On Sunday, July 26, 55-year old Nandakumar, a wholesale cosmetics businessman based in Kondithope in Chennai, and his family followed their usual routine and had breakfast. But by Monday morning, 4 members of the family including Nandakumar were dead. More than 2 days since their death, the police is completely clueless about what happened and how they died.While Nandakumar’s wife Kalaivani, their son Purushottaman and Kalaivani’s aunt Lalithaa breathed their last on Monday, Kalaivani’s mother Janaki and Nandakumar’s mother Sivakami are at the hospital undergoing treatment.The police say that the family had idlis and dosas for breakfast on Sunday morning, possibly made from batter which was several days old. Nandakumar was the first to fall sick. He complained of stomach pain on Sunday afternoon. He visited a local doctor and returned home. The police believe that they could have had food made of the same batter that night too. Soon, others started showing symptoms similar to that of Nandakumar.In the wee hours of Monday morning, Lalithaa started vomiting and fell unconscious. Others too started complaining of nausea, so the family members and neighbours took them to a nearby private hospital. Lalithaa was the first to die. Around 7AM, Nandakumar and Kalaivani also died as they were not responding to the treatment. A few hours later, their 30-year old son Purushottaman also breathed his last.Nandakumar’s brother Sundaramurthy, who was living with the others in their joint-family set up, was reportedly among those who took Nandakumar and others to the hospital on Monday morning. The police are now questioning Sundaramurthy, even as post mortem analysis of the bodies is being conducted by doctors. The police and doctors are unclear about the cause of death.Police officials say that they are looking at the possibility of food poisoning. Preliminary tests show that the death was due to some form of food poisoning. But they are not sure if the food was deliberately poisoned, was a result of natural food poisoning or there were other environmental causes.Based on preliminary investigation, the police say that it is hard to believe that there was any foul-play in the case. They are awaiting a forensic analysis of the bodies to ascertain the exact cause and nature of death.The police indicate that there was no history of enmity in the family and nothing else which raises suspicion. “We are conducting the investigations and questioning members of the family as per procedure. We can know more only after the visceral analysis,” says Senthil Kumar, DC, Flower Bazaar police station. The police also say that it is unlikely to be a case of suicide.Shell-shocked by the sudden deaths, members of the family are tight-lipped and do not want to speak to the media till there is some clarity on the death of their loved ones.