Sunday, November 15, 2009

Trust me darling

Praveen had been observing that Pooja wore a troubled and haunted look on her face since two months.A sprightly girl she had changed into a silent and morose one often lost in thoughts.Even when they were out on parties, she was ill at ease contrary to her earlier nature of a vivacious and engaging conversationalist with witty repartees and rib tickling anecdotes.She was virtually thronged by the crowd and she enjoyed being a cynosure.But why this sudden change was the question that intrigued Praveen.He had asked her many times.She brushed aside the questions as nothing really,a mild head ache,pressure of work or the usual monthly moods.They were married for five years and both were well employed and were a loving couple with nothing to cause any unpleasantness.

One day she asked him to give her a lakh of rupees saying she needed it for a friend and would return it soon.Praveen readily gave her a cheque without demur but wondered why she asked him as she had ample bank balance with her.He used to taunt her that she was poor in managing her finance despite an MBA as she did not know to put her money for better returns.But a doubt arose where all her money had gone and why she is in want.They generally shared info about their investments. This doubt and the scared look in her face worried him much.But he didn’t want to press her much on this.

A fortnight later he found her bank pass book lying on the table by the side of her handbag.She had evidently forgotten to put it back as she hurried down the stairs to answer the phone.He could not suppress his curiosity to look at the pass book.He was shocked to note that she had withdrawna lump amount and then Rs 10000 every week and that her balance had been wiped out except for the balance of Rs 80000 out of the sum he had given her.He quickly left the passbook where it was as he heard her coming.

He thought about the matter and surmised that she must be under blackmail and that money was being given to buy silence.If it was a loan for a friend she would have paid it immediately in lump sum.He remembered her telling two months back when she finished a phone call that it was from her friend of college days who had been transferred here.There was no mention about him subsequently.Praveen was aware that Pooja was a good girl with strong values in life.She was a loving wife and virtually doted on him.He decided he cannot allow her to be blackmailed by anyone and wished to discuss the matter

It was Sunday night.They had finished their dinner.He was reclining on the sofa. She was busy with her laptop.He called “Pooja, close that laptop and come here.I wish to talk to you.It is ages since we sat together and enjoyed sharing sweet nothings.”

She was startled and he saw a look of apprehension in her face.He stood up and went near her to put his arms around her.”Why do you look scared? You can trust me and tell me whatever is bothering you.You are not the same Pooja since two months.Something is troubling you and the brightness in your face has faded.There is always a hunted look.You can confide in me confidently whatever..I promise you that neither will I take you amiss nor ask you for details.You will have my hundred percent support.Come on, spill it out and be relieved from the weight of secret on your chest”

She replied”What is it you are talking about? There is nothing troubling me at all .I am fine except that I wss slightly unwell.”

“No, Pooja,I can see a fear writ large on your face.I know a little more.The money you took from me is not for any loan to a friend.I promise again that I will not mistake you for whatever you have done or not done in the past.Take me into confidence.” Praveen said

“My friend said she will take the loan a little later.If you wish I can return the money.” she replied

“Tut, tut.There is a limit to your bluffing.I have seen your pass book.Tell me something else.Remember I will be with you through thick and thin.Entertain no fear on that score.You can trust me, darling” Praveen said as he hugged her tightly.

Pooja sobbed inconsolably even as Praveen cajoled and caressed her asking her to stop it.With some gentle promptings she poured out what was weighing heavily in her heart.”That friend about whom you asked one day when I was on phone was actually a college mate.We were in love then and dated regularly.In my indiscretion I exchanged love letters with him.They were very warm in nature though I had not crossed the boundaries.Eversince he had come here he had been threatening me to pay him money under pain of exposure to you of the letters.I was scared of what you would think of me and agreed to pay him.It did not stop with one payment and he repeatedly kept asking.I didn’t know what to do except buying his silence after an assurance everytime that he would not ask any more.I really did’t know how to free myself from his grip. I am spending sleepless nights and shudder at every phone call.”

“Pooja,next time he rings up you can tell him to send the letters to me and that you would not pay a paisa.Rest assured if that blackmailer sends the letters to me, I will hand them over to you without even opening.I am in love with you for what you are now and do not care the indiscretions in your college days.If he persists in troubling you, we can both go together and lodge a compalint.Let me now see your large and beautiful smile on your face” he said even as he gently kissed her on her forehead.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A blind date

Akshay was just 38 and his wife Amrutha 33 when tragedy struck.As she was returning in her two wheeler in the last lane a lorry driven by a drunk driver wanting to avoid an imaginary obstacle ran over her sunffing out her life on the spot.It left Akshay and his nine year old daughter Nandini shattered.Life was no longer the fun they were accustomed to and a pall of gloom hung there.With the help of an aged woman relative who had none to look after life gradually began to move along.

Both Akshay and Nandini missed Amrutha for different reasons.She was a soul mate and companion for Akshay who doted upon her.They were a loving couple .During day times the work took his mind away from her memory but the nights were a pain.He spent sleepless nights thinking of her.Nandi a sharp girl knew her dad’s plight and spent time chatting with him relating to the happenings of the day at school and amongst her friends.She also knew that not all these could fill the void created by Amrutha’s absence.

Nandini had a teacher Subhasri who took a great liking for her for more than one reason.Firstly the girl was a brilliant student topping the class,took part in many extracurricular actvities and above all had a pleasant disposition. The tragedy in her life brought the girl closer to the teacher.Subhasri herself was just 29 and had her share of misfortune also.Her marriage had ended in divorce within a year as her husband could not consummate the marriage.She did not marry subsequently.
Nandini and the teacher grew so close that the girl confided in her all matters including the pitiable condition of her dad.She had taken one day the photo of her mom along with her and her dad.Subhasri was struck by the beauty of her mom and the matching handsomeness of her dad.The little girl took a great liking for the teacher and even wished her to take the place of her mother.She fed the teacher all the happenings in the house and how her dad was loving and gentle.She gradually kindled an interest for her dad in the mind of the teacher and they often talked most of the time about Akshay.She also spoke daily about the teacher to her dad and showed her picture in the group photo of her class.Akhay noticed that she was good looking and attractive.

There was an excursion and Nandini wanted to join.She knew her dad would not permit.She said to the teacher when they were alone”Miss,I wish to confide in you one thing on the condition that you will not betray me.I have a strong feeling that my dad is interested in meeting you.He often on the pretext of asking about my lessons brings you up in the talks we have and enjoys my telling about you.He had asked many times why I am not bringng you home.I want you meet him as if to seek his permission for sending me on excursion.You can also talk about me in general.But let it look as though you dropped in casually to look me up on the way home.He will be greatly pleased.You don’t have to worry as he is a nice person.Will you please do that?”

Subhasri was delighted at the prospect of meeting him.She thought to herself who knows what God has set in store for her and may be if He wished this meeting itself could pave the way for a happier outcome.She readily agreed to come on Saturday at 4pm.

That night after dinner Nandini in the course of their chat mentioned to her dad” Appa, I wish to tell you something.This is my hunch.I think my teacher is showing excessive interest to know about you and often brings you up in her conversations with me.She said she would be coming this Satuday to meet you apparently to take your permission for sending me to the excursion on Sunday but I suspect her real intention is to meet you.Appa, I like her immensely.Next to my mom,she is the one closest to my heart.I feel happy and comfortable when I am with her.Sometimes I feel how nice it would be if I can stay with her always.Don’t ever give an inkling of what I told you now.Do you have any objection in her coming here?”

“Why should I have any objection? I would be pleased to discuss with her about your performance in school.Ask mami to make some nice snacks for her.You can also buy a gift item for her” Akhsay said happy at the prospect of meeting her.He wondered whether she would be interested in anything more

It was 4pm Saturday and the bell rang repeatedly.Akshay wondered where Nandini had gone and hurried to open the door.He found an young lady of great charm smiling at him and introducing herself as Nandini’s teacher.Once they were seated Subhasri said “ Nandini was frequently asking me to visit her.She had asked me to come at 4pm.Where is she?”
The aged mami said Nandini had gone to her friend’s house to get some note book.

Akshay said”She will come soon I hope.She has a great liking for you and even expressed her desire to be with you always.You have cast a spell on her and won her love.I am very happy as she lost her mother at very young age.”

Both liked each other and they were talking for more than two hours.They found out each other’s interest for a marriage and how such a denouement would make the girl happy. .It was agreed that the next day when Nandini had gone for excursion, they would meet again over a lunch to take the matter forward.

Poor Akshay was not aware that it was his dear daughter who had arranged this blind date.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A dog's love

The old man had a fancy for pets.He had a few dogs, not boasting of any pedigree but country mongrels in different colours, white with uneven black spots, the brownish one with a sheen and a totally jet black one whose eyes glistened even in dark.They all looked healthy with the kind of nourishment they received.A rich land owner, he had also a spotted deer, two peacocks, a monkey and a parrot. He had a rekhla, a carriage that had two big wheels and pulled by a horse besides many cows, buffaloes in his sprawling backyard.

He was a widower living alone in the village house that was too big for one man.He had a cook and a few servant maids.It was rumoured that he had a secret liason with all of them having lost his wife at an young age.But that is not relevant for the story.He distributed the surplus milk to the poor that came daily to his house in the morning.He was a compassionate man helping needy people with money and materials.He commanded the respect of villagers and spent his time reading English novels.

In his days there was no electricty and no fans.A punkha(fan) made of clothes hung on the top above the swing (oonjal) where we would relax iin the afternoons.It was the monkey’s job to keep pulling the rope for the punkha to move giving the air.He had a small stick he would be waving to keep the monkey at its job.When he dozed off and the stick stopped moving the monkey would climb up the rope and sit on the punkha.He would wake up when the punkha stopped and start moving the stick again. .

He used to go early in the mornings for a stroll around the fields.He used to take the brown dog that was his favourite.He pampered it more than the other two.He will survey the fields where crops would be grown and at the end answer the call of nature inside a circular bush with a small entrance.It gave the privacy he needed.One day as he was squatting there, he saw a big cobra with its hood spread at the entrance of the bush staring at him.There was no way to get past the long reptile without being bitten.Though afraid , he maintained his calm and assessed the situation.Then without the slightest movement of his limbs or position he whistled softly.

In a matter of seconds the browny as he called it,appeared on the scene and sized up the situation.In a trice without the least hesitation, it jumped on the cobra and held it in its teeth and dragged it away.The cobra bit the dog repeatedly but the dog did not let go the grip.The old man ran to his house with his heart pounding fast as if it would burst.As he sat in the front porch on a thinnai(a raised platform), the dog came with the dead snake in its bloodied mouth and fell at its master’s feet.In a few minutes as it kept looking at its master with sad and soulful eyes it breathed its last.It seemed as if its eyes had the power to speak to its master. The old man could not control his grief and wept inconsolably as if he had lost his own child.

For a few days he never spoke to anyone and avoided taking food unless compelled.He stopped walking around the fields and lay on the porch staring at the ceiling vacantly.He gave away all his pets including the horse except the cows and buffaloes.

"It is not just that animals make the world more scenic or picturesque. The lives of animals are woven into our very being - closer than our own breathing - and our soul will suffer when they are gone."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Power of love

“Ashwin never listens to me.He is always defiant and backchats whatever I tell him.I even wonder whether he is fond of his mom” lamented Sulakshana of his nine year old son to me.
Knowing her good nature I said “Don’t be foolish.I know he loves you very much.Only some children are not demonstrative.”
“You don’t know Partha. Do not try to make things easy for me.He is a difficult child not the usual kids we come across. I am worried very much whether he will grow up to be a good man.I have tried all strategies sama dhhana bedha dhanda but there has been no effect.My husband is clueless”
“Tell me a little more in detail in what manner he irks you” I asked.
“His school bus comes at 8am and he should be at the bus stop at 7.55am.He does not get up even at 7.15 and throws up tantrum when he is woken up.His sister Sweta gets up at 6.30 am without any prompting and gets fully ready by 7.30am.He goes into bathroom and takes bath under the shower till 730 or even a little longer.He will then start searching for his books writing instuments all over.Some days he will start crying that he had not completed the home work.He will not drink the milk or have his breakfast.He picks a quarrel with his sister when she urges him to start telling it is getting late.By the time he leaves the home, he leaves me a nervous wreck short of crying.This is the same scenario daily” complained Sulakshana.
“It is all right.Tell me what happens after he returns home” I prodded
“He would not change his dress for a long time, will throw the shoes and socks in the living room,switch on the TV at high volume watching cartoon network.He would not have his food and in an hour insist on going out to play.If I refuse telling that he must finish his homework beforehand, he will shout, call me names, break things acting crankily.He is always irritable and in bad temper.I am tired Partha.I just don’t know what to do.I even wish he were not born” bewailed my friend.
“Answer me just one question truthfully.When he behaved like this, were you always stern and fault finding? Did you try any method other than nagging and shouting back? I agree making them do things the way we want can be frustrating.It is not that he is acting this way just to make you miserable.I don’t think so.There are other ways to tackle this problem” I said
“It is easy for you to talk like this.Try one day managing him.You will never come to my place again” Sulakshana said with a wry smile.
“Have you ever hugged him when he came back from school to you at the living room without looking at his legs whether shoes are there or not? Did you not always shout at him to go and keep the shoes at the appointed place?Have you ever made him sit by your side and asked him about the games he played in school before thrusting his lunch before him?Did you ever discuss the cartoons he liked and the characters who were his favourites?Have you played any game with him like monopoly or board games?Did you ever talk to him about his playmates and who won how many times?Tell me frankly whether you have discussed any subject of his liking with him without bringing up home work, proper manners, the stain on his shirt or the ink marks on his fingers or comparisons with Sweta?” I asked her
“Yes, I agree.I have always been fault finding though I love him most and wished to hug him” confessed Sulakshsna.
“You said he doesn’t love you.OK from today just for two days stop blaming him, whatever he does.Find out whether you find any instances of his loving you or showing concern for you.Tell me day after tomorrow.We will pursue the matter thereafter”I suggested.
It was the third day when I got a call from Sulakhsna.”Partha, won’t you come here? Your trick worked magic.Ashwin is an awesome boy.The mistake was all in me.You opened my eyes”she went on talking.

“Tell me what happened” I asked
“The day after you came last I didn’t wake him up.He got up very late and found his sister had left.He missed the bus and pleaded with me to drop him in the school.Without one murmur I dropped him.When he got down he said ‘I am sorry, mom.. I should have got up early.I cannot also ask you why didn’t wake me up after the daily fights I cause.Amma, please excuse me.’ I hugged him and said it was alright and that I was happy he realised his mistake.
When he returned from school, he took his shoes and kept them in the shoe rack. Before he came to me he had changed his dress and put the uniform in the washing machine. I hugged him, smothered him with kisses and asked him how his day in the school was.I listened to him with rapt attention of what he said..He was surprised when I told him that I have made his favourite pasta for him. When I gave him the bowl he asked “Amma, can I please watch the cartoon?” I was so thrilled and wondered what brought about the metamorphosis.”

“Good, I am glad the idea worked” I said
“Wait, I haven’t finished” she said joyfully.When I got up hurriedly to go back to the kitchen ,I hurt my leg badly on the sofa.It pained me much and as I was lying in pain, he rushed to first floor and brought relief spray.With his soft hand as he massaged,my leg he said “Amma, Does it hurt? I love you sky high.I will be with you today and not going out for playing”

Sulakshana had learnt the power of love and the magic it can do.She prided herself at her ability to win the affection of her son and make him the most lovable boy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unconditional love

Kalpana walked slowly on the familiar pathway leading to the house where she had lived for more than two decades.But the garden looked uncared for with bushes and weeds all around.It had not been swept clean of the fallen leaves for days together.It was different when she lived with flower plants and dahlias in plenty and green shrubs tastefully formed.It is more than ten years since she visited this place

She was the only child of her parents.She was more a mama’s child loving her mom most.Her dad was often on tour and even the few days he was in the house he immersed himself in his work.She doesn’t remember a single occasion where he had lifted her in his arms though she had frequently snuggled by his legs hoping to be hoisted up.He quarreled with mom also though she loved him very much.Her mom used to console her saying that her dad was not the demonstrative type but had affection deep inside his heart for Kalpana very much .Kalpana never believed her on this one point.

Her mom had a sudden stroke when she was barely forty.Her dad was three years elder to her.She didn’t live long after that.In a few months she passed away. Kalpana was just seventeen.Her dad put her in a hostel till she finished her education and found a job. She visited her dad not frequently except on annual vacations and even then would be bundled out to an aunt’s house when he went on long tour.There was no bond of affection between them.She loved a colleague and married him soon after she got a job.

It was a great shock to her when her father married someone without even telling her. She came to know of the simple registered marriage only when he had invited for a party his close friends and siblings along with her.It hurt her that he did not consider it necessary even to inform her.She was never invited to home there after nor she went.There was practically no communication except when she had informed about the birth of a boy to her.He did not visit her nor greeted her.

It was a week ago that she heard from her old aunt that her dad had fallen sick and was struggling financially.It appeared he had two children from his second wife.Except for the house that was under mortgage for a loan he did not have much wealth.Kalpana thought of her mom and wondered what she would have wished her to do.

With a heavy heart she walked on the steps and pressed the bell.She saw the curtain of the window being moved slightly and a lady’s face appeared for a fraction of a second.She waited and again saw some movement behind curtain. The faces of two cute children appeared but did not disappear.They smiled at her and she retuned it with a big smile.

The door opened slightly and her father peeped out.When he saw her, he came out and stared at her silently for what looked eternity. Unable to bear the embarassment she called “Daddy, I am Kalpana.It is nearly ten years since we met last” she said

“Yeah, I know .What brings you here?There was no information also about your coming .I thought you considered your dad as dead and gone ” he said in a voice bereft of any emotion as she was accustomed to in her younger days.

“Saroj aunty informed me that you were not well and laid up for a month or more.I wished to meet you.You have aged a lot and look very weak. I hope you are feeling better.What is bothering you?” she asked even as she saw the lady’s face and those of chikdren watching her from behind the curtain.

He did not invite her inside.He said”How does it matter to you? You never cared for your dad all these years.You come post haste soon you hear that I am sick thinking I will pop off.I know what is at the back of your mind.This house is made out of my earned income.I have a family .Anything else you care to know?” he asked in a voice that was full of scorn.

Kalpana could not suppress her tears that welled in her eyes.She bit her lips and turned back.As she walked two steps, she heard the door slammed shut.She turned and looked back.The curtain was drawn and no faces seen.She walked back, opened the purse, took out an envelope she had brought and dropped it in the post box fixed by the side of the door. She turned and walked without seeing back even once to her car and sped away.

The door opened wide open in a few minutes and the man,his wife and two children came out.He found an envelope protruding from the box.He tore it open to find a cheque drawn in his favour for rupees ten lakhs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The confession

Martin was stricken with remorse at his dastardly act.It was tormenting his heart endlessly and was unable to sleep for the last one month.As a Christian he knew that the Bible spoke of confession as good for the soul by admitting to himself and to the priest the sin committed.Though he did not think mandatory to confess, he felt immense relief would come if he confessed to the Lord and seek forgiveness.
He was in the church sitting in a small stool.The priest was on the other side of the curtain between them.

“Son, you must believe implicitly with total faith that all Merciful Lord Jesus would forgive you of all sins if you sincerely and truly repent for the misdeed. Pray, tell me the events without economising on truth.What is it you wish to confess for?” asked the priest

“Father, I am a wretch.I am passing through unbearble mental agony for causing grievous hurt on a girl who loved me with all her heart.I don’t know what has become of her as I ran away after committing the heinous deed.She had done no harm to me and yet highly possessive as I was, I committed this dastardly crime in a mad rage.” Martin said in a voice choked with emotion.

“Can you not go to her and seek her forgiveness and if possible set right the wrong you did?”asked the priest.

“Let me explain, Father. I was in deep love with a student in my class.We met regularly at the park, hotels and even the institute and grown to like each other...This friendship went on for more than six months.Though we were very intimate to each other, we never crossed the boundaries.She was a very upright girl and I respected her wishes.”he said

“Son, If she had loved you, what prevented you from marrying her?” asked the priest

“I did try, Father.But she said that her parents would not agree to her marrying me as she was a catholic and I belonged to another sect.She cried that she would not like to lose me but was also not prepared to elope.She wanted her parent’s blessings” he replied

“Did she tell her parents about her love for you?”asked the priest

“I think she asked her mom.But I don’t know about asking her dad.But she was certain that her dad would never agree”

“Why did you not let her go? What else could she have done? Why and what did you do to hurt her? asked the priest

“I foolishly thought that if have a physical intimacy with her, she would convince her parents or runaway with me. .I tried one day to force her into submission when I took her to my place under the pretext of giving reading material. She pushed me and ran away unscathed.From that day onwards she refused to speak to me or meet me.My love for her grew more when she spurned me.I decided she should not marry anyone else. She is an extremely beautiful and charming gilr that anyone would fall for.”said Martin.
“What did you do?” asked the Father.
“I threw acid on her aiming at her face and ran away..I made a quick exit as people gathered round her as she lay screaming in pain.”said Martin

“She knew it was you who threw the acid?” asked the priest.

“I think so and I was even afraid that police would come after me.The fact that she did not expose me makes me appear as the scum of the earth.I feel extremely sorry for my act.I don’t know where she lives and who her parents are. I love her very much and even if she is disfigured I will marry her.I would fall at the feet of her parents and ask for forgivance.I feel like committing suicde as I cannot live without her” said Martin

“Okay I should not ask personal details of you or of the girl in a confession where total privacy is assured. If you wish you can meet me at my house.I will suggest ways of setting right the sin you committed.Lord Jesus in all His Mercy and Compassion will forgive you and bless you for a new life free of hatred and sin.”

In the evening Martin went to priest’s house behind the church at the appointed time.The priest and his wife were seated in a tastefully furnished drawing room.Martin said ”Father, I am the one who came this afternoon for a confession.I am Martin and work in a big company besides teaching at an institute.I am a protestant by faith. I need your advice for making amends to the grievous wrong I did to the girl on an impulse.I will die for her if need be.”

The priest looked at his wife and asked her to ask their daughter to get tea and biscuits.In a few minutes Martin jumped up from his seat when he saw Diana entering the room with a tray in her hand.Her face looked spotlessly smooth and as she came near him she threw a faint smile.

The priest asked the surprised Martin ”Do you know my daughter before? Have you met her.You seem pleasantly surprised.’

Martin fell at his feet and sobbed saying “Father forgive me.I am the wretch who did harm to your daughter.Pray, tell me thst you both have forgiven me.”

The priest said”Yes, I knew it was you when you talked of acid attack.I could surmise your deep affection for Diana and your sincere repentance.I have also decided not to insist on any particular sect for matrimony.I could infer Diana is still in love with you as despite your attack she she did reveal who threw the acid on her.Luckily she ducked and her shoulder has some scars.You both shall be married soon with our blessings.Thank the All Merciful Lord for His compassion and grace.”

Monday, November 2, 2009

The rescue

All the paasengers had boarded the plane bound for London.The airhostesses ensured that all had the seat belts secured and the doors of overhead cabins closed.Some officials who were seen getting the papers cleared moving out through the aerobridge.One hostess was standing ready to close the door.It was then there was an announcement that the passenger in seat 29A in the front of the ecoconmy class is required to disembark immediately.All eyes were revetted in that direction.An airhostess briskly walked to the seat and guided a girl of 6 years to come out of the seat.A cute looking girl in pony tail and dotted frock demurred telling”No, I don’t want to get down.I want to go to mummy.

’When the airhostess gently pulled the girl towards her, she started crying “Mummy,I want to come to you.Mummy ,I want to stay in the plane.”All the passengers nearby were little uneasy to see the young child crying plaintively.Meanwhile someone with stripes came out of the cockpit and made the airhostess hand over the girl to another young lady official waiting at the gate of the aerobridge.The door closed and the plane started moving slowly.The announcement on the safety procedure commenced with monitors on the seats coming alive.

The lady official in her late twenties patted the child and softly said “Do not worry,Nitya.An urgent message has come from your mummy that you should be taken out of the plane.I don’t know the circumstances.Your uncle and aunt are waitng in the Airport manager’s office.Come on,,wipe your eyes and face..You will know when you meet them.”

“No,my mummy would not have asked me to be taken out.She spoke to me last night and waiting for me in London.You can ask my aunty who brought me to airport’ said Nitya

“Which aunty? The one who is waiting at the manager’s room. Do you have the phone number of aunty who brought you here?” asked the lady

“I don’t know the number.My mummy’s younger sister brought me. You ask her.She will give you her number”answered Nitya innocently

The manager was seen talking to a middle aged couple before him.Clad in spotless white kurta and dhoti the bald man with a glistening gold plated incisor and his bejewelled obese wife in silk sari were eagerly staring at the entrance door for the girl to appear.He had obviously satisfied the airport manager of his credentials and his relationship with girl by showing photographs, some email from his sister asking him not to send the child as they will be out of station on an unexpected pressing work for a week.He showed a photocopy of Nitya’s passport and ticket.It was only then instructions were given to withdraw the child from the plane.

As Nitya and the lady official entered, the bald man and his wife stood up with extended arms that had a big tin of Cadbury’s chocolates calling “Nitya kutti, Come here. We have been waiting anxiously for you.Let us go home and talk to your mummy.”

The lady started moving near Nitya.The girl recoiled and snuggled close to the lady official.As the fat lady came near Nitya, the girl screamed and said to the lady official ’Aunty, I want to go to mummy.I don’t want to go with them. Please take me to toilet urgently.”

The lady official took her out of the room and asked her ” Is she the aunty who brought you to the airport? Why were you not going to her?OK , let us go to the toilet first”

“No,I don’t need to go to toilet. I don’t know them.My aunty is different.I will be with you till you send me to London.Please do not send me with them.I am afraid of them and scared.You send me to my mummy tomorrow” said Nitya in a sobbing tone.

The lady official called the manager on her mobile and expressed her doubt about the bonafides of the couple and the conversation had with the girl.He simply asked her to do the needful.

Within minutes the airport police surrounded the middle aged couple and started interrogating them.The truth came out that they were hired by some distant relative of the girls parent to kidnap the girl for ransom.The girl’s parents number was collected after nabbing the relative.

Nitya happily went with the lady official to her home and expressed a wish ”Aunty, I like you.Don’t send me to my mummy tonmorrow. .I wish to be with you for one more day” The lady offical picked her up in her arms and smothered the child with kisses.