse himself in work as much as he could. At 45 he was pretty fit for his age. The daily yoga rituals in the mornings had been supplemented with a half an hour of running in the evenings. His trusted partner was the Fitbit Charge, received as a token of appreciation from his last client. Ten thousand steps a day was a cakewalk for him. He tried to keep his goal at fifteen.
The only distraction was people stopping him for that horrid selfie. Lately he had started refusing bluntly. This was getting on his nerves. ‘Friendly neighbourhood lizard-man’ was never quite his image.
And the question that frequently gets asked to him is, if he is that busy solving mysteries, why doesn’t anyone hear of his latest exploits ? All that people get served are his old cases, in new packages!
He doesn’t try to mask his dissatisfaction over the current trend of events. Ever since Patesh had left for IIT and then IIM (which would however have been impossible without his coaching), there had been no one left to chronicle his activities.
His guru, Sherlock had got down to doing it himself, with disastrous results. He dared not tread down that path. And leaving it to Mohanlal Babu would mean a disaster of greater proportions. As it is, he was infrequent these days, on account of his fragile health. Weekly visits had been replaced by monthly ones…..
The sensitive nature of the cases meant the papers hadn’t got a whiff of them. The only records that remained were in his own handwriting in his notebook- albeit in Greek, as he was used to writing. Alas! Very few would be able to decipher it!
Last week Mandip had come to him, asking him to narrate his latest case. He was, no doubt thinking of making yet another movie out of it. The last two had left a bitter taste in his mouth, and a dent on his reputation. Lebuda thought it best to decline him. He didn’t want to be the subject of still more Facebook memes. His cases are best left to him.
Sidhu jyatha had retired. He was a relic of the by gone days. Even Lebuda found it convenient to do a search on his One Plus Three, than pay a visit to jyatha, which would inevitably invite scorn on account of his infrequent visits. Google had extended its tentacles far and wide – even to jyatha’s library.
Lebuda hadn’t desired fame ever,but yes, being in the limelight and getting discussed was good for his business. But getting discussed for the wrong reasons was adding to his woes. No one sang praises of his mental faculties, his ability at cracking even the most complicated of puzzles and catching the most elusive of criminals.
Christie had done the prudent thing. Sometimes he lamented why Ray Senior hadn’t subjected him to the same fate. As someone’s nemesis had famously said, ” You either die a hero, or live ling enough to see yourself becoming the villain.”
Archya, in his own words, is the trying-to-be-global bangali babu, who is attempting to carve out a niche for himself in blogosphere, having had mixed results in Medicine Practice. In short, a struggling artist.
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