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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Flip Side: The head scratchers

From Sunanda Pushkar's death to Pakistan boat burning, a look at the greatest riddles of our times.

Written by Dilip Bobb |
Updated: January 11, 2015 12:00:39 am

Sunanda Pushkar, Sunanda Pushkar murdered

Some things leave us shaking our heads, say when someone lies, while others can leave us scratching our heads, not because of lice, but from trying to figure out what happened and why. The latter has increased in volume with new chapters being added every few months, while others are ancient history but still remain unsolvable. Here are some of the great riddles of our times.

Who killed Sunanda Pushkar? Now that the Delhi Police has injected the year-old case with some urgency, the finger pointing has begun, mainly in the media which has spent a year explaining why it was suicide and is now busy trying to support the murder angle. Apart from getting educated on such esoteric substances as Polonium 210, the wild speculation has left readers/viewers scratching their heads trying to keep track of the needle of suspicion which fluctuates wildly between Kerala, Delhi and Dubai. It could be a case of ‘the butler did it’, except the butler has introduced a certain ‘Sunil saheb’ to add a new twist to the mystery. The viscera has become visceral.

The terror boat: The boat itself went up in flames, but did the terror theory follow the same route? Everyone’s fishing for answers after it was revealed that there were four men dressed in shorts on the boat; not exactly the dress code in the al-Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Toiba manuals. No fishing nets or rods either, so they were not fishermen. A repeat of 26/11 or just a smuggling operation? These days, everyone’s on high alert, even on the high seas, so what we finally had was a fishing expedition for a terror angle. Explosive stuff but till solid proof is made available, all theories remain dead in the water.

Non-returning Indian: Now that they are all gathered in Gandhinagar, named after an NRI from South Africa who decided to do ‘ghar wapsi’, it’s a good time to examine the mystery of the non-returning Indian. Is he a NRI, a PIO, a PIO Cardholder or an OCI? An NRI holds an Indian passport, but resides abroad. A PIO is a foreign national with Indian ancestors. A Person of Indian Origin can hold a PIO card and become a PIO Cardholder, which is another category. The OCI or the Overseas Citizenship of India refers to Indians who migrated after January 26, 1950, the day the Constitution was stamped. Quite confusing, especially for immigration officers who are stumped, trying to figure out what to stamp on passports.

Subhas Chandra Bose: He would have been 118 next week if he survived the plane crash in 1945. To this day, there are those who believe he survived and returned to Ayodhya as a monk named Bhagwanji. Since his body was never found, the mystery will remain alive; more so now that the government has refused to declassify the Bose files for mysterious reasons.

Dhoni’s resignation: He quit test cricket captaincy mid-tour, without explanation. Fans and analysts will always refer to it as the ultimate helicopter shot, because of the unanswered questions that hover over his head.

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