Sunday, July 1, 2012

TWO MINUTES

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 29; the 29th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'TWO MINUTES'.
It was 1 pm.

The police vehicles hurried through the city, their sirens blaring and hastily docked at the market place. The uniformed men quickly stepped out and wasting no time proceeded to evacuate all the shoppers and shopkeepers with a lighting speed.



They used all means possible to bring the chaos under their control and within ten minutes the place was occupied by only the security forces, the common men now watching with growing curiosity at a safe distance.


Personnel with metal detectors and sniffing dogs started prowling the place, vigorously hunting.


A tip-off from one of their trustworthy informants about a possible terror attack had sprung them into the current deputation.



One of the German Shepherds ran towards a pillar at one corner, which was mainly used as a dumping point for all the garbage and started barking ferociously. The policemen hastened a metal detector to the spot and the loud beeps confirmed what had been sniffed by the dog.



They hastily rummaged through the filth and soon saw the sinister looking cardboard box beneath.


Gautam stepped forward looking like a robot in his outfit for the job.


Today was his last day in the force, end of ten years of service in the bomb squad.


He was passionate, intelligent and smart, a combination that had won him many laurels from all the superior ranks in the force.


As he cautiously moved forward, Shwetha’s tear streaked face flashed in his mind.


He took in a deep breath and furrowed his brows to erase away all thoughts and concentrate on the mission at hand.


He soon got the knowledge that he was racing with a timer attached to the explosive. He had just a little over two minutes left , ebbing away now.


Shwetha had been his childhood sweetheart and they had married less than a year ago.


Marriage had changed everything. Every day when he went back home, he would see fear embedded all over Shwetha;s face; melancholy deep in her eyes.


The last time he had gone home after an assignment , he had found Shwetha shivering and shaking, almost hysterical. She never said anything but he knew that his profession was subjecting her to a lot of torment.


He had decided to call it quits and go back to his father’s business. Ten years had given him a great deal of satisfaction and he wanted to go now. He owed Shwetha’s family a lot.


Today was his last day officially. A totally unexpected mission had come up. One last!

He was now knelt down near the cardboard box, Shekar, his compatriot, seated next to him.


The seconds were ticking. There was no time to move it to a less hazardous location.


Gautam knew that irrespective of training and experience, his success depended to an extent on his intuition and of course his destiny.


There was a fair percent chance of his attempt being unsuccessful.


He took the clipper to the blue wire. In a fraction of a second, he changed his mind and shifted it to the red.


Shekar’s expression was grim yet determined. His thumbs up was a go-ahead signal.


Flash, Shwetha;s face again.


As was his habit Gautam slowly said 'Om,One, two and three'. Gautam tightened his grasp.


***************************************************************



2 pm. Shwetha’s phone started beeping.


She had been busy packing her belongings unaware of the turn of events .


‘I love you, darling’ the message read.


The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

96 comments:

  1. Jaish! That was great and remains intriguing..what did happen to Gautam?:)

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    1. Hi Suresh

      Thanks :) well, I thought I gave that away ?

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  2. Jaish..Nice post and you have left it to our imagination about the fate of Gautam!! All the best

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  3. Is the 2 nd episode coming? :) don't leave it like a suspense mystery

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    1. Hi
      Thanks . I thought the mystery was revealed already ? :)

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  4. well narrated, jayashree! A happy ending is nice :-)

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    1. Thanks Uma . Yes, even I prefer happy endings :)

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  5. wonderful Jaish ! Leaving what happens to Gautam makes it intriguing... Good luck !

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    1. Hi kappu , quite a few have commented that the mystery is unsolved . Actually that was not my intention this "TIME" :)

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    2. Hi Ttt

      Sorry abt the typo . That reply was meant for you :) But I addressed as kappu :)

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  6. It's nice that you left the ending to the audience! ADORE!! ;)

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    1. Thanks kappu . Left it to the audience? Check my response to Ttt :) :D

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  7. Ahh! So the ending is left for us to decide? NICE? Gautam survived & went home to a happy Shwetha :)

    Very well penned story :)

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    1. Thanks for the comment vishal . Yes Gautam survived :) I have hinted that . The first line is a clue :D

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  8. Loved the pace and the flow! Readers fail to notice that the action starts at 1pm and Shwetha receives the sms at 2pm :)
    Alls well that ends well! Lovely!

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    1. Yes magic eye . Many missed that :) Thanks for stepping by :)

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  9. Nice narration :)
    best one....

    really loved the way the story moved and highlighted parts.

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  10. Jaishree, a very gripping narration and so well written! Kudos !!

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  11. All the best, you sure are having fun writing :)

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  12. Awesome ending, Jayashree...the journey was frightening and dangerous. But, thank god, the struggle got over on a happy note :)
    Smooth and effortless reading...lovely! All the best...

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    1. Thank you . Your poem was a gem of a post :)

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  13. I really really hope that the phone beeped at 2pm thanks to him being alive, rather than congestion in the network!!! ;)

    Loved the story!

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  14. Hi Shreya

    I had written under the assumption that the network was in the best shape possible :) thanks for the comment :)

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  15. That was crisp, tight and gripping! Kept me hooked till the very end! Brilliant piece! :)

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    1. Thanks Arti. Looking forward to Japan chronicles from you :)

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  16. Well written Jaish. Loved the way the story progressed.

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  17. My heart was sinking till I reached the last paragraph. And, then the message perked me up. So happy that Gautam was indeed alive and Shwetha was not even aware of what had transpired. Good, gripping story!

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    1. :D Thanks Rachna. All of us love happy endings dont we?

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  18. All too often we writers make the mistake of herding our audience like sheep. This post is a great example of leaving it to the audience to figure out what happens next. Very good read, all the best!

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    1. I agree Sandy. Few things left unsaid makes the read better sometimes :) Thanks for stepping in and for the comments

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    2. This was the comment I was about to write.. Not fair Sandy :-).. Nice post and good decision to leaving it to audience to guess.

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    3. Thank you :) message taken that you had the same feedback as Sandy :) thanks for stepping in and the comments

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  19. Great post. Good narration.. Hooked me till the last line :)

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  20. Beautiful mystery narrated in a smart way. Loved it so much! All the best for BAT 29!

    Did I say that? Oh, I missed above! I love the name Shwetha

    Someone is Special

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    1. Thanks a lot. I like the name too. Whenever I sit down to write fiction thats the first name that crops up in my head :)

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    2. Sweet! Keep writing more and more lovely stories like this!

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  21. Nicely written. Had to hold my breath till I finished the last line. Re-read that last para again to make sure if that was all ended well! Reminded me of Jo and Arjun in Rhythm movie!

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    1. I have not seen the movie Vaish but my husband said the same thing when he read this post. Should watch it some time :)

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  22. 2 pm! Yay!
    I went back to check the time at the top of the post, just to be sure. :)

    Here's wishing Shweta and Gautam a long life together. :)

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    1. Yay!! :D

      Thanks Nambiar. Happy Endings - Who doesnt like them?

      Esp when it comes to romance and relationships ? :D

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  23. Great post with lot of suspense and a happy ending .. ATB


    My Post - Vikas Khair - Two Minutes

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    1. Thanks Vikas ..All the best to you too :)

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  24. awesome...gripping...and stunning!!
    All the best Jayashree:)

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  25. WOW! You write really well :) :) Thank you for sharing this :D

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  26. Awesome!!! Just loved it!! :)) ATB!

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  27. J:

    Quite gripping. You managed to maintain the suspense and tension throughout the story.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  28. Confession: I read all the above comments before replying :P
    My take is that a lot of people thought it is an open story as the they might have overlooked the timings. And even when we are mentioning about the timings i can think that the operation might have took around an hour and he messaged Shwetha just before starting to diffuse the bomb? Or maybe it was delivered later?
    The fact that it made me think so much (^^) makes this post more memorable.
    Amazing. ATB.

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    1. Hi JJ

      When I wrote the post, I thought 2 pm was after the whole thing was over in short a happy ending. After reading the way everyone interpreted , I too thought of the angle where the operation may have taken longer...But I did mention that police cleared the place in ten mins and that there was a timer with two mins left...So the only place that could have taken more time is in the hunt by the dogs...Well, I thought so much on my own post after reading all the comments :D

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  29. i was foxed a bit but when i checked the time at the beginning my heart rested in peace-a beautiful story captivating & just a hint about the ending.

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    1. :) Thankyou for reading and for the comments Indhu

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  30. Subtle end of the story .. liked it.

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  31. i gues bomb disposable is a very very dangerous job .. and no wonder the lady is always in fear whats going ot happen

    thought provoking .. going on tangent (sorry) I hope people know what hard work this is working and i hope people get appreciation for what they do :)

    Bikram's

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    1. I agree Bikram. Another similar profession is the fire fighting unit. Recently I read somewhere that the firefighters in India do not get the attire meeting universal standards for the job.Hats off to these mem who put their own lives at risk for the sake of others.

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  32. hey, brilliant post Jayashree. a gripping story and at the end of it we all are happy, Gautam, Shwetha and all your readers. and we close this page with a smiling face :)

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    1. Thanks Debajyoti . :) glad to have been able to spread some smiles :)

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  33. This story reminded me of the story of yours which recently got published in a magazine, even though they are unrelated. Brilliant, I was totally immersed into the story. Lovely to see the happy ending. :))

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    1. Hi akshay, That story ends with a similar line and the Girl's name is Shwetha in that as well . That should be the reason why you got reminded of that one. :D thanks for reading and for commenting amidst all the IBL related work :)

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  34. Interesting story with a happy ending..liked it a lot! :)

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  35. I too went back and read the first line again!!
    A gripping story...A T B !!

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  36. Gripping! And a good reminder about the people who risk their lives everyday for us and their families!
    We don't really pay any attention to their personal lives, I guess! Well written!

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  37. True Danny , their personal lives are taken for granted . Thanks for stepping in :)

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  38. I liked the use of short sentences in narrative. One story writer had given me this tip - that short sentences kind of accentuates the mood when you are narrating a suspense scene.

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    1. I never realized that TF . Thanks for sharing that tip :)

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  39. Superbly written dear.....loved it. It was thrilling to read it. And yes these people sometimes do not get their due

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    1. Thanks for reading and for the comments Me :)

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  40. I have tagged you in my latest post, Jaish. Do check it out here

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  41. so well written had me hooked till the very end,and curios in the very beginning...enjoyed readin:)

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  42. A fast paced read. and thank God for the happy end!! loved reading this Jaish :)

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  44. I`m surprised you didn`t take this BAT by a storm! Fantastic post. Really well narrated :D

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