SIT : Special Intelligence Team

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May 31, 2015

SIT : Special Intelligent Team (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 128 times)

Khushi's Point of View

"Jao Khushi," Baba said, pushing me forward gently, "School isn't so bad, beta. You can make new friends and can meet and impress your new teachers. Little Flower is bigger than your pre-school, toh tum bade playground mein khel paoge, dekho?" He pointed to the big, open space with volleyball and basket ball court, as well as swings, rockers, climbers and merry-go-round. I was still reluctant to go. I pouted.



"Yaha ki teachers ko main pasand nahi aayi toh?" I asked, "Jyoti Miss didn't like me too, yaad hai apko Baba?" I was referring to my elderly playschool teacher who had looked at me as if she would eat me raw every time I asked a question.

Baba laughed. "Jyoti Miss was an oldy. Your teachers here won't be rude. I swear she'll like you, Khush."


"Pinky promise?" I asked extending my pinky little finger, looking up at him with my wide, hazel eyes.


He nodded, entangling his little finger with mine, smiling his warm smile. "Go ahead, bacchha. And yeah, don't beat anyone up."



I frowned, deciding. My feet seemed to be glued to the ground.

"Sankalp?," a man said from behind us.

INTRODUCING BHANU UDAY AS SANKALP GUPTA

We both turned to see a handsome man in his early thirties. A cute-looking boy with short hair with a black bag on his shoulders stood by his side, looking quite bored.



"Dev," Baba greeted him warmly, "I haven't seen you in years, Man. I thought you were in Mumbai?"



"I was," the man in his early thirties said, "But we were homesick, you see. And dad's getting better, so I decided to come back. Arnav ko school mein admission bhi lena tha, so I thought why not here in my hometown?"


INTRODUCING RONIT ROY AS DEVRAJ SINGH RAIZADA


Baba glanced at the cute boy who was gazing at me curiously. I blushed and looked down instantly, stepping backwards behind Baba to hide myself.



"So this is your youngest son?" Baba asked, grinning. Baba gently looked at the cute boy and said, "You look handsome young boy."



Dev chuckled, looking down affectionately at the boy. "Yes, he is. His siblings love him. He's getting a bit spoiled."


"How is Nitara doing?" Baba wondered, laughing, "Aur kitne bacchhe hai Dev?"

"Arnav's our last," Dev laughed. "Our family's already big. Arjun and Jaskaran are already in their fifth year of training, and Ruksar and Anjali are into their third. After Shivam's death, Nitara and I decided to take over the custody of Ruksar and Jaskaran. Arnav's starting this year too, as a matter of fact-" He stopped abruptly as his gaze fell on me.



Baba glanced at me suddenly, as if he had forgotten about me. He looked grim, as if he had been talking about some great secret that he wasn't supposed to talk about in front of his daughter.

Dev uncle looked wary too. But he studied me with keen interest.



"Your daughter, Sankalp?" he asked, peering at me intently.

I stared back, intrigued to know what exactly they were talking about. I was young and innocent, but I was intelligent for my age. I knew many things already, and I was eager to learn more.


The cute boy named Arnav kept staring at me, his chocolate eyes boring into my hazel ones. He didn't look away which made me slightly uncomfortable as I stared at his handsome father.



"Yes," Baba said, patting my back lightly, "She is Khushi. Khush, this is a good friend of mine, Devraj."



"Hello Khushi," Dev uncle said smiling warmly, "Nice to meet you babygirl."

I nodded shyly before hiding behind my father again.

"She looks strong, Sankalp," Dev uncle mused, "Did you ever consider sending her to ART to be trained?"



Baba grinned. "Of course I did. Khushi is fierce. She looks delicate, but she's actually very rough. You should have seen her hitting the guys back in pre-school."

Dev uncle looked intrigued. "Kya hua phir?"

"Well, let's just say that they never bothered to disturb her again," Baba said, laughing. "I think one of them had lost a tooth in the fight."


Dev uncle burst out laughing. "We should definitely use a girl like her. She would be good as a TA, don't you think?"


I had no idea what they were talking about. It was as if they were talking in codes or something. Baba observed my interest in the topic and immediately changed the subject, "So you coming back to work then?" He asked.

Uncle nodded. "Han most probably on Friday."

Baba nodded. 

"I've been working in Mumbai, but I didn't know anyone there. It wasn't as thrilling." He glanced down at me again longingly, "Make her join ART, Sankalp. She's strong enough to survive the drill."



The first bell rang in the distance.



"Well, you better get going, Arnav," Uncle said, glancing down at his watch.

The cute guy looked up at his father. He merely nodded, then started walking towards the entrance.

"Ekk minute Arnav," Baba said suddenly. Arnav paused and looked back curiously.

"Can you take Khushi with you?" Baba asked, "She won't leave me otherwise." Dev uncle chuckled. 

I looked up at Baba in alarm, "Nahii I won't go!"


Arnav looked amused. For a six year old, he looked intelligent, like me of course. He looked at me for a second, then walked back. He waited. I snorted at him. Then, I did the most childish thing in the world. I stuck out my tongue at him, then hid back behind Baba. Dev uncle and Baba started laughing, but I didn't regret what I did. Who did this cute boy think he was? No one can lead me somewhere I wouldn't be appreciated. He couldn't make me.



I heard a low sigh. I peeked out again curiously. Did I hurt him? I suddenly felt guilty of my action.

But he didn't look like he was going to cry, like most of the boys would back at the pre-school. He frowned slightly, not in an annoyed way but determined. I knew he was wondering how to get me away

from Baba. Finally, he came forward, closing the gap between us. He reached for my left hand and tugged on it gently, surprising me.

Dev uncle and Baba looked at us in piquancy. I didn't know what was so fascinating. I pouted. I glanced up at Baba who smiled encouragingly. Then, sighing, I let the cute boy lead me away from my LAKSHMAN REKHA, and into the playground. His hand grasped mine firmly. He didn't seem to have any intention on letting me go. Although I was annoyed with this boy, I was also curious about him. Wasn't he afraid to go to school at all?



His walk was confident and clean. I envied him, when I walked, I was fortuitous if I made it without falling straight on my face.



"Which class is allotted to you?" He asked as we entered the school building. His voice appalled me. Instead of the piercing, raw voice of a six year old boy that I had been expecting, his voice was harmonic and smooth. It was tuned and pacifying. He looked at me expectantly. I realized that he was expecting an answer.



"1 B," I mumbled, looking down and flushing again. His chocolate eyes were flustering as they bored right through mine. How did he do that? Without another word, he led me to a class at the far end of the corridor. He turned the knob of the door and marched right inside, still not letting go of me. The middle-aged woman that I assumed was Sneha Miss looked at us in surprise.



"Hello kids," she greeted us. "Introduce yourself?"

"I'm Arnav Singh Raizada," He said in his smooth voice, "This is Khushi Gupta." Another shocker. How did he know my surname?



Sneha Miss smiled knowingly. "Are you together? Friends?" She asked.

Arnav looked thoughtful, "No, not really," He glanced at me. I gaped at him, he grabbed my hand and pulled me in here, and now he says we are not friends. 'I will not talk to him,' I mumbled.

"How did you come together then?" she asked.

"Our fathers are friends," I said, speaking for the first time. She looked amused, looking at our entangled hands.

"Okay, then, Arnav and Khushi," she said. "You can sit on the last but second bench over there," She pointed.


Arnav dragged me to the back of the room, even though I didn't need help anymore. I was getting more annoyed. My expression was getting gruff. He was so bumptious. He finally let go of my hand as he took off his bag. I imitated him before sitting down on the bench towards the right. He sat to my left.


I looked around, curiosity taking over. I was relieved that Sneha Miss seemed nice. She wouldn't hate me for the rest of the year.


The second bell rang, and Miss closed the door.

"Kids!" she said, clapping her hands. "Welcome to first grade class. I'm looking forward to a great

year with all of you!"

I sighed quietly. Teachers were such liars. You never had a great year, no matter what kinds of teachers you had. Arnav glanced at me curiously. I ignored him as best as I could by peering hard at the teacher's every movement. I did not want to get acquainted with this bumpy guy.



Adi's Note: New story! Missed me? No? But I missed this site.. This plot is disturbing me for a month now, so i thought of penning it down today.. Best day to start a story - I thought.. MeD anniversary greetings to all..


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Jun 1, 2015

Chapter 2 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 109 times)

Arnav's Point of View

"You excited, Chhote?" Dad asked as he drove me to Little Flower School. I merely peered at his eyes, the only thing I could see in the rear view mirror from the back. He met my gaze and laughed. "Well. Just a couple days, Chhote. I just want you to experience actual school before they keep you inside

of ART until you turn legal."



I exhaled as I looked away. I wished I could attend ART right away. ART was an abbreviation for Armed Reflex Training. It had been founded about ten decades ago. The school trained from the age of six till you become an expert in the fields. ART doesn't accept you if you are not quick witted and intelligent. ART is a school for training young kids to teenagers to become an agent for a secret board that had existed for nearly seven hundred years, SIT. The Raizadas had founded it seven centuries ago, in order to create a undisturbed society by wiping out antisocial activities and culprits. SIT wasn't really illegal. The government knew about it. It depended on us to make sure nothing unpropitious happened. SIT had branches all over the world. There were thirty six branches just in India alone, one in each of the states.

Mom and Dad were agents and now my siblings were going through the drill to become agents. After Shivam Uncle's and Saumya Aunty's death in a car conspiracy, Mom and Dad had decided to legally adopt Ruksar and Jaskaran. Bhai and Jaskaran had already picked on what field they would be specializing in. They had decided to be Shoot Out agents. While Di and Ruksar were only in their third year, and would not pick their field of choice until next year. They would be training basics this year too, until their teachers thought they were ready to move up a level.


My whole family had been in SIT. Mom and Dad were about to get retired, but they helped my Daddu manage the main headquarters branch in Mumbai. Daddu was quite ill with a heart disease, and now relied quite a lot on Dad.



"Chhote?" Dad asked, breaking me out of my reverie, "We're here." I scowled as I hopped out of the car. "Try to act normal, Chhote," Dad said as we walked towards the gates.


"Remember that the public doesn't know about it. Don't tell anyone. It's part of the rules of being an agent, Chhote."

I didn't bother nodding. I already knew that I should not talk about SIT to anyone.



Suddenly, Dad called, "Sankalp."

Sankalp? As in Sankalp Gupta, Dad's best friend from ART? The agent who was considered to be one of the best in years?



Sankalp turned, surprised. Besides him was a pretty girl around my age, looking scared to go inside. "Dev," He said warmly, "I haven't seen you in years, Man. I thought you were in Mumbai?"

I tuned out the conversation. I wasn't interested. I stared at someone who did intrigue me. This girl. I didn't know why, but she was interesting. She had beautiful, silky black hair which was tied up in two pony tails. She was slightly taller than girls of her age, and her warm, hazel eyes made me feel as if I was going to drown into them. I stared into them intently, trying to deduce what she was thinking, but she made it difficult because she kept hiding. I picked up the name from the conversation going in the background. Her name was Khushi. I continued to stare at her curiously. Before I knew it, the first bell had already rung.


Dad looked at his watch. "Well, you better get going, Arnav."

I merely looked at him, silently reminding him not to keep me in this boring place for too long. I had a seminar to attend this afternoon at three. Then, I started walking away.



"Ekk minute Arnav," Sankalp Uncle called suddenly. Curiously, I turned back.

"Can you take Khushi with you?" he asked, grinning, "She won't leave me otherwise."

Khushi looked up at her father, horrified. "Nahii I won't go!!"



I was amused. If this intriguing girl was going to be here maybe normal school wouldn't be so bad. I walked back. I stopped a few feet away and waited. She snorted at me. She didn't move. Then, she did the most surprising thing. She stuck her tongue out at me, then hid behind her father. I blinked while our dads laughed. No one had ever dared to do that to me before. This girl definitely was not normal.

I sighed once. Then, I closed the gap between us and reached out for her hand. She looked surprised. I tugged on it gently, urging her to come with me. After a nervous glance at her father, she let me lead her into the playground reluctantly. Other girls of our age had held my hand before in pre-school. I was never interested in them, but others thought I was cute. Those girls had been bumpy and annoying. They giggled loudly and tried to get me to notice them. And when I had held their hands, though

briefly, it wasn't the same feeling as I was feeling now. Khushi's hand was cold, but somehow, I could feel this strange electric current between us. It warmed my cold hands as well as hers. I suddenly felt nervous. I wondered if she felt it too. I had never felt nervous in front of a girl before. Who was this pretty girl, to make me feel so confused?



As we entered the school, I realized that I didn't know where her class was.

"Which class is allotted to you?" I asked in my usual quiet tone. Khushi blinked, looking vaguely surprised. I kept staring at her, waiting for an answer. She soon realized what I was waiting for.

"1 B," she mumbled, looking down and blushing red.

I couldn't help noticing how prettier she looked when she was flushed. But I pretended not to notice, acting my cold, usual self, as I led her to the room near the corridor. We had the same classroom. 

How ironic! Our fathers were best friends. We had the same classroom. I wondered if we had anything else in common.

A middle-aged woman with short brown hair greeted us at the door.

"Hello kids," she greeted us cheerfully. "Introduce yourself?" She looked slightly surprised.

"I'm Arnav Singh Raizada," I answered. "This is Khushi Gupta." I figured I would answer for her. I could tell that she wasn't one for talking much, and anxiety about the first day of school made her quieter than usual.



Teacher smiling amusedly. "Are you together? Friends?" She asked.


Were we friends? Just because our fathers were best friends didn't mean that we were too.

"No, not really," I said honestly. I glanced back at Khushi to see if she approved of my answer. She had narrowed her eyes.

"How did you come together then?"

"Our fathers are friends," Khushi spoke up. Her tone was husky and slightly low. It still came out sweet somehow.

Sneha Miss was staring at our hands. "Okay, then, Arnav and Khushi. You can sit on the last but second bench over there."


I dragged Khushi to the back of the room. I didn't want to admit it, but I liked holding her hand. The room was cold, and holding her hand made me feel warm. I wasn't quite ready to let go of it yet, but it was inevitable. We took off our backpacks and set them against the wall. Then, I sat next to her on the left side. I watched Khushi as casually as I could. She was looking around the room curiously, absorbing many things.



The second bell rang, and Miss closed the door.

"Kids!" she said, clapping her hands. "Welcome to first grade class! I'm looking forward to a great year with all of you!"



Khushi sighed quietly. She looked bored. She sensed me staring at her and tensed. She stared hard at the teacher, purposefully ignoring me. I didn't find it offending. Just amusing. Everything this girl did amused me. She never did what I expected. She was unpredictable. And that made me so curious about this girl. Strangely.

NOTE: How was it? I know, a bit boring, but I swear, it'll get better soon. Please keep reading! Thanks, and remember!

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Jun 6, 2015

Chapter 3 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 105 times)

Khushi's Point of View

As soon as Sneha Miss dismissed us for lunch, the whole class fled out the door towards the playground. I got up more slowly. My feet trailed. School was so boring. Where was the fun Baba had mentioned? Everyone were such liar these days.


I sat in the corner of the small playground. I watched the group of girls hanging around together near the swings. They were laughing and having fun while I was an alien. I knew the instant I saw them that I would be an alien here too. I was always the odd one out. I was never normal. I should probably go to a special school or something. The School for specially challenged students.


I thought about my loving Mumma, Kusum. I missed her so much. After her death, three years back, my Masimaa took care of me. But Masimaa and Baba never got along well. Masimaa had not approved of Mumma's marriage with Baba. But after my birth, everything was coming back to normal when Mumma passed away in an accident. Masimaa always blamed Baba for Mumma's death. She even said that my life was on stake if I stayed with Baba and planned to take me away from him through legal procedures. But as I was the only family left with Baba now, I preferred to stay with him. Masimaa and Kaku shifted to Tamil Nadu as Kaku got transferred. I haven't met them since then. She used to call up and inquire about my well being. But then call durations reduced, slowly calls decreased. She was so busy with Kaku that she barely had time for me anymore. It was as if I had never existed.


Someone sat a few feet away from me. I ignored him. I knew exactly who it was. But after a while, it was getting uncomfortably awkward. I glared at nothing in particular.


"Tumhe pata hai tumhare dad kya karte hai?"

I fluttered and turned to look at him. "Kya matlab?"

Arnav met my gaze firmly. "Matlab tumhare dad kya karte hai tumhe pata hai?"

I was distracted. "Naukri unki?"

"Han."

"He is Project Manager," I said quickly.

He smiled. What was this cute boy talking about? My confusion must have shown on my face.

"He has other jobs actually," He said dubiously. He calculated me carefully.

Surprise flashed across my face. "Other jobs? Kya kehna chahte ho tum?"

His eyes narrowed distrustfully, then relaxed. Whatever he had been looking for, he got an answer.

"Tumhe nahi pata? Leave it." he asked.

"Kya nahi pata mujhe?" I was getting anxious.

He looked at me weirdly. He didn't seem to have heard my question. "You would be good as a TA."

"Wo kya hai?"

He smiled again. "Jald he tumhe pata chalega, don't worry. It looked like your father was seriously considering on sending you to ART."

I exhaled bitterly. "Can you stop talking in codes, stupid boy."

He blinked. "Stupid boy?"

"You are stupid." I pointed out. He stared at me before bursting into laughter.

I scowled. "That was an insult. Do you usually laugh when someone insults you? Strange!"

"No one's ever called me stupid before," he said, smiling. "Kisiki itni himmat nahi hui. But it's a strange feeling. I like it. Thank you Khushi."

My eyes narrowed. This boy was definitely strange. I had just insulted him, and he was saying thank you. He was actually grateful that I insulted him.


Thankfully, just then, Miss appeared and blew her whistle, signaling the end of lunch hour. I got up and deserted him there, persistent to get away from him. Why was he even speaking to me? No one spoke to me. Ever.


The day dragged on. Though first grades were dismissed earlier than the upper grade classes, 12'o clock seemed days away. Finally, the bell dismissing us sounded out. I gathered my stuff, relieved to get out of here. This place was a miserable. All the things we had learned today were things I had already known back when I was three.


I walked towards the gate. Would Baba be there already, waiting for me? Sure enough, I saw my handsome father leaning on our Honda City. He held out his arms, and I ran towards him. I hugged him as tight as I could.


"Khush," he said, laughing. "Had a nice time?"

"No," I complained as I broke away from him. "It was super boring Baba. We were learning about things I already know about."

He chuckled. "Well, the syllabus will get harder, I promise."

I sighed as I hopped into the car.

"We're having a guest over tonight, Khush," Baba said as we accelerated through the road. "It's someone I know from school. Okay?"

"Okay," I said, finding his hesitations strange. "Kyu aarahe hai woh? Is it a get together?"

Baba looked at me. His eyes were light so I could tell that he was amused by my ability to speak like a grown up.

"Not really," he answered. "He wants to meet you, beta."

"Me?" I asked with surprise. "Kyu?"

"He has never seen you before."

"Toh kya hua?"

"Well," He said as we arrived at the house. "Khush. I guess I have a confession to make to you."

"Confession?" I asked. "Kya?"

"Pehle andar chale hum?"

I nodded and slipped out of the car. As soon as Baba had opened the door for me, I ran to my room to change. I was curious to know what exactly Baba wanted to confess.

"Do you want something to eat?" Baba asked from the kitchen when I appeared on the kitchen door.

"No," I said, walking inside the kitchen. "Now. Tell me."

Baba and I sat at the dining table. He frowned, confused where to start from. Finally, he cleared his throat.

"Khush," Baba said. "You know what my job is, don't you?"

I nodded gravely. "You are Project Manager."

"Han but- but," he stammered. "That's not exactly my job, actually."

I fluttered. "Then what?"

"It's not my real job," he explained. "It means that it's part of my job, but not fully. Yes, I am a Project manager, I manage the missions actually."

"Missions?" I didn't understand. Why didn't he tell me before?

"Khush," Baba said, his eyes suddenly bright with excitement, "You have read and watched movies about assassins, right?"


What a strange question.


"Of course, I have."

"Secret agents? Assassins?"

I nodded.

"I'm one of them."


My eyes grew wide. Suddenly, I was scared. Assassins killed people. Does that mean my father is a killer?

"Khush," Baba said, frowning. "Stop judging me. I am not a monster."

My brows furrowed in concern and worry. "But Baba, don't assassins - kill people?"

"They do," He admitted.

"Have you killed too then?"

He sighed. "Yes, I have."

I felt sick in my stomach.

"Khush, let me explain, okay?" he pleaded. "It's not what you think. It's not illegal, or anything. Of course not."

I pouted.

"There's a secret board called SIT," he began. "SIT has existed for nearly seven hundred years. It's a noble group of well-trained agents who fight for peace in the world."

I nearly snorted. Peace? How did killing people bring peace in the world?

"We don't kill innocent people, beta."

I fluttered again. "Then?"

"We kill only those who commit some serious crimes," He said, "Bad people in general. Like people who kill the innocent people."


I was getting confused.

"Matlab aap acchhe logon ko nahi marte?" I asked slowly.

He nodded. "I wouldn't do this if it involved killing innocent people. But, it doesn't. And I have been doing this for a while now."


Another concern filled my thoughts.


"But what if you get caught? Or hurt?"

He laughed.

"Haso mat theek hai!" I said sarcastically.

"Sorry," he said, smiling down at me affectionately.

I exhaled. "Jawab do Baba."

"We don't get caught, Khush," He said simply. "That's why we are called secret agents. We are trained extremely well. Well enough to stay secret. The only people who know of SIT, are the governments all around the world. As for getting hurt, we have doctors in our board." He smiled down at me.


"SIT is like a human body, organs which perform functions. There are branches all over the world. There are thirty six in India, one in each state."


"Matlab-" I trailed off, "There's one here in Delhi too?"

"There's one in Mehrauli. The Mehrauli branch is where I work. My team and I get missions and instructions from the main branch in Mumbai. Then, we go and carry it out. We have never failed in twenty two years."

I nodded slowly. I was understanding.

"Your friend who's coming, Baba," I said. "Is he in SIT too?"

"Yes," Baba said, his expression growing grim, "He is the head of the Mehrauli branch. He is not exactly my friend. He's my senior, one of my teachers, back when I was training. He's retiring soon, and he wanted to see you before he moves away to Kumarakom with his family. I told him that I was thinking about sending you to ART."

"ART?" The word was familiar.

"ART is the training school for all secret agents of SIT. It stands for Armed Reflex Training. You go there to start your training from the age of six, and you train until they think you are ready. You can

spend almost half of your life in that school if you are not good enough. Most trainees graduate when they are about twenty to twenty-five, but of course, with a few exceptions, a couple of better students graduate earlier. Around eighteen. You learn all the basic things that you learn in a real school, but

you also learn to fight and defend yourself. You learn the proper way to carry out missions safely and successfully."


"Did you go to ART, Baba?"

He nodded. "The Guptas have been with SIT for eight generations. If you join, Khush, that will make it nine. My parents did it before me, and my grandparents-"


"Matlab Mumma bhi-?"

He smiled ruefully. "Yes, Kusum was an agent herself. She retired when she was expecting you. Even your Masimaa was an agent of SIT, but she retired when Kusum passed away. Your Kaku knows nothing about SIT. SIT is a secret, you take to the grave."


It was hard to imagine my mother fighting to abolish the evils. She seemed so dainty.


"That's how Kusum and I met and fell in love. We met in ART and we grew close over the years. We were one of the best. They let us graduate early and we joined the main team of the Mehrauli branch. We rose through the ranks quickly, above our seniors. And we finally took spots for a senior rank ourselves. Until she-"  Baba paused and calculated me, "Kaisa lag raha hai tumhe yeh sab jaan kar?"


"Can breathe," I said, "But aap yeh sab mujhe abhi kyu bata rahe ho? Main badi hogayi Baba?" I asked grinning.

He smiled. "You will always be my little baby, Khush. I'm telling you because I want you to join me."

It took me a while to understand what he was saying.


"You mean-" I trailed off. I tried again. "You want me to join SIT? With you? You want me to go to ART? Kyu?"

He hesitated. "I have many foes, Khush. It's inexorable when you have been doing this for many years. These foes of mine target my weaknesses. They know that I care about my family more than anything in the world. They went after Kusum and I lost her. That leaves you. I don't want them to hurt you. So I was thinking about sending you to the school so you can learn to defend yourself. I was considering it quite seriously ever since Kusum left us. I knew that it was the safest option for you and me. But aaj ke baad-" His expression darkened, "It made up my mind. I'm going to send you to ART, Khush. You are going to train there and become the agent from the Gupta family when I retire."


"Aaj kya hua Baba?" I asked.

He smiled tightly. "I was on a mission with my team. We accomplished in catching up the clan we have been concentrating for months now, but the chief threatened me. I know and believe he was bluffing."


"But you said you accomplished. That means he won't be able to carry his threat na, Baba."


Baba stared at ceiling, I thought he didn't hear my question and I was about to repeat when he explained. "We accomplished in finding the cue. We caught most of the clan. But the chief and his aide got away. And we know for a fact that he has backup somewhere in Yelahanka. I'm not taking any chances."


I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how deep Baba was in this board, but I wanted to help him in any way. Even if it meant that I had to assassinate people too when I got older.


"What do you think, Khush?" Baba asked. "I know you might not want to. You are right, killing people is a crime. But you don't have to worry about a thing. The government knows about SIT, even though they have no control over it. They have given us permission to get rid of whoever we feel necessary, so technically, it's not illegitimate. And you get used to it." He looked at me earnestly.

He smiled. "That's my little girl."

"Is Arnav in it too?" I asked in a flash.

He looked engrossed. "Arnav?" Realization dawned on his face. "Arnav? Dev's son?"

I nodded.

"He will join soon," Baba accepted, "Dev, the friend you saw today, is an old friend of mine from ART. We worked together in the Mehrauli branch. Infact, Dev is the successor to SIT. He is the son of the current Head of Mumbai branch. So when his father dies, he will be taking over. He has three kids. He has adopted the kids of another agent Shivam after his death. So that sums up to five kids. Everyone except Arnav is currently attending ART."


He paused. Then, he asked, "Did Arnav tell you about SIT?"

I shook my head. "He mentioned something about how you were not a Project Manager and you had other job. And he said I would be good for a TA? What's that Baba?"


Baba laughed. "He is one smart boy. TA is a position you can choose to specialize in-"

Before he could explain more, the door bell rang.

Baba glanced at the clock on the wall above the fridge. "He's early. Wait here, Khush. I'll be right back, okay?"

I placed my head on the dining table dolefully. Would I like this path that I have chosen a few seconds ago? Would it help me survive? Will I be an alien there? I had so many questions in mind. I wondered if our guest would be able to answer all of them.

I heard voices drawing nearer. One way to find out.



Note : So, now Khushi knows.. What do you think TA will be? Like this update? Drop me your thoughts on it.. And don't forget to click on the chotu sa Thank You tab.. 


Jun 12, 2015

Chapter 4 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 101 times)

The man who entered was about sixty years old. He had brittle hair, and wrinkles around his hazy eyes.

He looked carefree and altruistic. His gaze fell on me as soon as he and Baba entered the dining room.

"Your little one, Sanky?" he asked in a nimble, croaky voice.

"Han," Baba answered, "Khush, this is Ravindran Tambi. Ravi, my daughter, Khushi."



Presenting Joy Mathew as Ravindran Tambi


"Good to see you, honey," Ravi said, moving around the dining table. I sat up straight so I could shake his outstretched hand. "Hello!" I said.

"Well," he said, making himself right at home by sitting right across me. "Kya kya bataya tumne bacchi ko, Sanky?"

"Jyada kuch nahi, just gave her an introduction, I guess," Baba said, sitting next to me. Mr. Tambi studied my eyes closely. "She looks perfect for a TA, Sanky." Baba grinned. "Devraj said that too."

"Oh yes! Dev se yaad aaya," He said, guffawing, "Is he coming back to work with us?"

"He said he would join us on Friday," Baba said, shrugging. "But you never know. Something might come up. Sunne mein aaraha hai ki Dev ke papa ki tabiyat theek nahi hai."

"Yes," Ravindran said, nodding. "If you ask me, Daljeet Singh Raizada isn't going to make it through this year. Sad, but you know, that's the truth. After all it's only good for him and his family, his medical condition is worsening day by day."

Baba nodded, sulking slightly.

Ravindran Tambi turned towards me. He smiled lightly.

"Well, sweetheart," he said. "Looks like we'll be here talking for a while. How about we get comfortable? I'll call you Khush, like your father calls you, and you can call me Tambi, like everyone calls me. What do you think?"

I nodded, "Go ahead, Tambi."

He chuckled, "Alright. So, I suppose you might have some questions for me, Khush. Shoot them off before I get into more detailed explanation."


"Aap kitne saal ke ho?"

Tambi was taken aback while Baba tried not to laugh.

"Sixty four," he answered, "You are interesting kiddo."

I shrugged nonchalantly, "Well, aap itne old ho aur still ekk secret agent ho, vishwas he nahi horaha hai." I said honestly.

"Khush, behave yourself," Baba condemned.

But Tambi started laughing. "No, no, Sanky. Don't stop her. We need honest people in SIT. She is interesting. Okay, then, Khush. Kuch aur puchna hai tumko?"

"You can start, Tambi," I said confidently, "Actually, bohot kuch puchna tha mujhe, but I don't know

how to ask them. I'm forgetting all of them."

"Koi baat nahi," Tambi said cheerfully, rubbing his hands together. "First thing first. Your father has registered you in ART. You'll be starting the coming week. Don't get giddy, Sanky will drop you there."


"Question," I said, waving my hand in the air like I was in school.

"Shoot."

"Where is ART located?" I asked. "Will I have to go far away from home?"

Tambi dismissively waved his hand, "ART is everywhere. The academy is located everywhere next to the branches. That way, the trainees can be near the branch for studying and stuff. For example, there are thirty six branches of SIT in India. There are thirty six ART academy near each branch. In fact, the academy is inside the branch. You'll see your father all the time. Of course, here in Delhi, the academy is located in Mehrauli. It right there, next to the Mehrauli branch, so you won't have to go too far."


I nodded slowly. "Is ART like a boarding school?"

"Yes," Tambi said. "They have rooms there and they provide you food and every other basic necessity. The thing is, training's going to be tough, Khush. That's how we are so ridged. We train on a tight schedule. You'll have to wake up at five sharp in the morning to begin your exercises. You have five minutes to put on your tracks and academy tshirt, then you go out on the fields. You do your morning stretches with the coach and he makes you run ten nauticals."

"Nauticals?" I asked confused.

"Ten miles, Khush" Baba explained.

My eyes fell out of the socket, "Ten miles?"

"Oh, that's nothing sweetie," Tambi said, "It gets worse as you grow up. Ten miles is the least. That's for you little kids. And of course, if you misbehave or get late for the sessions, laps can increase."


I scowled.


"Then, at seven thirty, you go back to the shower rooms and you have thirty minutes to wash up and make yourself decent for the day. Then, at eight sharp, the bell for breakfast is going to ring. You need to be seated in your respective seat in the mess by the time it rings, or you are sluggish. That adds a mile of running right there. You have half an hour to eat, and then at eight-thirty sharp, training begins. And by training, I mean training hard." He chuckled, "You are going to wish the teachers there would kill you instead. The first few weeks is going to be hard because your body is going to hurt like hell. But if you haven't given up by then, you'll survive easily there. There are a lot of students who give up after a few weeks. And let me tell you. We don't need people who give up easily. People who give up, get dismissed. And do you know what getting dismissed means in SIT?" He grinned devilishly.


I had an intuition. "You die?"

Tambi sniggered. "Sharp you are. Yes, you die. Here in SIT, we never leave evidences or proofs. We can't risk by letting those kids going out and talking about the academy and board. So we get rid of them."


"Kya unhe pata hota hai ki if they give up, they would die?"


"Yes," Tambi said. "Still they give up because it's so tough to adjust in ART. Most people that give up are the ones who are selected and recruited. We have people who look for new and suitable kids who

could serve for SIT. In other words, they are not people whose family has been in SIT for generations.

They are totally new to the environment, and they don't know how to cope up. On the other hand, people who have family members in SIT have a better chance at surviving than the recruits. Most of our agents' families have all been in SIT for years. Like GUPTAS? I still remember your grandfather, baby. He was a chum of mine and he was so headstrong. He got punished several times because he didn't cared to follow instructions properly during missions and plans. He always had his own way for everything."


I realized that Tambi was an extremely talkative person. It was annoying, but it was also helpful. He gave me more in-depth detail, and answered every question that popped up in my mind on the subject.


"How long does it take?" I asked conditionally.

"It depends on what are you specializing in," Tambi replied, "If you decide to be a geek, then you would be trained mostly in technology. After about four years of physical training, you would take courses in secret codes, programs, hacking and other technology. If you choose to become a doctor, then you would take courses on how to treat injured people. Then there is the mission preparation manager, who prepares all the materials needed for a mission. Your dad is a Mission Manager. And then, a Tricker agent, who pretends to be on the opponent's side before he crosses them by killing them. But there aren't a lot of TAs."


"Kyu?" I asked with surprise. "TA sounds like the best choice."

"It is," Tambi agreed. "It's the highest position anyone could specialize in. A TA is the most important. They are the reason why missions get done so smoothly. If the TA stinks at his job, then we would all fail, and SIT would have terminated decades ago. But like I said, it's rare. I think there's only about thirty TAs in SIT. I mean, counting all the branches in India."


"Kyu?" I asked impatiently.

"Because there are specific requirements that are needed in order to become one," Tambi said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Competency, brilliance, grace, finesse, fast, temptation,

and blah blah blah."

"Temptation?" I asked, "Why would a TA need that?"

"What do you think the foes look for in accomplice?" Tambi asked patiently. "Most of our targets are men. So we have a lot of female TAs. None of them are perfect, but we need someone . We have never had a suitable TA yet. Anyway, TAs use their quick wit and intelligent mind to gain the foe's trust, pretend to work with them for a while before he crosses them. So it's really important job. You may lose many things. You have to resort to seduction to make them satisfied, and sometimes, you may have to sacrifice your duty to SIT in order to fool them completely.


"What if the targets are women?" I asked.


"Oh, we have men TAs. Though it's pretty uncommon but we do have men TAs."

"Okay," I said. "What about the history of SIT? I like history."

Tambi exhaled. "It's a long one. SIT was founded seven hundred and twenty nine years ago, to be exact. He was an intelligent man who loved to protect people. He decided to create a board - a very

secret one - hoping to recruit people to follow his mind. And so many were trained under his watch. Society where he lived grew peaceful without crime lurking in every corner. He realized that he ought to extend SIT's control all over the world. Did I mention that he was a member of the British government? He got permission easily to continue with SIT, and he expanded it. And then, about five hundred years ago, one of his disciples decided to build a school where teachers would train the future secret agents away from the public eye. And the first ART was built in Britain, where SIT was first started nearly seven hundred years ago. The Raizadas have been in charge of SIT for almost seven centuries in India now. They represent courage and the purpose to do something you believe in. Now, Daljeet Singh Raizada is in charge of SIT. He lives in Mumbai, his wife already passed away. He was an agent himself, but he is now retired. He currently has a serious heart disease which makes it difficult for him to manage SIT. Still, he manages, with the help of his son, Dev, his daughter in law Nitara.

Devraj is the next in line for the Head position, and we don't yet know who the next heir will be after Dev."

Ravindran Tambi babbled on and on about the long history of SIT. I listened vaguely as I stared vacantly at the window behind Tambi that showed the darkness outside. We had been talking for hours already.


At some point, Baba had gotten up to go take a shower and change clothes. I was left with old man here, listening to the fascinating history of SIT. I was totally hooked. I was eager to join. This ought to be fun. If it wasn't, I couldn't imagine Baba enduring it until he was thirty. With my mind already made up, it was hard to concentrate on what he said. He had mentioned earlier that the teacher teaches you everything there is to know about SIT. I knew it was no use listening anymore, as I would hear it for the second time anyway, so I tuned him out.


At some point, exhaustion from the pressure of the first day of school and the fact that my father was an assassin took over, and I slumped over wearily, falling asleep immediately.


Adi's note: well, just got to know that my previous fic Arnav aur Khushi ki kahani  is one of the trending stories of last year.. Thanks for the support everyone.. You guys raaaawwwwk! 



Jun 18, 2015

Chapter 5 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 103 times)

"Mujhe laga main ART join karne wali hu, Baba," I grumbled, fidgeting with the strap of my bag, "Mujhe yeh wale school nahi jana hai."


"Khush," Baba condemned as he led me to the gates of the school, "Maine kaha na you are starting on Monday. I want you to attend school for the rest of the week, before you start training."

I sighed.

Suddenly, Baba's phone rang, and he took it out. He casually looked around to see if anyone had noticed. It was a phone I had never seen before. It was more conspicuous than his regular cellphone. It was slim and small, almost like a plush box.



"Gupta," Baba answered in a low voice. Whatever the other person said, my father's face grew bleak.

"Kab?" he inquired, "-Okay, Tambi. Yes, will see to it. Wait, Dev ko bata diya aapne?"

He paused to hear the answer. His face fell. "Theek hai. Meet you soon."

"Kya hua, Baba?" I asked.

He gazed into the distance for a minute, "We lost Daljeet Sir in a stroke."

My eyes grew wide.

"Lagta hai Dev ko phir se Mumbai shift hona padega," Baba sighed. "I'll see you later, Khush. Go inside."

"I love you Baba," I reminded him, "If you come home hurt, you are grounded for a week."

He laughed, "Scary."



I walked across the playground morosely. Hearing about ART made me want to go there as soon as possible. I sat down in my seat just as the bell rang. The seat next to me was empty.

Sneha Miss started taking attendance, "-Arnav Singh Raizada?"



S-I-L-E-N-C-E.



She looked up, "Is Arnav not here today?"

P-I-N D-R-O-P S-I-L-E-N-C-E.

"Khushi?" Miss called, "Where is your friend?"

I gritted my teeth, 'He was not my friend.' 

"Mujhe nahi pata," I said.

"Tumhe pata hai woh kyu nahi aaya school?"



I knew. His grandfather died of stroke so he and his family are moving back to Mumbai as his father is the heir to a secret board called SIT. But of course I didn't say that out loud.



"Mujhe nahi pata," I answered.

Miss made a face. She went on with the attendance. 

All through class, I was distracted, daydreaming about the day that I would become a secret agent. I would not just see them on movies anymore. I would become one. I didn't care if it was difficult to survive in ART. I knew that I could do it.



As soon as the teacher dismissed the class at 12'o clock, I ran out of the door as quickly as possible. I wanted to find out what happened. Sure enough, my father was there, leaning on our car, gazing

at nothing in particular.



"Baba!" I squealed, throwing myself at him.

He caught me, surprised, he kissed my forehead "Kaisa tha aaj ka din?"

"It was okay."

"I have a surprise for you," Baba said as we drove home, not so excitedly.

I sighed. I had enough of surprises already.

"You don't have to go to school for the rest of the week."

I brightened like a 220 watt bulb. "Kyu?"

"Kaam thoda jyada hogaya hai. As now Daljeet Sir is no more," Baba said. "I won't be able to drop you to school, and I don't want to impose you to someone else. I can't trust anyone right now. So you don't have to go anymore. But problem yeh hai ki tumhe pura din ghar par akele rehna padega. Chalega?" he asked.


I grinned. "Of course, Gupta."

Baba chuckled, "Theek hai. So that's settled then. Don't worry about anything. Everything's going to be fine, Khush."

And somehow, I believed that.



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



When I woke up the next day, the house was dreadfully silent. I knew that Baba was gone already.

After brushing and taking a shower, I dressed for the day. I found a black full-sleeve tee and comfortable PJs, and threw them on. Then, I went to kitchen to get myself some breakfast. I was sure Baba would have prepared breakfast before leaving, he was very strict about my food routine.



It was strange, being alone. I stared into nothing as I chewed on my toasts. What should I do until Monday? No doubt Baba would be busy this week. I decided to watch action movie after I had put

the breakfast dishes away. I looked through the pile of Baba's collection of movies. Finally, I decided on his favorite one. RED. Retired Extremely Dangerous.



I nestled comfortably on the couch and pulled a blanket over me. The climate was cold outside. Even

though the movie was an action comedy, my thoughts drifted after a while. Soon, I was thinking of something totally different, even though my eyes were staring at the moving figures shooting and dodging on the screen. My thoughts drifted to the most unexpected person. I was curious. What was he doing right now?



I knew that he, too, would soon be attending ART but the question was would he survive there? The Raizadas had endured through all those hard years of training. It was in their blood to survive. But will he survive?



I quickly pushed him out of my mind. I probably would never see him again. SIT had many secret agents, and he and I would probably work in different branches after we graduated from ART. My thoughts wandered again. How come I had never noticed anything strange about my Baba and Mumma's life style? Of course, Mumma was a different story. I only had faint memories of her. But I lived with Baba. I should have known something strange was going on when he came home four months ago with that deep cut on his upper biceps. Baba had made up a story that he had got into an accident. Now, I realized that it must have happened during a mission. He had fourteen stitches on that cut, and it had taken approximately a month to heal. I could still see the scar on his toned hand. Would I look like that too? Pain. Injuries. Scars. Having to withstand and endure the pain. The mission came first before my safety. After all, becoming a secret agent meant that you were risking your life to help the society to live in peace.



Baba was right in front of me. Twenty other people were listening intently to his directions, surrounded us. My father was whispering. He looked wary. He gestured towards different directions and pointed to each person. They were nodding as their names were mentioned. I watched as five people went off towards the left, and another five went off towards the right. I watched Baba take the other ten and going straight ahead.

I realized what was happening. My father was leading his team on a mission. I was suddenly very, very scared.

"Baba, Noo!" I cried, trying to follow him.

But my feet weren't working. Instead of going straight ahead like I was planning to, my feet led me to the opposite direction.

I saw five agents hiding behind a poll, peeking out to see if the path was clear. But instead of walking closer to them, my feet led me through a narrow passage to the left. On and on my feet went, leading me through a maze in this strange place. I realized that I was searching for someone. Suddenly, I stopped. 

There he is.


He was right there, tall and handsome, all grown up. His untidy, messy locks were messier than usual. He was wearing light distressed jeans, a grey, full sleeve tshirt, and a bulletproof black vest over it. He was wearing a black bag on his back. In his one hand, he held a gun, and in his other hand, he held a BC-41 knife. His chocolate eyes were alert and determined.

I watched, wide-eyed. What was he upto?

He bent down and kneeled on the floor. He laid down the gun quietly on the ground and enclosed his knife. He took off the bag and unzipped it quickly. He pulled out something small and green can shaped object from the bag. He looked around cautiously. Then, with an abrupt movement, he threw

the green object far away. Grabbing his gun, he aimed it quietly, and raised it slowly. His left hand was on the handle, with his index finger on the trigger, while his right hand supported the weapon. He glanced left and right, then again took aim. He squeezed the trigger.

There was a huge exploding sound where he had thrown the green object. Quickly, he grabbed his bag and stood up. He ran past me, dashing away faster than I would have thought possible. I followed him, willingly this time, tensed. What was he doing here all alone?

There was a series of gunshots behind me. The enemy was coming closer to us. He ran faster. He glanced left and right when he passed cross passage ways. When the men wearing identical black clothes appeared in front of him, running and shouting out that they got him, he merely raised his own

gun and shot at each of them without loosing aim. They fell like moppets cut from their twineI couldn't help but be amazed by his perfect aims. He didn't shoot more than once at one person. His aim was that perfect.

My ears felt like it was going to explode any moment from now. The sound of the guns firing off in this huge place scared me. It echoed in my ears and blood pounded loudly in my head. I was panting hard, almost hyperventilating as I kept following him, passing the dead bodies along the way. It was disorienting.

Finally, I saw a door ahead. I realized that it must be the exit. He seemed to notice it too. He started running faster, only to be blocked by two men in the black clothes. One of them raised his gun and aimed at him. He fired.

He collapsed, and his extremely handsome face frowning in pain, as he clutched at his chest. I screamed. Not in fear, but in rebellion. At the same time, my heart exploded in pain. I collapsed too, unable to do anything else.

I clutched at my heart. It was too painful.

"NO!" I cried, my eyes on his handsome face. "Please no!"

He turned to face me for the first time. He gazed straight into my eyes. And he smiled.

It was a peaceful, relieved smile with a hint of sadness in it.

"No," I choked out, shaking my head.

He breathed heavily. "Khushiii-be safe-safe," His head thudded down on the floor.

"NO!" I screamed.

He wasn't moving anymore.

"NO!" I yelled.

 

I sat up abruptly. I was covered in cold sweat. I glanced around. The living room was darker than usual because of the clouds. I sighed in relief and relaxed. I reached for the remote and turned off the TV. I couldn't shake off the nightmare. Already, the events were fading away, and it was getting harder to remember. But there was one thing that I absolutely could not forget.



His face. His face contorted with pain.



I knew that face. It belonged to the person that I had known for exactly one day. Though he had been a grown up in the visions, it was definitely him. Why was he in my dreams?



The gunshots were still firing in my head. It had seemed so real. I sighed, frustrated now. It was just the nerves. I was nervous about beginning my training. That must be why I was having nightmares

about people dying.

I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was now 12:30, and I was hungry. I got off the couch and trudged towards the kitchen in search of food.





The dream was long forgotten.

Jun 21, 2015

Chapter 6 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 94 times)

Khushi's Point of View



I was scared. The place was elephantine. It overshadowed me like it was a mammoth that was going to absorb me. It seemed to have a propinquity by itself. It was five stories high and ivory colored. Glass windows were agleam and radiant, even though the day was not sunny. It was mirror-coated so I couldn't see anything inside. There was no speck of dirt anywhere, except on the ground outside. There was a huge, beautiful garden adjacent to the building. A huge name board infront of the building read: Raizada Private School. And then, in smaller letters underneath: No sticking nose in.



"You said there were only few people in the Mehrauli ART, Baba!" I accused, clutching his hand tightly, "You are such a liar. Jao baat nahi karni aapse!"



"There are only few people Khush, I promise," Baba said urgently thinking I would change my mind and refuse to join.

"Why is it so gigantic then?" I asked.

Baba laughed, "All the ART campus are as big as this. In fact, Mehrauli has an advantage over the other ones, because there are only few people. We have more space to train. On the other hand, other ARTs that have more people find it hard to maintain consistent schedule for training. While here in Mehrauli, you'll have an adaptable schedule, which means that coach can give equal attention to every candidate. SITs best agents come from Mehrauli."



"Accha?" I whispered as he led me inside the building, "Why is the name wrong in the name board? Aap mujhe sahi jagah par lekar aaye ho na, Baba?"

"Han beta," Baba said, leading me inside the grand gateway.

There were huge fancy light fixtures everywhere. "It is operating under a phony name. We don't want people to find out about SIT. Of course, the government knows its true identity and everyone knows that the "Raizada Private School" is everywhere in the world. Any outsider who tries to get their children into this place gets rejected." He turned to wink at me, he looked so much young when he was happy.

I couldn't smile though. I was scared to hell. In order to distract myself, I looked around the passageway. It was breath-taking. It was lit brightly with many fancy light fixtures. The walls were made of pitch black granite, and it glistened and sparkled as the light reflected on it. It was quiet and cool inside, quite unlike-Delhi. The only thing you could hear was the air conditioning. The ceiling was fifty feet high.



There was a beautiful woman around the age of twenty five standing at the counter, which was made of white marble.



"Sanky," the woman greeted him warmly, "Aaj aap jaldi aagaye."


Introducing Jewel Mary as Jewel Abby



"Jewel," Baba greeted, "I'm here to drop Khushi off."

Jewel looked down at me. She studied me intently. Then, she smiled warmly.

"Welcome Khushi," she said, "Ready for the training?"

"No!"

She laughed, "That's sad. Don't worry, hardly anyone is ever ready to start. But you will be. Everyone's expecting great achievements from you baby."

I choked on my breath.

"Bas ab. Don't scare her," Baba said, "Khushi ka room ready hai?"

"Han!" Jewel said enthusiastically, "Wait!" She typed something on her computer, "Khushi Gupta. Room number 444." She threw something in the air at Baba. To my surprise, he caught it easily with

perfect reflexes.

"Yeh sambhal kar rakhna Khush," Baba said, giving the object to me. It was a tiny silver key that was almost as fancy as the light fixtures, "Your key to your room. We don't keep duplicate keys, so you don't want to misplace it or you won't be able to get to your room."

I nodded, taking the key from him, "Do I start training today?"

"If you would like to," Jewel said, mildly surprised at my question, "Wouldn't you like to look around the place first?"

I shrugged nonchalantly, "No, I'll get to see the place later. I would like to start the training right away."

"Great," Jewel said, "I'll introduce you to your teachers then. They're all expecting you. Sanky, you can go and work now."

Baba looked down at me, worried now, "Khush beta, will you be okay?"

I nodded. "Take care." I shot him a reassuring smile, even though I was scared and nervous. I didn't want him to worry though.

Baba watched as I followed Jewel through the long passageway with many elevators. Jewel stopped in front of the third elevator and tampered with a silver chain around her neck. An ID card that was labelled: SIT, Mehrauli, Jewel Abby. A picture of her was right below her name. She held up the card to a extravagant scanner. The machine beeped twice in recognition of the woman, and the elevator doors slid open silently.



It was a quiet ride on the elevator. The walls became glass windows as we got higher. I could see two, huge training rooms below me, which consisted of many treadmills, bicycles, and various machines.

Few students were jumping in the corner of the many rooms, and some students were on the treadmill training hard. As I watched with keen interest, one of the students, a girl around the age of thirteen fell unanticipatedly. Her body was quivering strangely in response to the still-running treadmill. To my horror, no one paid any heed to her. Even her collegues, who had been running beside her merely glanced at her, then looked away impartially.

Shocked, I asked, "Unki koi madad kyu nahi kar raha?"

Jewel looked down at where I was looking at.

"Well," she paused, "Looks like Shikha is exhausted again. Don't worry. She faints regularly."

"Then why isn't anyone helping?" I asked.

"Here at ART," Jewel said coolly, "We don't help anyone while we train. It's actually against the rules. You learn to survive here by yourself. That's how you get tough, baby. You have a lot to learn."

"Wo theek toh hojayenge na?"

Jewel smirked, "You'll make an interesting agent, Khushi. No one even cares about anyone else once they are receiving their training. They can't afford to waste their energy on someone else."

"Wo buri baat hai na?"

She thought for a moment, "Nahi. It's just different here baby, that's all."

The elevator stopped, and the door slid open.

"Chalo," she said, walking out and turning right. She walked quickly and briskly, leaving me to catch up as best as I could. This floor was cold. The air conditioning was all I could hear. Everything else was quiet.

"We keep the whole academy cold always," Jewel told me as we headed towards one of the training rooms, "It's necessary. It's cold now, but you'll hardly ever need a jacket. You'll be training that hard, and sweating 24*7."



She scanned her ID card again, and the door beeped twice. She swung it open with two hands dramatically. My jaw dropped. The place was bigger than I had thought. The elevator was in the middle of the room, so I had thought that there were two training rooms. But it was only one actually. The place was huge. It was filled with machines used to build a fit body. In the corner, where the weights were teenaged boys were lifting weights, sweat literally dripping like a water fountain from their bodies. On the sides of the room, were over hundred treadmills. Only about half of them were being used, and most of them were used by girls. 

There were only about ten students around the same age as me. Strict-looking male teachers all wearing the same black tshirt and blue shorts with sports shoes were everywhere, instructing students

harshly. The girl named Shikha was still quivering weirdly on her treadmill.



"Malhar Sir," Jewel called.

A tall man with a well-built body turned. He walked over to us, frowning slightly.




Introducing Rajeev Pillai as Malhar Deshmukh




"Kya hai ab, Jewel?" he almost shouted, "Can't you see I'm working?"

"I can," Jewel answered coolly, "I just wanted to introduce you to your new student. She's the last one that we'll be accepting this year. Khushi Gupta, meet one of your trainers, Malhar."

He nodded at me. "I have heard a lot about you, Khushi. We are expecting a lot from you kid."

I nodded too, "Good to meet you, Sir."

"She is going to start right away?" Malhar Sir asked, "She just dropped in now right?"

"She wants to start right away." Jewel informed.

"Frisky," he mused, "I like her already. Alright, Khushi. How about we get you started on some running? You are out of shape currently." He pointed to a treadmill in the way corner, far away from the others.

"Chalo mere saath." He said.



I left Jewel and followed Sir to the machine.

"Here," He said, then began instructing me on how to use it. When he finished, he added, "We make the trainees run more than this everyday. Running is the most important thing because we have to

make sure we get away as quickly as possible when we are completing a mission. You might want to start out slowly. Or if you want, you can push yourself and increase the speed and limit. Completely your choice."



He walked away, shouting at a teenaged boy who was juggling with two forty Kgs dumbells while his friends laughed on him. I flinched when Sir's voice echoed all around the huge room. Then, I smiled as I pressed the Quick Start button. Even though this place was tough and a bit strange, I thought I could survive here. After all, I was an expert on weirdness.



Adi's note: So, what did you think? Difficult, hai na? Do you think she can survive there? I am going to have several leaps before they reach their original ages, twenty.



so if you liked the update and want to read it further don't forget to click on the chotu sa Thank You tab and leave me a comment on your thoughts.. 



Jun 21, 2015

Chapter 7 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 94 times)

Arnav's Point of View

"Faster, Arnav," Joseph Sir snapped, "You call this running stupid?"




Introducing Sangram Singh as Joseph Marshall


Gasping hard and sweat trilling down my face, I increased the speed and inclined the machine. I began to run faster. It wasn't hard actually. I was used to this kind of rough training. Over the last nine years

of training in ART, I had become one of the best students in the Mumbai branch. I was supersonic, speedy and exquisite. I was tall and had a fit physique. And if self praise wasn't considered to be over confidence, I wasn't that bad looking too. After all, the girls who were training with me kept looking at me and stumbled over their own feet.



"Ten minutes more, Arnav," Joseph Sir told me. "You go to shooting class afterwards. Daiwik Sir is waiting for you. He's looking for flawless aim today, so I hope you have practiced. I don't want to see you running an extra lap before dinner just because you missed one target."

He walked away, leaving me to for the last ten minutes.



"Chhote!"




Presenting Daljeet Kaur as Anjali Singh Raizada




I almost grumbled as a familiar voice echoed all around the room.

"Anjali!" Joseph Sir yelled, "This is a training room not your bedroom! Do not shout, and no running so loudly. Didn't I tell you? Elegance is key to-"


"-a successful mission," Di completed, still running toward me loudly, "I know, Joseph Sir! Sorry about that!"

Joseph Sir groaned and turned back to another student. Being the children of the heir did have its benefits. Phew!

"Chhote!" Di said, standing next to me. She must have been running here all the way from her class downstairs, but she wasn't even out of breath. Another benefit of training for years. I merely snorted, saving my energy.



Di started the treadmill next to me, increasing the speed.

"Baat karni hai tumse," she said, running besides me now, "It's super important."

"Kaho," I spit out through my teeth.

"Tumhara next class kab shuru hoga?"

I turned my head to look at her dubiously, "You ran all the way here to ask me this?"

"Of course not, paagal," Di scoffed, "Just answer."

"In five minutes," I answered, without looking at her.

"Okay," She said, "I just wanted to tell you that Dad wants to have a word with you in his office as soon as you are done."

"Kyu kya hua?" No matter how old you turn but when Dad says he wants to talk to you, you start rewinding all the episodes in mind thinking where you went wrong. 

She shrugged, "Mujhe kya pata?"

"Aaj toh I'm not free," I said, "I have night training."

Di looked horrified. "Phir se? I don't remember Bhai or Jaski training as hard as you, Chhote."

"We are trained in different fields," I reminded her, "Bhai and Jaski are shoot out leaders. I'm a TA. They don't need to train as hard."

"I don't even know why you even majored in that field," Di complained, "It's oppressive. You need to train so hard. And you have to learn to work with every kind of weapon. I mean, who takes archery and sword-fighting classes? You probably will never use that skill on any mission ever. No wonder there's only one TA in the Mumbai Branch. YOU."



I shrugged. "I don't know why I opted to be a TA, either."

"Huh. Whatever. I'll tell Dad. Maybe he'll stop by one of your classes or something." She stopped the treadmill.

"See you, Di."

"ANJALI!" Joseph Sir yelled as she ran to the exit again, "BE LIGHT ON YOUR FEET!"

"Sorry, Sir!" The door opened, and the sound of her loud footsteps was gone.

"Alright, Arnav!" Sir called, "You are done!"



I stopped the treadmill and reached for the towel and water bottle next to me. I walked past the other trainees on the treadmills, taking a gulp of the water. I wiped my sweat away with the towel. The girls on the treadmills glanced back at me, sighing dreamily. I had absolutely no idea what was so impressive about me wiping off my sweat.



"KYA KAR RAHE HO?" I heard Daiwik Sir screaming at the ten year old shoot out trainees, who had just missed their targets, "You are holding the gun wrong idiots! You have been doing this ever since you were eight! BEWAKOOFNot like that!" He screamed like a girl in frustration. They all cringed.



I smiled bitterly. I remembered quite well when Sir had actually shot a bullet at me when I kept messing up my target. Fortunately, I had worn a bulletproof jacket, and hadn't got injured. But I knew better than to make Sir angry again. I had practiced shooting until he was satisfied. Only rarely did I miss. But when I did, extra laps around the field outside was compulsory.



"GET OUT!" he screamed again as a little boy forgot to support the bottom of the gun with his left hand again, "LEAVE! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT! DON'T COME BACK IF YOU DIDN'T PRACTICE! LEAVE! GET OUT YOU STUPIDS."



The little boys crawled to get out of the training room, petrified. The door swung shut as ten boys exited, all wearing bulletproof vests with the label, ART, on their right chest. They stopped when they saw me. Now, they looked even more scared.



"Yo bacchha party," I greeted them playfully, "Looks like you are leaving me with an angry old Daiwik again."

One of them bit his lip, "Sorry Arnie!"

"But we did try," another one spoke up, "Sacchi mein Arnie!"

I grinned, "I know, maine dekha. Looks like I'll have to get flawless aim today, or he'll shoot at me again."

The boys looked damned. The entire ART knew about the bullet incident.



"Sorry," they said again. Then, they ran down the stairs, desperate to get away from the room. With a sigh, I inserted my trainee ID number into the security pad. The door beeped twice, and I pushed the door open.



"Evening Sir," I said cautiously, walking towards him.




Introducing Prathap Pothan as Daiwik Brahmbhatt




Sir looked up from his gun, which he had been keenly studying. I gulped.

"Evening Arnav," he said, that wild ray of light evident in his eyes, "I just had the most disastrous experience of my life. Those kids are all stupid!"

He always said that. He must have had numerous disastrous experiences in his thirty five years of teaching. Daiwik Sir was a sixty three year old teacher who taught shooting classes. He had been one of the best shoot out agent back in his day, not to mention a lady's man too, which I found hard to digest.

"Theek hai," he snapped, "I am not in a good mood today, dost. I hope, for God's sake, that you'll get damn perfect aim today. If not- well, let's just say that my gun is fully loaded today."

I grinned. "Pakka dost."

"Theek hai toh. Lets see what you have got up your sleeves. No ear-vacuum today. Better get used to the sound, duh. We'll go easy on you today, okay? If you can get eighty targets easily, we'll call it a day. Non-stop. An extra lap for every shot you miss, dost." He settled back on the bench and waited. I was going to be deaf for an hour after practice, but the most important thing right now was to satisfy this old man.



I got in the ready position. With my eyes narrowed and focusing on the red target point, I raised my gun that I held in my right hand, and pricked it. I had got past the stage the little boys had been learning. I didn't need to support the butt of my gun anymore. Only rarely did Sir ask me to do that. I squeezed the trigger. The bullet fired with a deafening sound, cutting through the target flag. I glanced at the flag sporadically, certain that I had missed the target. To my surprise, the middle red dot was completely gone. What the-

"Well-," Sir said, he was looking satisfied, "Looks like all your hard works paid off. Now you hit your target even when your position is wrong. That's actually a good sign."



Mentally sighing in relief, I kept my face expressionless as I shot through the rest of the seventy-nine bullets assigned to me. I hit the target every time, saving me from an extra hour of running later.



"Done Arnav," Daiwik Sir said, lifting himself off the bench when I had finished with the last bullet. When he called me by my name instead of all that swear words he used, it meant that he wasn't going to kill me today.



"Excellent. Looks like you have trained him well, Daiwik."

We both turned to see Dad leaning on the back wall. He had seen the whole thing.



"Evening Dev," Sir greeted him, "What are you doing down here?"

I stared at my father, surprised. I hardly ever saw him, what with my busy training schedule and his busy work schedule.

"Well, I thought I would have a word with Chhote," Dad said grinning, "I heard he had a night training today."

"Phir se?" Sir looked at me strangely, "Who plans your schedule, dost?"

"Joseph Marshall," I sighed.

"Bacchhe ki jaan lega kya woh," Sir groaned, "Tumhe best agent banana chahta hai Joseph."

Dad chuckled, "Is he done for the day, Daiwik?" he asked.

"Well, yes," Sir said, sitting back down on the bench heavily, "You can take him to his next class, Boss."

Dad made a face, "You know, I really hate being called Boss?"



"Boss ko boss nahi toh aur kya bulayenge?" Daiwik Sir questioned.

"But that doesn't mean I have to like it," Dad said. He turned to me, smiling. "Come on, Chhote."

"Have a good night sleep, Sir," I said as I passed him.

"Good work today, dost." He appreciated.

"Thank You."

"What are you doing here, Dad?" I asked as we exited to the lobby, "No patients today?" He had a cover job of a doctor in a prestigious hospital nearby.

He grinned, "Plenty of patients. But I have to come once in a while, you see."

"How's Mumma?" I asked.

"Happy," Dad replied, "She's super excited."

"Excited?" I repeated. "Kyu?"

"Well, your siblings are graduating next week, tumhe nahi pata?"

"Oh," I said grossly, "Yeah I know."

He laughed. "Rude ha?"

I shrugged, "Training to become a TA is difficult. It takes time. I understand that, Dad."

"But Chhote," Dad said, his eyes sparkling mischievously, "You'll be graduating with them too."

I stopped on my tracks and looked at him, "KYA?"

"Sahi suna tumne," Dad confirmed, "I have decided to graduate you earlier than usual. I have talked to your teachers. They all seem to agree on one thing. You are already ready to fulfill your task as a TA in the Mumbai Branch."



I blinked, confused.



"You're a natural fighter, Chhote. Your teachers believe that they won't be able to teach you anything more. From now on, it will be your job to go out and learn new things by yourself on missions. I have seen you training hard, Chhote. I know that you will become one of the best agents of SIT."



I began shaking my head vigorously, "But Dad, I don't think I'm ready yet. I'm far from ready actually. I wouldn't know what to do in a mission."



He smiled, "Well that's for you to figure out for yourself, Chhote." He began walking again, leaving me to trail behind in confusion.

"Ask your siblings anything, Chhote," Dad told me. "They'll be happy to guide you. They were extremely ecstatic when I told them that you'll be graduating with them. You'll start your official work the day after your graduating ceremony next week on Saturday. You'll be given your very first mission."



"Do you think I'm ready Dad?"

He turned to face me. "Yes, I do. I believe in you, Chhote." He paused, then grinned widely, "You'll be one of the first in the history of SIT to have graduated at fifteen. And you'll make us proud."



I knew the history of SIT well. It was one of the requirements an agent needed to know about the board. Which was why I found what he said strange.



"Kya matlab Dad?" I asked, "I don't think I have ever read about any other agents who have graduated at fifteen or earlier."

He hesitated a bit, "No one has. You are one of the first."

"Who are the other graduates then?"

"Not other graduates," Dad corrected, "Only one other graduate."

"Kaun hai woh?" I wondered.

"She is in another branch, Chhote. You don't know her." He informed.

"She?" I repeated, "You mean it's a girl?" I asked shocked.

"I have just gotten a report from the Mehrauli branch," Dad admitted. "The trainers and the Boss there decided to graduate her. She was training to be a TA too. She's an official TA of Mehrauli branch now."

I yawped at him, "A girl TA? It's strange. There are no girls who are brave enough to do it," I admitted.

Dad smiled, "Exactly. I do not know her name, but it seems that she's a natural fighter too, just like you. She will be graduating next week as well."

I nodded slowly, "Do me a favor Dad."

"Yes, Chhote?"

I looked up at him, innocently, "Will I still have to do night training tonight?" I asked making a puppy face.

He burst into laughter.

"Don't laugh, I am serious," I protested, "I am very tired. Can you please excuse me? After all, if my teachers are the ones who have agreed to get rid of me from ART, then it's fair for me to take it easy until graduation, don't you think?"

"Yeah," Dad subsided, still laughing as he walked away, "I'll go excuse you from your night training."

I grinned, "Thanks Boss."

He kept glaring at me until he turned the corner of the passageway.



Note So Arnav is graduating at fifteen. And there is someone else who will be graduating too.. Any guesses? 



If you liked the update, don't forget to click on the chota sa thank you tab.. Love..

Jun 24, 2015

Chapter 8 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 96 times)

Khushi's Point of View

I increased the speed and force of the treadmill. I began to run faster. I was gasping densely and perspiration ran down my face.



"Faster, Khushi!" Malhar Sir yelled. He reached over to increase the speed. I wanted to slap him hard and make him get on the treadmill to give him a taste of his own medicine, but I knew that he was training me to be the best TA of SIT.



Malhar Sir was my head teacher, who decided all my training schedules for me. He had trained me hard for the last nine years, determined to make me the best.



"You can go to shooting class in four minutes," he told me, then walked away. I focused on my breathing pattern. Breathe in, then breathe out. Breathe in - Breathe out.



"Khushiiiiii."

I solely squeaked as one of my comrade, Aditi Chand, who was speacializing to be a geek, started the treadmill next to me on normal speed.


Introducing Roop Durgapal as Aditi Chand

"Tum itni mehenat kyu karti ho yaar?" she asked me in a cold voice, "Tumhe show off karne ki zarurat nahi hai, sab jante hai tumhe ki tum bohot acchhi student ho. Aur waise bhi tumhare daddy Sankalp Gupta Sir hai. Toh ab aur kya chahiye tumhe?"


Aditi had been inimical towards me ever since I had met her at the age of six. She had always been jealous of me for reasons I would never understand. She didn't even like to go into missions as she said it would destroy her well-manicured nails, which was why she opted to be a Geek.



"Who the f*ck do you think is showing off?" I asked in a threatening voice.

"Acchha? Toh kyu itni mhenat karti rehti ho tum," She asked zealously, "Are you not tired? You have been working so hard ever since you were six. Yeh show off nahi hai toh kya hai?"



I peered at her, "Can you get lost Aditi."

"What?" she asked shocked, narrowing her eyes at me.

I smiled sarcastically, "Aise he behave karti rehna. Kabhi bhi ART ke bahar kadam nahi rakh paogi. Grow up!"

Her eyes got huge. She looked awfully vexed. It was high time now that I warn her not to mess with me.



"It's time for your next class Khushi!" Malhar Sir called just in time. I stopped the treadmill and picked up my water bottle and towel. Aditi was still searching for a proper comeback.

One side of my lips automatically curled up. 



"Milte hai baad mein," I said calmly. And I walked away, wiping my neck with the towel, and trying to ignore the guys who were ogling at me and tripping on their own feet on the treadmill. I entered my ID number on the security keypad. The door beeped twice, I pushed it open, stepping inside the cold room.



"You are early today, Khushi," Daveed Sir greeted me, "Aao. Show me what you have got up your sleeves."




Introducing Anil Kapoor as Daveed Dastur


I set down my things in a corner and went to get my gun. As I was checking its condition and was about to load the bullets, Daveed Sir said, "No ear-vacuums today. Better get used to the sound, sweetie. Forty bullets today, nonstop. If you can hit every target, you'll be free for the day. Remember, though, for every target you miss, an extra lap is compulsory. Ready?"

I nodded, getting in my ready position.



"Kis ke intezar mein ho bhai! Shoot sweetie."



I stacked the gun and held up my right hand, aiming for the red dot on the target with my body facing my left side. My right foot was in front of the other, and my chest was high.



F-O-C-U-S.


I squeezed the trigger. But at the last moment, my hand left hand slipped and I lost my balance. The ear-popping sound hurt my ears. But I had something else to worry about. Sh*t! One extra lap. I lowered my gun and peered at the target flag with one eye closed. To my utter surprise, the red dot on the target was gone.



"Kya baat hai," Sir said from behind me, "All your hard work paid off. You hit your target, even when you were in a wrong stance."



Sighing mentally in relief, I raised my gun again. I shot through all of the bullets assigned to me perfectly, thus, saving myself from extra laps.


"Splendid," Sir said in satisfaction.

I lowered my gun and turned around, heaving a sigh of relief. My eyes fell on a familiar figure by the door. I blinked. Was he really here?


Daveed Sir turned to see what I was looking at. Then, he stood up immediately in respect.



"Boss," he stated, "What are you doing here?"

"I thought I would speak with Khush about something important," Boss said, his eyes twinkling with happiness, "Looks like you have trained her really well, Daveed." He commented.

"Thank you Boss, but it's all her hard work and patience," Sir said modestly.

"Chalo Khush," Boss said.

"See you Sir," I murmured as I passed him.

"See you sweetie." He replied.



"What are you doing here, Boss?" I asked formally, "You are usually in the Mehrauli branch."

"I wanted to have a word with you," Boss said, "You can drop the formality. It's strange, coming from my daughter. I'm your father before being your Boss, Khush," he said.

I had a serious face as we walked down the passageway, "There are security cameras everywhere, Boss. I have to be respectful towards the Boss of the branch."

He laughed at my sarcasm, "Whatever you say madam. So, Khush. You know there is a graduation ceremony coming up next week."



I nodded.

"The thing is," Boss said regretfully, "Iss saal bhi koi graduate nahi ho raha hai."

"Phir se?" I asked in shock.

He nodded, "The Mehrauli branch has very less students that there are not many graduates. We have not had one in the past four years, tumhe pata hai na? No one's ready yet."



I nodded again. I remembered the last graduation ceremony we had four years back. Even then, there had only been two graduates. And those graduates had later given up before the completion of a year in the SIT branch, and chose to get killed instead of surviving.



"Similarly no one's graduating this year," he repeated strangely.

I looked at him, "I heard you, Baba. Toh ab kya kare?"

"No one is ready-" he paused before continuing, "Apart from you."

I stopped dead in my tracks. "Kyaa?"

"Tumne sahi suna," Baba said, looking satisfied now, "You are graduating next week on Saturday, Khush. I have talked to your teachers. They seem to think that they don't have anything else to teach you. You have mastered in almost everything. From now on, it'll be your duty to go out with the official SIT branch shoot out team and learn new things from your experiences."



I couldn't believe my ears. I stared at him incredulously, not believing what I heard.



"No one has ever graduated at fifteen, Baba," I whispered, "Don't fool me. Do you think I don't know the history of SIT?"

"Yes no one has," Baba repeated. "You'll be one of the first ones to graduate at fifteen."

"One of the first one?" I raised my eyebrows questioningly.

"There's another TA who is graduating next week in the Mumbai Branch," Baba said, "Even he is fifteen. The teachers there have the same thing to say about him."

I tightened my lips. "Do you really think I'm ready, Baba?"

He smiled warmly, "I know you are beta. I have watched you grow and train hard. You have worked really hard through your nine years of training. I think you are ready."

I exhaled sharply, "I don't think I am. What if I disappoint you infront of others?"

"You won't," Baba said, "Everyone knows you are the best. Our agents in the branch are looking forward to work with you. A TA is what we need right now, to help us cooperate smoothly. And that will be you, Khush."



I stared at him. He had streaks of white in his hair, though he was merely in his late thirties. The stress from his missions, back when he was younger, had made him more exhausted as the years passed. Baba had rose to the highest position that anyone could reach. The agents in the Mehrauli branch had all elected Baba to become their new Boss when Ravindran Tambi had retired nine years ago. Everyone leaned and depended on him. So did I. I trusted him as my father, and as an idol. I had learned many things from him during my nine years of training. But I didn't know if I could trust him on this.


"Your teachers seem to think it's really a good idea," Baba said, "And I trust them. Don't worry, Khush. You'll do wonders."



I nodded slowly as I started ahead to digest the fact that, in a few days, I would be graduating from ART, my second home. I would finally get to go out into the real world to fulfill my job as a Tricker.


Note: So, you were all right.. Khushi's graduating.. Time for some celebration.. I hope you enjoyed this update, though I admit, it was a boring. Anyways, don't forget to click on the chota sa Thank You tab if you liked the update.. LOVE..



Jun 26, 2015

Chapter 9 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 94 times)

Three Years Later

"Khushi?" Jewel Abby, one of our doctor ran around the huge hall where everything concerning SIT was handled. She stopped at preparation room to ask if anybody had seen me.


"Phir kho diya apne use?" Shantanu Sinha asked. Shantanu was one of our geek specialists who helped our shoot-out teams develop plans for our missions.



Introducing Saurabbh Roy as Shantanu Sinha


"Kaha hai yeh ladki?" Jewel muttered, thumping her foot, "Woh humari best agent hai aur ekk lauti TA hai, uska matlab yeh nahi hai ki woh kabhi bhi kahi bhi jasakti hai!"

"I'm not an object to be misplaced, Shanta," I fussed, leaping from the third floor that led up to the office of the Boss of branch. I landed faintly and breezily on the floor, completely unscratched. I faked a punch on Shantanu.


Shantanu grinned, "Aagayi aap madamji."


"KHUSHI!" Jewel scolded, "I have told you hundred times not to jump from the third floor! What if you get hurt? Its around thirty feet off the ground floor!"


I rolled my eyes at her, "Did I get hurt, Jewel? Don't create a fuss over this thing now puh-lease-"


Shantanu and one of his friends, Roshef Ahmed, a member of the shoot-out team, laughed. Jewel and I shared a very close bond, she was always so worried about me but one thing she always forgot that I can't get hurt by merely jumping thirty or forty feet. I was trained that hard.


"Yeh ladki-" Jewel started, sighing, "Kaha thi tum?"

"The crown."

"PHIR SE?" She barked.

I winced at her sound as I walked around the four long tables that were divided into preparation room. I reached my workspace, which was at the far right hand corner of the right table, and sat down. Jewel followed me like a puppy.


"What is so fascinating for you on the crown?" Jewel thundered, "Tumhe samaj nahi aata ki crown is dangerous?"


"Come on Jewel," I cracked, "Stop worrying about me so much. It's not that dangerous. The crown is oblate."


"The crown is oblate," Jewel repeated sneeringly, "Han, it's not that dangerous. So the fact that this domicile is approximately seventy feet high isn't dangerous, right?"


I sighed, "Dekho Jewel. Main apni heels nikal kar jati hu, whenever I go upstairs. I was just taking a break, old lady. I needed my break away from them," I motioned towards Viraj Agarwal and Aditi Chand, who were flirting with each other at the Nescafe counter in the corner.

"Viraj and Aditi!" Roshef yelled.

The two of them jumped and turned to face him, standing properly.

"You chaps," Shantanu asserted as he went over to scold them, "How can absolute juniors be taking a break? Shouldn't you at least be in a senior position, like your comrade, Khushi, over there?"


Viraj caught my eye and grinned, winking.



Introducing Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui as Viraj Agarwal

I looked away callously.

"Well, Khushi graduated from ART early, Shantanu sir," Aditi said coyly, "So that doesn't make her our senior. It doesn't count actually."

"Acchha?" Shantanu claimed, not at all perplexed by her alluring ventures, "Miss Aditi, if you're want to flirt, atleast do it properly. You look like a buffalo, trying to get a fly off your nostrils. I mean, Khushi ko dekho. Almost roz flirt karna padta hai use. How can you not learn something from her?"


"Stop Shanta," I popped as Aditi frowned at me, "Mujhe yeh sab se dur he rakho. Do you think I really want to flirt with guys? I do that because it's my job afterall."


"Arrey mera bacchha, we all know it's part of your job and that you really hate to flirt away," Shantanu said, grinning and using that cheesy nickname for me. He had named me as the bacchha of the Mehrauli branch, as I was the youngest who had graduated in the history of SIT. I didn't really mind that nickname, but I did mind when he lighted fire for some cat fights. Like now.


I quivered. "Dekho, main bhuli nahi hu ki kal shaam ko tum log ne kya kiya tha mere saath. Tum aise kaise ch*od sakte ho mujhe paanch ladko ke beech, jo nazron se he mera rape kar rahe the, agar mujhe kuch hojata toh? You didn't even warn me! Good that I had my gun filled."


"Like I said, that's your job. And you handled everything wonderfully, bacchha."


I gritted my teeth as I turned back to the files on my table, "Can't you ask someone else to do it? I mean, I'm just eighteen, and you want me to seduce old, fat, hungry men?"


"That's your job, not mine."

I hurled the paper-weight at him so quickly that my hand was a blur. But Shantanu was well-trained for ditching my throws. He turned his head slightly to the left so that the paper weight whizzed past him, and Roshef caught it at time.


"Khushi!" Jewel said offensively, "Use lag jata toh!"

I snorted, "Han Mother India." 


Jewel sighed.

"Why did you want to see me, anyway?" I asked, turning to my laptop and opening up the files of the drug gang that was impregnating the whole of Delhi, The Wordal Combat.


That's when Jewel realized, "Boss wanted me to find everyone." She walked towards the office canteen.


"Everyone out!" she yelled, opening the door with a loud thud, "Boss has something to announce."

"Come on, Jewel," Aayush Dhingra, member of the shoot out team, complained as he came out.



Introducing Prateik as Aayush Dhingra


"We were having interesting conversation." Aayush complained.

"Too bad, break time is over," Jewel said, "Come on everyone file out."


Abhishek and Raesha, both geeks came out, looking pissed. And all twelve of the B team shootout members filed out as well.


At that moment, the office door upstairs opened, and Boss stepped out on the balcony. Everyone strived to get up in respect.


"Is everyone here?" Boss asked.

"Yes, Boss," Men said in unison.

"Good," Boss sighed, "Okay. I'm here to announce about my retirement."


I looked up, shocked. Everyone else started murmuring to each other.


"I know it's a bit shocking," Boss said, "But honestly, I have been thinking about it for a while now. I think I need rest now."


"But Sanky-" Jewel started, looking upset now, "Hum apke bina kya karenge?"

"You guys will do wonders," Boss said proudly, walking down the spiral staircase towards us, "And that's why I asked everyone to be here. I have a very important news to announce. Today's my last day. I won't be here as the Boss right from tomorrow. Therefore, Mehrauli branch needs a Boss. You all need a leader, someone you can depend and rely on." He stared at all of us, "You need to pick a new Boss for your branch. And one piece of advice, pick someone who you will not regret choosing. This

person will be your superior, but he should be able to lead you responsibly."


"You want us to choose someone?" Shantanu asked.


"The agents are the ones who always choose their new Boss, Shantanu," Boss said, smiling. "I was elected onto this position by my co-workers, who all have already retired. I'm following their footsteps.

I'm planning to go to Lucknow, where I was born and raised."


"How do we elect a person?" Jewel questioned.

"Why don't each of you name someone you would like to nominate for the post?" Boss suggested, "There are forty of you here. If a few people are nominated, we arrange a vote system. And yes, you can't vote if you are nominated. And you cannot be a nominated if you are of a junior rank."


Aditi and Raesha looked disappointed.


"Alright then," Jewel said authoritatively. She was stern and strict when she wanted to be. Everyone respected her as Boss's right hand, because she was the one everyone usually looked up to besides me.


"Guys," she continued, "You heard what Boss said right? Now, we need to pick a new Boss. We'll start with Shantanu, and see whom he wants to nominate. Shantanu?"


He grinned. "That's actually easy. There's no rule against voting for a senior rank, even though she's young? Khushi, of course."


I looked up from my laptop that I had been staring at, startled. "ME?"


Boss looked amused. "Reason." He questioned.

"Khushi's already an unofficial Boss of the branch," Shantanu explained, "Everyone looks up to her, even those who distaste her," He looked at Aditi and Raesha, before continuing, "She's perfectly capable of leading her seniors in missions. She never once failed in her work. I think she's the only suitable one here who deserves the position of the Boss of the Mehrauli branch."


"Shanta, I'm going to kill you!" I hissed.


He grinned, then nudged Roshef to speak.


Introducing Omar Borkan Al Gala as Roshef Ahmed


"Khushi," Roshef said firmly. "For the same reasons that Shantanu's just mentioned. She may be young, but she's mature and intelligent for her age. She's one of our best. I will have no complaints or regrets at all for electing her as our new Boss."


I bit my lip. I wanted to throw something at this two for joking around, but Boss was there. I didn't want to upset him when today was his last day.


"I agree," Lavanya Kashyap, our forensic specialist spoke up. She had sneaked in quietly from the lab.


Presenting Sana Khan as Lavvanya Kashyap


"Even my vote goes for Khushi. She is someone who wouldn't be afraid to lead her team in missions. I have seen her succeed in missions numerous times. She will make a fine Boss for us." Lavanya said.


"Khushi," Viraj said, grinning.

"Khushi," Aayush agreed. He flashed a grin at me. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. Aayush had been craving for my attention for a year now, ever since he graduated from ART with Viraj, Raesha and Aditi. He followed me like the hutch pug on missions, always begging me to pick him on my team. I was furious now. This was going too far.


Everyone nominated me. Even Aditi and Raesha. I felt like taking out my gun and firing everyone.


"So clear cut winner," Jewel said, grinning widely at me. "Khushi Gupta will be our new Boss."

"All the best, Khush," Boss smiled down at me.

"Congratulations and celebrations," Shantanu cheered, clapping like a five year old boy. The others joined in, hooting.


I felt weak. Why did this always happen to me? First, they graduated me from ART early when I wasn't even ready. Then, they relied on me for the past two years, just because I was the best TA they ever had. Now this? They wanted me to be the Boss? They wanted me to take over my Baba's place?


"Baba," I protested, making my way forward, "I can't do this. I can't lead a bunch of people who are far more skilled than I am in a mission. I just can't do it, Baba. It's a huge responsibility."


"Don't worry, I trust you," Baba said imperiously, waving a hand. "Everyone here seems to agree on making you the new Boss of Mehrauli branch, and you shouldn't back off now. Come on, new Boss, I need to talk to you in my office." He started climbing back the stairs.


"See you later, Boss," Shantanu called as I followed my Baba upstairs, "We all need you!"


"Shut up," I muttered under my breath.


"Close the door behind you, Khush."

I did as Baba asked. And then, the questions spilled over.


"Why are you retiring all of a sudden Baba?" I asked out, "You are not even fifty yet. You still have a lot of time left to turn fifty and you don't have to leave us. You can always retire later and-"


"Khush."


I bit my lip nervously.


"Beta," Baba said, smiling affectionately. "I understand how you feel right now. You are nervous. That's okay. I felt like that too. But I wasn't as young as you were when I got elected, but I still felt hesitant

about leading my seniors. But I did. And since you are my daughter, you'll do perfectly fine. You are a born fighter, you can never back off."


My heart swelled with pride when he said those words, but I still wasn't sure.


"I can't do it, Baba. I can't take over you. What if I disappoint you?" I said. I was repeating the same words that I had said back when I had got the news of my graduation. I had been suffering because my whole body was aching and my teachers were still making me do ten miles a day.


He grinned. He remembered that too.


"Of course you can beta," he said, repeating his words, "You are my daughter. People crave for sons here, but kaun unko bataye ki ladkiya bhi kisi se kam nahi, jo ladkiya kar sakti hai wo koi nahi kar sakta. And I'm sure you will handle everything better than me. You've been doing so well, Khush. I know you can do this."


I stayed silent, glaring at nothing in particular.


"You have performed wonderfully for the past three years, Khush," Baba said gently, "Everyone relies on you, not because you are the only TA of this branch, but because you have leadership qualities in you. You know how to lead people. You are responsible and mature. They have worked with you for three years now, and they are confident that you'll be able to lead them successfully. And you know what, Khush? I'm confident about that too. You have made me proud Khush."


I looked up at him hesitantly. "You think I can do it?"


"100%"


I sighed, then nodded slowly, then walked upto him and hugged him, "If you are so confident then maybe I can."


He laughed. "Once they elect someone, they stick to the person like fevicol. Alright, let's talk about where you are going to live. I know we have been living here in Mehraulli, Khush. But I'm going back to Lucknow soon, and I don't want to leave you alone in that house. So I have arranged for you to live somewhere else here in Mehrauli."


"Alone?" I asked, surprised.


"Alone," he confirmed, "It's a penthouse about ten minutes from here by car. I think you'll like the place."


"But I don't have a car, Baba," I said, confused, "Will I have to take a Taxi?"

Baba laughed, "Who said you don't have a car?"


My eyes widened.


"It's parked infront of the building." He hurled something in the air towards me. I caught it instinctively and looked down at the object. It was a set of car keys.


"You didn't, Baba!" I said delightedly.


He chuckled, "Drive safe. Take Shantanu with you okay?"

"SHANTAAA!" I dashed out of his cabin, all excited.


If I could live alone in a penthouse and get a new car, maybe this Boss thing wouldn't be so bad after all.




Note: Don't forget to click on the chotu sa Thank you tab if you liked the update, do leave me your thoughts on the story.. Love!



Jun 28, 2015

Chapter 10 (By Aadhya) (Thanked: 102 times)

Arnav's Point of View

I sneaked along the wall, no intention to keep my advance unheard. It was mechanical now. I didn't have to try to be muffled anymore. I held my gun in my right hand. Halting and leaning on the wall, I

scrutinized if I had enough bullets in my gun. Only two of them were accessible. I dabbed away all the useless ones, and they clanged to the floor.


I stiffened, wondering if the rival had heard the clanging sound.


"Bohot acchhe Arnav," Ruksar said sarcastically through the blue-tooth communicator in my ear.


Introducing Amrita Puri as Ruksar Bhardwaj


She was watching my every move with the rest of the Mumbai branch, back at the main office. Having Sera as the main geek during missions was beneficial because she was FAMILY. And we coordinated well together. But still, she could be irritating most of the time. Like right now.


"Sabhi ko dhindhora peet kar bata kyu nahi dete ki tum TA ho?" Sera asked sarcastically. Her voice sounded more irritating because of the small, bluetooth attached to my ear, "Dhyaan kaha hai tumhara? Aaj ki din kitni galtiya kar diye hai tumne already? You have already tripped on your face while jumping over the wall, which nearly caused a barrage of outrageous dross, aur ab, you want to make the enemy vigilant by making unnecessary sounds? Concentrate Arnav."


I sighed in frustration. I raised my left hand and pressed a button to reply.


"Agar tumhe itna he problem hai by the way I work, then why didn't you send my team with me?" I mocked. Merely whispering would get through the sensitive microphone of the bluetooth clearly, "What were you thinking while sending in your only TA? What if I got killed, moron?"


"Ab baatein kar ke time waste mat karo," Sera said, "Do your job. We don't have enough time. Better hurry."


I let go of the button and lowered my hand again, quibbling and swearing under my breath. I continued to sneak towards my destination while inserting more bullets inside my gun.


"Arnav," Sera called after a while, sounding frenzied. I knew that she was tampering with the keyboards as she was speaking to me, "The camera's getting blurry, try to focus it. And there is disturbance on the microphone. Make sure it doesn't get disconnected."


I paused to rearrange the tiny microphone equipped on the button of my blue check shirt. Then, I adjusted the spy camera on my belt.


"Is it clear now?"


"Much better. Are you there yet?"

"Tum batao," I muttered, "You are the one who's looking at the map. Should I take left or right?"

"Left. I mean no, Right. Nahi nahi, left. Oh sh*t. No Right."

"You are confusing me!"

"Rukho , I'm sorry, something is not accurate with this map. Let me adjust a bit it. Jaha khade ho wahi rukh jao."


But something was wrong. A mere three years of experience with missions could teach you a lot. I felt the danger sneaking in the air.

Intuitively, I peeked back.

No one was there, but I knew better than to just stay put. They knew I was here. I looked ahead again, looking back and forth between LEFT and RIGHT. Which way to go?


"Rukho ha," Sera muttered under her breath. I heard the faint sound of her typing rapidly on the keyboard.

"Kya hua, Chhote?" Arjun Bhai asked, coming on the microphone.


Introducing Rana Daggubati as Arjun Singh Raizada


"Sab galat ho raha hai Bhai," I said inaudibly. But they heard me, even though I had not pressed the button. The microphone on my shirt button picked up even the slightest of sounds.


"Kyu?" Jaski asked.



Introducing Anuj Sachdeva as Jaskaran Bhardwaj


Wow. Faithfully everyone was watching my companionless mission, anxiously. Understandable. We had been working to demolish this gang for months now.


"I can smell terror," I muttered, "I think they know I'm here. They can attack me anytime now."

"Shant hojao Chhote," Arjun bhai said, "You are being very cautious today. Where's the rebel, impulsive TA that we all love so much?" I heard several agents laughing in the background. I ignored Bhai's comment and looked back again. Still no one was there. And yet, I could feel something fishy. Time to get out of here.


"Sera?" I called frantically.

"Give me a minute Arnav," Sera answered, still typing away furiously.

"What the-" I lowered my hand from the ear piece. I couldn't wait anymore. 'Which way?' I asked myself.

Intuition told me to go left. I turned to the left and ran along the narrow beaten track.

"Rukho, kya kar rahe ho yeh tum, Arnav?" Sera asked distinctly, precipitously focused now, "Arnav, Paagal mat bano. Kya kar rahe ho tum? Rukho!"

"Chup hojao Sera," I muttered as I sped along the narrow path in a flash. A normal person wouldn't have been able to run as fast. Not even Arjun Bhai or Jaski were this fast.


"Arnav?" Sera said, unnerved, "Tumne promise kiya tha ki iss baar apni manmaani nahi karoge. Are you going to violate the rules again? I'll complain to Nitara Aunty."

"Jao bol do," I challenged, "We are doing this my way or else I'm giving up. You take way too long,

useless geeks. You want me to get killed or what?"


"RUKH JAO WAHI KE WAHI, ARNAV SINGH RAIZADA."


Her sharp voice made me tremble. Groaning, I turned off the bluetooth communicator. Peace!


I could imagine Sera freaking out by now. I knew I was in for another scolding from my siblings, but I knew this was the right thing to do. When you were on a mission, you cannot just follow the plan all

the time. It was 99.9 percent of instinct, 0.1 percent according to the plan.


I finally saw the repository I had been looking for. Unfortunately, there were two well-built men wearing identical black tshirt and pants, pacing in front, guarding the place.


'Why did bad guys always prefer black?' I wondered.


I calculated the amount of time I had in my hand. I could sense the other men close behind me. I didn't have much time, but I couldn't kill the two guards with the gun as it would attract more guards, which will make their lives more miserable. They would be killed as soon as they saw me.


My eyes narrowed as I found my way around the back of the repository. I climbed on top of the roof of the repository easily. I chose the huge one of the two first. And I jumped. He barely had time to yell for help before I twisted his neck, killing him on the spot. The other guy whirled around in utter surprise. He pounced at me, not even thinking about using the gun that was strapped around his belt. I wondered if it even contained any bullets and if it did, then there was no one stupid enough than this guy. I dodged easily, grabbing one of his arms and using it to swing him around to my advantage. I kicked him hard in the chest. He crashed into the disgusting repository with a loud bang. He lunged at me again, but I ducked. And as I whirled around to face him again, I took out the small knife that I had kept hidden in the sleeves of my left hand. I charged the knife directly into his abdomen. I stared straight ahead, poker-faced, as he fell on his knees slowly. I didn't want to see the look on his face. I pulled the knife out in a quick moment.


And he collapsed to the ground with a faint thud.


I slipped the knife back into my sleeves, and looked behind me. They were definitely getting closer, but I still had about a minute before they arrived. without wasting time, I slipped inside the repository. It had a bunch of computers and other tech machines. I began checking the back of every computer, looking for the microchip that controlled the huge atomic bomb that the gang had been making for the past few months.


I scowled when I found a chip in the very first computer.

"So easy," I muttered smiling victoriously. I moved to the next computer, just to check. Just as I had thought, I found another chip there.


"Stupids," I groaned, "But shaatir hai saale." I began removing all the chips in the computers and stuffing them in my pocket. Sera would know which one was real out of them. By the time I had finished pulling out all the chips, I could hear noises outside.


Complaining about how I was always the one to do the killing work, I stomped outside to face them.


"Woh raha woh!" one of them shouted.


Obviously.


I co*ked the gun and aimed randomly. Years of practice paid off. The randomly shot bullets all hit the targets.


I stared at them confidently, which was probably stupid of me, considering the danger that I was in.


"Yeh sab itne mote kyu hote ho?" I wondered. Another set of shouting brought me out of my reverie. Quickly, I looked for a way out. And found none. The only way out was the way I had come from.


Sighing in frustration, I got out an extra gun from my back pocket. I was going to shoot my way out of here.


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



"Tum plan ko aise beech mein kaise drop kar sakte ho Arnav?" Sera asked angrily as she trailed behind me as I re-entered the main office, "We have been planning this mission for over two weeks now. Anji had collected every little detail correctly. And what you did? Gaye aur humari saari mehenat paani mein mila di tumne."


"Can you please leave me alone for a second?," I asked, pulling off my bulletproof jacket and shirt. I threw it randomly. A shoot out agent caught it, then walked away to throw it in the dustbin. After all, the shirt was covered in small holes, blood and slash marks now.


"Mission successful raha na?" I asked as we marched quickly into the preparation room, "Ab aur kya chahiye aapko? Khush nahi ho aap?"


"Nahi," Sera said stubbornly, "The point I'm trying to make right now, is that you are so ungoverned! You just don't obey orders. I don't care if you get thousands of missions done. You have to follow the

plan, no matter what. There's a reason why it's called a plan, paagal ladka!" She sweared.


"Plan mein galti thi." I pointed out.


"Nahi thi," Sera argued, "Are you doubting that Anji made a mistake?"


Everyone stared at us as they rose from their places. I stopped in the middle of the room and turned to face Sera. I stared at her angrily.


"Yes. She can make mistakes," I stated clearly, "She was clearly not prepared for today's mission. And you were not either. How can you expect me to wait while you fix the laptop? While you are here on

safe ground, being all bossy over me and yelling at me to do things your way, I'm out there, risking my life, killing people and getting you what you need. I can get killed at any time. And you expect me to wait there for you to fix your laptop? Are you nuts? If I'm ungoverned, then be it. I'll go out on missions and do things as per my intuitions if you people are sitting here, doing nothing and being all bossy." I hissed, "Don't teach me what I should do. Kabhi ek baar jake dekhna mission pe, only then you will know what it is like to be in my shoes."


Sera opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again. Everyone crowded around us.


"Leave it now, baby," Arjun bhai said gently placing a hand on her shoulder, "Sh*t happen. Nothing can go according to plan. Things change. You need to accept that."


"He's right, Sera," Jaski agreed, "Arnie did the right thing. The main thing is that we got the mission done successfully. And we got our TA back unharmed."


"Not exactly unharmed," Di said, examining a cut on my forearm.


"Where's Ayesha?" Jaski asked.


"Right here," Ayesha, our doctor said, running into the room with a metal tray. "Sit, Arnav."


When I didn't, she pushed me down forcibly, purposely grabbing onto my injured arm to make me sit. Even though I didn't feel the pain at all after years of training, I sat down to satisfy her. Sera was still throwing daggers at me. Finally, she sighed, and said, "Acchha theek hai. Sorry. I was just worried about you. You scared the hell out of me when you turned off your bluetooth."


"Sorry," I said, "You were getting on my nerves. You nearly crashed my ear."

Her lips curled up in a smile. "Sorry Arnav."


"Where's the microchip?" Jaski asked me.

"Chip nahi, chips kaho." I said, reaching into my pocket, "You didn't tell me which one it was, so I decided to bring all of it." I let the chips spill on the table in front of me.


"Whoa-" Bhai whistled, "Itne saare?"


"Kaafi shaatir the saale," I said, groaning as I stretched, "They put fake ones to trick us."


"But then again, not as smart as you," Di said, picking up one of them and examining it carefully, "They should have known that someone as smart as Chhote would just take all of them to avoid the confusion."


I glared at my sister. "What the-? You would have done the same thing if it was you in my shoes."

She laughed. "Han shayad."

"Accha theek hai," Sera sighed, "Announcement! Looks like all the geeks are required to be here throughout the night."


They all groaned as they moved forward to take a chip and examine it.


"Pheww," I said, standing up when Ayesha was done stitching my wound, "Main sone jaraha hu."


"Kitna sona hai tumhe? Mere bhai ho ya Kumbhkaran ke?" Bhai asked, narrowing his eyes.


I snorted at him, "Mujhe uthana nahi. Aur agar kisi ne 7 baje ke pehle uthane ki koshish bhi ki toh bata du ki main apni gun saath lekar sota hu. I swear I'll kill you."


No one was dumb enough to disturb my sleep.


Note: I hope everything made sense. Pheww! So what do you think? Is Arnav ungoverned? 


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