Novella #1: The Bike Babaji
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
9. THE FAMOUS BAKER
Read from First Chapter here.
Read Previous Chapter here.
Previously on The Bike Babaji: The conference meeting at DGP headquarters had concluded with Doug being asked to pursue the home robbery convicts under disguise.
4th Monday November, 12:05 p.m.
Mike came back to the tea stall after withdrawing money from ATM. The baker was still watching the news channel seriously.
“One tea please” requested Mike with a genial tone. It wasn’t enough to distract the baker from the News channel. The News channel was aloud,
“... even though the picture is obscure, well, uh it’s a considerable and significant clue to approach this case. It has taken a different direction now...”
Mike raised his voice, “Bro! One tea please?”
The baker turned around incensed. Upon seeing Mike, he immediately changed his reaction, and became affable. “Oh, sorry, sorry. Your tea is right away! With or without sugar?”
“With sugar. Any sensational news? You seemed to be into the TV”, asked Mike.
The baker laughed boisterously as he was pouring Mike’s tea to the tea glass. “Oh yeah. You see, our city Ben Galore had been very safe and secure for quite a while. But all changed two years back. First it was home robbery and now it is bikes. You seem to be new to the city? Where are you from?”
“I just moved in. I was working in nearby town, Belmont. I read about these robberies in newspapers. It seems to be a puzzle for the cops ah!”
The baker was proud in having identified correctly that Mike was new to the area. He smiled fervently and handed over the tea to Mike. “Yes, and I’ve been following this news from the beginning ah. And you know what? I can tell you for sure when is the next robbery going be happen?”
“What? Really”, asked Mike surprised.
“You see bro, Last five months, every first Sunday there’s a bike that has been stolen. And all were new bikes. You see even yesterday in York Avenue a new bike had been stolen, and it was the first Sunday of this month. So now, mark my words, next month, December 2nd, another new bike will be stolen for sure. How’s my detective skills ah?” said the baker moving his eyebrows up and down with a broad smile in his face.
Hearing this Mike was disturbed and was thinking about his bike. Being new to the area, he didn’t want the baker to know about his newly purchased bike. He replied, “Amazing.”
The baker continued, “I should be working for the police! Instead I’m selling tea as a baker in a corner of city”.
“Yes, you seem to be an intelligent baker. What about this area? Is it safe?”
The baker thought for a while. “I think… in our Staff Colony…. ummm, there was one home invasion two streets away last year. After that incident things have been safe here. I see that you are worried bro. Don’t worry! Never fear when this bakery man is near. I’ve been running this bakery for 7 years now. I’m famous in this area you know, I am the only shop to close by 11:30 p.m. and open early by sharp 6 a.m. By the way where do you live?”
Mike felt reassured now. “I just moved into #157, ground floor”.
“Oh, it’s Teja’s home. Your owner is staying in Maruthi Layout, right?”, the baker asked.
“Yes, but how come you know him?”.
“I told you right. I’m famous here, everyone knows me and I know everyone. Teja comes once in three months to check things around here. And he never misses to have tea at my shop whenever he comes. You see, even though he has rented out this home, he likes this building very much. It was the first property that he had purchased. He is a very powerful businessman, and he has many political and police friends”
“Oh, you seem to know more about my owner than me ah” remarked Mike. “Okay then, how much for the tea?”
“10 bucks but since you interrupted me while watching News it’ll be 15 bucks” said the baker in a sturdy tone.
“What?” asked Mike surprised.
The baker broke into laughter. “I was kidding bro! It is just 8 bucks. If you don’t have the change then you can pay me later. No issues.”
Mike sought his wallet, found the change and paid him. He then walked towards his home thoughtfully. Need to safeguard my bike. He had to join work today but he had asked for a day off to settle things at his new home. He may have to attend a short online call to connect with the new team for his induction. So, he reckoned he might be getting a call or message from his manager anytime now. Thinking about it, his hands reached into his pockets and took out the mobile. Exactly then it sounded an incoming message which read:
“Important Meeting at 12:30 p.m. Please plan to attend”
[To be continued]