Escape route routed


Escape route routed

“Come,” came the order, like an army officer barking orders to his orderly.“Where?” I asked, mentally making up a quick excuse to escape from getting dumped with carting groceries or lugging bags while she hunted for the right match, sorry, matching blouse piece. “To the bank, where else!” she snapped. 

“Ah, to withdraw cash for the monthly bills, I suppose,” I said. “No chance, that’s your lookout. Have you forgotten that my niece’s wedding is scheduled for next month? I need to take out jewellery from the safe deposit locker to get them repolished. I want you to accompany me,” came the retort.

“For what?”  “Look, don’t test my patience. What do you do keeping that newspaper stuck to your face all day? Haven’t you seen what happened to that woman who went to draw cash from an ATM? With you by my side, I’ll feel safer.” 

“Aha! So that’s it. I am to be the sacrificial goat in case an attacker gets a scent of the riches in your bag. One swing of that machete, my cranium gets split, you scoot with your gold. Nice idea!” I said. 

“Look, are you coming or not?” she asked exasperatedly.  “There are many procedures to follow. Firstly, have you checked whether the bank premises is sanitised?” 

“What are you talking about? Where will we get that amount of Dettol sanitiser? Has the locker room been infected with MRSA or Anthrax or some other virus?” 

“Stupid! Sanitising means to scan an area for hidden explosives or snipers or a suicide bomber.” 

“But won’t the explosion destroy my valuables?” 

“That’s besides the point. Taking preventive steps is the first thing to do. So, apply to the Special Task Force’s office. Next, you’ll have to arrange for a pilot vehicle with armed guards that will precede you both ways and clear the path of obstacles. Who knows, the next turn may be the point where those desperados ambush your convoy. The pilot jeep will handle all such exigencies. Oh, before that, you’ll have to submit an application in quadruplicate to the Home Ministry for allotment of NSG commandos for your personal security. The white copy will be sent for approval from the Home Minister. The red is for the Chief of Internal Security.

The yellow is for the Director-Intelligence. The green is for the state IGP for logistical support. NSG commandos are trained in hand-to-hand combat, using laser-guided and infra red weapons. They will throw such an impenetrable cordon that you will need a strap-on oxygen cylinder and mask to breathe. They will surround you like the flies around a pani puri cart. So get the application ready.” 

“ How much will all this cost?” 

“Around 50 lakh.” 

“But that’s more than the cost of all my jewellery put together!” 

“Sorry, but that’s how it is. Otherwise, be prepared for the worst.”
 “But I thought a hefty guy like you would suffice. Anyway, come along. I’d rather risk your limbs than shell out such sums. I can scream loudly enough for the dead to wake up if something happens.” 

So, here I am, waiting like an expectant father at the bank’s door for her to emerge with her gold.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0