This post is part of #GameOfBlogs team name 'Story Weavers'.
You can read the first part of the story here
And the previous part here
Roohi didn’t know what was irritating her more – the fact that the fat cat terrorist man had tied up her wrists and now her hands were tingling, or the other more infuriating fact that he had knocked down her Reader’s Digest while dragging her away. She smiled inadvertently while remembering that bit though. She hadn't been a scaredy coot. Even when they had smashed her phone.
Papa will be proud! I didn’t cry or shout. I just dug my heels in and thrashed about to make it as difficult as possible for the fat cat to pull me away. Only if I was a little bit taller I surely could have kicked the fat cat right between his legs, just like Papa had taught. But he has a rifle. And that’s the other thing – Papa always said that in case the opponent has weapons, it is best to lay low and use your mind as a weapon. Oh Papa! How I wish you were here.
Roohi eyed the fat cat, ISISI commander Ibrahim Rehman, as he towered over his subordinates and seemingly barked commands at them. He was a strangely interesting man, and Roohi could not but wonder how a man who was so tall and huge, could move with such grace – almost like one of the tribal dancers one saw on National Geographic Channel. He was a Bear with the agility and alertness of a cat. Every few minutes, he would come towards Roohi and the two other unfortunate hostages.
Roohi eyed the two others tied up to the platform bench right next to her. Next to her was an understatement - for between the really fat Aunty in her eye-wateringly colourful Patiala suit and dressed in black top-to-toe goth babe, Roohi was all but sandwiched.
Patiala aunty was sweating and swearing with a lot of gusto till Ibrahim Rehman had come and pointed his gun very very close to her forehead. Since then she had been reduced to just muttering under her breath. Pity though, the sweating had not reduced. And that mixed with wafts of her jasmine perfume was just adding to Roohi’s feeling of suffocation. Goth babe on her left was cucumber cool. She had not batted an eyelid when she was tied up to the bench. Her crime had been to first kick one of the terrorists and then spit on their faces even as they were tying her up. What Patiala aunty had done to warrant getting tied up, even Roohi didn’t know.
Roohi knew one thing though. She was sure that her Dad was on the case and she wouldn’t have to be sitting on this damned bench with these damned aunties for much longer. She suddenly and very guiltily remembered her mother. In all the excitement and fear of the day, not once had she thought about her mother. But now, sitting next to these two very strange women, Roohi suddenly longed to be in the cool, self-assured presence of her mother.
And just then, as if in answer to her prayers, her mother’s voice – clipped, confident and so reassuring came wafting down to her. It took her a moment to realize that she was not dreaming it all up. One of the terror chappies, had pulled down one of the old TV’s that had been hanging from the platform ceilings and they had turned on the News channel.
The camera panned in on people standing outside a hotel. There were barricades, police, army jeeps and journalists. Tara had disappeared from the scene for the time being and an in-studio anchor was discussing the breaking news with a security specialist.
Suddenly the scene playing out in the screen behind them moved from the hotel to outside the railway station. There was a sudden hush on the platform. Everybody was quiet when they saw on TV what was happening just a few feet away from them. There were close-ups of the bloodstains on walls, shattered glass and bloody footwear. The reporter was stating that around 20 people had died, while a 100 were grievously injured and almost 50 people were believed to be now hostages inside the railway station.
One of the terrorists smirked and changed the channel. The screen suddenly split up into 9 squares and there were as many talking heads on it simultaneously. India’s most ferocious interviewer, Arnab Goswami looked especially agitated and furious today. The terrorists laughed and then the fat cat tuned the TV back to the previous news channel.
The news anchor was still in discussion with the security specialist. And suddenly they cut to a video of a man in a black hood, with a knife in his hand standing over another man in an orange robe, hands tied behind him and kneeling in front – seemingly awaiting his own beheading. There was a chill that ran down the platform. Patiala aunty silently started to sob. Goth babe let out a low whistle. Fat cat slowly turned around and looked at the bench. His eyes wavered over all three of them before coming to rest squarely on Roohi.
Even though he spoke without shouting, every single soul on the platform could hear what he said next.
“Not for us the old and tainted. Our sacrificial lamb will be young. Very young”
You can read the next part of the story here.
You can read the next part of the story here.