Prashant Dayal (Deewal Part-75): Everything was going according to Mohammed’s plan. As the tunnel would be finished before the monsoon would set in and the inmates were supposed to escape to freedom, but that didn't happen and the monsoon had begun. IT had been raining slowly since last three days. Ahmedabad rarely sees any heavy showers. The closure period would be lifted and then reinstated, but no inmate would venture out of their barrack because of the rains, they’d keep to themselves the whole day. The inmates would get bored with nothing to do the whole day. It was a similar situation inside Mohammed’s barrack too. Because of the rains, there were flies everywhere, and it was irritating and it would pester everyone by sitting on them or simply humming around the ears. Mohammed was reading something. It was difficult to say if he was actually concentrated in the book or he is lost somewhere else. In the past, he has sat with a book to avoid talking to anyone. Because of the rains, the classes too were suspended. There were no checks ever since the IGP had visited last time. Yunus would sometimes look out at the slow rains and wonder how he would have moved to some unknown place with his family had he escaped out if the prisons before the monsoons, but probably his fate has been sealed inside the confines of Sabarmati prison. The men had worked really hard in digging the escape tunnel, but they hadn’t escaped yet. As a matter of fact, they had now even stopped going towards the backyard, where this tunnel was being dug.
As the inmates would barely venture out of their cells during the monsoons, it was peaceful for the jail guards as they don’t have to conduct too many checks. Almost all the activities inside the jail were suspended due to the monsoon. The inmates were clueless about what to do the whole day inside their cells. Several weird thoughts would creep up their minds as they spent their days doing nothing. The security in and around the jail was still maintained well, the SRP commandos guarding the jail premises would change every eight hours. It was about 10 am in the morning, mess-van was about to arrive at the jail to provide the SRP commandos their food packed in tiffins. The van was moving towards the SRP point outside the outer wall of the prison. The vehicle was being driven on the dirt track and all of a sudden the rear wheel of the vehicle got stuck in the soil. The driver popped his head out of the window to see what had happened. The then tried to get the vehicle out by continuously pushing the accelerator. But instead of coming out, the wheel was going deeper in the mud. A jawan sitting inside the vehicle with the tiffins shouted, “Bapu! Our vehicle is stuck it seems” They got out of the vehicles and saw that one of the wheels had almost sunk into the mud completely.
The jawans who had got down the van by now told the driver that they would push the vehicle from behind while he should continue to step the accelerator. As he stepped on the accelerator, the smoke from the silencer of the vehicle came directly in the face of the jawans. They were putting in all their might to push it but in vain. The soil had loosened up due to the incessant and slow rains for the past three days. It would have been useless to try further, as the more they pushed the accelerator; the wheel would rotate and would sink deeper. Now the driver too came out of the van after shutting off the engine, to check the rear wheel to see how bad the situation was. He realized that the van could be now pulled only with the help of a crane or some heavier vehicle. He looked at his wristwatch, it was twenty minutes past ten and according to the prison rules, all the SRP points must have the tiffins for the jawans delivered by 10:30 AM. The driver realized that it would be a futile exercise now if they continue trying to get the vehicle out of the mud. So he pulled out his mobile phone informed the Shahibaug headquarters of their issue and to send in a replacement van. He even asked them to inform the transport section to send in a crane to pull out the vehicle. The jawans who were accompanying the driver with the tiffins had now sat on a bench near the wall, despite the rain having them drenched. They began to chat away while waiting for the replacement vehicle. One of the guards even opened to tiffins to see what was there for food that day. There were rotis, dal, and rice and cauliflower subzi. One of the boxes even had some fresh salad made from cucumbers and carrots and tomatoes. The jawan took a handful of it and stuffed his mouth with it. Meanwhile, they saw a Tata 407 van came towards them, which was a replacement van actually from the police mess. They quickly shifted all the tiffins from the stuck vehicle to the new one. The driver of the new van too began to look curiously at the stuck wheel of the old vehicle. Once the tiffins were moved, the van quickly left. Now the driver of the stuck vehicle was left alone in the rain, waiting for the crane to come and get the vehicle out. He was getting bored as it was more than an hour since he informed the transport section to send in a crane. As he was sitting and wondering, a rickety crane was seen hurtling down the dirt track towards the stuck vehicle.