Story 23 - Geometry of an Abduction.
She stopped again, then continued. "That's odd. I remember that
I felt apprehensive that evening when my former host left in the limousine, and I was asked to stay behind on the request of my new host. I should have rejoiced when this happened. Apparently, that's when my rescue was complete. My new host was very concerned about me, about my health, my well being, if I had been treated well. It seemed that I was being interrogated, but he didn't say why. The next morning after breakfast, he asked me to come with him into his office. He told me that a friend had invited me to come to China and that I should go. He said that he had purchased a ticket already, a first class ticket to Beijing, and gave it
to me. He also insisted that I should permit him to buy me a new wardrobe for the journey. Can you imagine that? Me, a
Dalit woman, being treated by a high caste man like royalty. I really was
treated like that, Peter. I thought that was wonderful. No one has ever treated me like that before."
"You were treated as we honor you," said Jacky. "My boss' boss' boss, Mr. Cheng, made it very clear to his counterpart in India that you should be treated with the utmost respect. In a sense, he made him responsible for your welfare."
Indira blushed. "So, I really was kidnapped," she said quietly many long moments later. "I was kidnapped. I was brought to the Thevar for safe-keeping, until I was discovered there. Then I was rescued by a high cast somebody whom I never met before, who stuck his neck out for me and treated me like royalty. Wow!"
"You were treated like a human being," Ushi interrupted.
Indira blushed. "And my rescue was organized from China on top of all that," she said, "and this without me even knowing that I had been abducted. Isn't that amazing?"
"All is well that ends well," commented Ushi.
"People say that one can judge the greatness of a person by his enemies," said Ross. "Great people have great enemies. But that saying is wrong. It seems to me that the greatness of a person can best be judged by the greatness of that person's friends. In that regard you rank number one. Your rescuer, Mr Cheng has referred to you, and
you won't believe that," said Ross, "as one of China's national treasures. He said this reflects the effect that your loving has had on this country, and still has."
"Naturally, Mr. Cheng would like you to stay in China," said Jacky.
"We all would like you to stay in China with us," I added. "We live on a wonderful ship that had been donated to us, and you won't believe this either, by one of the fondi. The fondi have dissidents, too, you know. We still have a few empty rooms on board. So,
please stay with us and work for China, at least until the remaining fondi are no longer a threat to you. Our whole family has been invited to come here."
The joyous conversation didn't stop there. It didn't stop until we were in the air again; first to Wuhan; then to Poyang; then by float plane to the Lu Rose. On the Lu Rose the entire long story had to be told all over again. No one there knew a thing about what had happened. The whole rescue process had been carried out absolutely professionally, in a silent running mode right from start and all the way to the finish. Then, very late that night, the whole story had to be told one more time. It had to be repeated, when, as by some miracle, Olive Osipov came through the door with her husband, accompanied by Wai-yi.
By the time we went to bed that night, very late, our 'princess' from India, as I was told by her later, still couldn't fully comprehend that she had been in imminent danger of her life and had been rescued from that fate by the noblest princes of China and India, as he had put it, and with the prayers of a lot of noble friends who loved her dearly.