The dark blue sky began to lighten, and I knew at once, I had to embark on the adventure that awaited me. My phone rang as soon as I opened my eyes. It was my friend and colleague Kaveri Jain. She was accompanying me on this adventure of mine, 'Radhika, are you ready?' she asked me.
I entered the bathroom, with my yellow toothbrush and then answered, 'I'll be ready in fifteen minutes.'
All my mornings are pretty slow-moving, but this morning could not be so. It was time for me to hustle. So I did just that. Within ten minutes, I had finished brushing my teeth, bathing, getting dressed and eating my breakfast. Oh, and I forgot to introduce myself; I am Radhika Nadkarni, inspector for Karnataka Police. And if I am an inspector, why am I going on an adventure? Shouldn't I be on duty?
Well, for the police, being on duty is like an adventure. We need to travel at odd hours and visit the most dangerous areas no one ever dared to? Isn't that what adventurers do? However, the case I will now be talking about was more like an emergency.
Famous scientist Madan Singhania created a new kind of chemical, but forgot to test its effect on humans. Before he could, a young boy, claiming to be a research student at Mysore University, traded the chemical for a large bag. Mr. Singhania expected lots of money, so he was ready to give it away. But when he opened the bag, it contained only shreds of paper. We were originally dismissing his case, but he was convincing: 'Certain substances added to it can be harmful.' Emergency enough? Sure.
My boss chose me to lead this project, so I was obviously tense. Kaveri and another colleague, Adil were accompanying me. They brought a jeep to my doorstep. When I entered the jeep, Adil saw my face go pale of stress and requested the driver to turn the radio on. The song 'Haanikaarak Bapu' from the film 'Dangal' was playing. I crooned along.
'Radhika, discipline please!' Kaveri reminded me of the need for discipline as a policewoman. The singers sang about how discipline troubled them, so I sang along: 'Discipline itna, khudkhushi ke layak hai.'.Both Kaveri and Adil laughed at my apt reply. All of a sudden, Adil straightened up,'We trust you. You will not fail the police.'
'Thanks Adil,' and I unlocked my cellphone to check messages my boss had sent me, which could be useful. He sent me information about the fraud:International Killadi has lately been posing as a research student, namely Prasad Rao, from Mysore University, who quite often trades a valuable gadget or chemical for a large sack, which turns out to contain simply shreds and not money.
I read the information out loud, so the driver took us to Mysore University.
At the front desk, as soon as we approached the receptionist, the lanky 30-something man sat up in his chair, visibly petrified. 'Ma'am, who are you looking for?' he spoke in fear.
'We are Prasad Rao's family and we want to meet him.' Adil explained. The receptionist told us where we'd find Prasad Rao and we left for the hostel.
Before we knocked on the door of the room we were sent to, I checked with Kaveri whether she had equipment that would make nabbing him easier. She did. Only then did we knock on the door.
A stout and short young boy opened up. He was dark skinned, bald and stubbled. Looking at our get-up, he folded his hands into a namaste,'Forgive me, if I have offended you, but please don't arrest me.'
I stiffened my voice and put forward an enjambment, 'Let.Us.In.' The way I spoke the three words out won us entry. The boy who opened the door stood behind us, hands clasped into each other. Two other boys were sitting on a bed and watching a Telugu film. I checked the pictures Mr Singhania had sent me that he clicked with the goon. One of the boys in the room looked the same. I showed the picture of the boy to Adil and Kaveri: 'It's a match!'.
Kaveri approached the boy standing behind us and balled the neck of his red T-shirt in her fist, 'International Killadi, return the chemical you took from Madan Singhania, or surrender to the police.' His roommates looked at him, with eyes and mouth wide open.
Right in front of our eyes, he sipped from the bottle of the chemical. Before Adil and I thought of what we could do, Kaveri pricked his thumb with a needle from her pocket. The goon left the bottle with numbing pain. I was amused by this trick by Kaveri. Drops of blood, which were multicolored, fell from his thumb. Kaveri collected the falling drops from his thumb and gave it to Adil:'Take it to a pathologist.'
Quickly, Kaveri cleaned the blood up and bandaged it. He had immediately turned into a human music system; 'Kala Chashma' began playing all of a sudden. All of us admitted to not playing it, only to realise the song was coming from the goon's mouth.
Adil had returned. He told us that the blood was so because of the chemical and this chemical can turn consumer to a live music system that works at an excellent volume. Wasn't that what our consumer was doing?
'And it does not make noise, also.' the thief stopped singing. My glare was enough to shush him. At once, I texted Madan Singhania, informing him that we had found the goon. I also informed to him the side effects of the chemical.
'Interesting! Get it back to me. Just a little more work left on it.'he sounded excited.
'Sure, Mr. Singhania.'
We left the hostel, now with the bottle of chemical and sat in the jeep, all exhausted. This case was definitely an emergency, but it was also adventurous!