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The Placard

October 10, 2015


Everything had gone perfectly right, from the  take off to the landing. There was a small confusion at the immigration. There was a basket ball team which wanted to be cleared as a group. The ensuing confusion to allocate a separate counter for group clearance took some time for the line I was standing, to move. Other than that, there wasn’t a hitch. Even my baggage arrived on the carousel early, a miracle by itself. The basket ball team had also by that time collected their belongings and were just ahead of me at the exit. I was feeling elated. The next 3 days were going to hectic with business meetings. I was hoping the hotel where I had booked my stay was good. It was my first visit to this city. They had said that they would provide a complimentary pick up from the airport and that the driver would be waiting with a placard at the arrival gate.

As I came out of the terminal, I saw the  driver holding a hotel placard, with my name and flight details. He was standing behind a barricade at the arrival gate. There was a huge crowd waiting to receive people. I waved at him. He was looking somewhere, probably distracted by the reception the basket team was getting. I waved once more, but I was sure that he had not noticed. So I started moving towards the barricade. Just then, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see a tall good looking man in a blazer. He took my hand, welcomed me on behalf of the hotel and hoped that I would have a pleasant and fruitful stay in the city. He proceeded to take my baggage from me and started walking. I found it difficult to keep pace with the long strides that he was taking. We reached the car park. He deposited the baggages in the boot and opened the door for me. As I settled in the back seat, he went to the front  and sat beside the driver.

It was getting dark and the traffic was heavy. We inched our way  through the traffic.  There was total silence in the car except for the soft music that was coming from the music system. I relaxed, After maybe 20 or so minutes as I looked out, I saw that we were in some isolated side road. Just as I was wondering why we were in such a desolate place, as the hotel reservation had confirmed that the hotel was right on the airport road, my phone rang. I fished out my phone from my pocket and noticed that the call was from the hotel. ‘Where are you sir? The driver is waiting for you.’ the caller said.

It was then, as the man in the blazer turned, pointing a gun at me, that I realized I was being kidnapped.

PS: Recently I had booked a hotel accommodation for one of my customers and the hotel wanted to know what name to be put on the placard for the complimentary pick up, that sparked this story.

Pic courtesy:

9 Comments leave one →
  1. venkata Ramana permalink
    October 11, 2015 10:54

    intresting.chala bavundi.but how did you managed your kidnapper sir…naaku teliyali – telisi teerali.

    • October 17, 2015 19:05

      A story should end where others want it to continue, 🙂

  2. October 11, 2015 13:29

    I guessed something was wrong when some other man tapped your shoulder….well narrated story! This can happen to anybody.

  3. October 11, 2015 19:42

    Oh my God!!! That was scary!!! I kept waiting for the twist in the tale!!! what twisted us all tight was, that …it wasn’t you!!
    You know how to trick us all!!! You are a master story teller!!! I enjoyed it!!!

  4. October 16, 2015 12:07

    Ayyo…thank God it was not you 😉
    But I was wondering why did the guy walked with some other guy, when he saw the one with the placard some distance away !!

    • October 17, 2015 19:02

      When somebody speaks confidently about your name and the hotel you are booked into, there is a chance of mistaking him for the representative of the hotel. Add to that the disorientation of being in an unfamiliar place. I rest my case milord.

      • October 18, 2015 08:19

        Case adjourned…waiting for another story 😀

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