Day 2. Oct 2017.

So, after a mammoth post yesterday (that took me a few days to write), its time to write one that is tad light-hearted. And while I was thinking of ideas to write on, I thought, why not write some words for #book2? Incidentally, #tnks started like a blogpost. Here goes. 

If Purav wasnt howling his lungs out at the dead body of Birju, the cops could've never ended the 30-year long run of the fearsome Danveer Karna Sevak Gang. Unlike their name, that meant servants to the mythological figure of Karna, they weren't really servants per se. They were merely a group of 5 thugs, notorious for stealing precious artifacts from museums, temples and palaces and selling them off to collectors. Amongst known list of robberies to their credit, the big ones included the Royal Crown of The Nizam of Golconda, original paintings from the time of Akbar from Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb near Agra, Sword of Ibrahim Lodhi from a museum in Delhi, statue of Shiva from the little known Rameswara Siva Temple at Kolkata and more.

The modus operandi was very simple. 5 of them will shortlist a target, often handed over to them by their contact. They would do an extensive research to understand the security arrangements and strike when no one would expect them to. And once they had stolen what they wanted to, they would part ways and lay low for months. Once the heat on the case was gone, they would regroup, often at Sehore, about 40 KMs from Bhopal. Partly because it was bang in the middle of the country and partly because Birju, the leader of the gang was a priest at the one of the hundreds temples in the district. Plus, it was nondescript enough to not warrant any additional attention to the gang when they did meet. Of course there was the curious case of these strangers walking into the temples once every few months and Birju Dada, as he was fondly called, disappearing for a few days. But back in small town India, such occurrences could be easily explained by dismissing these travels as side effect of having a large family.

After stealing this 14th century Bible from a church in Goa, they had decided to again part ways, with Birju taking the loot with him and regroup at Sehore after 4 months. If there was a change in plan, Birju would publish a specific obituary in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkatta editions of the largest newspaper, Nai Duniya and mention date and time for the prayer meeting. You just had to apply a small cipher to know of the exact date on which you were expected in Sehore. Thing with obituaries is that while people read it with interest and take a note of the long list of apparently grieving family members no one really pays any attention to who had died.

When the last obit carried the photograph of Birju himself, the gang had a hearty laugh when they were together. Birju had said that he was out of his collection of stock images and was too lazy to get more photos from the local photographer. Little did he know that he was going to be this accurate!


Thats about it. For some reason I cant get more than 500 words but at least I've put something up. Like Seth said yesterday,

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