I think I was brainwashed by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), coz I am not the type to volunteer for tasks requiring courage. But there I was infiltrating the porous India-Pakistan border. I think I took the route Abhishek Bachchan walked/ran in his first movie Refugee.
My instructions were simple…I was to get into Pakistan and lie low for close to a year or two. I was to read all the pages of the daily called “The Dawn” delivered at my door exactly at dawn….instructions for me were to appear in the classifieds section.
From building or destroying a bridge single-handedly to taking care of an Indian diplomat`s 18-year old daughter when her father went spying were the kind of tasks I was to do. Though, I never got any assignments for the first two years.
Then things started to change. I got instructions to quietly sneak out of my house in the middle of the night and wait in a dark alley for somebody with a red rose in his suit. Thanks to the dark alley, I never got to see any rose. Once while waiting in the dark I was caught by the police but I refused to throw light on the situation. A spy`s best friend is his/her lie-ability….thanks to which I reached home safe.
The night after, the policeman caught me again. This time I had little choice but to accompany him to the police station. They drugged me – which ensured that I didn`t resist the arrest – and put me in a cell. The cell did have a cell-phone….no no..not a mobile…but a phone for the cell…but I didn`t make any calls. It was not like I had stolen a few books from the library and they had me booked. I didn`t even know why I was in the prison for. I knew for sure that even if I had stolen a safety pin, the Pakistani authorities wouldn`t be able to pin it on me. My papers were all intact and in place.
I would have got out of the Pakistani prison soon…but unfortunately I was correctly suspected of being a RAW agent. I did try to tell them that I was part of the Refugee movie crew and had been left behind by Abhishek. I tried to reason out that Abhishek was jealous of me getting too close to the movie`s heroine Kareena Kapoor…but they didn`t buy my story.
The good thing about being a writer and being in prison is that there are prose and cons. Ask Mandela, the man knows. I began to write my autobiography.
My heart did believe that the Indian President will get in touch with General Pervez Musharraf and get a presidential pardon for me…but my brain suggested…he might as well get another sucker and brainwash him.
Had it not been for this thief whom I befriended at the state prison, I would still be in the 12X12 cell (which is any day bigger than the 4X4 cubicles all IT people sit in, the whole day long) in Islamabad. A lingerie thief who also happened to be the local commander-in-thief helped me give the jailor the slip!