The Incredible Mr. Joshi

Chapter 1 – All Come Home

Usha looked at her messy bedroom, and sighed. So much work to do, and so little time. Why did everybody have to come at the same time. She loved having guests, just not all the same time. Usha preferred the peace and quite offered by the charming hill-station of Udhgam.

John asked, “Madam, how many towels should I put in the bedrooms?”, interrupting her thoughts.

Usha hated John’s habit of interrupting her thoughts, yet she liked him for being efficient around the house, taking care of all her needs. Finally, she admitted that she needed the guests this weekend.

After Nitin’s death, there was a void in Usha’s life. Two of her children – Ashit and Avanish lived in Bombay, and the third, Amit, in Pune. Her time was spent between trying to convince her 3 kids to marry, tending to her garden and reading history books. Visitors like her niece Sam, her husband’s sister Neha and her son Uday, would stop by and give her company. Occassionally, her eccentric neighbor – Hasmukh Joshi, would stop by for dinner. He would try to regale her with stories about ’71 War, and psychology of criminals.

Hasmukh Joshi, was a retired Army major, studied Psychology in college and loved reading about criminals. He fancied himself to be a detective. He came from Hercule Poirot’s school of criminology – it was always about the Psychology of the victim. Hasmukh was born just before British left India, always spoke propah English, dressed oddly and always for a formal occasion. Often, one would hear him say, “A man’s stature is always measured by the dress he wears”. Hasmukh was fond of Usha, he could see the pain of losing her husband in her eyes. It never occured to him that Usha would find Hasmukh’s company boring, after all Hasmukh always had a story to tell.

“Madam,” John woke Usha up from her reverie.

“Oh, sorry, what did you ask, John?”. John softly repeated his question.

“Let’s see, Amit is coming with his girlfriend. Ashit and Avanish, thank god for small favors, aren’t showing up with their eye-candy” deadpanned Usha.

John knew how much Usha wanted daughter-in-laws and grand-kids to pass her time. Yet, her sons never understood their mother’s desire to have grand-kids.

“Oh, John, Sam, Neha and her whole gang are coming too. Of all the weekends to come, they had to choose this weekend.”

John, slipped away, chuckling to himself- here comes the madness. He knew, Neha and Uday, were after Usha’s money and were always at some pretext trying to siphon money away from her. Sam, a college student, was one of the weirdest persons he’d ever met. There was definitely something sinister about her. Icing on the cake was Neha’s estranged husband, who never socialized, but from looks of it was coming down to Udhgam.

“I hope the madhatter is only coming here for a vacation, and not up to something,” John said to himself.

Ashit, Amit and Avanish were peas of a pod. Always up to something, but never anything good. Always changing careers, job, homes to find the right fit. Once, in a matter of a year, Ashit went from Investment Banking to real estate to selling stuff on internet. To top it off, they couldn’t settle down with a girl. The women, oh the women. Three of them were always falling in love, getting fleeced by women. John laughed everytime he thought about the day when the three brothers were to get married, to the same women- and neither of them realized it! Comedy of errors, meet David Dhawan.

“This should be a fun weekend!” John told the cook, as he walked into the kitchen.

Little did he know that he couldn’t have been more wrong.


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Posted by bondabee in Mystery. Tagged: Mystery, Short Stories. Leave a Comment [Chapter 1 of my story here] […]


  2. […] by bondabee in Mystery. Leave a Comment [Links to Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of the […]


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