Pema's Assignment..

“Sir, you are here! There is a file for you.” said his assistant as he entered back to his office. She handed Pema a file; it was marked! And it caught his vigilant eyes.  It was his assignment!

The same evening, Pema assigned his assistant to manage the area in his absence and make necessary arrangements as and when required for the operation of the Assignment.
                                                                      *  *  *
As anticipated, on the 1st of lunar calendar Ap Chhana crept in the middle of the night with two more men. The faint glow from his watch showed 11 past 1. He whispered, “Get the drills ready, and Tsagay you keep your eyes open. Watch the valley for any movement.” And the two began to drill and move bricks one by one under the empty sky.

Slowly the operation was going smooth. “Kota, get the lighter and check if the nangten is there.” Kota lit the hole blue and he looked inside the Chorten and whispered that they need to dig a bit more. Near the Chorten stood an Oak tree on which Tsagay had climbed and was watching the silent valley. They began for the second round.

Chhana was expert in operating under such holes in the dark but recently he has been mourning about his loss of one eye on his last operation. However, his greed for money kept him in the same track and had recruited two men to help him which otherwise he singly could handle.

Five minutes after their second round has started, traces of rusted metals began to come out and amused the two. “Ap Chhana, I think we are almost upon it”, “okay, let me handle now. I am better there” he told the boy and instructed him to move those bricks he had left undone.

Assisted by the small blue flames, the three crept silently into a van and vanished in the dark air.
                                                                       *  *  *

Tiredly Pema crawled into his bed just before the dawn and began to calculate his operation in his sleepy mind yet with conscience. And finally slipped into his dreams!
                                                                       *  *  *

Ap Chhana has a wide network of friends! He was indeed a popular and wealthy man of the village called Kharshi, a small village near to the Indo-Bhutan borders. He arranged to sell his latest stuffs to a fat friend of him who is also a distant relative but stays in the plains. They agreed to meet three days later in Hotel Raj for exchange of the items and the money.

Hotel Raj is a Hotel where everything seemed perfect to everybody as a hotel yet many black works were practiced inside it.  People with suspiciously curious eyes come and go out the hotel every time. The man at the counter always wondered why many of the customers scanned the room before entering the hotel. Yet remained in his crooked brain!

                                                                       *  *  *
Pema hopped over his gate and silently crept into his room but his wife was awake that morning before he was back. The wife suspected him to be having an affair. His going out at midnight has warned her to make their relation stronger. She just poured a cup of coffee and offered to Pema without saying anything though she wanted to ask where he was in the night. She never wanted to part away from him not just because she loved her but they had their cute son.

Starting that day, she began to search for sites and techniques or ways to make man happy yet she was a perfect wife for any man. She bought few books on Relation and love and studied the strategies given in it in her wish to keep him back with her. And read magazines for the same cause!

Though she was told he was on holidays, it did not seem alright to her! It seemed strange for her. She never had him away in the mid of night other than for his nature’s call.
                                                                      *  *  *

For the second time, Tsagay was called for similar operation in the East after the success their operation in South. The third man, Kota was also there sitting next to Ap Chhana when he entered Hotel Raj for a discussion. The two young men were briefed by Ap Chhana about their next job in the East. They scheduled to move to Karphu the next day and they had limited time to prepare for their trip. But without any objection, both the young men agreed for the schedule.

                                                         *  *  *
On the 28th of that month, Pema came from his shopping and saw his son Rigsel playing on a mat on the floor. Karma, a fluffy pet dog was sitting next to him watching the young boy flip the pages with his eyes following every movement of the pages. After hung his jacket inside his wardrobe and came back for his junior.

He was surprised to see a nude picture on the page with his son’s eyes fixed at it. He tapped on the soft forehead and gently said, “Hey dude, where did you find this?” to which the young boy muffled something to him.  Next moment, Rigsel’s mom came out the shower drying her dark silky hair with a towel hung over her beautiful shoulders. As she walked, she hummed some tunes and walked towards them.

Upon the sight of Pema, an unknown rush of feelings ran through her spines. She was puzzled what else to do but to turn red and stand mute! Pema embraced her into his huge shoulders which wrapped her like a babe and said, “Hey, you are a perfect wife. You don’t have to read such things. I love you two. You and Rigsel are everything to me!” “If you need to talk, just talk like we do as always. And hope you will not do such silly things again.” A tear rolled down her cheeks and hugged him tighter. She felt so happy that he was her man.

Later in the night, Pema told her that he needed to leave for a trip with his Friends from the department and he wants her and the boy safe. She said nothing but held him closer and laid her head over his heart.

As the smiley moon shone through the glasses, her face gleamed beautifully like the moon. She looked like and angel and Pema ran her silky hair in between his fingers and sighed. If something goes wrong when the mission was operated, he might lose her and Rigsel. This thought brought a pain in his heart.

The next morning, a car came to pick him up. The two hugged another and bid farewell. Karma was scratching the glasses when he saw Pema leave while Rigsel began his little game of crying!
                                                                       *  *  *
Tsagay wrapped himself with a warm woollen jacket and followed Kota who led to a hotel. In the hotel, Ap Chhana was there waiting for them with a bottle of wine. He said, “This would do great tonight. It’s cold here!” when the two just smiled and closed the door behind them.

Ap Chhana never revealed his next step and hence the two boys had to be always prepared for their job! After a cup of wine, Tsagay headed for the restroom and let the water run. He checked his gun and slid it back between his jacket and his shirt.

At twelve o’ five the three began to walk towards the famous Mani Dangrey which just stood in the middle of the two villages. Twenty minutes later, they began to dig the Mani from three different places; one at each head.

Tsagay sweated as he dug the Mani. He never had a dream he would do it by his own. However, he had a faith everything will be alright.

Exactly at 1 o’clock, ten men came rushing towards the Mani and surprized the three. “Hands in the air” shouted a tall man.

Kota breathed heavily and panicked while Ap Chhana stood unbelieving his own eyes. He never thought he would have to go through such incidence and horror laced fear in both the men.

The tall man sorted out Tsagay. “Sir, we are very sorry. We just had to confirm the site and it took a while.” Tsagay said, “It’s okay boys” and began to move towards the tall man. But on his third step, Kota stabbed him into his stomach.

He felt a searing heat as the knife was drawn back. With all his faculties and strength he pulled himself to his feet and sprang away before the second strike hit him. The angry tall man shot the boy on his knees and the two were handcuffed.

Three days later, his boss personally visited him in the hospital and said, “Pema, we are proud of you. Soon you will be doin’ fine and we have a present for you.” The boss smiled and let out his appreciation in words. Pema slowly opened the envelop and read the paper, it said he is going to be awarded a medal and a promotion. It was a promotion letter. And his beautiful wife, she smiled and held his hand and embraced him.
After the capture of Ap Chhana, many links were being revealed and four more men were caught within the first week after the capture.

Pema, soon after his recovery he received his promotion and the medal for his sincere work to the country and its people. He continued to work with the same spirit to put an end to Vandalism and robbery.

The RED FILE had been handed over to the Department now. It was the investigation report about the recent vandalism of the two huge Chortens and a Lhakhang in the country and the rising incidences of such similar cases throughout the country.
                                                                   *  *  *
In a dark cell, Ap Chhana thought of the day he went for his usual visit on Friday night and randomly picked two men from the bar. Two boys agreed to help Ap Chhana. The two young men seemed they really needed some help and he thought he could use them in his operations. He wished to become a millionaire with minimum effort. Thus, indulging in devil works and vandalism of Chortens and Lhakhang from where he intended to pick up some more precious stones and the Nangtens. He awaits for the last hours of his life to be flooded with misery in the cell and walk as a free man once again......