Novella #1: The Bike Babaji
Updated: Oct 31, 2020
18. BABAJI IN TROUBLE
Read First Chapter here.
Read Previous Chapter here.
Previously on The Bike Babaji: Vinod ran into Inspector Douglas near the tea stall and Father Antony called James to caution him.
4th Monday November, 09:08 p.m.
It had been a tough day for Mike settling into the new neighborhood. He settled things at home and took short breaks to visit the tea stall. He was enjoying the jocular conversations with the baker Babu over a cup of tea. He went to shop groceries during the day and was ready to start using his kitchen.
As far as work is concerned he had been sent to this branch for an important task. And he was reminded of that during the call with his boss earlier in the day. He needs to work harder and at the same time be smart.
Days gone by. It had been a week now. James and Vinod were diligently learning the routine schedule of Mike. He wakes up around 6 a.m. and comes out at 6:45 a.m. to dust his bike; he doesn't unlock his bike while dusting. He washed his bike on Friday after having washed it on Monday earlier. He leaves for office at 8 a.m. from his home. Interesting thing was that daily he briefly left his bike unlocked in the street in order to lock the front door of the house. The distance between his front door and the place where he left his bike in the street was around 6 to 7 meters and the view from the front door did not give a full picture of the location of bike in the street. He had to lock the house, get pass the front gate and then turn left to get to his bike. So, there was a valuable 27 seconds gap where Mike will not be aware about what's happening in the street while he is locking his house. This was what James needed. The Golden Hour.
After the unexpected meet with Inspector Douglas on Monday, Vinod was anxious and scared. The first thing he did after the meet was, run back to James.
"Babaji I was thinking... uh... we will skip this bike babaji... shall we look for another bike?" he said with a nervous tone.
"Well what happened to you? I thought you are taking a break and getting your clothes sold off?" replied James.
"I was. But I thought I should tell you this. That bike... let's not steal that babaji. Let's look for a different one,"
James was perplexed. Just few mins before Father Antony had warned him over the phone call to be careful and now this guy walks back to tell that this isn't the right bike. He was growing tired. "What's gotten into you? Why not this bike?"
"Well, Babaji... ah... sorry Jimji, this bike is ... is..." Vinod was figuring to say something, "it is big Jimji. This bike is big. That's why. It'll be difficult for us to snatch it and runaway."
"Well, you don't have to worry about that Vinod. Bigger the bikes, heavier the amount."
Vinod was now frustrated with himself. He knew something which James didn't but he can't divulge it to him. So, he tried to indirectly convey it and caution him. "No Jimji. Let's not steal this bike. I ..."
"Shut up. I've had enough for the day. I am going to steal that Royal Enfield bike. And that's the final decision. If you are interested you can stay with me or else you can leave me."
"Oh no no Jimji, I will stay with you. I will not leave. Whatever you say Jimji. I won't question it."
After this quarrelsome conversation with James on that day, Vinod had become unquestioningly obedient, following whatever orders James gave. And along with James, he had been in vigilance around the clock for a week now. As each day passed by, he was getting perturbed about what is going to happen.
To be precise, he was worried about what is going to happen to James if he were to steal this Royal Enfield bike. His Babaji was in trouble.
[To be continued]