The mystery of the second sheet - part 1

It was raining all across the university campus, and Loneliness* and I had been sleeping together for some nights under a thin bedsheet. It was early in the morning, and fogs had been lazing across the university boulevards since the night before. My loneliness had been letting out small wisps of sighs, every now and then. The room filled with the smoke of her drowsiness, and my thirst was growing every minute as the warmth of our bodies spread below the thin sheet, trying desperately to fight the cold breeze from the fan whirring softly across the ceiling. I reached for a glass of water on the bedside table.

"It will be too cold to drink".

The sudden remark brought me out of my reverie. "My dear loneliness! How did you know?" I was forced to ask.

"Sudipta, my dear...", she began, "I have told you on numerous occasions how one may deduce the exact thought process in the mind of a person by just following his actions."

"Well, I must admit that I am a bit confused", I mumbled, aching all over my body from the exhaustions of the night before.

"Well, allow me to explain. I just observed you gulp down twice, trying unsuccessfully to moisten your lips and throat. Then from the nature of your twisting of the torso and extending your arm towards the glass of water, I could deduce that you were thirsty and you needed oxygenated hydrogen to quench your thirst", she finished, with a smile on those angelic dreamy lips. I was enchanted by the brilliance of her intellect.

"But, ", I persisted, "how did you know that the water will be cold?"

"Observe, honey, ", she continued in the same mellifluous voice, "that while the casual observer may gleam over the subtle details presented all across the room, the trained eye will never fail to deduce the train of reasoning involved in the situation. The little droplets on the surface of the glass point to the fact that moisture condensed on the surface of the vessel. Now, if you had read the little monograph I published on the subject of condensation of steam into water in the journal called Nature, you would have known that it is possible only when the temperature of the surface of the medium is sufficiently low for this transformation to occur. From this I deduced that the temperature of the water in the glass of the water within must also be sufficiently low so as to allow the equilibrium to be preserved. Now, since I had just brought the glass of water from the refrigerator about a minute ago before you woke up, I could come to the conclusion that the contents of the water should be cold even as we speak."

"Marvellous!", I remarked --- bewitched by her wit. And her cheeks blushed with the praise, which every genius is known to accept heartily. She brushed aside the air of charm with a soft stroke of her hand as her eyelids pouted away from my face.

She said, "Elementary, my dear Sudipta!"

... to be continued

* Loneliness: "Mai aur meri tanhayee"


  1. Hi sudipta, I am regular reader of ur blog. I enjoy reading ur posts. They are so refreshing, matured and simlpy awesome! Keep pouring more such posts frequently:)

    I also liked ur review of the book, Namesake!

  2. Ahh!! when science is mated with english..the result is this .. :)

    Hope both emerge winners at the culmnation of this mini series. :)

    Nice one sudipta, waiting 4 more!!

  3. Suresh, thank you so much for the good wishes and compliments: you just made my day. And I know that this post was a little dense --- lets see what comes up next :)

    Cardamom, thank you so much. It was more than science and english; but I guess it went a little too cryptic :)

  4. something about this post is eerie! but i liked the way you described your dialogues with miss tanhayee ;)

  5. Syrals, well, thank you! :)

    Life lover, yeah 'miss' tanhayee and I usually have a lot to talk about. The eerie part of the post you would get only if you knew what I was trying to do here :)

  6. ur miss tanhayee speaks like a physics prof! :O

  7. Di, yeah, she's an expert. Living with me has its side effects, you know :)

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  9. Smart. Very smart.

    You do know that 'Elementary..' was never part of the original Holmes' lexicon :)

    Just trying denote a fellow Holmes-phile ;)

  10. SEV, welcome onboard! I know that, re... just that I thought it might help others recognize the spoof. Unfortunately, no-one did! :(


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