I was sitting on my swing, staring into the beautiful park. Its natural beauty captivated me. I began to sing a popular movie song until I realized that it was 9 am and time to get ready for duty at Surya Bank’s branch, Pavanpur. I was ready within half an hour. I started my scooter and moved just few meters away from my house, a police man came and stopped me.
“Madam, go back your home. It is not safe for you in the town. Communal disturbances have taken place and the situation is worst.”
I ignored his warning and went to the bank. The main door of the bank was closed. There were no persons in front of the bank. I realized the danger and returned home very fast. I wanted to know the latest situation, I switched on tv news. I came to know that Pavanpur town in South India was in tense due to communal fight between the two religious groups. The day was 22nd August, 2005. First death was reported at 5 a m. After 4 hours, there was another news that 5 people dead and hundreds injured. The local authorities had warned the public not to believe on rumours and remain in homes. Curfew was clamped from dawn to dusk. There was no movement of vehicles and on the road.
I was very much worried about my husband Avinash, who left home early in the morning. I could not contact him due to network failure. He returned home very late at 10 p m.
“Avinash, how are you? I am very much worried about you.”
“Suvarna, I am perfectly alright. My office is in a peaceful area. What about you? Are you okay?”
“I am fine by the grace of God. In the morning, I left home ignoring the warning of a Police man. I went to bank on my scooter. I realised the danger after reaching the bank.”
“What happened thereafter?” he asked me
” I returned home very fast.”
“You did mistake by ignoring the warnings.”
“Yes! I agree with you.”
He straight away went to bedroom for relaxation.
It was getting too late for dinner. I went to the balcony and looked outside. It was a drenched street. Dogs were lying down miserably near the road. Movement of persons was not there. Rain water was flowing everywhere. Thunder rumbled in a distant place. Did I hear a soft knock at the door? I turned back to know who was at the door?
Observing my attitude, Avinash asked, “Suvi, Why are you running towards the main door?”
“Avi, did you hear knock at the door?”
“I have not noticed the knocking. Now I am in sleepy mood. If somebody is knocking the door, go and see.” said Avi
I was not expecting such a rude reply from him.
“Avi, in the morning I spoke to my friend Kaveri, who is in ground floor flat no. 101. She is a fashion designer. Probably, she may be knocking the door. I don’t know, why she is coming at late night.”
I continued my talk presuming he was listening to me. But he was not there. I didn’t know when he left? I was not happy with his behaviour. We used to argue on shopping, choosing a good restaurant, weekend trips outside and money management. I went to the main door and peeped into the small glass provided. A middle-aged long beard man with mustache and a bag in his hand was looking without the movements of his eyelids. Another person with him was carrying a brief case. By appearance, these persons were like thieves. I was not scared to see these persons,
There was news of unscrupulous persons moving in Pavanpur town in a suspicious manner. It was a caution to the public to take utmost care, in case such persons comes in to contact. Already the town was under the grip of violence. I went to the bed room to inform Avinash about the strangers waiting outside. He was in sound sleep. I didn’t want to disturb him. The day was Monday. It was half past ten in the night. After few minutes one of them knocking the door again and again.
I was staying with my husband Avinash in Tirumala Venkatesh Apartment Complex, Pavanpur. Our flat was on second floor bearing no 202. The flat was taken on rental basis. I wanted to face the persons bravely. How to evict these persons was a priority to me. I took the bold step to open the door with great care. I opened the door just half and asked them, “Whom do you want?”
“Madam, we want to meet Satya Prabhu. ”
“Sorry, You have knocked the wrong door. Please go to next flat no 201.”
I closed the door immediately.
Satya Prabhu was a owner of flat, where we are residing. I thought why people come and disturb others without getting correct address. Out of curiosity, I spoke to Satya Prabhu over phone. I told him, “Sir, beware of two persons approaching you right now.”
He responded, “Madam, both are design engineers. I have called them. I am launching a new product shortly. These people help me to select a best emblem for my product. Sorry I have given flat no 202 instead of 201.”
About five years back similar incident more exciting and adventurous was happened in my life. I tried to recollect the same.
The incident was happened on 20th April’ 2000. I was working as an officer in Maha Lakshmi Bank Ltd, Pavanpur. In those days, we were staying in a small independent house situated in Hari Hara colony on the outskirts of Pavanpur town. My husband Avinash was a marketing head in a Deepak Food Processing Company . This house was convenient for both of us. I used to return home before sunset.
On 17th April, 2000 in the evening, Avi was relaxing and watching a movie in the television.
I switched off the t v and told, “Avi, our first wedding anniversary falls on coming Sunday 20th April, 2000.”
“Yes! still three days are remained. Let us celebrate our first wedding anniversary in Hotel Sameer Paradise.”
In Pavanpur town, the only good restaurant was Hotel Sameer Paradise. It was decided to have lunch and cake cutting in the hotel. The distance from my house to hotel was about three kilometers. Just three days before, I had purchased a brand new Toyota car. On the wedding anniversary day, we were ready to move in our brand new car at 9 a m. I was on the driver seat and Avinash sat besides me. I was about the start the car, Avinash received a call from his boss to meet him in the office at 10 a m to discuss on the important issues. I was very much disappointed and cursing his boss for disrupting our first wedding anniversary.
The programme changed to dinner in the same hotel. I told him to return at 6 p m. Our honeymoon was cancelled by Avinash due to his preoccupation. He failed to return in time and told me to wait upto 7 p m. He was expected to reach home at 7 p m. He didn’t arrive even after 10 p m. The entire programme was cancelled. I was speaking to myself that Avinash never keep up the timings even on single occasion. I never blamed him for not keeping up the promise. I knew his nature of work. I sat on the sofa to watch television. There was a sudden knocking of the door.
The time was 10.15 p m. I thought Avinash might have come. I had a full presence of mind. Before opening the door, I wanted to see through the small glass provided in the door. I was surprised to see a stranger instead of Avinash. My mind was fully engaged on the critical situation. I took precaution, if the stranger, who was waiting outside may do anything like breaking the door. I switched off the television. On several occasions, I argued with my husband on maintaining the proper timings. At the end of our argument, Avinash try to console me and request me to wait for a fortnight to set the things in right direction.
I was fully aware that he was busy in reaching the business target given by the company. He told me several times that after completing the task successfully, he may get promotion and get hike in the salary. I was eagerly waiting for the happy days. When I was seriously thinking about the eviction of unknown person waiting outside, I received a telephone call from my childhood friend Pushpa. She conveyed me about the burglary took place in her house. Thieves decamped with gold, silver and cash valued about rupees two hundred thousand. I expressed sympathy and told her to lodge a complaint with the police immediately. She insisted me to meet her as early as possible. There was an another call from my colleague Reetu . She wanted my help in getting her annual increment. I promised her to get her increment due, which was held up. There was yet another call from my mother Pratibha, who was residing in another place Mahadevpur. She wanted me to come to her place during next week at least for two days. I told her wait for some more days.
I being an only daughter to her, she had lot affection on me. There were three more telephone calls seeking my help. I assured them all possible help. I went to the closed balcony to see outside. There was absolutely pin drop silence on the road. One car and two bikes were parked in front of our house. There was no street lights due to power break down. Stray dogs were barking here and there. There was no movement of vehicles or pedestrians on the road. I was again seriously thinking of how to evict the stranger. I saw a middle-aged bald-headed man having moustaches was standing. I was confident that he was none other than the person waiting outside. A doubt was flashed to my mind. I wanted to see him very closely.
I took binocular and viewed at the close range. Even in the dim light, I could see him as middle-aged bald-headed, beard, big mustache, black face man. My curiosity was increased and viewed again at the close angle. He was holding mobile and speaking to somebody. I was not panic and planning for the steps to be taken. Immediately, I had decided to close the balcony door and windows, checked all other doors and the locks perfectly. I realized that this person was a rogue. I wanted to report this matter to the local police station. Before that I tried to contact Avinash on mobile. But his mobile was switched off. I also tried to contact his office. The security guard lifted the phone and told me Avinash had already left the office about half an hour back.
I thought it may take another 5 minutes for him to reach home. I went to puja room and offered prayers by chanting mantras. I became brave and bold again went to balcony. To my surprise, mustache man was not there. I took deep breath and I was about to close the balcony door, I saw the same person in a different location. This time, he was not using mobile, but looking towards me as if he wanted to attack me. In such a situation, I had no other choice except to keep myself free from the fear. I tried to recollect the adventure stories already read. In the absence of Avinash, I was not in a position take any drastic action.
I applied my mind firmly and remembered a quote ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ I always had positive attitude, whenever problems arise. I informed the next door neighbour Parameshwar, who was retired police officer to alert other residents to nab the stranger. He was expert in dealing with criminals. He came with his gun along with other residents. He had already informed the matter to police station.
The door was knocking repeatedly, I went slowly towards the door and peeped into the small glass. I saw the residents of the locality in good number enquiring the strangers. I was happy to see Avinash with them. I opened the door. It was surprised to know that the unknown person, who was a most wanted dacoit. He was in the hit list of the police and involved in many crimes like murder, kidnap and robbery. The police had announced a reward of rupees one lakh. Police arrived on the spot and arrested the dacoit. I expressed thanks to Parameshwar, Police Officer and all other residents.
I came out of the past memory, when Avinash called me for dinner. The time was 11.30 p m.
He asked me, “What were you doing for the last about one hour?”
I said, “I was recollecting the present and past adventurous incidents.”
“Please narrate me the incidents.”
I narrated him the past and present incident.
He was too happy and expressed, “You are bold and beautiful. I am proud of you.”