- by Anusha V. Newrekar - VIII A
Satya accompanied his father to the sweet shop, which belonged to his father’s friend, Mr.Ashok .
Mr.Ashok was distraught. Someone had kidnapped his son Rohit the previous evening while the boy was waiting for the driver to pick him up from school. The kidnapper had demanded a ransom and had also warned him against going to police.
“Satya, go take a look around while I talk to Ashok uncle,” his father told him. Satya was disappointed. He was curious to know what had happened to Rohit, who studied in his school but was his junior.
Satya peeped into the kitchen at the back of the shop. Several men were preparing sweets and discussing Rohit’s disappearance. Satya was all ears.
“Ashok sa’ab got exactly what he deserved!” grumbled a lanky man.
One of the men making badaamhalwa saw Satya and gave him an enquiring look. “I have come with my dad to see Ashok uncle” said Satya. “Can I watch you make sweets?”
The man nodded. He had a huge packet of almonds and tins of ghee near him.
“Dad says almonds are very expensive!” remarked Satya.
“Yes,” replied the man. “I keep them next to me to make sure that no packet is stolen.”
“Why, did anyone steal them recently?” asked Satya.
The man told him how an ex-employee named Nandu was fired just a fortnight ago for stealing them.
“The fellow had been stealing them for months! Being a diabetic, he stole only the nuts, never the sweets,” said the man with a laugh.
Satya heard the same lanky man yell at someone. “Who’s that?” asked Satya.
The man added a huge ladle of ghee into the halwa and explained that he was their grouchy supervisor. “Always complaining about his petty salary and cursing Ashok sa’ab,” he said.
Just as he was wondering if the supervisor had anything to do with the kidnapping, Satya heard his father’s voice outside and quickly left the kitchen to join him.
“Where have the kidnappers taken Rohit?” Satya asked his father on their way home. “No idea,” replied his father. “One of Rohit’s friends saw a hefty man dressedin black and wearing a hat give Rohit a small box and soon after, he saw Rohit get into an auto with the man. “This means that the supervisor is not the kidnapper,” Satya told himself.
The next day, Satya walked to the auto stand near the school. He described the man and Rohit to the drivers there and asked them if they had seen the two.
“Yes I did,” replied one driver. “When I dropped them off, the nasty man thrust two greasy, soiled 100 rupee notes in my hand. Ugh!”
He took out the notes from his pocket and showed them to Satya. They reeked of ghee! Satya asked the driver to take him to the place where he had dropped them. The auto driver took him to a deserted, old ramshackle shed. The door was locked. Satya got in through a broken window at the back. A box containing badaamhalwa and a medicine strip lay on the floor. He heard some muffled sounds and walked into a tiny, filthy room. There he saw Rohit tied and gagged in one corner. Quickly, he untied him.
A scared Rohit blurted out how one of the men who worked at their shop had brought him there. “I can’t remember his name,” he said. Satya had a hunch who the kidnapper was. “Let’s get out of here quickly!” he told Rohit. Pocketing the strip of medicine, he ran out with Rohit. The auto was still out there.
On the way, Satya stopped at a pharmacy. He showed the tablets to the pharmacist who told him that they were for diabetic people. Satya immediately called up Ashok uncle from his cell phone and said, “The hefty man who kidnapped Rohit is Nandu. Uncle, please inform the police so that they can catch him when he returns to the shed.”
“How did you know it was Nandu?” Mr. Ashok asked Satya when he brought Rohit home.Satya told him about the box of halwa he found there and showed him the medicine strip. “The kidnapper is diabetic and so is Nandu,” he exclaimed.
Meanwhile, the police called saying that they had nabbed Nandu. They wanted someone to go over to the police station to identify him.
“Thank you, Satya!said Mr. Ashok with tears in his eyes. “These two boxes are for you! They contain the best of my badaamhalwa.