9

The syndicate had approved the fresh recruitment of the new couriers. The new recruitment was taking place in his part too when boss called him; “You keep on visiting area where the university and other educational institutes are situated everyday. We want you to breaking in some girls for our job”.

Ranjit had so far known only those girls who were brought in by his friends for consideration of money for their entertainment to his grand mother’s house in her absence. Suspecting that his boss is also looking for a quick release of similar kind he fetched one of the girls to him. The girl was an uncouth and loud mouth of a commercial sex worker. She had been brought in by one of his friends for a nightlong rendezvous many times earlier too. As soon as she looked at his boss she had remarked, “You bought me here for this old crap. I am sure his better half would have rejected him and that is why he is looking for a quick entertainment outside home. Did not the pimp tell you I spend no time with old hags”?

The boss threw him out along with the girl. “This is not the kind I had asked for Youngman. I do not need a female for my personal use. I am a happily married man”. Ranjit got perplexed “then why the hell have you been asking for a female. I thought you were looking for a quick release”.

“Oh shut up, we need girls for our operations. The cops are getting too smart and dangerous. People like you who go to the university or colleges without actually studying there are the first suspects the cops look for nowadays. So the earliest thing you have to do is take admission into the university”.

“But I do not want to study any further I left my studies in the young age when I had dropped from out of school itself,” said Ranjit.

“You will have to resume it again now; we will arrange for your graduation degree from any other place along with other migration papers. You will soon be joining the university’.

‘But I said I do not want to study further,” Ranjit insisted.

“Shut up and listen to me”, the boss was losing his patience, “We do not want to make a pedagogue out of you. You have to ensure the fresh recruitment of some of the vulnerable young girls from the educational institutes for our internationally operative l wing. These girls will act as couriers for us. We cannot risk sending material through men any more as they are becoming soft targets for the authorities. The girls have to be sent to Middle East, Europe and other countries as newly wed brides. It is seen that with huge immigration rush on for these countries; the cops and customs in India do not suspect the newly weds much. There is a mad scramble in India to send their wards abroad for earning dollars”.

Thus Ranjit had started his foray into the academic world even though he had no intentions of learning the black words in his life. His papers initially had been made out for political science department; the migration papers were procured from a not so well known university of central India for having graduated last year.

“Well at last I have been able to fulfill the dream of the lifetime of my father”, he smiled to himself on the irony of fate. “If only I could show this degree to him, he will be too happy. But the old shark will know the fakes from originals and spoil the entire game plan of my getting rich and making huge chunks of money in life”.

The first victim who fell a prey to his villainous charms was a girl from some village near the border town of Amarpur. Ranjit had looked at her for the first time when she had walked into the classroom he was attending. She appeared quite vulnerable, innocent, as if she was lost and unsure of herself in this city life to which she had been transposed by her parent’s ambitious dreams.  She appeared like a perfect untouched village belle with her innocence still protected. She was dressed in simple clothes. Her hair had been done up in two simple plaits. She displayed and carried a touch of total simplicity around her. Ranjit had been trained to spot such plain and blameless looking girls.

He remembered how he was often made to sit in the room by the Boss “you must observe the formation of ants crawling up on to a wall. Up above on the same wall spider would lay in waiting to entangle the ants in its web spread”. The boss would tell him “just observe how the spider waits in its web spread patiently for the ant to come near by. The spider strikes at the ant only when he is sure the ant can not escape his clutches. We want you to show the same patience when you spot a talented female in life. You will strike only when you are crystal-clear and certain you will convert her to your need”.

He would during such moments look at the cobweb very closely. He often noticed that many an ants had lost their life to the patient wait of the spider that was cunning enough to make his move at the appropriate time, “if only the ants could see that the spider was not dead but a death in the waiting, that would have kept them alive and not the spider”.

He kept her under his  close watch and surveillance  for a couple of days while at the same time making it obvious to the girl that he was keen to speak to her and make friends with her . Like a spider that had spread his deadly web, Ranjit too would arouse enough interest of his victim before he made his move on the appropriate day. He will be moving closer to her only after she had been made to fall a victim to his charms.  And then he ensured sitting next to her in the classroom. He deliberately spoke to her in fluent English in order to impress her.  And when she felt awkward answering to him in the same language; Ranjit immediately switched to the local language “I have come here from England and am new to the place. Do you mind helping me and showing around the place”, he paused to see the effect and the impact of his statement on her. He could see that every time the girl was so much impressed as he had mentioned England.

‘Of course I will not mind’ she had shown her enthusiasm immediately. He conjured up a set of parents in England who wanted their only son to study in India before settling down life. The small tidbits talks gradually improved into long dates with the girl. The instructions given to Ranjit were very clear and specific, “none of the girls you will date need ever know about your parents or any other connection in India, nor will you ever indulge into any bodily contacts with any one of them”.

He was given a few bottles of perfumes and other cosmetics etc specially marked made in England or US to present to the females he befriended. Such smaller gifts and presents carried a lot of meaning for the girls. Presenting the first bottle to her he remarked, “My uncle has come from London and brought this for you particularly. I had written to my parents about you; because some day I want to take you there with me”. This was a direct message of matrimony for any simple girl.

Surjit that was her name had come to the town to pursue higher education in order to further her marriage prospects. She came from a family of marginal farmers whose land holdings with each division in the family; have been reduced to the extent that it became barely possible to keep the kitchen fire going. The small piece of land eventually would often be either sold out or hypothecated to the village money lender to send their unemployed sons abroad with the hope they would make enough dollars abroad to buy another land holding or get the lease vacated. Yet seldom would their sons return and it often happened that the old couple died waiting for the sons of soil to come back. Similarly when it came to their daughters of the family, the same parents eagerly looked forward to a suitable groom from abroad for them. Such marriages of their daughters brought not only prosperity to the family; there was also a lot of prestige attached to such matrimonial relations with grooms settled abroad. It was a status to have a son- in- law working in as foreign country. A few of the girls from Surjit’s village were married to the boys from Middle East, Germany and some of the other lesser known South American countries. Whenever these girls sent some overseas goodies home; the same will be shown around to every one in the village. The girls who were married off to the boys from the distant lands were also regularly sending dollars to their parents which when converted into the local currency brought a grand affluence to the family. Such parents whose daughters had gone abroad would soon move into new dwellings made out of cement and bricks and their houses will soon out shine all other buildings in the locality. These new houses were in a way an express disapproval to their other neighbors over their dilapidated houses. This in a way would motivate them to either go abroad themselves or to have a daughter lucky enough to get them such a son- in- law. “Pray god bless us with an alliance for our   daughter with a bridegroom settled in a foreign country so that she can migrate abroad”, were the daily prayers these parents made to their deity.

Ranjit found her lost in a beautiful reverie and daydreaming. He enquired her, ‘Hey where are you lost. I just want you to try this perfume”.  He took out the bottle from his hip pocket and stealthily showered a whiff of Channel Seven on her face, satisfying the atmosphere with very pleasant fragrance.

Surjit awoke from her dreams and came back, “Are you sure you want to take me to your parents? In that case you have to come to our village with me. You will have to speak to my father about it. I am sure he will be too keen to have you as his son- in- law”.

Ranjit Sehgal did not anticipate such a quick reaction to his overture from her nor was he prepared to handle this. “May be this will have to be sorted out by the boss, meeting the girls parents or any relations can complicate the matters as they will definitely go for verification of the antecedents”.  He related the situation to boss.

“So she wants you to meet her parents. That can complicate the matter’.

‘Because they will insist on meeting my family” Ranjit asked Boss.

“Do not worry, it can be managed. We will have to make it a very quick affair. I may have to accompany you to the village. Better still if she can bring her parents to the city. Your wedding ceremony with her must be performed immediately.  You must thereafter fly as soon as possible along with her to Middle East”.

“How do you suggest I can do that? Both I and that girl will require passports and other travel documents. Besides the girl has merely mentioned about meeting her father, she has not said about getting married immediately”, Ranjit retorted.

“You must have trust in  me and leave everything to us. The travel papers along with the passports will be delivered before the wedding takes place. We must not lose the opportunity of getting you married to her.  If it gets delayed the other issues can crop up.  The earlier you take away such girls from their surroundings the better it is for all of us.  I am sure you have not become very familiar face in the university as yet. Your absence for a few days will be of no concern to any one. Once she has flown with you to Dubai we will take of her from there. You come back to India and start your hunt all over again”, said the boss. “I shall be acting as your uncle from abroad who has come to India with the urgent mission to get you married because your mother is suffering from serious ailment and wants you to get into matrimony before her end calls’.

The girl had taken a day off. She had to go to her village to bring her parents to city so that Ranjit and his uncle could speak to them about the wedding.  Ranjit and his uncle had stayed back in town insisting they had to make arrangements for the wedding. They said they also will get the travel documents prepared for her going abroad. The girl’s parents could hardly believe their luck when she broke the news about her proposed wedding to them. Her mother had become quite jubilant. She told the other members of their family, “It is our good luck that our daughter is in love with a boy from England. He also happens to be her class mate. It is so wonderful that he wants to marry our daughter. He wants her to travel with him to foreign country? God save her love from the evil eyes of our enemies. We must keep everything under wraps till the marriage is solemnized. I am afraid that any one of our rival families from the village can create some kind of hurdles or hindrance. Some of our neighbors as well as some of our relations will become covetous of us if they come to know that we have fixed such a   good bridegroom for our daughter.  Let no one bode any kind of ill will against us. Let no one cast an evil eye”.

“We do not have to spend any thing on the wedding expense.  I feel that is the best part.  He is not even asking for dowry for marrying our simpleton daughter. Let all of us pray that she settles down well. We will also migrate to England in future”, her father had said. “Will you call us there or will you also forget your folks once you become a phirangi. Like some of the other girls of our village have forgotten their parents. They just keep on sending only dollars for their parents”.

The girl just hugged her father and stated, “Do you believe I will ever do that kind of thing to my own family. Of course I will sponsor all of you to England. We will all stay together in my house once I am able to set up my own marital home”.

The wedding of Ranjit and that girl took place in a small guesthouse. A village Priest had been fetched by the uncle. “We are sorry for the arrangements done in a hurry as I have to take the newly weds back with me to London to attend to my ailing sister. She has got only a few days to live. She is very eager to meet her daughter in law before she dies”, the uncle had bluffed the parents of the girl.

Ranjit traveled with her the same evening to New Delhi, from where they took an onward flight to Dubai. The poor parents little realizing the profession their daughter will be forced to take to. All they knew was that there daughter is happily married.  She will continue writing to them once in a while along with a few hundred dollars sent by the boss.

Ranjit got married in this fashion quite a number of times. He would be flying the same evening to different destinations abroad. He had never ever consummated any one of the matrimonies he entered into. He had not even once tried to violate the code of conduct specified by the Boss of the syndicate. His job assigned to him will be over the moment these females were taken to a foreign land. These girls were left in the care of a local contactor there from. He will have to thereafter vanish from the scene. The syndicate there will deal with the girls from that point onwards.

‘There is a big market available for these girls. The clients in the foreign lands value the virginity.  Of late it is noticed that the customers in different countries abroad have a liking for Indian girls over other communities e.g. Thai’s, Chinese or Burmese”. The Boss also told him “The traders of flesh are merciless when it comes to dealing with girls who do not want to go along with them. In an alien land with no proof of identity on her and with the shock of having been abandoned by the duping husband these poor females will break down quite easily. None of these females therefore dare defy the syndicate”.

Ranjit once had checked into one of the back lane hotels in Dubai along with his newly wed. He told her, “you can rest for a while; I am going downstairs to find out the arrangements of the sight seeing in this city.  I will see if we can take the coach“.

“What sight seeing my dear? Let us get to look at the sight of each other first. I can hardly wait to get into your arms. Let us take off on the much awaited honeymoon together”, the girl had held him from his back. She started pulling him towards her.

He gently pushed her away “I shall not take long. You just change your clothes. I will be back in a jiffy”

He took the lift downstairs and waited in the lobby for the telephone call from the local contact. Some one had been deployed by the syndicate to escort the girl from thereafter. Ranjit was scared of going up to the room upstairs lest she forced him into any kind of physical contact. The code of conduct set by the boss should not get desecrated.

“Mr. Ranjit Sehgal, could you please contact at the reception counters. There is a call for you” the placard carried the message. The bellboy was also ringing a small bell to attract attention of the guests.   Ranjit did not realize initially that it was for him. The word Sehgal caught his attention. Someone was paging for him. He wanted to run away from there. He had feared the worst. Has the girl run away? But she was waiting in her romantic mood into the room in anticipation of getting the love of her life into her arms.

“I am Sehgal” he went to the front office and announced his name. The receptionist pointed him towards the private booth where he could take his call.

“Hi my name is Masood Azar.  I would like you to bring the girl to Sharjah. You can meet me at Hotel AL Fatah room number 325. There is a car waiting for you outside. The driver of the car will bring you straight to my room once you reach the hotel. You do not have to check out from here. We will take care of your baggage. Your hotel bill will also be paid by one of our boys”.

“But I do not understand. We have just come in half an hour ago. We both are tired due to jetlag. Besides how do I explain this to her”, Ranjit had said.

“You will do as you are told. We do not hear any arguments. You may tell her you want to celebrate your honeymoon in a better place”,   Masood Azar had chuckled on the other side of the telephone line.

She was sleeping when he came back to the room. Ranjit woke her up. She raised both her hands. She put them on his face and kissed him on the lips. “Yes my love sorry I had passed out” she put the weight of her heavy bosom on his face as she brought herself closer to him.  She pulled him towards the bed. “How long do we have to wait to consummate our new relationship? Please come near me. I am dying to get your touch of love,” she again brought her lips near to his.

Ranjit found it quite suffocating. He was at the same time feeling hardness between his legs. Her scent of the woman had weakened him for a split second momentarily. He was about to give in but he remembered the directive given to him by his boss “these females are not meant for you. Consider them as the merchandise to be delivered by a carrier.  Your job is that of the transporters’  who though should be only worried about his freight charges after the consignment has reached its place’, he smiled to himself, “the advisor must have been a truck driver”, he thought. He gently pushed her away and freed himself from her, “Come let us get going. I do not like this filthy place.  We must check into a better hotel to start with.  The whole place is stinking”.

She looked at him askance “but I find this hotel quite comfortable.  I do not feel any stink in this joint. What is wrong with you?  Are you avoiding me now that I am available to you? Oh come on I have heard people talking fondly of their romance of the first night. Here I am still looking up to my man to make the first move. We have been traveling all the while after the wedding. I am sure you did not marry me to look at the hotels and airports only”, she had put both her arms on his neck and rubbed herself against him.

Ranjit could again feel his desire growing for her. He controlled himself with great amount of self control. He opened the door of the hotel room. “We are going to a much romantic place in Sharjah. My friends have arranged our stay at Hotel Al Fatah. They have also sent the car for us.  Believe me you will enjoy the stay”.

‘Oh I thought you have married me so that we can enjoy each other” the girl taunted.” Oh come on! You must see I am offering myself to you in the most natural fashion”. She removed the bed sheet that was covering her. The sight of her lying naked under the sheets virtually gave Ranjit an electric shock. She was wearing nothing on her.

He averted his eyes from her and pulled a few clothes from the suitcase, which was lying open on the table in the middle of the room. He threw those clothes towards her.

“There are friends waiting for us in the lobby. We must hurry up otherwise they will come upstairs. We will not have time for a relaxed love making on our first wedding night. I am sure you want us to enjoy the process of this heavenly meet of the soul and bodies in a complete leisure and relaxed mood in our own sweet time”. He did not want to give her the impression that he was avoiding her.  Hence he gently pecked her with his lips on her lips. He found it difficult to hide his manhood while passing through the lobby downstairs to reach the car. It was almost a close shave today. He must visit some place for a quick let loose once she was delivered into the rightful hands. Ranjit wanted to speak to the driver of the car on way to Sharjah but the chauffer shut him off stating, “No Hindi or English please”.