"Expert Detectives" is an extract taken from Sharada Dwivedi's children's novel "The Broken Flute". Maya and Nishad are siblings aged \(10\) and \(7\), respectively. The story deals with their quest in finding out the real identity of a man called Mr Nath.
The story begins with the siblings walking towards their mother's clinic. As they walked, they began talking about Mr Nath. He had been living at Shankar House for over a year and had hardly made any friends. He was unfriendly, kids at the Shankar House were terrified of him, and more importantly, he had some burn scars, which Maya believed were caused by an encounter with the police. Maya is suspicious of Mr Nath and believes that he is a crook. However, Nishad thinks that the man is poor and lonely. Nevertheless, they decide to play the part of detectives and investigate the matter.
Nishad strikes a conversation with Ramesh, a restaurant worker who delivers food to Mr Nath. Through him, Nishad learns that Mr Nath always takes only two meals a day, and the menu was always the same- chapatti, vegetable, and dal. He then pays his bill immediately and tips generously. Moreover, Mr Nath has a visitor during most of the Sundays. He was a tall, fat, fair, spectacled, and talkative man, whom Maya believes was an accomplice.
Later, Maya lists out nine known facts about Mr Nath on a paper with "Catching a Crook" as its title. Eventually, Nishad and Maya get into an argument due to the difference in their opinions. Though Maya began the investigation intending to expose Mr Nath's identity, Nishad only went along because he wanted to understand why Mr Nath looked poor and lonely. He also decided to befriend Mr Nath because he liked him and had felt sorry for him. As the siblings have irritated each other through their adamant beliefs, the lesson ends with Nishad walking out of the room, leaving Maya with her list of facts.
Expert Detectives