I sipped the coffee and started typing again. In that silent room only sound was caused by my typewriter. Now a days when everyone writes on computer and laptop, I still prefer my typewriter. This typewriter was gifted to me by my father, who was a famous writer. I write stories for a magazine and my first book is ready for launch in few months. Rhythm of the typewriter’s sound broke by interruption from a phone call. Our land line phone was ringing. My wife Shina and son Aryan were out for shopping, I was the only one responsible to pick it up. I received the call “Hello”. No sound came from the other side. “Hello who is this? Hello. Can you hear me?” But no reply came from other side and call got disconnected. I came back to my seat and I was about to type the next word when phone rang again. “Hello…. Hello. Who is this? Whom you want to talk to? Hello …” but like before this time also there was no reply. I kept the receiver and returned to my seat but phone rang again. As if someone doesn’t want me to write peacefully. I received the call but again no answer. This series of blank calls continued for some 10-15 times continuously.
We were discussing how our day was at work, when my wife told me about the series of blank calls came on our landline phone in the evening. I told her that the same incident happened last Sunday also when I was alone at home. I thought we should buy a caller id phone set. But my wife was not much interested in doing so, in place of that she suggested removing the landline phone as we both have mobile, and landline was old fashioned according to her. But being someone who likes old things I didn’t wanted to remove landline connection and dropped my idea of buying a caller id phone.
I pressed the doorbell. Shina opened the door and hugged me tight “thank god, you are alright”. She looked scared and her face was wet with tears and sweat. She looked terrified, and was thanking god for saving me. I made her sit comfortably, gave her water and asked her what happen. She said that when she came back from office, some blank calls came as it came last week. After few blank calls in one call someone said that I (her husband) met with an accident. Shina asked him who that person is and from where he is speaking, she asked him how I am and where I am but the person didn’t reply and disconnected the call. After that she tried calling me but my phone was switched off, which frightened her more. I checked my phone, it was off. I only switched it off when I went inside a meeting and forgot to switch it on once I came out. I had no idea about who called Shina and why someone informed her about my accident, but this one incident scared my whole family.
Next day itself I bought caller id phone. And I informed my friend Suresh, who was in police, about this incident. He told me not to panic, may be someone had played prank on us.
I walked in the hall to take the newspaper, and I saw Shina shouting on Aryan. I asked her the reason. She said “I am so upset with your son. He never listens to me. Today he took chocolate from some stranger uncles.” I smiled and assured her that I will tell Aryan not to do this again. I made my son to sit on my lap, but he being a naughty kid was trying to get out of my grip and run around. “So you made momma angry again?” he smiled. We both started playing with each other and soon room was filled with our giggles.
I was working in my study room when I heard Shina screaming my name. I panicked and ran towards the hall. She said that Aryan went for playing in the park but he did not come back yet. I asked her “Have you seen in his room, maybe he is back. She cried “I checked everywhere in the house, he is not here”. I told her not to worry and decided to go myself and call Aryan from the nearby park because it was getting darker. I did not find him in the park, I asked few neighbors also but no one had any idea about where Aryan went. I came back home and my wife was in worse condition then in what I left her. She was crying nonstop. I too got tensed and worried when I came to know about the ransom call, which came sometime back. My little son was kidnapped. Till now I had seen these things only in movies or read those in news paper, but today this happened to my 6 year old kid, it made me go weak on knees. I checked the number from where call came on our phone and called there, but no one picked up.
The kidnaper warned us not to call police. Still I called my friend Suresh and told him about the incident. He asked me for the number from which ransom call came and told me to mail Aryan’s photo to him.
That was a sleepless night and early morning we got call from the kidnaper. He asked us for money and said he will call again and inform about the time and location where we should give him money. When I checked in caller id, I found out that this time the number used to call us was different. I informed the same to Suresh. Within an hour Suresh came to our home with his team. They all came in civilian dress so that no one comes to know that police came to our house. He said that his team traced the numbers and found out that both the calls came from some PCOs near the city engineering college. He asked us if anything else unusual happened in last few days. My wife told him about the blank calls we used to get some days back and about that call which gave her the wrong information about my accident.
24 hours passed and Shina fell ill due to constant crying and tension. I gave her sleeping pills and somehow made her sleep, but I was restless. Around ten in the night Suresh called me and asked me to come to the police station immediately. He said that they arrested the kidnappers and Aryan is safe now. I reached police station in no time. My son was sitting in the police station and he started crying after seeing me. He was not beaten by the kidnappers but the whole incident scared my little boy a lot. I thanked Suresh and his team for saving my kid and asked him who the kidnapper was. I never expected even in my wildest dream that the kidnappers were some students from the city engineering college. These guys were addicted to drugs and when they ran short of money they planned this kidnapping. I was still confused that why they did this with me as I am not the richest guy of the town neither I am any industrialist. Suresh said “once you went to their college as chief guest for some function. There you shared your home phone number with few guys who were interested in writing. From there only they got your number” I came to know that these guys only used to give blank calls on my landline, to find out who used to be at home at what time. They only called Shina about my accident to check if we complain to police for such misguiding call or not. These students only visited Aryan outside his school and gave him chocolate to increase familiarity with my kid. I never thought that students from a reputed institution can do such crime. But someone rightly mentioned that addiction is always harmful. And their drug addiction turned these future engineers into criminals.
PS: This is my entry for the 'Blogeshwar 3.0' contest.
She Walks, She Leads
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