We have read and watched innumerable stories of detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh Bakshi and so on but rarely do movies or books have women as detectives. But now they will.
Meet Rajani Pandit who have solved 80,000 cases and for one of them she even had to go undercover as a maid for 6 months.
“I was in college when I solved my first case. I worked part time in my first-year as an office clerk. A woman who I worked with told me about the thefts in her house. She had her eyes on her new daughter-in-law, but had no proof. So I offered to investigate, I set up a watch across the street. I found out that this lady’s son was actually the thief. When questioned, he admitted to the thefts… after that, my career took off! I was 22 years old when I started.” tells Pandit.
Pandit’s father was in CID from whom she had learned the art of a thorough investigation. Through word of mouth, people started tracking her down to help them solve their cases. She was approached by news channels and papers and she became India’s first female detective. Even her parents didn’t even know until much later!
“Once my dad found out, he reminded me of how dangerous this profession is– but if he could do it, so could I! So I continued with my investigations. I was married to my job. I just never had the time or desire to start a family,” she tells.
Speaking about her toughest case, Pandit tells,”My toughest case was gathering proof for a murder investigation. Both the husband and the son were murdered, but with no proof as to who did it. For 6 months, I went undercover as a maid to live with the woman who was suspected of being the murderer. When she fell sick, I took care of her and gained her trust slowly. But once, during pin-drop silence, my recorder made a ‘click’ sound. And that’s when she started doubting me. She refrained me from going out at all.
Then one day, the hitman who she hired, came to pay her a visit. That’s when I knew it was my chance. So I cut my foot with a knife and told them that I had to go out to get bandaged. I ran out, went to an STD booth and called the client to come home with the police. They were both arrested that day!”
Pandit has also received death threats. She says,” I’ve also received a few threats here and there–but my work is clean, my mind is clear and my courage is unwavering. But most of all…I’m a homegrown, desi Sherlock — how’s that for a Resumé opener?”
Her courage and spirit will definitely encourage more women to take up the profession. More power to her.