When the cool breeze waved through her hair, a strand fell on his face. He felt a chill in his heart, something he had never felt before... This innocent girl in her mid twenties will be struggling in a van with Sameer’s men in it, within an hour. But what can he do now to change this fate of hers? The only thing he could do now was to sit with her, give that false feeling of security. How he wished he had never met her.... or at least she was sensible enough not to fell into the trap he set up........
He was what they call a ‘Spotter’. His job was to find young, beautiful women, make them fall in love with him so that they will be ready to elope with him any day, any time. His employer had planned it in such a way that he should track only Hindu/Christian girls and he was supposed to be in a city only once. Faizal had the face of a Greek God. And that was the bait. All girls fell for his handsome face and they were ready to do anything for him. He was never bored by his job. Every assignment had something entertaining and interesting. 3 years of his career showed him different characters of women, their various colours... but at the end... they were all the same... foolish.... He wondered how they believed him, when he said the same rehearsed lines to every single one of them. Most of them were educated, some were working, and some were students. In fact, he was a tenth fail. He didn’t know the difference between ‘where’ and ‘were’, nor he cared,except for Sameer. Sameer sent him to English night classes and strictly instructed him to read all types of newspapers. In a few months, he had the looks of a metro sexual trader. And the costumes for him were specially designed and imported. He just had to wear them, fit a smile on to his lips and a careless walk. It worked always.
He had no regrets of what he was doing. He strongly believed that this was his destiny and Sameer was the God. He never came into this arena with the motto of money. Faizal’s family was wealthy. But what Faizal wanted was adventure in life. Luckily, he met this wonderful person who taught him what real adventure is. Faizal was kept in store until he was twenty. Till then he attended classes studying psychology of women, strengthened his language skills, and learned table etiquettes. His job required immense mind reading... to pick a vulnerable one from a group, follow, analyse, then acquaint, then the lost love-heartbroken image or orphan-lonely image; whichever suited the circumstance... Once the bond was formed, then comes the eloping plan because of the religion-parents problem. And then the girl was picked by Sameer’s men. What happens next was vague to Faizal. Sameer was never interested in girls. None of the gang members were allowed to touch the girl; even Faizal. They were sold to some other giants in the market. How much money flew in between... God only knows. But by month end a large sum was credited to his account always.
First few times Faizal had disturbed sleep. He woke up time to time hearing their voices..... The voices of rage, despair... some of them didn’t even cry.... they gave long looks of disbelief with an air that said something like ‘How could you, Faizal?’ Then he became so used to it like the priest of a temple chanting the same mantra daily. But what made it different with Swathi? She was this usual middle class, with a small job at the travel agency. But she had the gift of gab, she wrote poems and stories with such reality that Faizal was awed by the naked truths she depicted. She never possessed the attributes of a woman. She was more of a man type. She had her own point of view about everything unlike others who just nodded their head for whatever he said. Apart from the normal schedule of late evening walks, Faizal spent a whole day with her discussing almost everything under sun. Without him knowing it, he was not telling anything he rehearsed.... he was speaking out his mind. One fraction of second, he even thought,’God.... if not for Sameer... I would have fallen head over heels in love for this lady sitting in front of me’. But he had given his word. He was not the one to break promises. He was loyal to Sameer. Or deep in his mind.... he was just scared of him.
It took months for Faizal to plant the idea of running away, into Swathi. She kept on telling him,’just come and talk to my parents Faizal.... they are wise enough to handle this’. Then Faizal had to dramatize saying, ‘if my family knows I won’t be able to see you again. Do you want me to be in house arrest and sent away to some island so that I will never see you again?’. Ofcourse she had to believe him. And here they were in a Park, waiting for one of Faizal’s friend and wife so that they will make arrangements for their register marriage. Faizal looked at the watch. Its almost time for the van to make entry. He prepared himself for the scene. He looked at her once more. He could feel the tension, the anxiety... and more over... trust.... Everything was going to end in a split second..... and his mind was racing....
Suddenly a white van appeared at the farther end of the road... Faizal composed himself. The huge vehicle came slowing down near them and the door opened. Before Fiazal could blink an eye, a huge and strong arm grabbed him. Faizal stared at the harsh faces in the van. He couldn’t think of a plan. He was handcuffed and was seated between two armed guards who looked nothing less than a chimpanzee. Out through the window he saw the chief talking to Sindhu... or whoever she was. He heard bits and the pieces fitted perfectly.
‘I know I could always count on you Madam...’
‘Its part of my job..’
‘Mr. David likes to see you..... and we will.. arrange..’
For one moment she raised her eyes and looked at Faizal. She sensed something there in his eyes.... an emotion she never saw in him for the past few months of their so called love........ Respect.
She walked back to her hostel to pack and to start planning for the next undercover operation that she was assigned on.