Prashant Dayal (Deewal Part-65): Jailer Kaushik Pandya was furious with Mohammed, but he avoided getting into a controversy with him because he was about to retire. Pandya never visited the ward where Mohammed and Co. were recently shifted, but today he decided to drop by. He noticed that out of the eight inmates, there were only six men around. He looked at everyone's faces and then asked Mohammed, "Why only the six of you? Where are the other two?" and he began to run his eyes around. Mohammed was taken by surprise with the question. He was not expecting Jailer Pandya to notice the missing two inmates and he went speechless for a few moments. BUt immediately regaining composure, he said, "Sir, Danish and Chand are very lazy, they sleep till late. Chand is currently in the bath while Danish has gone to the toilet. Upon hearing the word toilet, Pandya scrunched his nose and left the ward with his staff. As the jailer left, Mohammed placed a hand on his chest, he could sense his heart racing. Yunus had seen fear on the face of Mohammed for the very first time. He placed his hand on Mohammed's shoulder and told him to calm down. Mohammed began taking deep breaths. Several different thoughts were popping up in his head "What if the jailer had come into the ward to check the toilets and bathrooms? Today was their lucky day but what if the next time the jailer decides to literally walk in and actually check the wards?"
Mohammed signaled Yusuf to keep an eye on the gate of the ward and he went at the back of their ward. There was a hole in the ground. Mohammed sat hunched and called out slowly, "Chand... Chand.." In a couple of minutes, Chand came out of the hole, covered in soil, carrying some more soil from the hole in a bedsheet. Mohammed pulled him out, put the soil aside and told him to quickly call up Danish. Chand saw fear writ large on Mohammed's face. Chand went near the mouth of the hole and called out for Danish, who came out after a few minutes, holding a hoe in his hand. He too noticed the expressions of fear on Mohammed's face and surprised look on Chand's. Mohammed had carved out steps to come out of the hole. He told Chand and Danish to rush to the bathroom and get a shower quickly. He didn't mind explaining but told them that the jailer was here and was inquiring about you two, I told them you were in the bathroom and toilet.
The plan was to work in pairs of two. Mohammed had strategized that two of them would work in shifts while the other six would be out there in the open in the barracks so that they could keep an eye on the passing inmates and guards. He had not expected jailer Pandya, who had the body girth of a buffalo, would be using his brain this well to notice their missing companions. The digging work had begun since last few days, but the work was slow because only two men worked on the digging while the other six had to be outside in the open to keep an eye and ensure that nobody doubts them. This incident had even got them thinking to plan out a new strategy. They had very less time to work on their digging as they got only a couple of hours before the sunrise and a couple of hours after the Bandi or the closure of wards. Newer issues began cropping up too, for instance, a guard once spotted freshly dug mud inside the ward and he questioned about it, but Mohammed was quick to respond saying it was to be used for the gardening. Mohammed would ensure that the soil dug out on the previous day is taken to the dumping ground on the pretext of clearing the garbage in the barrack as the covered the soil in the trolley with fallen leaves. The guards always had a doubt that these men were up to something, but they avoided getting into a direct clash with them over their suspicion. Even Mohammed was now extremely cautious after what had happened during Jailer Pandya's surprise visit.