India’s most popular detective, Rajani Pandit goes down memory lane and talks about her journey.
As I walk into her ‘office’ at Mahim, I am taken in by surprise. Firstly, at the warm setting that resembles the living room of a home, rather than an office space. My second surprise is Rajani Pandit herself –— warmth, affection and empathy emanating from her! “I want to keep my office far from intimidating,” she begins, taking a cue from my expression. “As it is, people come with a lot of apprehension about meeting a detective. Moreover, discussing their personal details, etc., can get stressful. I want them to feel comfortable - So I sit beside them on the chairs and chat with them! They open up gradually and then feel at ease,” explains our very own Bobby Jasoos!
Being a detective was not a planned career move for 51-year-old, Rajani Pandit. It all started by chance, when she was still studying in college. She noticed that one of friends was displaying odd behaviour and constantly lied to her parents about her whereabouts.
Being extremely conscientious, Rajani took it upon herself to stalk her classmate, following her incessantly. She snooped around and soon discovered that the errant girl was in wrong company. “I spoke to her parents about it, but naturally, they refused to believe me. I decided to then shadow her and clicked pictures of her, and showed them to her father, who told me, ‘You are a spy. But you saved my daughter!’ At that time, I didn’t even know what ‘spy’ meant!” she explains.
News about her sleuthing prowess soon reached her neighbours and one of them sought her for help in fixing a problem with her husband. The man would spend all his money on liquor, telling her that it was a business loss or that the money was pickpocketed! With her sharp acumen, Rajani got out the truth.
Even when she took up part time jobs during her college days, her colleagues would approach her for help. And soon, before she knew it, she was Private Detective Rajani Pandit!
One of her most dangerous cases was a murder mystery. “A lady had killed both her son and the husband, but there was no way to prove it,” she goes into the details. “To get as much details as possible, I went to stay with her as her maid. On the 7th day, I had a chance to expose her and her accomplice and had to get the police catch them red handed. It was difficult for me to get out of the house. I had to think of something, and think fast! I simply cut my toe with a knife, and on the pretext of rushing to a medical store, I called in the police and the case was solved!” she beams!
One case lead to another and today, Rajani has 75000 cases to her credit coupled with 57 awards. She has a team of about 20 employees and gives the same advice to all — to be alert and sensitive to all the clients.
“This work should not be done for money alone. It’s only through compassion and love for others that this work brings in a whole lot of satisfaction,” she says. Truly, her greatest satisfaction comes from a smile on her clients’ faces after a case is solved. She also feels the pain that some her clients go through. Such is her empathy towards her clients.