Guru was one of the many maintenance staff at Tranquil Paradise, a new gated community in the suburbs of Bangalore. Guru in his 40’s was hefty and had a good knowledge of the plumbing, electrical and maintenance work. He helped the families at Tranquil in running errands and attending to sundry repair work. He was much sought after and liked by all.
He loved children and was always seen in the play area playing with them. Mehta‘s a family had just moved into Tranquil Paradise. The couple were working professionals and had employed Rani, to look after Sasha, their seven year old daughter. In no time Guru won their confidence and many a time Sasha was seen playing with him.
One day, while Rani was busy watching TV serials, Sasha slipped out without her knowledge to play. After a while, Rani went to the play area and was shocked to find Sasha missing there. In panic she checked with other kids there, only to be told that they neither saw her nor know her whereabouts. Rani alerted Mehta’s and the security guards. The security searched in vain all places including the swimming pool, club and skating rinks. They said it was impossible that Sasha could have gone outside.
The police were called in who began to interrogate Rani, guards and the housekeeping and maintenance staff. Failing to get a clue, the police quizzed Mehta whether they had any hostility. No ransom calls were also received. The police were flummoxed though they felt it must be the handiwork of someone within the community.
The play area which was once a beehive of activity wore a deserted appearance with no kids seen. One month had elapsed with no progress in the case. Then again Shreya a nine year old girl of Kumars went missing while playing in the lawns opposite her house.
This time around the police brought sniffer dogs that led them to the pump house near the sump. Shreya’s Barbie doll was found but there was trace of Shreya. It was feared that Shreya might have drowned but was not found after search.
The pump house staff were questioned and that led to Guru who frequented the place. Ravi the Inspector had a doubt on Guru looking at his obsequious demeanour. He checked with both Kumars & Mehtas about Guru and was given a good chit as very trustworthy staff in the community. They also added that he often played with their kids and was most crestfallen about their disappearance. Yet Ravi’s mind failed to accept it, as he felt that Guru had something to do with both disappearances. To buttress his doubt he learnt that on the days the kids disappeared Guru too had gone earlier.
The inspector made discreet enquiries about Guru near his tenement that was about three miles away from the community.. He gathered that he lived alone, that his family had deserted him taking away his daughter with her and that he never mixed with anybody in the neighbourhood. He rarely stepped outside the house other than to buy groceries. Ravi checked with grocer. The grocer said he was a decent man who kept to himself but of late he was surprised to find him buying a lot of chocolates, biscuits and kids’ stuff. He said he even bought the stuff the previous day. This set the inspectors fears about the safety of the girls at rest. But he was worried whether he could be a pedophile. With no ransom call, Ravi was sure the man was hurting the kids in his lust. He kept some policemen in plain clothes like villagers around the place.
It was 7 o’clock in the evening and it was getting dark, Guru was seen going to grocer to buy bread biscuits and candies before he went towards his home Guru entered his house and quickly closed the door behind. The policemen and Ravi circled the house only to hear Guru begging the girls to eat.”You must both be hungry. I cannot see you both starve.Sasha, you look just like my daughter. She is also of your age. To provide company and a play mate I brought Shreya too. Please eat this. Stay with me for a few days and I will take you home myself” he was heard pleading. The kids in turn were sobbing and appealing “Please uncle let us go home. We are not your daughters and do not want to be with you even for a day ’. The inspector heard them whimpering “Mamma, Mamma, take us away from here’ whereupon he heard Guru imploring “Listen to me my children .No harm will come to you. I will take you myself tomorrow and leave you at the gate. I would not like to see you both crying.” Please have your food.”Guru was heard sobbing and telling he had made a mistake
Ravi realized that the kids were safe in his custody but his duty impelled him to recover the children and hand over to the parents immediately. However to ensure the safety of children, he had to make Guru open the door. He struck upon an idea and asked his assistant to bark like a dog. The sudden and repeated barking of a stray dog brought out Guru whereupon the police men pounced on him.
The parents of both girls were very happy and were all in praise of the Inspector. Initially they were angry at Guru who was brought before them by the policemen. When Ravi explained the motivation behind the abduction and Guru’s sad background, the parents decided not to press for any action against him. The girls told their parents that Guru never kept them hungry and gave them enough to eat and also provided toys. However Guru decided to go to his village in search of his wife and daughter
The moral in this story is that however noble one’s intentions are, nothing illegal should be done.