Reporter Rani5 mins 24.5K 5 mins 24.5K
The reason for the enchanting vibrancy of the Whispering Meadows apartment was the bubbly and energetic children living there. The twelve-year-old Shamili was one among those, filled with vigor and gusto. She was fondly known as "Reporter Rani" amongst her friends for she was the only child who knew the latest news updates.
The credit went to her father, Mr. Shetty who was an accountant in a leading daily. Mr. Shetty had inculcated early reading habits into Shamili at a very tender age. As a part of their daily reading routine, Shamili was asked to read a few random articles every day from the newspaper. Later in the evening, she would report these news articles to her father. Her father aspired Shamili to become a news reporter which was his unfulfilled dream.
It was a usual evening at the apartment when the children were playing on the lawn. Just then Shamili noticed a bearded visitor enter the gate, searching for a house. Understanding the security guard's absence, she stepped forward to help him.
" Hello Uncle, do you need any help? Which block are you looking for?", asked Shamili.
"D-208", said the man.
"D block is the last one to the right. 208 is on the second floor. But before that could you please write your name on the visitor's register? ", she said.
The man quickly wrote on the register and headed towards the D block. Shamili felt a strange familiarity in the man's face, but she couldn't recall.
"Fire on the mountain, run run run", squawked the children while Shamili saw the same man again after a few days. She abruptly ended the game and rushed to the security guards cabin to check the visitor's register.
The entry read
"Name :Vishal , phone number-7345689000, Area : M.G Road, Flat no D-208 In time:4:30 p.m".
She swiftly turned back the pages and scanned for the past visitor entries. She remembered the date and there she found the first entry made by the bearded stranger. The names, phone number, and location were entirely different but the handwriting was the same. "What are you searching for?", enquired the security guard. "Nothing, I was checking if the delivery boy who had visited my house had made the entry", she replied convincingly.
Shamili found out that the man who was living in D-208 had recently moved in. He stayed alone and left to work as early as five in the morning and used to return home by three in the evening. There wasn't an iota of suspicion in his activities or his appearance, for he seemed to appear like any other man residing there. But, this bearded stranger who kept visiting him now and then with a striking familiarity disturbed Shamili. The bulb flashed brightly on Shamili's head now. She dashed into the storeroom of her house. After an hour, she came out with a triumphant smile.
The next evening she knocked on the door of D-208. The man opened the door. "Good evening uncle, we are having a flood relief collection camp in our school. Could you please help us? Old clothes, bed linen or even money is accepted", said Shamili with a generous smile. The man nodded and went inside. Shamili who was now standing in the living room of the unkempt house slowly opened the drawer of the cabinet beside her. Alarmingly there was a hand pistol inside. Shamili held it in her hand.
"What are you doing?", asked the man as he approached her with a violent look. She trembled in fear as she instantaneously pulled the trigger of the pistol. The loud bang of the pistol and the man's shrieking noise was the last thing she heard before she lost her consciousness and dropped down.
When Shamili regained her consciousness, she found herself in an ambulance beside her father. "Why didn't you let me know about this dear, did you have to put yourself into trouble?", asked Mr.Shetty.
"Because I had to prove that I am your brave reporter", said Shamili in a feeble voice. She noticed that a policeman, a doctor and a nurse accompanied her in the ambulance. "Did I kill the man?", she asked her father.
"You are too ill to speak, just relax and you will be fine", assured her father.
After she was fit enough to sit up and speak at the hospital, she gave her statement to the police. She narrated her suspicion on the bearded visitor who had made multiple fake entries in the visitor's register and how it suddenly struck her that she had seen his face in the newspaper. She gave a detailed description of how she searched through the old newspapers and found out that the bearded stranger whose official name was Manikanta was actually a terrorist. She then revealed to the cops that she wanted to investigate the relationship between Manikanta and the resident at her apartment and that was why she had gone there faking the pretentious flood relief act.
Luckily Shamili had pulled the trigger of the loaded pistol which injured the man's leg. He, fortunately, couldn't move and the thud of the pistol was enough to alert the people in the apartment.
After a few days, the police crew visited Shamili's house to thank her and also informed that the resident in their apartment was also a terrorist, who along with Manikanta were planning for some notorious blast executions in the city.
"So, what gift do you want from us?", asked the Assistant Commissioner of Police. "A bravery award on 26th January!", she exclaimed.
A few months later, Shamili sits with sheer joy in the grand pavilion of the Republic Day Celebrations as she waits for the President of India to commemorate her with the Children's Bravery Award. Her father's efforts to kindle the "Reporter Rani" in her reaped a huge accomplishment indeed.