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Turn of Events - Surprises and Challenges

By Vaman Acharya

Life is full of unexpected surprises and challenges. Twenty-five-year-old Bhargavi, who had completed post graduation in Law from National Law School of India University, Bengaluru joined Chakrapani Associates, a Law Firm in Mumbai, as a junior. Observing her excellent knowledge, she was asked to assist the team of lawyers, who were dealing with the highly sensitive murder case. Bhargavi was asked to proceed to Chennai in connection with the case. 

While returning from Chennai, she had an unexpected surprise. 

The Chennai-Mumbai Express train was moving at a high speed. In the first class air condition compartment, there were only a few passengers, mainly a marriage party. It was midnight. The train was just five kilometres away from Gulbarga. Bhargavi, a lone young woman passenger, was waking up. She was reading a magazine. One young man was waking up in the marriage party. Suddenly two persons with their faces covered,  entered the bogie. One of them went straight to Bhargavi. These two guys' aim was to attack the marriage party. But one of them changed the original plan. It was not a mistaken identity but he did it purposely. One person had a big moustache, long grey hair wearing blue half shirt and lungi. Another person was clean shaved, wearing white full shirt and trouser. They appeared to be robbers in the train. She became nervous and her body was trembling for a moment. Bhargavi closed her eyes and prayed to God.  

The blue shirt man asked, “Madam, hand over your bag to me immediately. I warn you not to protest or alert the other passengers.”

She was in the fear psychosis for a few seconds due to the sudden development. Probably, one of the guys had information on precious things in her bag. Who gave them the information? She was in dilemma, whether to act boldly or handover the bag to save her life. She was not a coward. She was bold since her college days. She won a number of bravery awards during her college days.

“Who are you? Who told you that I am having treasure in the bag? If you insist me to hand over the bag, I will call the police and alert all the co-passengers. I warn you to get lost from here,” said the young lady.

If the gold ornaments were not in her bag, then what was kept in the bag? Why one of the guys went straight to Bhargavi instead of going to a marriage party?

“You may be bold. I don't bother your boldness. I want your bag.  If you protest like this, I will have to take out my revolver and shoot you at the point blank,” said the blue shirt man.

The other white shirt man was silent and watching the situation. On seeing her pitiable condition, he thought to help her. God gave him good sense.

The man in white shirt said, “My dear friend, you can take her bag. Please do not harm her. You are forgetting our original plan to attack the marriage party. Why did you change the plan? I caution you not to attack a lonely woman. I know our job is to steal the valuables either by force or by theft. In the case of a lonely innocent woman, we have to show sympathy and follow ethics. Who knows what is stored in her bag? Snatching a bag from her is not a problem. Let us move towards the marriage party and force them to part with the treasure at a gunpoint. 

 “We have no ethics. Our profession is to steal valuables. Here, there is no question of ethics. You don't know the reality. This woman is possessing precious materials in her bag. These are more valuable than gold and diamond of the marriage party. If you want to become a reformed man, you are free to do so. Don’t preach me your ethics to me.” said his friend.

"Friend, why you have changed the plan only after boarding the train? Can you tell me why?"

"I will explain to you afterwards. Now you simply follow what I say," said the man in blue shirt.

"Friend, I will not follow your direction, unless you tell me the fact."

Bhargavi was closely watching their conversation and planning to get rid of them. There was a heated argument between them. Other passengers woke up due to their shoutings. Some of the youngsters in the marriage party came to the rescue of Bhargavi. Sensing the anticipated danger, one of them pulled the chain. The train was in slow motion. The youngsters caught hold of the two robbers. They decided to call the police at Gulbarga station. It was a tough time for robbers to get out of the train. The white shirt man was possessing a revolver, said, "If you do not free both of us, I will take out my automatic revolver and shoot all within few seconds. There are sufficient bullets in the revolver."

The youngsters out of panicky released the robbers. Everything was over within sixty seconds. The train was still in slow motion before the station due to the pulling of the chain. The robbers got down and escaped in the dark. The blue shirt man snatched her bag. It appears from their action that both were professional robbers. They were successful in their mission. The young lady was thinking that this must be the pre-planned plot. Whose brain was behind this? She could not get the answer. Bhargavi thanked God for saving her life from the gangsters.

The short story continues here...