By Neel Anil Panicker
Customs Officer Dilbagh Singh’s eyes traced the eyes of the tall slim figure who had suddenly stopped and was now staring at the giant plasma screens on the wall opposite him.
From a discreet distance Dilbagh watched as the bearded man clad in a dapper off grey business suit studied the red and green colour coded computerised blips that fleeted in and out of the screen.
Frankfurt: yellow Delay 45 mns
Berlin: green departure gate No. 6
Wait, the man’s stopped at the last scroll.
He read it again:
DEL_BNGK FLIGHT NO. – AC629 STATUS- CANCELLED
Dilbagh raised his eyes above the edge of the newspaper.
He watched the slightly changed contours of the man’s face.
A slight twitching of the eyes followed.
The man slapped his right hand to his thigh in exasperation.
Then, he stood motionless for a second, absolutely immobile, the eyes half closed as if he were contemplating something. Then, almost equally quickly, he opened his eyes and sprang back to life.
Dilbagh half ran behind his quarry as the man sped towards the exit gates.
Watching him scamper past the sea of afternoon travellers, Dilbagh spoke into his walk talkie.
“Quick. The smuggler is leaving. Arrest him before he exchanges the gold”.
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