Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Babri Masjid and the lost box

-by KParthasarathi Tuesday, May 06, 2008
It was one 6th December and my wife and my self were waiting at the airport to receive her sister and her family from Chicago. They were coming to our place for a month’s vacation. The sisters are very close to each other and chat twice daily for long periods. They do nothing without consulting each other. Both have a boy and girl.

There was tight security at the airport and visitors’ entry was barred. We had to hang around outside where there was a very inadequate seating arrangement. Most of the visitors, young and old, were standing. The fans were also few and far between.

Luckily our flight came in time. In an hour’s time they came out after the immigration formalities with two trolleys and a stroller each pulled by the two children. The sisters hugged each other and were immensely happy. The children too engaged themselves in happy conversation.
After the pleasantries with Vasu my sister-in-law’s husband, I got the boxes were loaded quickly on the Toyota Qualis that had a carrier on the top. We left in ten minutes. When we came out of the airport and had already driven for fifteen minutes my sister-in- law suddenly remembered the red colour stroller and asked whether it was loaded. I did not remember to have seen any red stroller. The vehicle was stopped and things were seen only to notice that the red box was missing. The boy who was pulling it had kept it away from other boxes and hence it was missed. We turned back to the airport worried whether the box would have been taken away by someone.

When we tried to halt at the place where we had boarded the vehicle, the policemen asked us to move farther away. There was a big crowd of people craning their necks to see something. Both Vasu and myself, got down to see the place cordoned off. We heard people talking about some bomb. When we reached closer Vasu loudly exclaimed “Our red stroller is still there safe. It is in the middle of the cordoned off area”. We approached the policemen and told them about our failing to take the box. They asked how we knew that the stroller was ours. Vasu said that he has come from Chicagoan hour or so back and that he had tied a blue tape on the handle of the red stroller to distinguish it from other similar boxes. The constable took us to the inspector who admonished us for our carelessness and the immense anxiety caused. This stroller had created a scare. Being abandoned, they suspected it might contain some explosive and had called a bomb disposal squad.

Vasu said he was 100 percent certain it was his box and that he be allowed to take it. The inspector asked him whether he can tell any specific things the box contained to determine the box really belonged to him. He said there were in the box a new leather belt, a packet addressed to one Chandrasekharan of Nanganallur and a chess set in glass. When opened he found the very articles mentioned and he was allowed to carry the same after a warning that he had created an avoidable stir and to be careful in future.

That day being the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary with the police mounting a special security drive in airports and Railway stations and the unidentified boxes were being left alone by snatchers for fear of a bomb, my guests were lucky to get back their box.

1 comment:

  1. the guests were lucky indeed. good sense of humour