In India, it is impossible to get things done through the right channels. Anuradha learnt this fact hard way. She was selected to represent her company in an international seminar. But the problem was she needed to submit her passport within a weeks time & she didn’t have a passport to begin with. She didn’t want to take any chances whatsoever, so she decided to call her friend, Karuna, for some help. Karuna’s relative was working in the concerned department. So she fixed an appointment for the next day & asked Anuradha to meet him.
Anuradha collected the required documents & left well before the time for Passport office. The Passport office was bustling with activities. People were roaming hurriedly with heaps of paper in hand.She went to the reception & asked for Mr. Khanna. The receptionist informed her that he was in a meeting & would see her in some time. She sat in the lobby waiting for him. One and a half hour passed & there was no sign of Mr. Khanna. Just as she was about to leave, the secretary informed her that Mr. Khanna called her to his office. His office was on the first floor. Unlike the ground floor, it was a quiet place with only very few people roaming in the aisle. She stopped before a door that had Mr. R Khanna inscribed on it. She knocked slowly & entered the office.
Mr. R Khanna was a well-built man in his early fifties, busily reading some documents. She quietly came inside & stood there confused. After few minutes, Mr. Khanna lifted his eyes & asked her to sit.
” Hi, Karuna told me about your passport. When do you need it ”
” Hello sir, I need it within a week’s time. I need to apply for a visa.”
” Ok, that’s a short notice. But no problem it will be done. I think I have seen you somewhere .”
” Maybe on Karuna’s birthday party sir .”
” Oh, yes. Right . You are the same girl who was wearing a black dress. Isn’t it .”
Anuradha was surprised. ” Ah, yes, yes sir.That was me. ”
” You looked pretty.That’s why I remember you .”
Anuradha was taken aback by his frankness still she remained composed.
” Well, you need to fill a form & submit it downstairs. It’s available online. Do one thing come & fill it right here on my PC & take a printout .”
” No, sir . It’s fine I will do it from a cafe nearby. You please don’t bother .”
” What botheration. Do it in front of me. I will check it for any mistakes. You would save much time .”
He pulled a chair for her & made her sit next to him. Anuradha started filling the form. Mr. Khanna was staring at her. She could feel his gaze on her.
” You have a very pretty face Anuradha .”
Anuradha felt uncomfortable but chose not to reply.
” I was stunned when I saw you on that day. Especially this black mole on your cheek is a heart stealer. I asked Karuna many times about you. And see my luck you are here, right in my office”
Her hands stopped typing. She was shocked by his behavior. She was very afraid. Her body was shivering & palms were sodden with sweat. He came close to her & put his hands on her shoulder.
“Anu, don’t worry. You will get your passport in next 48 hours. But what will I get in return .”
” What ?” She could hardly utter this word.
” Don’t you think I should get something in return. Let’s say a dinner date with you,” he smirked meaningfully
By now her mind went blank. She didn’t know what to do. She could neither leave the room not stay there any longer. She somehow gathered her wits.
” Sure sir. I will definitely treat you. But before that may I take your leave. I am getting late for my office. ”
” Your form is not finished. Do it right now.Otherwise you won’t get your passport on time. Take your time, No rush. Nobody is going to disturb us here .”
Anuradha, by now, smelled the rat. Her mind quickly sprung into action” I will do it right now sir. I just need to go to the ladies room .”
” No need to go anywhere. You can use my washroom .” He got up & showed her the door.
Anuradha was badly stuck in the situation. She could hardly anticipate what would happen next. She could not possibly call anyone from here. She stood up & went to the washroom & locked the door from inside. Her heart was thumping like crazy.She wished She had Smart Suraksha with her She would have alerted a few of her friends & parents. She heard the click of the doorknob as if someone has locked the door. She panicked & peeped through the keyhole. Luckily, someone had entered the office & shut the door behind. She thought it was the right time to escape from here. She hurriedly opened the door, picked her purse & documents from the table & slammed the door behind.
She ran out of the Passport office & didn’t even look back once. She was terrified. ” What would have happened was the only thought running through her mind. Her luck saved her today.
But you can’t ride on your luck each time. It’s better to be equipped with some life-saving app like Smart Suraksha that really comes handy in such situations. You can alert your five chosen contacts by a single button. This app would give your location even if your GPRS is off & send a Help” message. Stay Safe, stay alert.