Standing by his ex-flame in her hour of crisis

Colaba Conspiracy is the novel of eminent Hindi mystery and thriller writer Surendra Mohan Pathak available in English also alongside its original Hindi version. It’s a novel of Mr. Pathak’s relatively new series – Jeet Singh Series whose hero is a modestly educated outlaw who entered the world of crime because of his passionate love for a girl.

Since Colaba Conspiracy is the seventh novel of Jeet Singh series whose previous novel had come around many year prior to it, the author has spelled out the background of the hero and his entering the world of crime in brief so that the new readers are able to understand the events of this novel in their proper perspective.

The hero – Jeet Singh is a youth originally belonging to Himachal Pradesh who had arrived at Mumbai some six years ago. He possesses a God-given art of making key of any lock and, therefore, he is capable of opening any lock howsoever complex its mechanism may be. However this art or skill of himself only led him on the path of crime.

However the direct reason which functioned as the propeller for Jeet Singh to move in the space of crime, was his one-sided love for a beautiful girl Sushmita who lived in his neighbourhood with her elder widow sister Asmita and her three children. Getting the love of Sushmita was akin to getting the moon for Jeet Singh. However when he came to know that Asmita was suffering from cancer and Sushmita needed a sum of Rs. 10 Lakh for her treatment, then Jeet Singh working as a locksmith to make a living, decided to use his lock-opening skills for thefts and arrange the required sum for Asmita’s treatment as Sushmita had assured him to accept his love once Asmita’s life was saved.

And thus started the life of Jeet Singh, the locksmith as Jeet Singh, the vaultbuster. However his success in arranging the required sum within the time frame given by Sushmita did not ensure him getting her love because before that Asmita had died and Sushmita had married an aged Sindhi businessman – Pursumal Changulani who was a widower and whose three grown-up children were living outside Mumbai.

Thus broken heart of Jeet Singh turned him into a full time criminal because he felt that Sushmita sold herself for the sake of Pursumal’s wealth and now he had to buy her back through wealth only. And since then the journey of Jeet Singh on the path of crime has been going on non-stop, passing several milestones. download (2)Colaba Conspiracy starts with Jeet Singh’s decision to stay away from criminal activities because he has recently got released from the charge of a loot by getting the benefit of doubt from the court. However destiny has other plans for him. His ex-flame Sushmita becomes a widow because her husband Pursumal Changulani gets murdered and thereafter his two sons and a married daughter kick her out of the house (in Colaba, Mumbai where Pursumal lived with her) terming her as the live-in partner of Pursumal and not his wife. Her late sister’s children are studying in a boarding school of Lonavla but she herself is on the road now, totally alone and resourceless.

In such a scenario, she meets Jeet Singh and appeals to his love for her. Jeet Singh considers her as utterly selfish but then he is not able to remain indifferent to the acute trouble of his ex-flame and he decides to help her by whatever means possible. The major chunk of Colaba Conspiracy is devoted to his activities pertaining to helping Sushmita and unravelling the conspiracy (which must have taken place in Colaba, thus justifying the title of the book) of Pursumal’s murder.

Colaba Conspiracy has been written on a vast canvas and contains a lengthy narrative spanning over more than 400 large pages. With ample doses of sentiments, this novel is mostly a thriller albeit a murder mystery is also there which is solved in the climax. The novel contains Jeet Singh’s heist activities too (because he needs money to help his ex-flame) alongside his endeavours to solve the mystery of the murder of Sushmita’s husband.

In addition to a murder mystery and lots of thrill (and the tragic love story of the hero), the novel contains a spicy courtroom drama. The author has presented a very colourful character of an aged but lecherous high profile lawyer named as Gunjan Shah who entertains the readers like anything both in the courtroom scenes as well as in the scenes taking place outside the court.

The novel contains love and friendship on one side and emotional blackmailing on their basis on the other. Jeet Singh is emotionally blackmailed not only by Sushmita (though earlier she hardly cared for his one-sided love for her) but also a friend called Gailo who had earlier helped him and now wants him to partake in a theft in return for that help.

How a broken heart reacts especially when approached by the heart-breaker to seek help in changed times, has been spelled out very beautifully by the seasoned author. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. When love is scorned, it gets converted into hatred with the same passion, same intensity. Jeet Singh’s feelings towards Sushmita are like that only. The author has very skillfully presented the thought-train of the modestly educated safecracker hero who now murders also without a hitch.

The hero’s name is Jeet (victory) but actually he finds himself as a perennial loser which makes the readers sympathize with him. He also terms himself as a bad coin (KHOTA SIKKA) which is not accepted anywhere. His pain of losing anything he wants, comes to the fore time and again and moves the reader deep within.

The heartburn of a discarded lover may get the ointment of the love of someone else, quite unexpectedly. That’s how the world runs and that’s how the hero of this novel also gets the support of the arms of a callgirl named as Mishri who sympathizes as well as empathizes with his heartache and tries to soothe him with her unconditional love.

Since it’s the novel of a series in which the story goes on continuously with the events taking place in the hero’s life who takes part in heists and goes for killings as and when required, the story has come a long way till Colaba Conspiracy but it’s a milestone novel in this series which thoroughly entertains and gives a twist to the breezy but not peaceful life of the hero.

It’s a treat for the Hindi readers and since its English version is also available, the English readers can also see for themselves by reading it that our indigenous mystery and thriller writer is in no way any less than the bestselling foreign authors.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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