Monday, April 2, 2012

Abducted -part 2

It was almost 11.30pm and the crowd had thinned out at the restaurant. There were not more than half a dozen customers who were also about to finish and leave. The assistant manager Hari noticed that his boss was not there.

“Ramu, have you seen bade saab?” he asked a waiter.

“He must have gone home sir, he was saying something about bhabhiji and the kids leaving for Rajasthan in the morning. He seemed to be in a hurry to close this place.”

It had happened quite a few times before that his boss had left without informing him and Hari had ensured that the place was cleaned and locked up before he left. He didn’t suspect anything and finished his job and left after locking the place.


At home, Arzoo was worried. Manek’s mobile was not reachable and no one was picking the phone at the restaurant. It meant that the place was closed for the day. She called up Hari. He told her that Manek seemed to have left a little early without informing him. She was contemplating whether to call up her brother-in-law when she received a call.

“Aarzoo, it’s me. I am stuck in a meeting so I’ll be late. You may have to postpone your trip. Now listen carefully to what I say, write it down if you want. Your hira, moti and manik are not in the safe. They are in another cupboard. I am sending my peon to the house, give him your Lakshmi bank and cooperative bank credit and debit cards and the shining necklaces. I need some money urgently for a deal. Radhekrishna jaan.”

Aarzoo silently wrote down every word of what he said. Something didn’t sound right. Why did he say that hira, moti and manik are not in the safe? They had not kept any precious stones either at home or in the bank. Why did he want the credit and debit cards of the two closed accounts? He knew there was no money in them. The only shining necklaces that were in her possession were the 1gm gold ones that she had got polished just yesterday to take them with her on vacation. The original gold ones were already in the safekeeping of the bank locker as she would be away for more than a month. What deal was he making at 1 am in the night? Moreover, he did not have a peon. It was also strange that he said radhekrishna before disconnecting. He always said ‘bye jaan’.

 So something was surely wrong. Was there a hidden message? She read it again and again, until it struck her! Her husband had been abducted! She had always referred to his watch as "hira" since it was diamond studded, his SUV as "moti" as it was pearl white and he was "manik". She had named the trio as hira, moti and manik. So he had been abducted in his own car and he was not safe. Radhekrishna was her uncle who worked with the police department. Manek had discreetly suggested that she should take her uncle’s help.

Without wasting time, she called up her uncle who was still on duty. Her uncle suggested that she note down the IMEI no on her mobile by dialing *#06# and activate the GPS and slip the mobile into the bag of jewels that she would hand over to the peon. She did as instructed and a 15 digit serial no flashed on her mobile screen. She noted the number and messaged it to her uncle. Thankfully GPS was already active; she set the GPS locator to update the location every 10 minutes. She switched her SIM with a spare unused one, in case they called again and changed the mode to silent and kept it in the jewels bag.

Just then the bell rang and she found a scrawny looking man at the door. He identified himself as the peon supposed to collect the bag. She handed it to him trying to carefully note his features. He was a thin guy wearing a khakhi peon’s uniform. He sported an unshaven look.

After he had left she made a mental note of the time taken for him to reach to her house. Her husband had called at 1am and it was 1.40am when the peon reached. So her husband was about 30-40 minutes away from her. She called her uncle and gave him all the details about the call, the peon and mobile. Then she walked to the puja room and lit the lamp and said a small prayer for her husband’s safety.


Manek was worried. Had Aarzoo intercepted his signals correctly? Will she manage to send him some help? Will he ever be able to see his wife and kids? What if the abductors realize his plan and kill him? So far they had not suspected anything when he spoke on the phone. He couldn’t be sure. All he could do was wait.

 read part 3 here...


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person..deep gratitude for those who have lighted the flame within me!! your comments will be appreciated..

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