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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Its about four kids who are looking forward to spend summer vacations together and have fun and frolic...but end up solve a mystery which elders could not....

please do Not reveal the end!!!

thank you

Submitted: May 22, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 22, 2012





Summer vacations had begun and the three children, Charu, Tanay and Sahil were very excited. They lived in Shivpuri, a town in Madhya Pradesh. Their father Balwant Singh was a collector and their mother Leela a loving wife and a doting mother.


“Where are we going for our vacations Ma?” Charu asked. “Nowhere,” replied Leela. “NO!!!” cried all children in disappointment! “But, your Bhua and cousin Kalyan are coming HERE, for the holidays!!!” smiled their mother with a twinkle in her eyes. “Yeah!” the children shouted out their happiness.

 On hearing this, Nani frowned; she was not fond of Arti or Kalyan. “Poor

Leela will have to do so much of work, once these two arrive” Nani muttered to the children.

“Amma whenever Arti comes, you make that poor girl slog, and still you crib but don’t worry you wont have to give anything to Arti or Kalyan.” Leela laughed. Nani stayed with Leela, as she was her only child. Nani was very stingy unlike her daughter who welcomed her sister-in-law and her son Kalyan, who was great company for her three children.


Charu was the eldest, a petite girl, very shy and extremely intelligent. She was very fair, with hazel eyes and a pink complexion.

Tanay was younger than Charu, but always treated her like a younger sister. He was tall, dusky and fairly intelligent. He would speak to anyone with confidence. Sahil was the baby of the whole household. He had curly hair like his father, was fair and very mischievous; he was never interested in studying.

They were all very fond of Bhua and Kalyan, who was almost the same age as Tanay. There was just a week left for their arrival, and lot of preparations had to be done. The children were full of ideas.

Leela got busy in the kitchen, baking cakes, making different types of biscuits and other goodies, which Kalyan would relish. Nani did not approve of all this, she thought it was a waste of money and unnecessary hard work for her poor daughter. “Leela, why take so much trouble for that Arti and that brat, buy some cheap biscuits and a cake from the market and give it to them when they come.”

 “Amma, I love doing all this for them, Arti is such a sweetheart, and Kalyan is a little darling, NOT a brat. The children are so fond of him and their aunt. She is my only sister-in-law and we are her only close relatives. After Naren’s death we should take care of her”. Leela got busy mixing the batter for the cake.

“Do not entertain her for more than a week, how long is she coming for?” Nani asked Leela, irritated. She mischievously smiled at her mother and said, “oh, about two months, or may be more,” teased Leela, “it’s after all, her brothers house.”

“HEY RAM!” Nani exclaimed.


Balwant was unaware of this entire hustle bustle going on in their house. He was a quiet, shy person, tall, dark and according to his wife, not handsome. Poor guy, that was the tragedy of his life that his dear wife, who, though she was madly in love with him, thought that his looks were not one of his plusses!

 He was extremely fond of his children. Both his sons thought that he was very partial to Charu. When he returned home in the evening, Leela gave him the good news of his sister’s arrival. He never expressed himself, but on hearing this, he smiled and said it would be a good change for Choti, his sister.

“What are you planning to give Choti this time?” Balwant asked his wife. I have asked Ramniklal to make a gold chain for her. I hope she likes it. Ramniklal was the only jeweler in the town, and he was famous for keeping rare jewels.


There were only two days left for the much-awaited arrival of their aunt and cousin, and the threesome had gone to buy some stuff for their mother. On the way back home, they noticed that Kanta dadi had still not returned to the town after meeting her grandson Kalu, who lived and worked in the neighbouring town.

Kanta dadi was an old lady who stayed alone. The entire town knew her and was very fond of her, specially these three children and their cousin Kalyan. She often went to the other town to meet her grandson, who was much older than these three children. The children never liked him much.

Soon Bhua and Kalyan arrived and the whole house was filled with laughter and chatter. Arti was short, fair and an extrovert, unlike her elder brother. Kalyan was tall, very dark with exceptionally thick eyelashes.

Finally the four of them were together, and once more it was time for fun and frolic. Arti and Leela became very busy at once chatting of old times. They got along very well. It was happy times for all, except Nani, who thought God was being very unfair to her dear daughter. The children used to get up early in the morning, go for long walks, horse riding and boating in the nearby river, it was great fun.


One day, in the evening when they were returning home after a walk, they saw light in Kanta dadi’s cottage. They wondered who it could be - Dadi couldn’t have returned already, could she? They all went to see, and knocked the door. The door opened and an old lady stood there smiling. “Ohh Dadi!”  Charu exclaimed, “You are back!”

“Yes, my babies, how have you all been?” Dadi asked, fondly.

“Oh! We missed you a lot dadi.” Sahil said fondly. He was the baby of the foursome.

Hmm! Did you really miss me or my goodies?  Dadi teasingly asked the children.  She knew Charu, Tanay, Sahil and Kalyan were very fond of her homemade jams and pickles with puris. “Here, I have made some fruit jam for all of you,” she smiled with affection.

“Yeppy! Dadi, you’re the best!!!” The children were overjoyed and they all hugged her at once, nearly knocking her down.

“Oh dear, oh dear, come on now, take it and run along home, I would like to rest now, okay?”

“Bye dadi,” the children cried in unison and set off for home.


 They were thrilled with dadi’s return and came home and told Leela and Arti about it. “Oh! That old hag is back”, Nani scowled, while the children ignored her comment totally and went off to the kitchen to find something to have the jam with.

Next morning the police came to Balwant Singh’s house to give them some news “We have some shocking and strange news.” They wondered what it could be.

“Ramniklal is MISSING and the very rare blue sapphire also can’t be found”. “His family has no clue, and that wife of his can’t stop crying,” informed the officer.

They were all shocked. “But I met him the other day, how can he be missing today?” Leela wondered aloud.

Who? When? How? Everybody had tons of questions.  No one had a clue. The town was a bit tense and also scared- such a thing had never happened before. Where had he gone? Would he return? Had he been kidnapped? What about the jewels? Had he taken it with him? Or was it stolen? Was he ok? What was the truth? No one knew. They only hoped to find out soon.


The Singh household was more tense than the others, because Balwant was the collector and all the pressure to solve the mystery, was on him. That evening Kanta dadi called on them and brought some homemade pickles

“Oh dadi, you really shouldn’t have.” Leela protested, though even she loved dadi’s goodies.

“Arre, I heard that Ramniklal is missing. They say he’s been kidnapped. I wonder who would have kidnapped that stingy fool,” dadi said.

“Maybe, it’s because of the rare jewel which he had bought a few days back. He was very excited, and was talking about it, when he came to our house the other day, to give the gold chain which I had ordered” Leela told dadi.

“Chalo whatever happened was destined, its God’s will. Everything happens for the best.” Saying this, dadi left. “Ma, why is dadi so insensitive and inhuman at times?” Tanay asked Leela. “My dear, you know the tragedy which happened to the poor lady. Her son and daughter-in-law were killed, so she behaves slightly oddly sometimes. Never mind her, put these in the kitchen, and NO, you can’t eat any just now!” Leela gently scolded her son.


Some days passed, but Balwant and his officers were unable to find out anything. It was quite frustrating for everyone. Then, one night they were all in bed almost asleep, when they heard horses’ hoofs. Tanay thought aloud, “Who could it be this late in the night?” “Silly, it must be Kalu; he’s probably come with his friends this time to show around our beautiful town and treat them to dadi’s yum food,” Charu told her younger brother. “Try and sleep now, we’ll go to dadi’s house tomorrow and find out.”

Tanay was not convinced, this did not seem to be normal, something was afoot, and maybe dadi’s life was in danger. She was old and stayed alone, a little away from the others. A little excited, he told Charu and Kalyan to change, so that they could go and see. “Please, I won’t be able to get any sleep, let’s go see now, come on, you always wanted adventure, now’s our chance!” Tanay pleaded. “Well, not really an adventure, but I’m not very sleepy, so let’s go!” saying this Charu got out of bed. Sahil was fast asleep, and was not fond of going out in the night since he was scared of darkness.


The children came out of their rooms and they saw Nani frowning at them and looking very suspicious “Where are you all going? Come on go to bed.” She had got up to have her midnight medicine. “Nani, we are not going anywhere, just downstairs in the living room.” Charu told her. Thankfully, she was not wearing her spectacles, so she could not see that they were not in their nightclothes. They quickly collected two torches, and some water.

They came out of the house. It was a clear, starry night and it seemed that the whole town was asleep. They could hear the trees swaying and jackals crying. Charu was very scared, but dared not express her fear, as Tanay would have given her a lecture, on how she should be brave. They came closer to dadi’s house and could see the lights on. Yes, Kalu had just come.


As they neared the house gates, they saw six horses standing in the compound. “So Kalu has got some friends,” Tanay told Charu and Kalyan. They could hear voices coming from the house. They were keen to see what was happening inside, but did not want to go inside and disturb them. There was a window on one side of the living room. They went towards the window and peeped inside. They saw six men sitting, including Kalu, around dadi. But surprisingly they all had rifles. Was dadi in some danger? They all looked terrifying. Was Kalu involved with some ‘gang?’ They wondered.

Charu, sounding a little worried, said “Poor dadi- I hope this is not as scary as it looks.”

“Oh look! See what’s happening!” They almost choked seeing dadi remove her white hair. “It’s a wig,” whispered an excited Tanay to a shocked Kalyan. She had jet-black hair beneath! She slowly took off what was a mask, revealing a very young face. It did not look at all like the old dadi they knew and loved. “Ohh God!!!” They almost screamed! “Our dadi is the famous notorious dacoit ‘HIRABAI.’ Yes, she was Hirabai. Fierce looking eyes, red mehendi coloured hair, chewing pan and with an absolute straight back. Dadi’s hunch- back had vanished. In the quiet night they could hear that her voice was crisp, not a sign of old age.


The children were in a state of shock. Their thinking power had gone, they were blank, and Charu was almost in tears. Tanay and Kalyan were trying to be brave. For five minutes they were totally shaken. Suddenly, they got back to their senses; they heard Hirabai saying that they had to leave before sunrise. The children had read about Hirabai and her gang in the newspapers and from their father, that another dacoit, Kali Singh was her lover. Charu was the first to speak, and said, “Now it all makes sense. Our dadi is actually Hirabai and Kalu is no grandson but her lover, Kali Singh the famed dacoit.”

Hirabai’s name figured at the top in the most-wanted list of the police in the country. There was also a huge prize for anyone who could catch her, dead or alive.

Tanay whispered to the other two “We should leave now and reach home as fast as we can, and inform Pa about all this.” As they turned, Charu’s sharp eye caught something gleaming in the hut. She strained to see what it was, and leaned a little. “O my God!!! She nearly lost her balance!! “That’s the blue sapphire everyone was talking about! In dadi-I mean Hirabai’s neck! Look!” she whispered to the other two, who were trying hard to catch a glimpse of this rare jewel, without being seen.

It was in Hirabai’s neck in a black thread. The pale blue jewel was exotic. Even from a distance, they could see the sparkle.

“Which meant she also knew where Ramniklal was?” Kalyan said slowly. “This is getting even more exciting! A real adventure” Tanay could barely keep his voice low now. Kalyan suggested they go home and get Balwant Singh and the police here, before Hirabai escaped. “Let’s take off our slippers so we don’t make any noise and leave!” Charu the wise one said.


The children hurried out of the gate and walked as fast as they could, their legs still shaking, afraid that if caught they’d all be dead. They were all convinced that Hirabai had kidnapped Ramniklal and stolen the jewel. Where could Ramniklal be? That was a million dollar question. There was no place in that small cottage. They finally reached the gates of their house, and heaved a sigh of relief.

Soon the whole household was awake, except for little Sahil. The children narrated the whole incident to their elders.  “So Dadi is Hirabai!” exclaimed Leela, who was quite shocked, she had grown very fond of dadi in their stay of five years in Shivpuri. Hirabai had fooled the whole town and that wretched Kali Singh was her lover.


Nani scowled and said, “I always told you all to stay away from that lady, you people never listened to me.” Balwant consolingly said, “Its okay Amma. You were right for once.”

Soon Balwant Singh informed the police and issued orders to catch Hirabai and gang red-handed. “But uncle where is Ramniklal?  Kalyan asked worriedly. “We’ll find that out once we arrest her.” Balwant tells his nephew. Arti and Leela fondly looked at their children, proud of their achievements.


Balwant Singh was ready to arrest Hirabai and her gang. The children insisted that since they had helped in solving the mystery of the blue sapphire, they would like to accompany him. Balwant readily agreed to their request.  Sunrise was only two hours away. As Balwant and the kids reached the cottage, the police also arrived. They were well armed and had circled the cottage from all sides; there was no chance of any escape. They were just in time, since the gang was about to leave. As soon as Hirabai opened the door, what did she see? There were armed policemen all around, and the Inspector with his pistol had blocked her way. With the entire police force there, she could not escape. Hirabai and her gang were caught. They were handcuffed, and without any fuss, they surrendered with their handcuffed hands up and rifles behind their heads.  She angrily looked at the children who were peeping from the jeep.


Balwant asked Hirabai, “Where have you kept Ramniklal?” She kept mum. The police inspector slapped her hard, and threatened to hit her more if she didn’t disclose. To their shock, the reply was “He’s here! Down in the basement.”

 On hearing this Charu fainted.  She could not handle this anymore. “Pata nahin kis chakki ka atta khata hai, mara nahin,” Hirabai said in anger.

There was a basement in this small cottage; on hearing this, the children were shocked. The two boys, along with four policemen, went down to the basement, which was from the kitchen, which they were not aware of. They found Ramniklal tied and gagged.  He was semiconscious and badly bruised, poor guy. He was immediately taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Charu was given smelling salts and she was fine. The mystery was finally solved. Later, Ramniklal, in his statement to the police, said that Kali Singh had robbed the jewel and kidnapped him.


Next day the children were the talk of the town. The whole town was proud of their bravery and courage. Never in the history of this sleepy town there had been so much excitement. They were also given the prize of Rs. 50,000, which was the reward for catching Hirabai.


All is well that ends well. Nani finally appreciated Kalyan and tried to be large hearted and gave him Rs.50- a huge amount for someone as stingy as her!!


Summer holiday were over. Bhua and Kalyan left amidst a tearful farewell. “Come soon,” Tanay shouted as the train left, and Kalyan smiled and yelled back, “Next vacation more adventures!!

 See you soon!!!





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