Dr. Krishna "Chanakya" rushed down the stairs of the temple occasionally skipping one or two stairs . The temperature on that day was rather humid despite of it being the month of October...
Drenched in sweat holding a handkerchief in his right hand , Krishna kept wiping the beads of sweat on his forehead while moving recklessly . He was irritated as his driver Akram wasn't attending his calls . He kept calling him and waited outside the temple .
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath..." I'll reach on time " said Krishna opening his eyes assuring himself . Delhi being famous for it's traffic jams didn't let anyone's expectations down . Cars , auto-rickshaws , buses and two wheelers was all Krishna could see as far as his sight travelled . "Akram may be stuck in the traffic " thought Krishna and without wasting a moment moved ahead looking for a public bus.
"Centre for Policy Research " or "Think Tank" as people prefer to call it is a body which works intimately with the government advising it on foreign policies , relations , military strategies and much more .
Krishna was a research professor at Think Tank and was highly acclaimed by the people in India as the twenty first century " Chanakya " . He constantly kept calling Akram but due to some problem in the network connection the request was denied . "Technology is a beautiful invention of mankind but at times it turns out to be a curse " , murmured Krishna to himself frowning. He had to reach CPR( Centre For Policy Research) on time for an important meeting scheduled with the foreign officers .
After sometime he saw a bus passing by and started waving at the conductor of the bus . " Ek ticket...pandrah rupyah ...Chanakyapuri / fifteen bucks for a ticket to Chanakyapuri" ...the conductor kept repeating. By the time Krishna reached the bus he was completely exhausted. " Is this bus on the way to Chanakyapuri ? " enquired Krishna from the conductor who replied yes after which both of them climbed the stairs of the bus. The seats were filled with passengers...some eating , others glued to their mobile phones oblivious of their surroundings...and some of them having intense conversation over politics.
In public buses some of the passengers had to stand throughout the journey holding the seats tightly as their only support available. Krishna was one of them . He handed fifteen bucks to the conductor and bought a ticket. "Naam kya Hain Sahab/ What's your name sir " asked the conductor curiously. Krishna seemed to him a little different from the people he used to deal on a daily basis. He had a good personality and didn't seem like someone used to travelling in public buses. He was wearing a black suit and a grey tie with an aesthetic physique and was not more than six in height. He was dark complexioned with a well maintained beard . He had an army haircut ...short and equal at all sides . "Ji Mera naam Dr. Krishna Hain/ Hello ..my name is Dr. Krishna " , replied the professor smiling. The conductor was shocked...he knew him very well... in fact everyone knew him but they just never thought of him travelling in a public bus. He joined his hands paying respect to Krishna. "No brother ... it's just between you and me ...don't let anyone know."
"Okay sir as you say " came the reply of the conductor.
Krishna was standing in front of the first seat so as to get a clear view of everyone travelling. He was aware of the infamous stories of thieves travelling in public buses and didn't want to end up as a victim to them .
The bus reached Chanakyapuri bus stop and Krishna left the bus. As soon as he got down , a little boy came towards him running with a piece of paper in his hand. Krishna was very fond of children and made sure that he spent every weekend at an orphanage.
The boy handed over the note to him and ran away ....by the time Krishna opened the note the boy had vanished into the dense crowd.
Dr. Krishna kept staring at the note for sometime with an expressionless face. He looked very anxious . The note in his hand read " Hello , Dr. Krishna Chanakya ...I know who you are but I'm afraid you're completely unaware of my existence . You just have to follow my instructions and I won't do any harm to you " . Your movements are under surveillance ...any act of smartness would be fatal for your life". The ended with a strange symbol depicting death and destruction. "Oh..baby baby...it's a wild world " Dr. Krishna's anxiety was broken all of a sudden by his buzzing phone. He took out the phone and saw an unknown number flashing on the screen and ignored it. After a minute a message was sent to him " Pick up the call Dr. Krishna " . Now ...when the phone rang for the second time ..he answered it .." Hello , who's this?" asked Krishna hesitatingly . A grave voice replied " Don't worry sir , you just have to follow some instructions and then we'll forget that any such conversation ever took place "...
"Okay I agree " replied Krishna sternly.
"You have a meeting with the foreign officers ...at an acute angle to you there's a black mercedes . All the gates of the car are open. There you will find a suitcase which will explode during the meeting if you are unable to solve the riddle that I'm going to give right now on time. . ...let's see Dr. Krishna if your intellect can beat time ." explained the unknown man on the phone . Before Krishna could comprehend all that was going on with him...the unknown man hung up.
Krishna took the suitcase and started moving slowly towards CPR for the meeting . He was concerned about the people who were going to take part in the meeting more than himself ...the most important institution of India would turn into ashes within seconds.
Krishna entered the room and found that the meeting had already commenced . "Good morning gentlemen...I apologize for the delay" , said Dr. Krishna addressing the foreign officers with a broad smile . He was not cognitively present at the moment but he couldn't talk to anybody about it. He took out his mobile phone and opened the riddle sent by the mysterious man which read " A historical name , long forgotten will reveal itself today as it turns into ashes " . The time limit given to him was half an hour and now the time left with Krishna was only fifteen minutes.
Beads of perspiration running down his forehead were evident of his anxiety. He quickly began to deduce the possible answers. The answer was a phrase and he knew it . " What historical name and what is it related to????" ...he kept asking himself the same question again and again . The meeting was still going on but Krishna was no more a part of it . He had completely engrossed himself into solving the riddle.
Closing his eyes , Krishna applied his most important weapon.. mind mapping , a technique he had mastered in years and knew that it would provide him with the best answer . He went through all the possible historical names which had been forgotten and were related to India . In a few minutes he came up with an answer which according to him was the most appropriate one.
A Historical Name.
The Golden Bird
Fire ~ destruction
He took out his phone in a rush and texted back to the unknown number " The Golden Bird will be burnt down to ashes " .
In a second , his phone buzzed again with another unfamiliar number flashing on the screen . He left the room and picked up the call. " Hello sir , said the same grave voice which had earlier explained Krishna what had to be done ..." I know I've cracked the riddle and now it's your turn to answer some questions . Krishna in the meanwhile had emailed all the senior police officers of Delhi to tap his conversation so as to trace the exact location of the man . He didn't know if he was alone or if it was an organisation of some sort. They had to be sure about it and thereafter the necessary precautions would be taken by the security forces and the government for the safety of the citizens. Krishna tried his best to make the conversation last for more than a minute . " Ahhh , dear sir ...I must admit you have diabolically clever mind ..man's by the way there were no explosives in the suitcase ...it was just a sweet game between you and me ...you can remember me as your biggest admirer " , replied the mysterious man. "I hope that we'll meet soon Sir and it won't be a game I promise " , added the unknown man. He hung up. The call lasted for fifty eight seconds . His location couldn't be traced . The mysterious man was gone ...but not forever.