Monday, March 31, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 3

Could it be::: Could it be a simple love affair, which Yama is looking at a different angle..but being a trained anti terrorist cop,Anthony Kaal did not want to jump into conclusion.He always went thru the process of elimination to arrive at any decision.

D-2 :::IG's office 6 pm

IG ::: what's the status Yama?

Yama::: Sir, good news .We have some leads and from it points at a boy living in Chennai.He could perhaps have contacts in Chattisgarh too.. (yama could never look at an issue differently )

IG ::: Then what are you waiting for,I will issue a formal order for you to move to Chennai by noon flight and you should be there by evening.I will ensure interstate protocol is maintained.Take your best commando with you.Dont forget your service weapon and be careful..

Yamas fingers already started itching..A mosquito to swat ,he thought
He called up Kaal to inform him of his movement to Chennai.Kaal had no choice but to welcome him but same time realised he had to do some more homework on the boy,Raaj.
He didnt want a mistake to happen

D-2::::: 6 pm..chennai

Appasami called up his contact in the crime branch,Arumugham,a straight forward cop of 35 years experience,who never wanted any innocent to be punished.Being in the control room he had access to all the going ons in the city.

Appasami confided in him about the issue and wanted to know about the activities of the cops on this .Arumugham sounded a little casual and told Appasami that Cops were busy with a terrorist chase who had kidnapped a girl from North East and had no time to be after simple love issues.

Appasami felt the chill..he knew it was going to be a case of mistaken identity.He again shared the news with Arumugham that it was the same boy he was referring to.

Arumugham :: appo surrender aaga sollunga.Illena vambu.(Please ask them to surrender,otherwise it may become a problem )AC Anthony kaal is a tough cop and known for his encounters.

Appasami :: Arumugham.Naan ungala than nambi irukken (I have hopes only on you ),Let the marriage be over ,the next minute they will surrender

Arumugham ::enakku puriyudhu,aanaal eppadi naan melidatthukku solluven (sir I can Understand but how do I convey this )Just ensure that the boy and girl dont surface in public. I just got the information that a top cop is arriving from North east.

Appasami :: purinjudhu,edhum vishayam irundha ennakku solluveenganu nambaren(I have understood,if there's any development, I hope you will keep me informed )

Arumugham :: surely sir.girl is coming to our place as a bride surely we want to welcome with open heart

D - 1 :::: 9 am

Aish was getting slightly worried. She knew something was wrong but didnt know what exactly.She was praying hard that everything went on fine.Tears welled up in her eyes,and Raaj saw it.He realised in the confusion of past few days he hadnt spent much time with Aish. In fact she was all alone and who ever was conversing with her were perhaps doing it more out of curiosity.

Raaj :: Sorry Aish ,about all these developments.But I am sure evereything will be sorted out.

Aish :: I wish so .But whatever it is,I want to be be with you,now and forever.When are we buying the wedding sarees. We were to do it today,isnt it.

Raaj :: Sure,I am just waiting for Appasamy sir to tell us since ,he is cooordinating the entire thing.

Aish :: I never realised there was so much complication,I hope everything goes through smoothly.I thought it was a simple love affair and marriage was the logical conclusion. But now I realise ,the society comes down so heavily on love ..

Appasami was maintaining mobile silence with all of them since he didnt want anyone to be traced.From the discussions with Arumugham he knew Raaj's and Aish's photographs must have been splashed to all police stations and in the event of Raaj being identified as a terrorist,he would be a sitting duck to police if he ever ventured out.So the only way was,after marriage surrender so that everything would be ok.He proceeded to meet Raaj and Aish. He was already late by several hours and he realised the youngsters would be tensed

Meanwhile, Raaj became anxious and switched on the mobile and called Appasami

PING, the signal from Raaj's mobile was tracked by the service provider who instantly relayed it to police control room.

Appasami,realised Raaj had commited the cardinal mistake and that he didnt have much time in hand.He reached the place in next 10 minutes and in no time he had both Aish and Raaj whisked away

D -1 ::: 1pm

Anthony Kaal on the way back home asked his driver to take a detour via Raaj's house.Something in him was telling that he would definitely get a clue on what was happening.His orderly and SI Maanikkavel accompanied him.As he walked around the house he chanced upon a crumpled computer print out which read:: Raaj and Aish cordially invite you for a lunch at Hotel Hemsagar at 1 pm::.There was no date mentioned on it.His SI Maanikkavel was immediately asked to check on it and they understood it was for the next day.

So ,Kaal realised that it was question of time before they zoomed down on Raaj and Aish.Also the service provider had provided the vital information of the mobile phone. But the main thing remained ::: he had to find out on the terrorist dimension.Otherwise ,Yama would do the rest...

He immediately ordered a quick check on all marriage halls and temples to find out if the marriage was to be held,the next day.Everywhere they drew a blank .In all the thorough police work,they had overlooked a point that the girl belonged to a different religion and a conversion was neccessary and this was done only in few institutions.

Appasami,Aish and Raaj reached another safe house and the program on shopping was called off.With the list,Appasami promised everything would be bought in time.He conveyed to them that the marriage time was advanced to before 5 AM ,an auspicious Brahma Muhoortham.

He left both of them around 7 pm with a clear instruction to maintain no contact with outside world and that he would pick them up at 330 AM ,the next morning.

D -1 ::: 630 pm

Kaal met Yama at airport and both were very happy to catch up on lost time.Went to a restaurant on the way and as they were chatting on the case in hand,Yama went into details of the girls family.Kaal realised that he had missed a crucial point of religion on this matter and he knew what to do and where to go...Yama was also restless..

(to be concluded)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 2

A quick review of the situation and Appasamy decided that there was no way Raaj was going to make it to her place and perhaps the rendezvous could happen only at Guwahati.This meant Aish had to reach Guwahati airport on her own and Raaj to reach and wait for her there.For obvious reasons ,Appasamy had advised her tickets be booked on a different name and so even downloading the E ticket would not have helped as she would have failed the identity test at ticket counter. So Raaj was asked to call her and convey the revised schedule.Despite advising Raaj several times to have the mutual conversation from PCO,both ignored it.

Aish was very worried now since she had never travelled overnight on her own,and she was wondering if she should confide to someone and at least escort her to Guwahati.She resisted the temptation. But despite her calm exterior she felt the turbulance inside.

D -4, she couriered her letter to her parents and took off by a bus to her destiny ...

Raaj meanwhile had left Chennai and reached Guwahati.His return was booked by Guwahati Chennai,but for some strange reason ,Appasamy tore off that made him book another ticket, for both of them via Kolkatta, but this time he ensured it was not a E ticket and both their tickets were in different names.

D -3 morning Aish reached the airport and literaaly melted into waiting arms of Raaj.With just hand baggages,both entered the airport and for a quick wash.It was already late for the flight ,and both rushed past the security and dropped into their seats.Announcement ..SWITCH OFF MOBILES..was met with a crestfallen Aish..She had left it behind in the washroom..they were soon airborne to KOL..

Courier reached Aishs parents and they were dumbstruck. The whole of previous night they were frantic ,for their area was infested with terrorists and kidnapping was order of the day.Aishs father was politically well connected and had pulled strings at right places to locate her..

Venue ; Inspector General of Polices office

Meeting of ATS..Anti Terrorists Squad Head, Yam Rajkumar Deka,with IG police

IG : Yama,one of of top business mans daughter is missing and her parents feel she must have been kidnapped by terrorists.I want you to personally handle this case and find the girl immediately since this may have political ramifications

Yama realised this was no normal case since IG himself was personally involved.But he was not bothered about it ,since all that mattered to him was terrorists and he just hated them.

Meanwhile ,Aishs parents didnt know what to do since this was elopement .Their repeated calls to her mobile was ringing away.How could they know their daughter had left behind the phone in the airport rest room and in a silent mode !!They also chose to remain silent on the letter !!

Yama called on them and went thru the details of their daughter in a most professional way.He took her photograph and wanted to know if she possesssed a mobile.They gave the number to her and he immediately got his office put a tracer on the mobile thru the service provider.He wanted to know where the mobile was now and also the printout of last couple of months.

The mobile was located by the watch and ward staff in the airport and after taking necessary precautions that it was not a Explosive Device ,handed it over to the police control room,who in turn flashed the details to Yama.Several hours had passed with just no clue of the girl.But with this breakthru Yama was confident that he had caught hold of the trail !!

A quick download and he realised countless calls had been to a mobile number in Chennai.Meanwhile ,the mobile handset also reached him and he found photo of a boy as screen saver on the Phone.He was slightly confused.

He immediately wanted the flight manifest of all the flights which left Guwahati and scanned for Aishs name.It was not there...Appasamy was one step ahead !!

The reports from service provider reached Yama about the Chennai phone..he got all the info he needed,address,his call lists etc etc ..Something bothered him..From Chennai number of calls had been made to Chattisgarh too,a land infested with mafia and naxalites...Did that mean the boy was connected with Northeast terrorists,Mafia and Naxalites..did that mean the boy had trapped this girl for some reason or did it mean she had voluntarily joined the group..

With time slipping away,he found that one flight had left for Chennai in the morning on scanning through realised Raaj had booked his ticket along with a girl..but unfortunately both had not travelled in the flight..So the jig saw puzzle continued.He was itching to solve it.

His immediate reaction was to seek the help of Chennai police and do a background check on Raaj.

He called up his long time friend and Buddy ,Anthony Kaalavendan. Both had undergone Anti terrorism training and were with the elite force for over 5 years.They always used to hunt in pairs.Anthony Kaalavendan,nicknamed,KAAL, always used to plan well and laid the trap for the terrorists and Yama was simply trigger happy and executed them.The pair of Kaal and Yama sent shivers even to the most cold blooded terrorists.Both of them were extremely quick and dare devils ..

Now reverted to their respective states both were in touch only occasionally wishing each other for new year etc.Their bonhomie in tact !!

Yama:: Kaal, how are you man

Kaal:: What a surprise Yama,whats the occasion !

Yama;; I need your help,Kaal,I want to locate a terrorist and possibly he has kidnapped a girl and come to chennai

Kaal::I tell you Yama,you are still the same and I think you are chasing a wrong horse.My place has no terrorists.Come and spend your holidays here without of course your revolver

Yama(impatient now )Kaal are you going to help me or not ,I dont want that guy to escape.If confirmed I want to come down there and hunt him down.

Kaal :: You have not changed a bit Yama,trigger happy to the core.Ok mail me the details I will have that checked.How soon you need it

Yama:: I need it yestertday ,Kaal

Once he got a positive response from Kaal ,Yama breathed easy,since he knew once Anthony Kaal set his mind on something,it was as good as done.In the next few seconds all the details were flashed by Yama to Kaal

D-2...Raaj and Aish were picked up by Appasamy and co from airport late in the night.Raaj was expecting his parents to be at airpoirt and receive their would be daughter in law. But that was not to be.Appasamy didnt want any chances and already had them shifted to safe houses.He was not going to have the anticipated problems rule over.From the airport he took both of them to outskirts and despite protests from Raaj,convinced him that it was a wise decision to stay away from home.

D-2 Anthony Kaal sent his team member SI Manikkavel to do a routine check with the boys photograph,mobile printout and get clarified on calls to Chattisgarh,his visit to North east and his calls to the girl.

Manikkavel..Sir the house is locked and neighbours say that the boys parents left home two days back saying they were going out of station.Its confirmed that the boy lives here and he is doing granite business from Chattisgarh and Andhra.The family I understand is pretty decent ,sir.

Kaal had a chuckle,Yama and his conclusions on naxalites,terrorists etc.

He called up Yama,but he was insistant on his plot. Kaal convinced him that he would trace them out in next 24 hours and call him.Yama wanted to come down personally and take the boy out.Kaal knew what that meant....At the same time ,a thought flashed across his mind..Could it be ...?

(to be concluded )


Friday, March 14, 2008

The Cactus Blooms.....Part 1

Year ::: 2005
Location ::: Chat room for 40+
Topic of discussion ::: Who is superior: men or women

Heated debate going on .The room has two participants Aish and Raj alias Rajesh. Seizing the silence of Aish ,Raj PMs her for the private chat.
Bored Aish responds..they realise both of them are nowhere near 40s and just drifted into the room to know what ADULTS talk.Thus started a long chat friendship which they never knew where it would culminate

Raj .. Where are you from

Aish .. NorthEast,and you

Raj .. South of Vindhyas,chennai.Have you ever been here.

Aish .. No,would love to

Common topics,topics generally to impress each other,Raj typically showing off ,Aish in her own style underplayed every word,when actually she could boast of a thousand things.Both were from conservative background with both families adhereing to their respective religious beliefs fairly strictly.But these two were in a world of their own ,without realising that were slipping into mutual love and the whirlpool had managed to suck them in with no escape !

With their cams on ,hours melted into days and days into years.Hours of mobile talk,sms ,mms were exchanged and 24 hours didnt seem to be sufficient for them.Yes three years had passed and it was time for them to take the next step..Marriage..was it possible ?..conservatism all around,was a solid wall and they wanted to break it !

Aish..Raj,I am willing to cross over.Will it be ok if we get married?

Raj .. I am dumb struck Aish.I didnt have the gutz and you are so cool about it.I am sure of myself but my people ,I honestly donno.But that means you will be away from your exotic place and wonderful parents, probably for good.You sure about it.(actually Raj was the one who was unsure,but put the ball in Aish s court ! )

Aish .. I fully realise that ,Raj.My life here is very different.Dad is 24 hours into business and politics and Mom is into kitchen 24 hours for the hordes of relatives who are perinially plonked in my house.I have never known love and you have given me that in full..

Raj thought to himself,oh my God I have perhaps not been true to her with a list of girl friends, perhaps multi timing.But somewhere he knew Aish was the right girl for him.But,he also realised that it would be very difficult for him to convince his parents

He didnt know how to open out the topic to his parents and the nudges from Aish was increasing ,since her parents had already started looking out for a boy for her.Collecting all his strength Raj opened it out to his parents..

Raj.. Appa(Father ), I want to settle down in life.I am in love with a girl.

Manikkam,(Rajs father)..So with few rupees pouring into your bank from your business you feel, you are free to chose without our permission, is it ?

Raj Its not like that,I am sure you will like her and she is a wonderful girl

Rajs mom sensing her husbands moods quikly changes the topic.

Days roll by and one day when Raj confides that the girl is from a different religion too ,all hell breaks lose.Luckily Rajs uncle Appasamy,who was into business and several kinds of activities which he never discussed at home,came into the picture and became the moderator and cooled down Rajs father saying that the girl was willing to come down and be here for good.When the issue of religion came ,Manikkam was convined by everyone that she would convert and hence all issues would be settled.He took charge and spelt out the modus operandi..

Only Appasamy knew that ,it would be the begining of all problems ,at least for next few months.

With the green signal from his parents,Raj called up Aish.He went on talking to her,virtually a monolog,how his parents were convinced about the wedding,conversion and finally accepting her.Not for a moment Raj thought about the feelings Aish would have undergone..the seperation she had to face from her parents,a virtual rejection on conversion,and finally why she had to be ACCEPTED by Rajs parents for she had done no mistake....Aish smiled it away ,but had no one to share and the one person she could, was excited beyond words on his parental acceptance of her !!

Raj.. How do you feel ,Aish

Aish .. I feel very happy Raj,we dont have much time.Can you fix the dates fast

Raj .. Sure,will call you up tomorrow and confirm

From then on things started moving fast with Appasamy literally hijacking the show as chief organiser of the marriage.All necessary documents were exchanged on courier and fax and as scan messages.Flight tickets booked and Raj was to go to her place to bring her .Naturally he had to change flights at three places to reach her remote place.He was to reach her place ,have a rendezvous with her at the airport and take the same return flight.

They would arrive two days ahead of the marriage,D DAY,do the shopping and other formalities for the marriage,including the conversion,and so on...Appasamy cleared told Raj to advise Aish not to leave any letter or confide with anyone about their plans for this could result in complications.Only Appasamy knew what the complications were.Any sort of communication could d be done by Aish with her parents,only after the marriage.

All arranged and Raj kept Aish informed of all the developments,including the last advises given by Appasamy.Also,since time would be the essence everything was arranged in a very tight schedule . She sounded slightly nervous.

Aish agreed to everything but felt she was obligated at least to write a letter to her parents.She sat and wrote a letter to her parents,edited it at least thrice ...She went to every place she was fond of..her school,playground,her teachers who had always taught her the values of life,the tea gardens which she had smelled throughout her life..etc She realised she was going to miss it least for sometime to come.All the while she wondered when and how to reach the letter to her parents.Aish also felt like confiding it to one of her favourite aunts,who she thought was not as conservative as others,but was unsure .Bottling up the emotions was proving to be a tough task,and for the first time Aish felt down right nervous and it was showing. For once she felt Raj was also too busy ,since her calls were also answered with a sense of urgency or impatience..

Five days prior to the rendezvous,(D DAY -5 ) ,a strike call given by airport staff coincided with their travel date ,and all confusion started.

(to be concluded)