Rishi reached Suman’s Office to find it closed. There was nobody around as expected. He however found a dazed and sleepy watchman who had been woken up from his slumber by Rishi’s arrival. The watchman would not answer any of his questions. It was obvious. He was still sleepy. There was no point shaking him up. No, money would not work on a drunken and sleepy watchman either. He had to use other methods. Before he did anything, somebody walked down from the office. Fortunately for him, this colleague of Suman’s knew her. In fact, he knew too much about her to his liking. He introduced himself as Rohan.
Rohan told Rishi that Suman took the metro to get home. Even today she had left on time with Rekha to go home. Rekha and Suman always left work together and lived nearby. He offered to take Rishi to the metro by the route that Suman took everyday. Once there, he left the place without a trace or a goodbye. This astonished Rishi. He was not used to such disappearances from the folks who helped him or offered help.
At the station, Rishi could do nothing but look around. He found Suman’s bag lying thrown on one side of the road. It was lying strewn and the contents of the bag emptied. Nothing in it seemed to be in order. The money was missing. Nothing that remained was valuable. It was clear that someone had taken all the valuables from it. Was it still possible in that case that the phone really was with Suman and not with this person who had emptied the bag. He rummaged through the bag once again. He found the bracelet that he had gifted her hidden in a corner.
He was now not sure if what he had was a bread crumb trail or a real one. He was not sure what to be done now. He started looking around at the surroundings once again. May be some clues may have been left behind. He found pieces of paper that looked like they had been torn only a while ago. Next to it lay a bottle of Black Dog and two broken glasses. He picked up the pieces of paper. They were pieces of a torn photograph. He quickly got around to placing them together. A few pieces had flown away with the wind, but the face could be reconstructed partially. Only the upper half of the face remained. The face was known. It was Suman. He quickly pulled out his smartphone and clicked a photograph of all the evidences.

He flipped the pieces. It had random numbers scribbled. It did not look like a phone number. But then he was not able to understand what it could be. He pulled his phone out and tried to see if it was a location co-ordinate. He quickly punched the numbers on his screen. It was a location.

Rishi was calling Suman since the last four hours. Her phone was ringing continuously since the last four hours. He was very worried now. He called her office up a few hours back but then the watchman there confirmed she had signed out at around seven in the evening. She had not come back since then, neither had any one heard back from her. He even visited her house but found it locked. Her neighbours had not seen her come home. There was no point calling Sneha since she was not even in the country. He did not have her parents’ number, but then she would have definitely told him if she was going back home or there was some problem back then.
He was stuck with no leads in this case. He took a swig of his Black Dog. He had told Suman to keep her data connection on all the time so that they could Skype whenever they felt like. He had not thought about checking her online yet. She wasn’t there. This could only mean that her Location reporting would not be available either. Nonetheless he tried checking her last known location. It was a warehouse ten miles away from her office. What could she be doing there? Was her phone stolen? But if that was the case, why hadn’t she come back home?
There were a lot of unanswered questions, none of them seemed to have any leads. He was frustrated. He felt like a novice. He felt he had hit a dead end. He could not tell the cops. They would not even file a missing complaint before 24 hours. But then it may be too late by then. For whatever you know, her life may be in danger. He did not know where to start from. He had not visited her office yet. He should start from there. He had advised Suman to keep a pepper spray in her purse for her safety. If she was in danger, had she remembered to use it?
He fiddled with his laptop keys while he thought what to do. The TV roared at full volume. His fiddling with the keys changed the map view from last known location to location trail. She had travelled from the office to the Metro station and from there to the warehouse. It was an unmarked warehouse. He finished a full glass of his Scotch in one swig and got up from his chair. He had to do something and that something had to be done fast, really fast.
Rishi changed into his tuxedo and put on his hat. He had to work in style of the private detective that he was. He had to save her at any cost.

A few days back I was travelling back from a house warming ceremony at one of wife’s cousins place in Rourkela, Odisha. The onward journey has been extremely good and I was looking forward to this journey since it brought me back home, my home.
However, my joy was supposed to be extremely short lived when I was brought face to face with the most arrogant and rude co-travellers. One of the lady who we were supposed to share our berth with was merrily sleeping when the train came to a halt at the station. I have no grudges or grouse about that. It was around 9 and she may have been in the habit of sleeping early. I never cared to ask her really. Coming back to my point, this lady was travelling with so much luggage that it looked like she was moving her house. Alone at that. She had single handedly occupied every inch of space that was available under the seat to place the luggage. To top that she was not willing to move it and arrogant even said that she did not care how we managed to keep our luggage. All this while she was lying all stretched and comfortable on the berth. She did not have the basic courtesy to get up and offer us seating space that we had also rightfully paid for. Let me tell you she was not a young lady. Must have been in her early fifties. That does not warrant the kind of behavior that she exhibited.
Along with her was another couple who was sitting across this berth. The husband tried to be helpful but he turned to be plain annoying. Discover my horror when he was travelling wait listed with his wife who had a confirmed ticket. Just next to them was supposed to be seated another couple like us who had a kid too. The guy had either worked in Accenture earlier our was still working there. The wife seemed to keep emphasising that. “Woh Accenture wala bag dhyaan we rakhna!” This seemed too be her favorite line! Poor guy clearly was hen pecked! So much so that the lady literally kicked him awake to get him to feed, pee, or even take their daughter to the loo! And all that she did was sleep!
Finally back to my luggage. This young lady had clearly announced that she would not allow any of our luggage below their seats because she had enough luggage too! The old lady wouldn’t budge, and the older couple had placed enjoying luggage themself! I finally lost my cool when this lady tried to scream in my ears that she had a kid and was still standing. I immediately face her a piece of my mind in the rudest language that my wife was carrying a baby much younger than hers and yet standing. I clearly meant to ask her to shut the fuck up! And she did. The old lady was next to face my ire. She heard the choicest of my abuses after which she handed over the keys to the chains her luggage was chained with very quietly. I had very well decided I was going to make the journey a harrowing one for her as well. Just because she was very arrogant and needed to be taught some manners at that age!
We somehow managed to get some of our luggage in, but that meant throwing most of the lady’s luggage in her seat. We left her to arrange it herself. We still had to keep some luggage on the upper berth where I was supposed to be sleeping.
The icing on the cake was when we discovered that my daughter had developed loose motions. She had thrown up twice that morning forcing me to pick up one tetra pack and one sachet of powdered ORS. However my daughter’s health was not to be in my control. I was forced to tweet about the issue and requested if any of my friends on social media could help me get ORS at Visakhapatnam. Somehow, network connectivity got better of us and we could not get the ORS there. It was then that Prudhviraj told me that he would check if his friend was around in Rajamundhry and would be able to deliver the packets of ORS to us. He kept his word and soon enough I received a call from his friend Bobby asking for the seat numbers and coach details. The train was running late yet this guy waited for it to transport the packets to us. Thanks a ton buddy. Had it not been your timely help, it would have been difficult.