The rest of the night was spent in playing video games and taking small naps,turn by turn. I had managed to convince my Mom that I would sleep over at Adi’s place and would return early morning the next day. A text message stating:
“Tomorrow.7am. Adi’s place. Urgent meeting.” was sent to Abhi at the earliest.
THE NEXT DAY:
The pills had worked. Junaid was still asleep. With dry blood over his smashed nose and head,he looked horrible. I checked his pockets for any other weapons like the dagger that he recently flashed at us, only to find some stress-buster capsules in small bundles and his high end mobile device locked with a password.
Even in such hostile situation,I was busy reading another novel on my Kindle when someone knocked the door.
As expected, it was Abhi.
“Saw your text today morning..what happened? Everything fine?”,he smiled nonchalantly.
Adi was still asleep in his blanket,tired of yesterday’s heavy packed action sequence and I on the other hand, was busy staring the floor. I didn’t know how to break the news to him. And what should I say anyways? That ‘I just caught a goddamn terrorist and now we’ll fetch out all the info from him and we need your support in this stupid illogical process.’? Nevertheless, I said the same,albeit in a bit softer tone.
Abhishek was expressionless after hearing this.
“Hah..haha..tell me now…where have you hidden the camera..you’re joking right.. I see your prank hasn’t worked well mate..come on now..where is the camera..?”,he guffawed and started searching the place like a mad police dog in search of criminals.
After some moments of unsuccessful search,he was exhausted.
“Don’t forget the cupboard!”,I smiled nervously.
“Cupboard? A camera inside a cupboard? Seriously?”
“Never underestimate technology son! It’s 2020!
“Oho! Clever! Lemme check!”
He ran in slow motion as in typical Bollywood movies, going to bust our ‘prank’ as he termed it.
Adi too woke up, rubbing his eyes to see clearly what happens next.
As he reached the cupboard door,he looked at us and smiled,
“And here I put your efforts to fool me in vain! ”
We waited in bated breath for him to open the door.
And the next moment,it was all chaos! Abhi panicked badly and almost ran out when he saw Junaid’s disfigured face. Adi had to run and drag him back to the room.
“ARE YOU GUYS FRIGGING OUT OF YOUR MINDS!? ARE YOU CRAZY? A TERRORIST! THAT TOO ALIVE? WHAT. THE. HELL!”,he yelled madly at us. As I was mentally ready for his reaction,I kept silent. Adi was petrified at Abhi’s outburst and tried to calm him down although he knew it won’t work.
It took another hour to calm him down and explain my plan.
It was already 9 and we had to rush back to our office. Since we were new to work,we couldn’t take holidays without a valid serious reason. Of course,we could easily lie and handle this situation, but we preferred not taking an unwanted risk. Hence it meant that Adi would have to take care of Junaid’s body. Alone.
“Can you do this Adi?”,Abhi asked with a hint of fear and sympathy in his voice.
“Ya..I will..you guys go..I’ll see to it that everything will be normal. Tension not..”,Adi said these words so calmly that it had a spooky effect on us.
“Ohk then soldier. All the best!”, I hugged him.
“Take care Adi..we’ll be back soon. ”,Abhi too embraced him.
I had no other option than to wear the same clothes and ’embark on my journey’. Adi didn’t have a single formal wear in his wardrobe. I called up Mom and informed her that I will go directly to my office to which I got an earful. Being the only son to a quintessential Indian Mom means tough business plus lots of care and affection (without division, that too!) which I was lucky to get.
At office,everything was normal. Everyone glued to their computer screens staring it like its the most beautiful thing in the world. I never understood what’s so cool in debugging softwares that they never blink while looking at their screens. Maybe one day, I will come to know from their minimised tabs on the taskbar.
The ever strict Supervisor Mr. Kamal (yes,that guy who made me sit till midnight!) with his usual rounds, looking around like a serial killer who will kill anyone who isn’t following ‘discipline’.
All this while,I was uneasy with the thought of a lone Adi keeping guard of a terrorist. I couldn’t concentrate on the work assigned to me. And
Mr. Ahuja,the other supervisor (who was way better than Mr. Kamal) understood it easily from my expressions.
“What happened Sooraj? Everything all right? ”,he looked at me before looking at my monitor scrutinising the errors carefully.
“Sir,I’m not feeling well..severe head ache..”,I faked it well.
“Take a half day then. Go and have some rest.. I can understand the pressure on you young guys to perform well..you can go home for now.”
“Thanks a lot Sir..”,I thanked him and left hoping that Mr. Kamal doesn’t create any ruckus out of this.
As I reached the gate,I called Abhi and asked him to take a half day if possible. Coincidentally,he was about to do the same.
“Will meet at Adi’s place then”.
I reached Adi’s place to see Abhishek already there. Junaid was still asleep. But I knew that the effect of the dose that I had given would end soon.
“Guys, he’ll wake up in an hour. Be ready to kick some ass!”
Abhi and Adi were discussing some cricket related stuff and I was busy on my Kindle when we sensed movements from the cupboard.
The effects are done with. He’s back!
Since his limbs were tied tight,the only thing he could do was spit out the clothing which we had stuffed in to his mouth.
“Bastards! Leave me or else you will die! ”,he roared.
“What do you think? We’ll be terrified at your threats? Haha!”,I smirked.
His anger-filled eyes focused on me and I felt as if a laser beam was trying to tear me apart with high intensity.
“You son of a bitch! Come here or..”,he struggled hard and finally,fell on the ground.
Adi went ahead and kicked his face.
He moaned in anger and pain.
“What do you guys want?! ”,he asked us confused.
“We want information.”,I said with intent in my voice. An intent so strong that Junaid was now shaking badly.
“Wh..what kind of information?”,he stuttered.
“Everything about JeM”,I looked in to his eyes.
“Nah! NEVER! This is plain impossible stuff! Go get someone else to try your stupid questions kid!”,he almost spat on my face!
Enraged,I slap him hard across his face. Adi controlled me,or else I would have smashed his head on the wall.
“Tell us everything about JeM and WE’LL LEAVE YOU! Or else
“Or else what?”,a meek voice responded.
“We’ll hand you over to the police!”,I yelled and punched him again.