FISHING IN TROUBLED WATERS
By Neel Anil Panicker
The splash of waters could be heard even from a distance.
Sitting on the bench, ringed by a circular parapet, Imtiaz and Asma watched their kids___eight year old Latif and five year old Azma_dipping their fingers in the froth filled waters and squealing in delight every time they spotted or felt a small fish slip through their nimble fingers.
Meanwhile, their nimble bodies swayed rhythmically as the small boat on which they were bobbed languidly in the placid afternoon waters.
“I am so glad you could take time out. The kids look so happy.”
Imtiaz turned around and nodded his head in assertion.
His hesitant eyes caught the twinkle in her eyes.
Something in them made him to turn his gaze away.
She mustn’t know; at least not until he had exhausted all his resources; expended every conceivable excuse that could pass muster with his bosses.
‘No. Imtiaz, there is no option but for you to go. And it is in your best interests that you take up this new position’.
The words of his employer sent a chill down his spine.
He knew what they meant.
His boss had extended a warning, a a veiled threat. The orders that followed left no room for doubt or ambiguity.
‘Proceed immediately for Kashmir. Also, remember, this is covert operation that’s been conducted without the formal nod of the Defence Ministry. As such complete secrecy has to be maintained.
Which means you will tell your wife and children that you are leaving for Dubai on a six month official trip. Also remember, you come back only when we hear the news confirming the death of Abu Bakr.’
The words ‘Abu Bakr’ mouthed my his boss sent a chill down his spine.
Who hadn’t heard of Abu ‘Mutton Bakr?
One of the most wanted global terrorists___the man responsible for the Kolkata Metro bomb blasts as well as the brazen attack on an Indian Army camp in Pathankot.
His bosses had given him his toughest and most dangerous assignment so far and he was expected to deliver as he had been delivering all this years.
Only difference: this time if he failed he wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale; his enemies, the country’s enemies would ensure that.
“What are you dreaming about, my dear handsome husband. Isn’t it time we went ordered lunch”?
Caught off guard, Imtiaz sheepishly looked at her wife and replied, albeit haltingly, “Sure, as you say, love. Let me go ferry the kids back”.
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FFfAW Challenge – 169th