The Curious Case of the Evil Blogger #ChampIsBack

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
By the time I reached the living room, my revered friend's voice had already reached a crescendo. I had heard it many a time before this during our cases over the years and knew that the villian of the piece would be revealed soon. I did not bother to knock as I opened the door and stepped in, hoping that I was not too late. 
My friend stood there behind the sofa, staring at the three guests who had come to the party for dinner. The host's dog sat idly by, a quizzical expression upon its face as it stared at the bald man whose head resembled an egg.
"We have ascertained that the man who poisoned the famous food blogger Batata Vadakumaran is still in this room. It is one of you three, no doubt, since you were the only ones who had the vital three ingredients - motive, means and opportunity. You may throw the wool over the eyes of the fashion bloggers and you may get the story writing blogger to turn the other page, but I" - he puffed his chest out proudly - "I, Hercule Poirot, am the detective extraordinaire."

Source: whysoblu
"Hercule..." I called out to him.
"Ah yes, the fourth culprit." Hercule gesticulated, turning at the sound of my voice. I cringed as he continued. "You thought you could hide from Poirot."
I shook my head. "Hercule, it is I, Hastings, your friend. Put your glasses on."
To his credit, he did not flinch as he put on the familiar oval rimmed spectacles. "Ah, so it is. Very well, then. I shall eliminate you from the list of suspects..." - he looked at me sternly - "...for now."   
"Is this man mad?" One of the bloggers seated there asked angrily. "I just came here because I was invited by our host. I did not poison him."

"And yet you had the motive!" Poirot said, turning his gaze upon the blogger. "You, Mr Falooda Gulabi, were jealous of your host because he had more page views on his blog than you! He was more popular than you! Admit it!"
"I admit nothing! That man paid and promoted his blog! Promoted posts, I tell you!" 
"Ah, see. The green eye of jealousy."
"So are the rest of us free to go then?" the lone female - Louisi Gabbani, a fashion blogger - inquired, sniffling.
"No. I suspect you have a hand in this too. Is it not true that you were angry with the host because he did not "LOL" and "ROFL" to your last few blogposts? Ah, you thought I would not know this? Mademoiselle. I am Poirot. Nothing escapes me!"
"Hercule!" I interjected forcefully. "Please. Stop!"
"What is it Hastings!?" he replied, annoyed.
"I know who did it!"
"You!?" he said, with a smirk. "Ah, Hastings. I see what is happening. You are aggrieved that once more I have deduced the identity of the villain before you. Come, I shall hold my tongue and allow you to speak and reveal your wild guesses before I mark the true villain with my logic."
So saying, my friend, the brilliant - if somewhat testy - Belgian finally sat down beside me, gesturing for me to speak with a wave of his outstretched hand.

I cleared my throat and began
"As you all know, our host, the food blogger has been poisoned. Luckily for us, we found him before it was too late and treated him and he is resting up in his bedroom right now."
"So did he see who poisoned him?" the poetry blogger, Wah Wah Aadab Hassan,  asked.
I shook my head, taking the device I had in my pocket out.
"He did not see it but he had his suspicions. He gave this to me before I was escorted out of the room by the doctor."
Everyone - even Poirot - leaned forward to catch a glimpse of the device in my hand.
"Why, what a wonderful phone." Louisi Gabbani said, impressed. "I don't recall seeing this model earlier."
"It is the new LG Nexus 5X. Our host was one of the first to receive it as part of a review program."

Source: here

A frown appeared upon Poirot's brow.
"I checked Mr Batata as we were taking him upstairs. He did not have a phone upon his person."
"He did, actually, ol' friend. You missed it because it was hidden behind his wallet in his pant pocket. Don't beat yourself up, Poirot. For a 5.2 inch device, it is remarkably light-weight."
"How does this help us though, Hastings?"
"Well, he certainly felt there was something in here that was crucial to share with me."
"Surely, if the culprit suspected something, he would have deleted any photos of video evidence, would he not?" Wah Wah Aadab asked.

I smiled. "It isn't that easy. You see here" - I showed them the circular indent on the back of the mobile below the camera. - "This is the New Nexus imprint. Its been placed to correctly match and complement where your finger would be while holding it but that's not the best part. You see, it's a fingerprint scanner!"

Gasps arose across the room. Even the dog raised its ears at this.

Image source: here

"It can be used to turn on the screen, unlock apps and guess what, even checkout on Android Pay and Google Play Store. And here's the thing - since our three suspects were coming here for the first time, they would not be able to get into the phone even if they had known about the device since their prints would not be registered on the device!"

"But then neither are yours!" Falooda Gulabi exclaimed. I smiled once more.
"As the doctor was hurrying me away, Batata Vadakumaran pressed his finger on to the Nexus Imprint before he gave it to me." I showed them the screen, revealing that it was unlocked.

"I was worried that the battery had been discharged since it showed 2% when I turned the screen on but it turns out this new device has been optimized for rapid charging too. You get four hours of battery life with just ten minutes of charging! And guess what, Poirot? Its actually easy even for people like you," I sniggered here, unable to resist. "The USB type C charger port allows for reversible use. So I won't have to worry about you shouting obscenities while trying to plug your charger in!"

"Poirot does not shout obscenities. Poirot merely states the facts. Your devices are a nuisance to the aged wise men like Poirot. I would prefer my trusted carrier pigeon to those infernal devices! This though... yes, this is a step forward, mon ami." he said, impressed.

"So? What did you find?" Falooda Gulabi asked, impatiently. "Do you know who the evil blogger is who tried to poison our gracious host?"
I nodded solemnly, secretly relishing the moment. I could understand now why Poirot used to always prolong the tension even after identifying the culprit.

"There is no wonder why our host is such a famous food blogger in the blogosphere. He knows to get the best angles for his food pictures. No doubt about that. I only got a glimpse of some of the pictures he took with this phone but they are truly stunning." 

Credit for that does go to the new camera they have placed on the Nexus 5X, no doubt. The 12.3 MP camera features 1.55 ┬Ám pixels which captures more light and is aided by an IR laser-assisted autofocus.

"So it is about the food pictures?" Wah Wah Aadab said, turning his gaze to the food blogger.
"Lies! I swear it isn't me!" 
"Calm down," I said. "Yes, it isn't you!"
"But it isn't me!" The poet exclaimed. "That means it is you, you nutty minx!" he said, staring accusingly at the fashion blogger.
"How dare you?" Louisi Gabbani screamed, raising her Gucci bag to strike him.

"It is neither of you!" I screamed. The three bloggers looked at me quizzically. 
"But if none of us poisoned him, who did?"

I turned my gaze upon them slowly as I walked past them, one after the other until I reached the fourth occupant upon the sofa, sitting silently there and avoiding my gaze.

"Snoopikos, the dog!?" the fashion blogger exclaimed.
I opened up the Photo Gallery to show the photos I had found.

"Imagine a master who is so adept at taking the best food photographs. He gets the most tantalizing food available and forces his dog to sit right beside him and watch silently as he shoots various angles of the delectable dishes. And what does he - man's best friend - get after all this?"

I flicked the screen to reveal the next image. I closed my eyes, recreating the moments in my head as I imagined they occurred. 

All Flashbacks depicted in Sepia,
as per Bollywood Law number 4.20

"He gets to lick the outside of a juice cup, forced to savour the drops of condensation instead of the sweet milkshakes and chicken legs. In time, his sorrow turns to evil thoughts and he starts to plan revenge against this man who tortures him so." 

All Flashbacks depicted in Sepia, as per Bollywood Law number 4.20
"Snoopikos logged on to his master's laptop (which does not have a fingerprint scan, you may note) and checked to see which was the ideal poison to administer in his food, which was easily available to him. Having found some oleander or belladonna, he probably collected a bucketful of them from his master's garden and waited patiently for his master to leave the kitchen. 

Once Snoopikos was sure he had gone upstairs to get dressed, he quickly hopped on to the table, removed the cover of the dishes and added the crushed plants into the dishes. He knew his master would taste the dishes first before serving it to you all. The deed done, he rushed back to the sofa where he has been sitting serenely all evening since we arrived."

I turned to Snoopikos, giving him my most accusing look.
"Do you deny it?"

Poirot stared at the dog's expression in amazement. "Sacre bleu! You are right, Hastings! The look of guilt is writ large upon the face of Snoopikos!"
The dog finally growled angrily! "And I would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for..." 
"Me?" Poirot said, smiling smugly.
"No, you oaf! The NEXUS 5X! That is what got me caught, not you! You were gonna point at that Gulabi! I saw that!"
"Pfft! Harrumph! Sacrilege!" Poirot said, though I noted he did not deny Snoopikos' accusation.

 After the animal services had arrived and taken Snoopikos away to doggy prison, the bloggers too left - thanking me profusely and staring angrily at Poirot who kept his eyes firmly fixed upon his shoes - and I turned to my friend. I knew he was a little chuffed at me finally out-deducing him. He's a small child in matters like this, is Poirot.
"Oh, come now, Hercule. You know it is just one case."
"Hmmph!" he grumbled, his iconic moustache twitching angrily.

Image Source: Fanpop
"And besides, I would not have solved it had it been any other phone! I was darn lucky that it was the LG Nexus 5X and all those features were present."
He pondered over my words and a smile appeared upon his face as he replied.
"You know, Hastings, you are correct. Perhaps there is something to say for modern technology. I have been using the grey cells"  - he tapped his temple - "for all these decades but yes, one must move forward with new advancements too."
"The LG NEXUS 5X is a pretty good place to start, you know, old chap. The NEXUS family name ensures that it will be the first one to receive all the latest updates. Why, if I am not mistaken, this will be the first one to have Android 6.0 Marshmallow too!"

Poirot grimaced and shook his head as he donned his hat and headed for the exit.
"Marshmallows taste funny, Hastings. Besides, they don't go well with my tea."
I stared at him, open mouthed, before shaking my own head resignedly and jogging forward to catch up with my friend.
"Not that marshmallow, Hercule. Oh, the things I still have to teach you about mobiles!"  

 Authors note:
 “I am participating in the#ChampIsBack activity at BlogAdda.“

P.S. No Snoopikos' were harmed during the making of this post.

P.P.S No Hastings or Poirots were harmed during the making of this post either.

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Let me know what you think.

  1. Sigma PadmanandanOctober 29, 2015

    You are such very bad boy for framing the poor Snoopykos!! am gonna come n get u out of the jail soon!!!! N I loved each n every twist in the tale....

  2. It is because of misguided fan girls like you who support hardened criminals like Hannibal, Jack the Ripper, Crime Master Gogo and Snoopikos that we are in this condition today!! Hmmph! :p

  3. *Has an Ekta Kapoor Moment* Noo....not Snoopikos...He is such a cutie pie....

    On a serious note, I bow down to thee. This is so amazing. I loved this post. I guess all that means the same thing :) All The best for the Contest.

  4. Sooooo.. You work for LG now?


  5. Oh no not Snoopikos. I hope he didn't stay too long in doggy jail. You weave an interesting tale. What would we do without mobile cameras!

  6. I blame the master... he was asking for it... snoopkos you did right. You are too cute to be blamed :) and what a story... So brilliantly written . Enjoyed reading :)

  7. Vishal BheerooJuly 03, 2018

    Aha! Snoopiko was the crime master. The master is such a terrific story teller and whatta story..amazing, super creative and thrilling fun. Man! I'm dying to get LG G4....hehe

  8. Haha.. thanks for the praise. I too am considering shifting over slowly to a new phone. This looks interesting. Let's see how it goes.

  9. hehe... I probably should have killed off Batata Vadakumaran. eh? :) Missed a trick there. Then atleast SNoopikos would have gotten some mileage in doggy jail as a hardened criminal whom nobody should mess with :)

  10. Ah Mademoiselle Suzykins, it is always the one we do not suspect who ends up being the killer!

  11. If only! Then maybe I would get a regular paycheck... no, I'm still working for that ...uh, that .. you know, the one with the thing they use to hear heart beats and all.

  12. If this were an Ekta Kapoor serial, you can bet we would be doing atleast 5 minutes of slow motion takes of snoopikos face from every angle once we reveal him to be the killa'!

  13. Sushmita MalakarJuly 03, 2018

    This is just hilarious! :D

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