Be bold to face crisis I was just relaxing on Sun…

Be bold to face crisis
I was just relaxing on Sunday being a weekly holiday. My husband and only daughter were out of station and returning on next day. It was 10 a.m. in the morning when i received a telephone call. It was a call from a friend of mine informing about the burglar, who sneaked in one of the houses in the locality and decamped with booty. The police have already commenced investigation. Immediately, a past incident of about 5 years back happened to me in my life flashed to my mind.
In those days, it was my regular practice to return home from the bank invariably before sunset.Realizing my difficulties to keep timings, while going to bank and return home, my husband had presented me a two-wheeler-ladies motor bike on the occasion of my 25th birth day.Being a lady, I had to take precautions while driving the bike in view of the bad road conditions which prevailed in the city. One day, there was a delay of more than two hours due to the presence of auditors, to whom I had to provide relevant information. My branch was undergoing internal audit. On that particular day, when I was supposed to work for late hours, branch manager arranged bank’s car to drop me home. Normally, whenever I sit late my boss used to provide me bank’s car. While coming back from the bank, probably he might have felt unsafe of me riding alone on my two-wheeler. By the time I reached home it was already 8.30. p. m. Immediately after entering home, my habit was to check the messages recorded in the telephone. The answering machine displayed two calls. One was from my husband Pravin that he may be late by two hours. Another message was just hello, hello, and expressed repeatedly why the instrument was not lifted. It appears, he was surprised to hear Pravin and Priti not available, you may leave your name, telephone number and the reason for call in brief. Probably, this gentleman does not know the facility of recording message in the phone.
I was staying in the rented house along with my husband on the first floor consisting of two bedrooms with attached bath, specious hall and kitchen. The owner was staying in the ground floor. I wanted to relax for some time in order to be relieved from whole day’s exertion. After about five minutes, I went to kitchen with an intention to prepare the dinner. I had no mood to start, I thought of taking rest for sometime. I sat on the sofa to watch the television. There were no good programmes. I was just changing the channels with speed using the remote. In one of the channels, there was an announcement regarding a criminal, who was involved in number of crimes including murder and dacoity. His photograph was displayed on the TV screen. He was a middle-aged man having big moustaches, baldheaded, and black complexion with a 5 feet 9 inches height and a noticeable scar on the forehead. On seeing this man, one thing flashed to my mind having seen this person yesterday on the road. I had in my mind the complete picture of this man. An amount of Rs.1 lac was announced as a reward for those, who trace out and report to nearest police station. In the meantime, I heard a sound from the outside and became scared. I went to the balcony to know from where the sound was emanating. It was nothing but a passerby, who was drunken and shouting with at the top of his voice. After convincing myself, I went back to the sofa to watch TV.
I was thinking seriously, why Pravin didn’t come even after two hours. I was just muttering to myself about Pravin never adhering to keep up the time even on a single day inspite of repeated promises. Whenever I asked him to return from his office as early as possible his reply was straight, expressing inability to return early due to an important project entrusted to him. If I ask him to apply at least a week’s leave to go out for jolly trip, his reply was something like eatrlier & disappointing. He told me that he was doing in a specific time frame an important project to be completed within a time bound programme. He further said if this project was completed within a stipulated time with success, he would get promotion with hike in the salary and certainly think of going out for a week. It was not possible for us even to plan for honeymoon even after completing the second wedding anniversary. I was really frustrated with the sorry state of affairs prevailing between us. I was also equally responsible for this, because of my nature of responsibility as an Officer-in-charge of the Loans section in the bank.
It was already half past 10; there was no sign of my husband reaching home. I went to balcony and opened the door and window curtain to see outside. There was absolutely pin drop silence on the road. On the terrace of opposite house a young lady was feeding her baby by showing towards twinkling stars on the sky. I was able to hear her song “Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are…” There were no traffic and pedestrians on the road. One car and two bikes were parked just in front of our house. I was seriously thinking and getting nervous because of Pravin’s late coming. Then my attention was diverted outside towards the big banyan tree existed just opposite to our balcony. A middle-aged man having big mustaches was standing. He resembled with the man shown in the TV just few minutes before. He was busy in conversing with somebody over cell phone. I didn’t pay much importance to the man and again sat on the sofa to relax. My curiosity to see that man increased. Again, I went to the balcony and observed with anxiety. He was speaking in the cell phone but looking towards my balcony. I was very sure and confirmed that the man who was outside must be the same person displayed in the TV. I became nervous and restless and my heart was beating at a faster rate. At that point of time, it was 11 p.m. I had no other choice except to keep myself free from fear. The horror movie was on the TV. Immediately, I changed the channel to another which was showing a comedy serial. I made up my mind to prepare some light food with papad and bhajji. Pravin had warned me not to eat oily foods, which may lead to ill health. I went to balcony again and observed outside. The same person was sitting beneath the tree. But this time his attention was straight towards my balcony where I was standing. A doubt flashed in my mind. I wanted to see him very closely hence took a binocular and viewed through it. Even in the dim light I could see clearly the big moustache, black face and the identity mark scar on the forehead. His dress was not clearly visible. My curiosity was increased and viewed with close angle. When I realized fully that he was none other than the person shown on the TV, at that point of time, I was thunderstruck and panicked not knowing what to do further. Immediately, I had decided to close the windows, balcony door and all other doors and checked the locks perfectly. I tried to check the day’s paper to get details about the man. I wanted to see him again in the TV. I could not remember the channel. As such, I was checking all the channels with the help of remote. I failed to get the particular channel, where this man was shown. I wanted to recollect the telephone number of police station and got it from the telephone directory. But due to fear, I didn’t want to inform police. I just wanted to contact Pravin and seek his advice in this regard. The security guard in his office told me that Pravin had already left. I thought Pravin might take another 15 to 20 minutes to reach home. I went to puja room and offered prayers for few minutes. I became brave to some extent and again went to balcony. To my surprise the mustache man was not there. Suddenly, I took a deep breath and I was about to close the balcony door, I saw the same man was standing at the different location. This time he was not using the cell phone but looking towards me as if he wanted to target our house. Virtually, I became very much upset and failed to think properly as to how I should get out from this danger. I had no way left except to pray God to rescue me from the untoward incidence going to happen. I could not control my senses under such a situation. In the absence of Pravin, I had no courage to take any drastic action. But I tried to apply my mind in order to overcome the situation. First action was closing all the doors and windows with double locking. Secondly, inform the owner over telephone to come to my rescue in case of such eventuality. Last, I prayed God to give me strength to jump in to the action, when expected. I sat on the sofa with an intention to relax. In the meantime, i heard somebody knock on the main door. I had purposely disconnected the doorbell connection for safety purpose. When the door was being knocked repeatedly, I went slowly towards the main door. I peeped into the small safety glass provided on the door. The mustaches man was staring without any movement of his eyes. Next moment, another person in place of him appeared! He was exactly the same person as shown on the TV. Screen. The series of events, which took place within a few minutes, resulted in me a kind of psychological weakness. I prayed to God that Pravin should come and drag these persons out. To my bad luck he was not Pravin!!! I was really surprised to see the man, who was none other than the owner of the house. I was thinking why this man has come all of a sudden in the late night. He was supposed to collect on first of every month for collection of monthly rent. Within a minute number of questions passed through my mind. I tried to gain strength to face the situation. I became little bold and decided to open the door very slowly. Thereafter the events that took place were beyond my expectation and ended very fast one by one!!
When I tried to open the door cautiously, a strong man came in front of the owner and stopped me and with his right hand and leg pushed the door and with the left hand shut my mouth. I had to struggle very hard to be free from this man. He entered inside. I could see him with full consciousness and realized he was the same person to whom the police department had announced award. When it was confirmed to me, as he was none other than criminal, I fell on the floor with giddiness.
Priti! Priti! a voice came and water sprinkled on my face, which made me to open my eyes slowly. I was lying on the thigh of my husband Pravin. He was treating me with special care. Then I regained my consciousness and asked Pravin to lodge complaint to police to arrest the thief, who entered inside. Pravin was laughing and said nobody was there. My husband clarified me that the rowdy I had seen in TV was a sequence of the serial, wherein the announcement was made to nab the culprit? I had utterly failed to distinguish between fiction and the real life due to rapid surfing of channels. I would have come to know the truth, if I were watching the serial for at least five minutes. Pravin also clarified me that the man with mustache seen outside was real. He was an insane person moving in the town causing fear among the people. The cell phone in his possession was a toy phone. I also understand from Pravin that he was continuously looking our balcony and thereafter knocked the door. The owner of the house, who rushed here at right time to prevent the mishap. I realized the remaining series of events were nothing but my own imagination due to psychological pressure, I was undergoing.
By the time, I stopped my memory of recollecting the past incident, there was a sound of call bell. I went to the main door and opened. The same friend, who telephoned to me sometime back, arrived to report the latest position about the burglary.

Published in: on ಜುಲೈ 28, 2006 at 6:00 ಫೂರ್ವಾಹ್ನ  Comments (2)