A Memorable Lift
A Memorable Lift4 mins 511 4 mins 511
As Harish was driving his father to the airport in Bhubaneswar, he sighted a well dressed and beautiful girl signalling to stop the car. There was an old man with her. He was in rags and his cheeks were sunken and unshaven. He was trembling and coughing. His eyes in their deep sockets, appeared bleary. There was also a small girl holding a begging bowl.
As Harish was not in a mood to stop, his father Jayram Singh insisted on listening to them. He was compelled to oblige. Although Mr. Singh was an engineer, he was extraordinarily soft-hearted and generous, always on tiptoe to help people in need. "Papa, no time to spare, you will miss your flight!"
Yet Harish stopped. The girl said to Singh in a tear-choked voice, "This uncle has just had a heart attack. I'm a practising doctor. Will you please give us a lift. I want to take him to my clinic. Nobody is kind enough to help. "
"But doctor I'm in a hurry. I must reach the airport in time. . Or I will miss my flight. "
"My clinic is not very far from the airport. You can drop us at the airport, "said the girl with a sad expression on her face.
'Get in. . . Quick. . . ! Quick. . . . !'cried Mr. Singh.
"Just a minute. . . "said Harish and went out of the car apparently to empty his bladder behind a huge pipal tree.
The old man, the little girl and the big girl entered the car. Mr. Singh struck up a conversation with the girl. She narrated how her American husband had ditched her. Then she dilated upon her story of hardship and suffering. She had none in the world to take care of her. The old man was absolutely calm and appeared normal. The little girl who was riding shotgun was looking out the window. Mr. Singh was relating the twists and turns he had to experience in life till now. He told her to have patience and have faith in God. He also told her that every dog had his day.
Hardly had they gone half a kilometre, the old man drew out a revolver from under his dirty clothes and pressed it onto the base of Harish's right ear, yelling, "Stop. . . . I say! Otherwise I will shoot!" The big girl pointed her revolver at Singh's head and asked him to hand over his mobile phone, costly wrist watch, gold rings on his fingers, the gold chain round his neck and his wallet. The old man commanded Harish to do precisely the same. Harish obliged much more pliantly than his father. After they had robbed them of their all, they got out of the car and headed towards a van parked on the roadside. Turning back, the old man gave Harish a dirty smile. Harish also returned him a smile that was equally dirty.
The old man yelled, "You bastard!"
All of a sudden, a series of gunshots reverberated in the air. The old man buckled down to the ground. He had received a bullet in his thigh;the girl had received two in her shoulder. As they sank down to their feet, policemen came running from all sides. The little girl who was trying to escape was caught.
Mr. Jayram Singh and his son went to the police station. They got back all their valuables and cash. Singh had missed his flight but had learned something worth it a hundred manifold. They came to know that the old man was Nikhil Jadav
and the big girl was Shanti Jadav. Both were most wanted looters belonging to Bihar. The police were on the lookout for them.
"Nikhil Jadav, that subtle wink of yours was really a million dollar one. . . !"said Harish triumphantly.
Harish turned the car and they travelled back home jubilantly, but Singh kept wondering to know the whole thing clearly. He was telling his father how they were going to pay a heavy price for his credulity. "By the grace of God, I managed to decipher Jadav's evil design from his mischievous wink to his female accomplice. I was lucky to see it in the sideview mirror. I pretended the urgency to pee and instantly informed the police about them. . . "