Konkan Connections – 19

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Sad news it was…There was raid on Abdul and brigade’s villa as anticipated  by him earlier in the day, there was a real danger of becoming police preys. But, before Xavier and brigade can act, the inevitable happened! The gang members were not traceable! Still, there is no room for caution. The all four and the gangsters on the loose are all seasoned characters! When Xavier got a call early in the morning at 04:27 AM, he realized there should be a trouble in UP.  Kasargod Mani was on the line. Xavier blamed himself and the bad situation they were in! He and his other three companions were in a state of shock. The situation was thus,  even a intelligent head of a state will bang his head to the walls where he lives in,  before taking a decision! Not a comfy situation for even one’s enemy to be in; Leave alone a friend!!


Yashwant was the first to cozy up to Xavier and say that, still the problem can be solved. Abraham also put up a brave front, as he had many people among his cronies who happened to be from the Hindi heartland!! Only Kudwa could give the uttappa smile and try to handle the situation, as he had never been to the north of Madhya Pradesh and knew the places only as seen on the Indian map. As Xavier woke up every one in the wee hours of the morning, all jumped to their feet as to what can be done immediately to restore peace in a trying situation like a raid on one’s confidantes!


Xavier had told all, that the problem would be solved. Please hit the bed and wake up calmly so the tension does not show up on their faces when they wake up again. There was no reason to worry. The boys are smart enough to take care of themselves. They have been provided enough money. They can fend for themselves. Only regret was Xavier could not act swiftly as always, as they all were under pressure regarding the surprisingly new revelations of Subraya Bhat.


09:17 AM…Xavier’s mobile rang?.


"Hello…


"Saheb..Abdul…"


‘Yes..Abdul..Where are you and?..’Xavier jumped from his seat?


‘We are at Nasebullah’s guest house??Saheb?we could escape  in time….’.stated Abdul..


Xavier sighed with relief?. ‘ My God!?I  was really  worried? How is every one?’


‘Saheb…we  all are safe?Naseebbhai has put up all at his Pahar Ganzh guest house..but..he is saying that we may have to move faster from here as there is more danger here…


Delhi police  always conducts surprise raids here?it is no safe place   at all?We had no choice?UP police chased us till Greater Noida…Our driver Suleiman drew the Tata  Sumo like a champion?.We all survived the chase…


‘He will be rewarded…not to worry?God is great..’ Xavier bit his tongue?how in trouble a human being uses God’s name?he used to make fun of people  earlier…and now he himself…!


‘Abdul?give me time till 11:30 am. I will call the contacts in Delhi and arrange for you all a getaway from Delhi, till then  all you guys move separately to Dev Sharma’s travel agency at Chandni Chowk. Move separately in Autos and reach Janata Deluxe Hotel. You all know Southern Travels office?stay there?only one guy….you or someone will call me or Dev Sharma?no need to panic?just maintain calm. I will get you all checked in the next available flight ‘Go Air’ or ‘Indian’ from Palam airport to Ahmedabad.


I will see that you reach safely to Vadodara. I will put you up  at Hameed  Bhai’s place.


‘Thank you sahib?’Abdul was shedding tears of gratitude.


As the phone disconnected, all the other three gathered around Xavier. They were proud of Xavier. He had the knack of keeping his cool in trying situations and managing the show. He was yet to present the   brilliant idea he thought yesterday, while talking to Abdul.


"Guys, I have a very good plan?I forgot to mention it to you because of this problems…" Xavier spoke as if he read their minds.


All the three were all ears to Xavier!


" I would like to put two guys from Abdul’s brigade at Fr. Augustine’s place as destitutes! Two of them,  who are poor and nobody to take care of, but can work in the Ashram’s farm or in the kitchen. How’s the idea?


Xavier looked around proudly?


All the three were ecstatic!


‘We can keep a check on Augustine and that Williams as well..’ Kudwa exclaimed in ecstasy?


Yashwant gave a broad smile?.Abraham shook his head in all happiness?!


" This way we can keep a track on Fr. Augustine and Fr. William’s activities and also save our two guys from  any possible Police action?.Xavier was speaking continuously…


‘ Also I will separate the others and send them to different places , so they can save themselves and be ready for any strike in the near future. Jingush Mehta….Sanjit Jain… Enemies are growing more than fingers on our hands; Xavier looked very meaningfully at his colleagues.


All the three shook their heads in agreement.


‘Only question before us is , whom to select? Who will be the first two to be selected to stay at Fr. Augustine’s Ashram at Vasai" Xavier looked around with a straight nose.


***********


‘Sangeet Ashram’ situated at the  East of Vasai  Rly. Station in Mumbai, on a sprawling land of 12 acres housing the music academy, home for the old and disabled; also an NGO for destitutes. The buildings were surrounded by botanical gardens, flowers of different kinds and a breath taking scenery created by an artificial lake behind the main building and in front of the home for the disabled.


There was a silence all over. Only ragas emanating from the throats of the budding singers who were putting their vocal chords to practice, which otherwise  known as riyaz. One could see European students walking around the place. The foreigners have come to study Indian classical music. There was certain calm in the area. No shrieks and sounds. Parking place for vehicles were very far. There was no disturbance in the area.


 Fr. Augustine, the architect of this place wanted a silent ambience. He had a hut in this area and tribals had donated him this place. A meager one and a half acres. Every one is surprised to know how the hutment grew to be a huge mansion and huge buildings came up surrounding it. Ask any passerby. He will tell you , it  is because of foreign donations. But, why the foreigners need to donate and that also to Fr. Augustine above all people!


 A huge cross at the entrance which is lit throughout the day. A candle stand in front  of the cross. The cross which has Jesus crucified on it was ordered from Italy, and the chapel adjoining the lake has decors, murals imported from Italy. But, Fr. Augustine is not a Roman Catholic anymore even though he was one by birth! He hails from Manjeshwar, Kasargod District. His parents were from Puttur. His father was an attorney during British Raj.  There have been rumors,   to appease the British, his father embraced a new religious order called the Bible fellowship, which had its roots in England and now spread across USA and other European countries.


 Fr. Augustine and his brother, sister and their mother continued to follow Roman Catholic norms. But, as they say like father like son, fifteen years ago Fr. Augustine too joined his father’s footsteps and  joined  this  religious forum  which has a large following in far east as well. Since then, people around this area say this place has become a haven for music, biblical teachings and a place where lesser   Indians than foreign students live. Money has been pouring from every where, to one’s chagrin and Fr. Augustine with his French beard walks around in old robes. Except gold rimmed spectacles he does not have any gold on his body.


A medium frame of wheatish complexioned personality gifted with a mellifluous voice who is  also known for his oratorical skills. Not so long ago Father stood against the land sharks from north India , got assaulted many times, still jumped to the rescue of the tribals . He succeeded in returning the land to the tribals but the land sharks who were imprisoned had their kith and kin baying for his blood. But, still Fr. Augustine walks freely. He has a Tata Sumo, Toyota Qualis and old vintage rolls!! Still, at times he roams around freely among the locals and frequents the markets, flower shops and musical instruments shops without any qualm. He does not seem to be worried at all about his security. The locals say He has some kind of power. He drives away demons. He is fearless and a man of strong convictions and a man of extremes. If he cares for you He cares  till death and If he He hates you He hates you till life!!   What is his power, no one knows!

Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai


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