A client whose brother had been murdered approached Rajani Pandit. The client was a friend the former chief minister of Maharashtra. The client suspected his mother for murdering her son i.e. the client’s brother. Pandit decided the only way she can gather evident is by being close to the mother.
Disguised as a poor maidservant, Pandit made friends with the two regular masseuses of the mother. Via the masseuses’ help, Pandit soon started working as a domestic help in the mother’s home. Within the six months, Pandit had gained the trust of the mother; from a maidservant Pandit had become the mother’s caretaker. Pandit placed tape recorders in different rooms and started recording conversations. These were the days prior to the mobile phones.
One evening Pandit saw a strange man in the mother’s home. Later that night, Pandit listened to the recording; she learned that the mother was arguing with the strange man about the murder. Pandit realized that the strange man was the hired murderer, who the mother had hired. The strange man also matched the physical description reported by eyewitnesses. Pandit kept on recording.
On day, Pandit came close to being discovered. In the era of tape recorders, everything needed to be done manually. Once the tape cassette ran its length, it made a beep sound. It is the beep sound that the mother heard; even though Pandit covered her tracks; the mother was suspicious. Following three months, at night Pandit didn’t go back to her own home; Pandit wanted to make sure the safety of her real identity.
After the beep incident, the strange man didn’t visit the mother for two months. During his visit, the mother warned him not to come again. the mother suspected that the police were on-to them. Pandit overheard this conversation. She knew this was her last opportunity to catch the mother and the strange man. Panndit couldn’t just walk out of the mother’s home. She needed a reason.
Pandit intentionally dropped a knife on her foot. It bled profusely. Pandit limped to the mother; Pandit told the mother that she is going to the doctor “whose clinic was right below the building” (Vasundara). Once Pandit was out of the mother’s home, she contacted her contact in the Mumbai police. This is the first major case of Rajani Pandit; this case cemented her as the lead private detective in Mumbai.
When Pandit was asked why she thinks the client hired her—a newbie female detective, Pandit speculates, “There have been cases of some male detectives using the information they gathered for blackmail, but I haven’t heard of any woman doing it so far. Perhaps that’s why they hired me. Whatever it is, it worked and gave me the break I needed” (Vasundara).