Joined: 21 September 2010
Three of the Indian Navy sailors have been taken hostage while in a skirmish with the Somalian Pirates in the Bay of Bengal. The Indian Navy vessel was helping a Chinese warship to fend off the attack by the Somalian piratical ship in the early hours of Monday morning. As the pirate vessel sped away from the encounter, they took three of the Indian Navy captains who went on board the pirate ship for close combat and used them to make their escape.
Indian Navy and Indian Government are going to hold a meeting today to devise a way to get the sailors back soon. Chinese Navy and government have refused to release any statement on the issue.
Few years ago:
She looked at the watch again for the third time in that many minutes. Late as usual! She hated him. Why she sits like this for hours waiting for him to show up, she didn't know? She pushed her hair behind her ears, not caring about getting curls on her recently, expensively rebounded hair. She sighed as she saw the waiter make his way to her,"Ma'am, are we ready to order now?" He asked for the fifth time. She shook her head apologetically, "Can I have a Coke for now, please?" He nodded politely and went to get her drink. Nakusha sighed and dialed his number.
The number you are trying to call is currently switched off. Please leave a Voice Message…She angrily cut of the electronic droning voice. This was the absolute limits. She had not called him for this meeting, he had. She had been content to wait till tomorrow to see him again after six months. She knew his family must be just as anxious to see him after such a long period of separation. She had not minded wishing him Birthday on the phone like every year.
"Happy birthday Dutta!" "Same to you Rollypolly!"
They were one of those rare couples who had the luxury to counter wish each other on their birthdays. They shared the same birthday right down to the hour with just three years gap in between. She had seen him at a friend's graduation party and had instantly felt attracted to him. He was doing his engineering then from Delhi and was just coming out of a five year old relationship that had abruptly gone sour. For Nakusha who was still in her teenage then, he was impersonation of Bourne from Matt Damon flick and she went head over heels. On their second meeting she had jumped on him her proposal with as much finesse as a Kuala Bear as he loved to say. He had refused the first time and many times after that. But her persistence and continuous efforts had softened him. A year later, she had stopped calling. Stopped all communications, thinking that he would never understand, maybe it was never meant to be. That summer he had come to Ratnagiri on vacation and had asked his younger sister and her best friend to call nakusha for a movie evening with his friends. His choice of movie was Bhoot. Every time the actress screamed on screen Nakusha would squelch her eyes close and grab his shoulder. He enjoyed every moment of it, the brute. After that at the ice cream parlor, he bought them ice creams and handed her favorite chickoo icecream after swiping his tongue on it a couple of times. She glared at him and turned her head away licking her melting chickoo scoop. Nakusha smiled as she remembered that. Her icecreams had never tasted the same after that. Seven years! How had time flown by them so fast?
Dutta had got selected in an IT company after his graduation but due to recession he had lost his job. Nakusha had stuck by him during those dark days. He had been so broken after so many failed interviews. He had gone as far as talking about suicide one evening sitting near the sea-shore. Nakusha had got up and slapped him and walked out that day. Refusing to answer his calls, refusing to meet him. A week after that he had knocked on her door and showed her the paper cutting of the ad about the opening. Doubtful he had looked into her hazel eyes, waiting for her answer. She had hugged him tight, kissing him on his shirt covered chest. The tests, interviews and training had gone in a blur for her. Fasting to the various deities, worshipping in every temple, she had done it all just in a hope that he will make it through. He had finally done it. He had got his commission with the stars and ribbons he had wanted. She had known the day he had stepped out of the dockyard in his shining uniform, that a major part of her life will now be spent in waiting. Waiting for him to come back to her!
"Mademoiselle, may I have pleasure of joining you for dinner? " the voice was husky low and accent less. She looked up at the clean shaved face, lips twisted in a smirk. She smiled,"Sure,monsieur!" The man sat down inclining his head,"were you waiting for someone? A man, perhaps!" She smiled- no, I am done waiting. I was waiting for some handsome guy to ask me and sweep me off my feet. He looked startled- you mean you wanted me to hit on you? She laughed her tinkling laugh- Oh yes, as you put it so delicately. I wanted you or some other guy to hit on me and take me back to his place for some dark thick coffee, perhaps! "And what about your poor man? The man you were waiting for." He looked perplexed. Nakusha ran her fingers on his hand and looked him in the eyes,outrageously blinking at him,"what my boyfriend doesn't know, would not kill him! So what do you say, Dark thick coffee or some innocent iced tea?""Damn it,nakusha! Do you have to allow any Tom dick harry to talk to you?" The man shouted drawing attention towards them. Nakusha laughed,"Well, two can play that game,Lt. Dutta Patil. I didn't start it but I definitely know how to end it." Dutta growled- you have no idea about these games, naku. Do you have the faintest idea what every red blooded man was thinking watching you sit here, waiting ,like that? Nakusha cupped her face on her palm sipping her cold coke,"I don't care what the world thinks, dutta. What do you think?" Dutta grinned as he ran a rough finger down her cheek,"I think that I am a damn lucky dog." He took her hand from her cheek and gave a open mouthed kiss in the center of her palm. Nakusha controlled the shiver and the sigh,"That charm won't get you out of punishment,sailor! Why were you so late?"
Dutta grinned his most persuasive grin,"Because I was talking to the band and planning with them what I wanted to tell you." Nakusha gapped at him,"What? Of all the ridiculous,insane things to say,Dutta." Dutta pressed his finger to her lips and stood up signaling his head towards the dais at the center of the dining hall of the upscale restaurant. The live band which had been strumming a simple ballad till now, suddenly looked alive and waved at them. Dutta got up and walked towards them winking back at her. She hid her face behind her menu in embarrassment. Dutta couldn't croak to save his life and he sure would make a fool of himself here. Well she thought looking at the prices of the dishes; she would not miss this place much if she never came here again. Darned expensive!
know it's kind of late, I hope I didn't wake you! But what I got to say can't wait;I
know you'd understand!
Ev'ry time I tried to tell you The words just came out wrong, So I'll have to say I love you in a song ..
As the lead singer sang the verse in a smiling voice, she lifted her head above the edge of the hardbound menu to see Dutta doing a funny lip singing parody. She burst out laughing and clapped her hands in time to the music. Dutta walked towards her a little picking a rose and biting its stem. The thorn pricked his lips and he immediately spit it out frowning at it. He walked towards her with the flower in his hand, glaring at her for laughing at him. He gave her the rose and swept her in a swinging motion on the dance floor. His naval etiquettes making his every move fluent and smooth while she groped for footing, stepping on his boots, looking down at her feet apologetically.
Ev'ry time the time was right all the words just came out wrong, so I'll have to say I love you in a song…
She smiled looking in his dark eyes mesmerized just like that first day she had seen him. His one hand was on her waist while the other held the other in air in classic ball room dance pose, slowly guiding her body to move with his. A cold metal slipping on her finger made her break the eye lock. She looked at the ring on her finger, its weight feeling so unfamiliar yet so dear. He smiled at her,"Happy birthday, Miss Nakusha Mahale." She leaned on his broad chest whispering, "Same to you, Lt Dutta Patil."
Government has refused to bend to the demands of the pirates to rescue their officers. Naval captain R.C.Malik has said that those three officers had no business going on board the hostile vessel. No such command was given to them. So navy cannot be blamed for their being captive. A hue and cry has issued from the families of the captured officers."I want my son back!"Said a distraught mother of Lt.Anil Jacob. "They cannot not do anything. It inhuman and barbaric, to say the least. We will move to the court. "announced Human right commission head in Mumbai, Ms. Tanya Rai.
Few years ago:
"Dutta, Quick! My slippers! The waves will take them to the sea. Save them please. " Nakusha wailed as she tried keep her grip on her only slipper in the right feet. Dutta dived and held the flimsy foot-ware before it said final good bye. Dutta shook the fragile straps,"Why the hell did you wear this stupid thing for a beach walk in the first place? It's not your first time on the beach. We both practically grew up in ratanagiri sea beach, for Christ sake!"
She huffed taking it from his hands,"It went well with my new capries and tee. Well, are you going to just scream at your fiancee or will you kiss her too?" Dutta immediately had those cute crow's feet peeking beside his eyes as he drew her to him and kissed her senseless. When he lifted his head from her lips he could taste the salt of the sea and her tears.
Dutta kissed away the wetness in her eyes,"Hey my Queen of Jhaasi! What's this? Planning to bring Tsunami, or what!"
Nakusha sniffed and looked at the sun setting down on the waves like a good kid going back home in the shinning flowing waters after as days play is over. She leaned her head on his chest and felt the solid beating of his heart,"I hate the sea. It always tries to take away the things I love the most. My slippers, my earrings..you. I hate sea, I hate it."
Dutta grinned into her damp hair thick with curls and smelling of her shampoo and sea-sand,"Naku, Sea has a very kind and large heart. Much larger and deeper than any human! It never takes things that don't belong to it. And if we sometimes lose something in it, by chance, it returns it back. It depends on you whether you keep looking for what you lost at its shore." Nakusha held him till the last rays of the sun played on the waters, "You better remember that I'll be scourging these shores for you till you come back from the sea". Dutta kissed her lips lightly,"You would?" Nakusha nodded- Yup! You have to come back and marry me, remember? My perfect wedding, as I have planned it since my kindergarten, with all the trappings.
The body of one of the hostage sailors has been found in the Indian Ocean, not far from the scattered islands of Langkawi in Malaysia.Indian Navy had spotted the illegal vessel in their radar and had issued treats to declare them. The pirates had opened fire and launched missile attacks. After twenty minutes continuous firing the navy had been able to capture the vessel along with seventeen pirates on board. Further investigation had revealed the body of the dead sailor captured a month back on Bay of Bengal with two more lieutenants. Lt.Shayeed sheikh was pronounced dead by the navy doctor after post mortem. He had died of gangrene some twelve hours prior to the attack. The other two naval officers were found bound and wounded in the basement with their mates dead body. The survivors Lt.Anil Jacob and Lt.Dutta Patil were immediately flown by air ambulance to naval hospital in Kolkata. Doctors have said that both are still critical but stable.
He smiled at the ribald jokes and suffered through the good natured back slapping. He made appropriate responses to the queries and said almost the right things with the right infliction of voice. He fingered the heavy weight on his chest, the mark of his bravado, his medal of honor received at hands of the Indian president. Sipping his champagne, he turned slightly to see her glowing face in the dimed drawing room lights. The drink turned bitter in his lips and burnt a path down his throat. Once upon a time, that face, that smile used to light up his life. But now, they just made the darkness around him more pronounced. It brought back the long hours of torture and defilement he had suffered at hands of his captives. He felt dirty and degraded now. Not fit to stand in human company. Not fit for her. The pain, the debased carnal appetites he had fought off in his prison plagued him, haunted him. She felt his eyes on him and smiled, raising her chin a little in question. He shook his head and saw concern cloud the depths of her hazel eyes.
"Gentlemen! I hope you won't mind my stealing away my fianc from you now. It has been quite an evening and I need him to give me some loving pampering now. Hmm, what say you, my dear?"She said huskily slipping her fingers in his. His colleagues groaned and moaned but he inclined his head,"Never let it be said that an officer didn't treat his lady well. Good night."
As she flicked the light in the bedroom, he took slow steps to his bed and sat down at the edge. "I don't want to marry you anymore, nakusha. I am sorry. I have tried to tell you every day for the past five months since I came back, but.. I..I didn't know how to say it." Nakusha leaned on the closed door and looked at the man sitting on the bed slowly unbuttoning his jacket and cuffs. She walked towards the closed windows and opened them letting the night air in. She picked the return flight tickets to Ratnagiri tomorrow morning which had fallen on the floor by the breeze.
She quietly slipped on the floor in front of him undoing the boots carefully. Dutta broke the silence with his angry hiss, pushing off her hands he undid the boots visciously,"You have to understand , naku. I can't marry you now. I can't marry anyone. I am not the man who went away from you last year on the sea. I am just a shell of him and not even the complete shell." He threw the boots away furiously. Nakusha lifted her dry eyes to him keeping a hand above his left knee,"Why do you say you are just shell of the man I love, Dutta? Because of this." She pointed at the stump that was left of his left leg. A sturdy Jaipuri leg hid the ugly scarring of his remaining portion of the leg. His left leg had been surgically cut away to save him from infection spreading up on his rest of the body. She lightly undid the straps and removed the hard case and slowly massaged the blue-black sore veins on the amputee limb."Or do you say that because every night you wake up bathed in sweat biting your lips trying not to scream out the demons in your dreams." She leaned her head and caressed the swollen ghastly scars on his leg with side of her cheeks as a tear fell on the hard ridge of the stitch."Because what I remember of the man who went to sea last year, I see it in you too. Shell or not! He too had trouble finding words to tell me what was in his heart. But he told me something before leaving me, you know! He said that sea never takes anything that doesn't belong to it. It returns the things it takes, always. You just have to keep looking for it on the shores. I kept looking at those shores for all the days my Sailor was taken in the sea from me. I collected all the little sea-shells and glued them together to make beautiful little things and I walked those shores bare feet digging my nails in the sand waiting for the sea to send back a wave to me with you on it. And now I have you. A little run down and worse for the wear but still mine! Very much mine! Who needed to tell me he loved me in songs sung by a local band singer." Dutta hid his face in his palms unable to look at her.
She pushed away his hands and cupped his face,"Forget looking for words to leave me, Dutta Patil. They just don't exist. Not even in songs!"
Few Years Back:
"So you liked my style of proposing." He asked her running his hands on her bare arm as their auto sped towards her home. She grinned in the darkness of the backseat of the rickshaw, "Clich! But Ok! " Dutta growled,"Just Ok? I went to so much trouble about asking the band to play that song and all and you say just OK?" She looked up at him,"What else do you expect? It was that singer who said 'I love you' to me in that song not you. Actually, I should be sitting on his lap reengaged to him right now. Technically, as he was the one who sang."
Dutta hissed- what the hell! She hid her smile- you can always sing for me and remedy the situation. Dutta titled her chin to look in her eyes. The intense love shining in them made her forget about teasing.
Ev'ry time I tried to tell you ,The words just came out wrong ,So I'll have to say I love you in a song
Oh I have to say I love you In a song…..
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