As I have written on this blog earlier, ‘they‘ have been present at all my work-places over the past four years or so. However, something unique took place today. A death threat was delivered at my work-place today, a first in my shared history with ‘them’.
I had gone to the cafeteria on the fifth floor of the building (my desk is on the fourth floor and the fifth floor has cafeterias only). As I went to the wash basin near the entry/exit to wash my hands and blow my nose, after I had finished my banana milk-shake, I heard 2-3 male voices approaching. As they came nearer, one of them said loudly enough for me to hear, “ab isko maarna hi paRega.” (We’ll have to kill him now).
I stepped away quickly from the wash-basin to face three men. One of them was tall and thin. The other two were of medium height and one was quite over-weight while the other appeared to have a normal body mass index.
As soon as I faced them, I said, “haaN, maarna hi paRega.” (Yes, you’ll have to kill me.)
They heard me loud and clear and appeared stunned. The tall and thin one had a half-smile frozen on his lips while the other two looked gobsmacked.
They went on into the cafeteria and I passed them on my way out.
Then, I changed my mind and turned around to go in again. They were at the counter, trying to figure out what to buy, when I got there and asked for another milk-shake, chocolate this time. As the chap behind the counter handed me my milk-shake, they suddenly decided not to buy anything and hurried outside.
I followed them into the lift (elevator for American readers) and we rode together to the ground floor. I followed a few paces behind them as they went on to the main gate. They stopped there and conferred among themselves, even as I stood close by and watched. Soon they were on their way on foot on to an adjoining street. I followed them again.
They walked slowly to an intersection and stopped again to talk among themselves. I stood a stone’s throw away, fiddling with my mobile phone and watching them alternatively. A couple of minutes later, they turned back, with me hot on their heels once more.
They walked to the main gate, but then turned around to browse through some of the street-food/cigarette outlets on the street. After looking through a few, they decided to buy spiced gram from one vendor. I sat on a parked two-wheeler at a little distance, watching them, as they consumed it.
Having finished their snack, they stepped into the building’s gate again. Apparently, they had realised that it was difficult to shake me off their tails and they had to get back to work. I noticed that none of them were wearing the familiar bands that hold employee identity cards, and that could probably also explain why they were so eager to shake me off. They didn’t want me to know where they worked.
As they got to the guard’s post just inside the gate, they spoke to the security person on duty, perhaps to complain that someone was bothering them. The guard stepped forward to see who it was, and then, seeing a familiar face, i.e., mine, stepped back just as quickly.
As we went inside the building, they made one last-ditch attempt to get me off their backs. They took the stairs instead of the lift. However, I followed them upstairs.
When they got to the third floor, they walked into an office well-known to me. The company I work for has offices on the first, third and fourth floors, and this was one of them.
I followed them inside. However, within the few seconds it took me to use my finger print to gain access through the door, two of them had disappeared somewhere inside. The third one I followed to his work-station.
I go to the third floor office quite often, either for work, or, as I had written in an earlier blog post, simply to use the wash-room there. Let’s see how soon I am able to establish their identities now (I’ll post updates here, if and when I have any.).
Today, they had come to intimidate me and got intimidated themselves, it seems. I wonder what our ‘interaction’ in the future, if any, will be like.
Update, May 31, 2017
Some one whose work-station is in the adjoining bay and whom I call the ‘brinjal woman’, because the shape of her face closely resembles that of the vegetable, delivered a death threat in more or less the same words today, while maintaining a semblance of deniability, of course.
The difference between her and those who tried to intimidate me yesterday is that I have known her to participate in the intimidation ‘campaign’ before and have compiled some personal data about her in an online database that I have shared with friends and family.