**All character or incidents in the below story is purely fictional and relation with real events are purely coincidence.
It was hours since dusk when the moon had risen with his white bright face showering moonlight all over the place, accompanied by the sounds of chirping of birds returning to their nests with all speed possible. It was the time when almost all lively creatures got back to their homes.
Except him. He was sleeping in the fields watching the sky overhead. ” Hey…. madhav…” a voice called out from a distance.
He turned towards it.” What?” he shouted back.
“Won’t you go home?!” the voice questioned.
He made an ignorant expression signalling that he won’t. The voice continued “it is getting dark….”.
He didn’t answer. He sat as if the world didn’t belong to him . He turned once to see the man, he was gone. The icy winds gently splashed his body. He shivered remembering the events of the past few days..
Koda , was a green heaven on earth. Being situated in Western Ghats of Karnataka it was no less than a paradise covered with forest during the late 70s. But in the recent years an impish development had blown through the land and had converted it into a modern town. Madhav was a newbie to the town. He had introduced himself as a farmer shifted from a nearby town when he had to rent a place for him to stay. The reason he’d stated was that he’d bought a farmhouse in the outskirts of the town and had to look after it. Days had passed since then but very few knew him, for he stayed in the farmhouse for most of the days in a month.
That was past, as a few days after he was known to almost everyone in his colony. It happened like this, just few days before a group of 3 men had consulted Madhav stating that they were immigrants who had some duty in town and that they’d vacate after a month or 2.Madhav first resisted but later agreed when he was promised a good rent, and now he was all familiar to the colony. Thanks to the tenants. 2 months had passed since then and never once had they missed the tent promised to madhav.
The farmhouse was a meagre land measuring an acre. Being situated near outskirts it was surrounded by green farm lands. It has 4 gates one each on the four cardinal directions along with 2 houses each one on East and West gates. The west gate house was rented by the tenants while the one on East was an old, damped, building. The latter was wider with a big gate and only one window on its right wall. Inside of It looked similar to a wide bogey of a train.The house had secret openings which Madhav had learnt about when he bought it.
Madhav lay flat on a rusted couch under the old dampened roof of East gate. For a moment he was staring the dampened roof, wondering how his family were doing, and how time had passed without any communication between them. His eyes drooped, the coil winds of the fields brew him the lullaby. He was about to dose when a loud sound rang. Madhav instantly woke up. It was the alarm of the old clock on the wall. Madhav ensured the housed was locked and safe. It was time ,to do his job. A great surge of adrenaline drove through his body. He started to run. But why?! What for? Only he knew the answers.
‘Tuck tuck’, there was a knock on the door. Z2 opened the door as Z1 entered with a huge bag.”everything’s ready?!” Z1 asked.”yes, everything, passport, visa, proofs….. Everything!”he replied with a happy tone.”So our next target……”Z3 clicked a button on his mobile and a screen projected on the wall showing some lists. The list contained the names of famous dacoities in the world. The list followed the names of famous enterprises. Top being an Airways company , followed by the BANK OF ———- and and an other e commerce company and so on.
The ‘Z.n’ was a team of Indian hackers who had conducted a series of famous hacks on noted companies. Known as ‘the Invisible’ they had successfully evaded all the factors that landed them in prison after every successful hack since then. But a small mistake in their previous dealings had forced them into a hideout until everything would be settled. So the ‘Z.n’ had stayed in Madhav’s farmhouse making it their hideout.
Z3 spoke after a long time,”So our departure time?!”.
Z1 saw the clock reading 11:45pm. A mischievous smile brightened up his face, he replied “Exactly 24 hours and 15 minutes from now!.”
Madhav dashed into his house panting for breath. He read the clock showing 6:45pm. He sighed realizing there was not much time left. He rushed into his bedroom, grabbed a ladder and climbed to the attic.After a few minutes he got down with a brown dusty suitcase. It was apparent from the state of the suitcase that since ages it was left untouched. He opened the lock and took out a black cellular phone. He dialled a 5 digit number and waited while it beeped. An air of dignity filled his voice.”Madhav Jha here”he spoke.
It was the night. An eery silence had filled the farmhouse.The ‘Z.n’ were ready, ready to scoot the town. It was 11:30pm and they were only waiting for the cab. Minutes passed and it was 11:40pm,11:5… and even 12. The cab was to arrive at sharp 12 but it hadn’t. They exchanged confused looks. That wasn’t their plan. Z3 tried to speak something but stopped instantly when he heard a door sound. It was unmistakably from the door of a car. All the 3 got up and rushed to the exit but they stopped at the door. A series of the same sound had stopped them abruptly.
Beads of perspiration covered their whole body. Z1 knew that something was wrong. ‘May be it was their end’ said his intuition though he never believed them. But this time he did. He slowly opened the door , Z3 accompanied him to see something surprising which they never expected. Over 100 police Jeeps was visible to him surrendering the farmhouse.”Hurry up, well flee through the backdoor” he commanded.
Z2 stopped him and said “I checked there too, there’s no way out, we are surrounded” with a flat tone.
A deadly silence haunted them, their minds went numb, body crumbled.
Z2 uttered”what do we do now?”
Z1 smiled and looked at the sky, dank and clear. He said “It’s time.”
Spotlight flashed the faces of the 3 who were already in the enquiry chamber with handcuffs locked to their hands. They heard a gun cocking sound from the hands of a familiar body and face. The entered and took the seat. The 3 were awestruck. It seemed as if the world collapsed for the 3. They had lived 2 months inside a trap,a brilliant trap. Z1 opened his mouth to speak but the man understood and spoke.
“awestruck? amused? Or confused?. Yes I’m Madhav, Madhav Jha, Superintendent of Police, State Intelligence Wing. Now..” he paused but continued “Where’s the all the money?”
“Everything, every single penny we looted is taking care of millions of orphans around the world,that’s all left to say.”
Madhav had understood the magnitude of their statement.”For once I’ll do what you 3 want ,in that way I hope I’ll be one of you…”he continued after a long pause “You 3 were the most brilliant I’ve ever seen! But,you missed a silly voice transmitter that was fitted in every room!” he finally sighed “for the first time… and for a good cause… Godspeed!” his words were followed by 3 shots from the gun.
The same icy cold winds brought Madhav back to the reality. An air of satisfaction, a toughest job accomplished,a proof had been established that the state’s intelligence wing was at its heights but deep inside a sharp truth pricked him,a truth only he knew.