Monday, February 05, 2007

All in the Game – part VII

Imran was too engrossed in pain to reply. He badly wanted to get his foot out of the trap mechanism. The more he tried the more difficult it looked. After a while Anil gave up with an expression of incompetence. Then Imran stopped and started looking around.

“Anil!!! Bring that broken branch to me na please” Imran said.

Anil ran towards the dry piece of wood and brought it to Imran.

Imran then tried to force open the trap by leveraging the wood in between. After what looked like moment of success the wood broke with a snap. The shoulders drooped.

Just then they could hear someone approaching. Puja looked frightened. The last thing she wanted was getting stuck with a bunch of poachers. She quickly ran and hid herself behind Anil. Three men emerged from the wilderness. All three of them were wearing army camouflage uniforms and were carrying guns. They looked totally surprised after seeing the three. Perhaps they were expecting to see some wild animal or some tribes stuck in the trap. Anil was the first to respond.

“Hi!! We are from Chennai, India!! Our plane was hijacked and then had crashed!! Now we are stuck in this jungle can you please help us free my friend from this trap.” he blurted as he waved his hand.

The three of them looked at themselves with a lot of questions in their eyes.

Hum Museebat mein hain, please hamari help keejiye na*!” Puja spoke out in a pleading tone

One of them who looked like a leader signaled something through his eyes for which one of the others went ahead to relieve Imran. The leader barked out,”You guys stay where you are”. Anil and Puja were taken aback as the third guy pointed the gun at them.

Soon the trained hands of the man in the army uniform relieved Imran and then he stood up with his hands raised.

“You follow him”the leader commanded Puja and then he turned to Anil and said” you follow him” as he pointed Imran.

Soon they were blindfolded and were given sticks which they had to hold to follow the uniformed men.

After some 15-20 mins of walking the three could feel that they were ushered into a room. They were asked to sit down on the floor and their hands were tied to their back. Since they were not sure whether they were alone, they didn’t speak anything.

After a while they were asked to follow and were taken to some other room, where the blindfold was removed from all of them and their hands were freed.

All three of them rubbed their eyes and looked around to scan the room. It looked like an office of some kind. They were standing in front of a table. On the other side were two men.

One was a hard and stubborn looking man in his late fifties. One could see the cruelty of war in his face and the pain of loss in his eyes. He had a fairly thick moustache and very well defined eyebrows. The lips looked like it had never stretched for a smile for centuries. The eyes were thoroughly scanning and was constantly analyzing and judging the subjects in front of him. He was seated erect and there was the pride of success in his chest, which looked muscular and strong despite being hidden by a shirt and an expensive suit.

The second man who was standing to his right had softer features. He looked like he had just entered his fifties. His nose was a little blunt and also the hair on his face wasn’t very thick. He was wearing glasses through which two careful eyes peered on the three subjects standing in front of them. He was wearing a suit which was lighter in contrast and he looked a lot leaner. There was a constant smile in his face which was not very easily noticeable. It was easy to figure out that the man who was seated was the captain and the one who was standing was the subordinate.

“Sorry for the welcoming party kids! But we are not so used to visitors” the captain started without any smile in his lips.

“We are not kids!!! And I demand to know why the hell were we held as captives.what is this place??” Anil replied with childish looking anger.

There was cold stare from the captain, which took the breath away from Anil for a while. The smile from the sub ordinate grew a wee bit wider. After controlling his anger the captain continued ”You shouldn’t get so angry at such a young age kid!! This can lead into the kind of trouble, which you can’t even imagine.” He said that scornfully indicating fully well that it was a direct warning.” Are you aware that you have strayed into the classified territory of a top-secret organization working under the government of India and are liable to be kept under detention without trial? We have reason to believe that you people are spies and we are well within our rights to search and interrogate you in the best interests of the nation.”

Puja was terrified.”No no !! we are not spies. These guys were on a business trip to England and I was going to my uncle’s home in London. First there was a hijack attempt and then the plane crash and then Anil got ill and then we were with the Jarawas and after that Imran got stuck in a deer trap” Puja was screaming as if she had seen ghost. Her words were incoherent and were involuntary expressions of her fear.

The captain raised his eyebrow and looked at his subordinate with disbelief.

“You are the only survivors of a plane crash?? And you were captured by the Jarawas and came out alive??? Why don’t you kids atleast think of a credible story??” the captain’s voice was less tense now.

“No!!! We never said we are only survivors ,there could have been more and also Jarawas didn’t capture us they helped us and even nursed me back to good health as I was sick.”Anil retorted and then he muttered”we are not kids” which was barely audible.

“I have never heard of the Jarawas helping any mainlanders and you said you guys were on a business trip isn’t it??? What kinda trip was that??”the captain asked.

“We are software professionals working in one of the topmost IT companies in India. We were operating out their development center in Chennai for our London based client. We had to take up this urgent assignment due to ………some emergencies” Anil replied.

The captain’s expression was unchanged as he stared at them for a while .Then he signaled with a brief movement with the right hand to take them away.

The threesome had their hands tied to their backs and they were taken away, to be locked up again. This time they were not blindfolded.

After they were gone the captain looked like he was deeply engrossed in some thinking.

After a while, the subordinate cleared his throat and spoke in a clear low voice.”Virgin princess???”

“Bingo” said the captain with an uncharacteristic smile.

“Perfect!!” replied the subordinate as he reciprocated with a bigger smile.

To be continued…………….

· All in the Game – part VIII