Sunday, January 19, 2014
HIGHWAY 29 - THE DACOIT
“ Of all the days why today”, grumbled Tina.
She was worried , very worried . Mom and Dad had left at 9:00 pm to go out to have dinner, it was 12 am now and they were still not back. It is not that they generally don’t go out, they go for dinner at least twice a week, but today for some reason she was more worried. The reason mom and dad had gone out today was to celebrate the purchase of their new car. Dad had purchased a new Luxury car, it was a awesome car so spacious, pearly white in color, and what was the name , Breezer. Traveling in it was really like a breeze, she had gone for a drive with mom and dad in the evening when the man from the showroom had delivered the vehicle. It was so good , everything from the A/C to the pick-up of the vehicle was awesome. She just couldn’t wait to tell her friends in school about it tomorrow. So, to celebrate this occasion her parents had gone to this particular hotel which was on highway 29, and it was far away from their house , so that was the reason for the delay. Otherwise her parents are usually home by 11. She was worried because of the news reports coming on television, which said that the notorious dacoit Raghu had escaped from prison, and was last spotted in the area where their house is located.
“ oh , please come home soon, I am scared”, Tina cried.
She shut off the television and got up and went into the bedroom to sleep. She felt hiding under the covers will calm her fears a bit, and maybe she would not feel as scared. She kept the bedroom light on and slipped under the covers. She tried calling her mom’s cell phone again, still no answer.
“ Oh god please ask Mom to pick up the phone”, she pleaded.
She heard a noise, it was as if somebody had opened a window, maybe it is the breeze she told herself, it is possible it was a windy night. But then she heard something like a utensil falling. Now she started having doubts, no the wind was not that strong. Tina quickly turned off the bedroom light and crawled towards the door, she opened the door to a crack and peeped outside. The moonlight entering the house through the windows cast a faint glow in the room. She thought she saw somebody moving. She opened her eyes wide so as to get a better view. She saw somebody, a man going from her living room towards her parents bedroom. Panic gripped Tina.
“ Oh god , oh my god , no”, she mouthed, mug shots of Raghu which were shown on television were going around in her head. She bolted the door to her room and moved the bed against the door and went and sat on her bed. She was scared , she felt very afraid , very alone. She couldn’t think what to do. Her mind was just not working. She hid under the bed . Beads of sweat were racing down her forehead, she was shivering, in spite of the sweat , her body felt cold, very numb. She felt like screaming, but it was as if her voice had left her. Big help screaming would do anyway, it would lead the dacoit directly to her. She wanted to go out of the house, but how, her window had grills. Her father had put grills to her window, cause he wanted to protect his precious daughter. She cursed herself for agreeing with her father on that, the protection had become a trap for her. She heard footsteps outside the door, she felt like crying.
“ Please god, please help me”,
The door knob turned, Tina rushed out from under he bed trying to find a place to hide. She opened the closet, pushed her clothes aside. She stepped into the closet and moved her cloths in such a way, so that she could hide behind them. Somebody started pushing the door to her room. Tina froze, completely unable to move. Her mind started thinking about what would happen if the man entered her room. Would he kill her, would he kidnap her, she prayed to god that he should not enter the room whatever happened. She saw the bed move, and the door open an inch. Why did mom and dad have to go today , Tina sobbed. The door moved again . The man outside kept pushing the door till it opened enough for him to step in. In the faint moon light entering her room Tina could see his face, she was right , it was Raghu. She could see him smiling. He looked around the room as he entered. He ducked and checked under the bed. Tina felt glad she did not stay there. Raghu stood again.
“ I know you are here, come out whoever you are, or I will find you and kill you “, he thundered.
Tears welled in her eyes, she could taste the salty taste in her mouth. She so desperately wanted to cry out loud, she wanted her dad. He was so strong, and he had a gun handy. Oh how relieved she would feel now to see her dad here. She saw Raghu move towards the window, then he turned facing the closet.
“ Now there are not many places in this room to hide, I know you are in the closet , come out, come out, or I will pull you out.”,
He moved towards the closet. Then Tina heard a noise, as if somebody had banged the front room door against the wall. Raghu heard the sound too, he turned and walked to the door to see. He peeped out. Tina heard a gunshot ring in the house. Dad finally . Raghu bolted towards her window, saw the grills turned back and raced out of the room. Tina stood in the closet, without moving. She saw that the lights in the house were coming on. But she still did not move. She wanted to make sure she was safe before coming out. Somebody appeared at her door. Dad. Tina felt so relieved. She rushed outside the closet and hugged her dad and started crying.
“ Dad, what took you so long , I was so scared”, she bawled.
“ You, are safe now don’t cry”, her dad said, holding her tightly.
“Were you the one who fired the gun dad”, Tina asked still sobbing.
“ Yes, I saw the front door open , so I thought something was amiss, so I sneaked in and took out the gun from the drawer, so I fired in the air to warn whoever was in here”.
“ Did you see him dad, it was Raghu, the dreaded dacoit, he escaped from jail”.
“ Yes, I did see him , he escaped through the kitchen window before I could catch him”.
“ Where’s Mom”, Tina asked finally realizing that her mom was not there with her dad.
“ Well, I asked her to wait outside, I will go and get her, you go to sleep Tina”, her dad said.
“ No papa , I don’t want to sleep alone, I will sleep in your room , I am very scared”, Tina pleaded.
“ Tina, you are a brave girl and besides I will stay outside your room”, her father said looking at a distance.
Tina wanted to protest, but then she saw that her dad looked tired, and even she was tired and sleepy so she agreed and slept on her bed. Her father pulled the covers on her, and kissed her on the forehead.
“ Good night , sweetheart”
“ Good night, Dad”.
Tina closed her eyes, she was so relieved that her parents were home, she still felt a bit odd that her mom had not come and talked to her, maybe it was a big party they had, she thought. She will talk to mom in the morning and scold her for not giving her a hug. She pulled Teddy, her cute little soft toy teddy bear from the bedside shelf and hugged him. Finally she could sleep peacefully.
“ Control room, can you hear me”.
“ Loud and clear, identify yourself and continue”.
“This is constable Jondhale, from the highway patrol unit 2S, There has been an accident on highway 29, white colored car , make ‘ Breezer’, two people in the vehicle, a man about 38 years of age and a Woman about the same age”
“ What is the status”
“ Checked their pulse, both are confirmed dead, I repeat both are dead, time of accident estimated to be about 9:30 pm based on initial reports cause of death……..
Tina slept peacefully, in the empty house again, she could find peace because she did not know it was empty.
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