Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fait Acompli

He was good looking, suave and bad and was the most important link in the Sri Lankan Felix syndicate, which ran several clean front organizations. But money came for the syndicate from several other unclean hidden agencies. One of them dealt with girl trade. JS was the lynch man for that operation which spread its tentacle to a good dozen countries. JS traveled extensively. His passport identified him as a Sri Lankan male, 28 years old 6 ft 2 inches tall and 60 kilos heavy. Neat! That part was true, but the rest of the information in his passports (he had several) were fictitious.

Angela was in late teens studying in Stella Maris, a reputed all women’s college in Chennai, when she met JS in a lending library. Then such libraries were popular. She fell flat for him. He was charming, talked with a sexy accent and had those dreamy blue eyes that ensnared girls in his trap with such succession that it even surprised him. He was the bastard of a Swedish diplomat stationed in Colombo. The blue eyes and the Caucasian appearance he inherited from him. But his mother was a Lankan.

JS was seen with Angela in cinemas, malls and one or two occasions even night clubs. For the orthodox household of Angela, this was all unthinkable. If they had got a whiff of what was going on, it would have brought the house down. But Angela cared less and was a lot luckier not to get caught. The fact was she couldn’t help herself. Through her JS met several pretty girls, who would all one day fall into his trap and end up in a Sheikh’s bedroom or a business magnate’s.

In a typical operation, Angela would have landed there first, but she didn’t for some strange reason. JS assured himself Angela would have to go eventually when the girls started disappearing so that no one should be there to corroborate with the cops. But JS kept delaying. On a wet Monday he got a call from one of his contacts in Mumbai. Then it was called Bombay.

Next week Angela disappeared. She was last seen by her friend Kaushalya. The city Commissioner of Police, Mr. Balakishnan, gave a brief statement to the press in which he claimed he was following certain leads after questioning the missing girl’s family and friends. Nothing would come of it, for JS too had disappeared. The police fed up with the investigation not yielding anything, concluded that it was a case of eloping and hurriedly closed the case.

Had they dug deeper, they would have hit the murky waters and linked her disappearance to two other girls who had vanished equally suspiciously. Angela and JS had left by air on a Sunday. For Angela, who was still in her teens it was all so romantic. She couldn’t guess the terrible plight that was waiting for her. On landing at Bombay, they checked into seedy hotel, where a night squad of police raided and took the two into custody. Later JS would mysteriously disappear and Angela would smell rat but it would be too late. The squad would beat her up and Angela would lose all hope of a rescue when dramatically a kind old lady would appear, persuade the officers to relieve her. Naturally, the na├»ve girl would go readily with the good Samaritan.

JS would not be in a hurry to reappear in Chennai. Instead, he would cool it for a while and then resurface elsewhere, when the hunt was off.

But it did not happen that way. Until the appearance of the old lady everything fell into place according to the script. But the old lady failed to appear. The police would later discover her in a suburban train bleeding and near death. To cut the story short, one bad link led to the other stinking one and soon the cops were on hot trails of JS. Eventually he was caught literally napping in a cosy suite of an international hotel.

As for much shaken Angela, she was returned to her parents who whisked her away from limelight. After a battery of tests and a series of counseling she rises up like a phoenix and wins accolades in her later life. Only she knew how lucky she was.

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