The next day was my first day at my new job. I was all excited. Mr. Chopra, er., Ravi (he asked me to call him that) and I met at the office at 8 AM sharp and we left together.
“What case are you working on right now?” I asked, my heart beating faster by the minute.
“This is not exactly a case. We have to just see what a particular man does? Just routine stuff.”
Tailing a man! That was right up my alley. Remember Laura Holt of the famous detective serial Remington Steele? She is an expert in tailing criminals. I could use some tips from her.
“He must be a hardened criminal,” I asked.
“On the contrary, he is a top executive in a multinational firm. At least, that is what he told his would-be bride.”
“Is he involved in some industrial espionage? That would be exciting,” I was not ready to give up.
“Not that I know of. All we are supposed to check is whatever he claims is true or not.”
Frowning, I sat behind Ravi on his motorbike. Brushing off all thoughts of this being an uninteresting task, I concentrated on where Ravi was taking me.
Ravi drove through the traffic within the limits. We reached a residential area in the suburbs. He parked the motorbike and asked me to follow him. It was precisely 8.30 in the morning. Ravi stationed himself behind a large dustbin near the gate of a park.
“What are we doing here?” I asked.
“Shh shh.” The man lives in the opposite building on the first floor. He will leave for the office anytime now.”
10 minutes passed, then a 20, then a 30, then a 40. Absolutely nobody came out of the building. I was getting cramped at my sides. Such a long wait! I had never waited for anybody in my life. We, teenagers, live on the fast lane. Aw, come on, even Sherlock Holmes worked faster than this.
“Are you sure the man is in the building to come out?”
“He never left the place last night. I was here the whole night.”
“Could he have left before we came?”
“He would close the balcony door, before leaving. That is what he usually does. Without the metal grills, the flat is not safe. I have been tailing him for the last one month. It appears that he has been on vacation, for too long.
At that moment, their patience was rewarded. The door suddenly closed and in 2 minutes the man came out of the building.
“That’s him,” Ravi whispered. They waited till the man reached his scooter, to leave their hiding place.
Perched on the motorbike, both the detectives shot off in pursuit of the man.
“Did you check the company, he supposedly works for?” I enquired.
“They refused to supply any information about their employees.”
“Can’t we disguise as Income Tax officials and check that angle?”
“Kiran, you have a very fertile imagination,” he chuckled.
“I am serious, Ravi. Most detectives do precisely that.”
“And end up being booked for trespassing in other’s profession? No, Ma’am. Let’s keep that kind of detection to fiction and higher operatives. We’ll take the easier way out.”
I think I had better sum up what we did after that, otherwise, this narrative will become too detailed an account. It could even get plain boring. We tailed him to an illegal gambling den and found out that he was up to his neck in debts. He must have thought that marriage was the only way out of his predicament. Ravi took plenty of photographs, which would satisfy their client.
By lunch time, I was very hungry. Ravi took me to a nearby restaurant, which was ‘decent’.
“If I were alone, I would have gone anywhere to have a bite or even skip lunch,” he explained.
After lunch, he called the office to give the details of the successful conclusion of the case.
To be continued…