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Satish was in high spirits when he received his letter for his first posting in Kenya as an Indian ambassador. He had passed out his Indian Foreign Services examination with a good ranking.

After getting down from an Air India plane in Nairobi, he was escorted to a nice bungalow in the posh area of the city. He was introduced to Jim, a stout young man who would look after him.

After dinner, Satish entered the bedroom. A well-appointed room was having all the facilities one would need. Tired after the long flight, he threw himself on the bed and within few minutes he was asleep.

At around 12:30 Satish was awakened by the barking of several dogs. He got up and drew the curtains of the window. He saw some 10-12 dogs barking relentlessly looking at the small procession of some 10-12 men carrying a coffin. But in the dim light on the street, Satish saw all the men in the procession, well dressed but without a head. He was frightened. All the marchers moving in unison appeared like dead bodies without a head. The procession passed by his window. When it went out of sight, the dogs stopped barking. Satish came back on the bed and tried to sleep. But the march was not going out of memory. After trying for some time, Satish could sleep. He got up late. The attendant was at his beck and call.

While having breakfast, he just casually asked the attendant, “Jim, did you see on the road any procession last  night?”

“No. I was fast asleep.”

“So many dogs started barking together which woke me up. And I saw some weird people carrying a coffin.”

“I did not hear anything from our staff also. May be sir, you saw a dream.”

Satish saw the attendant brushing off his experience. So he did not say anything further.

At 11 in the morning, Satish joined his duties. He was introduced to the staff and he got busy with important office matters.

Satish forgot about the dream. Days after weeks passed and quickly it was nearly a year that Satish was in Kenya.

One day he received a letter from Delhi, appreciating his work in Kenya and asking him to hand over his charge to the new Ambassador and taking charge of the embassy in Qatar.

In a couple of months, Satish was in the office of the Indian Embassy in Qatar,

He was given a well-furnished flat in a high rising building on the busiest street.

Satish found the flat was designed very well and the assistance for him in the flat was courteous.

After dinner, Satish threw himself on the bed and was asleep in few minutes.

At around 12:30 loud barking of dogs woke him up. He woke up and looked out of the window. A procession of 10-12 persons in Arab attire was carrying a coffin. Satish noticed that all those men were without a head. He remembered the procession in Kenya. He had goosebumps. After some time, the procession went out of sight. The dog’s barking mellowed out. Satish drew the curtains and got on the bed.

The next day, at breakfast, Satish enquired with the attendant about the procession last light. He denied having noticed anything like a procession carrying a coffin. Satish was shocked.

After breakfast, Satish went to his office, got involved in office matters and forgot about the incident in the night.

After a successful tenure in Qatar, Satish had to take charge of the embassy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Satish landed in Port of Spain and went straight to his allotted bungalow on  Embassy Street in the isolated area. A nice cozy house with well-furnished rooms, facing the dense forest. Satish was impressed. He made himself comfortable. After a nice spicy dinner, Satish took charge of the bedroom. Tired of traveling, he went off to sleep quickly.

At around midnight Satish was woken up by the sounds of cutting of a tree by an ax. He was surprised to notice someone doing such heavy work in those hours of the night. He opened the window. He found 2-3 persons cutting the full-grown tree with the ax. He was shocked to see them headless. Then one person picked up one large log of bark on his back and carrying it passed by very close to the window. Satish confirmed he was without a head. The person went behind his bungalow and dropped that piece of bark with a big thud. Satish noticed that all the people cutting the tree had left the site. Nobody was to be seen. Satish did not dare to go into the backyard and look for the big piece of wood which was dumped with a big noise. He closed the window and laid on the bed wondering why these headless persons were following him whichever part of the world he was posted. That too just for the first night of taking the charge of posting. But from the distant procession carrying a dead body, the site of their showing up was coming closer. In Trinidad, the headless person came close to his window. But nothing further. He was confused. Tired that he was, he slept sound and was woken up by the attendant when the sun was shining brightly. During the ten months of stay in Port of Spain, there was no trace of headless persons.

Satish had to shift to Paris as the Ambassador of India to France.

Satish was allotted a well-furnished, superbly decorated flat on the 30th floor. Satish remembered the first night the headless persons would make their presence felt. He wondered how would they appear here in this very crowded place. He took the key to the flat and proceeded towards the elevator. His luggage had already reached his flat. He pressed the button to call the elevator. The elevator reached and the door was automatically opened. Satish stepped in. The elevator man pressed the number 30 without Satish saying anything. Satish was surprised. He thought the liftman was informed about his stay by the reception personnel. On the 30th floor, the lift stopped with a tinkle to draw attention. Satish stepped out of the elevator and while coming out he looked at the liftman. Satish was horrified. The liftman was headless. Before he could react, the elevator door closed and it went down. Satish tried to call the elevator back to his floor but failed, Suddenly he heard a very big bang. The elevator had crashed. Some security personnel came and checked up on Satish’s safety. They heaved a sigh of relief to find him unhurt.

The next day the detailed news reached Satish. After the crash, no trace of anybody in the lift was discovered.

Satish was stunned and shocked. Nearly a year passed and he received an intimation of him being transferred to Mauritius.

When Satish landed in Port of Luis, the capital of Mauritius, there was a long queue for immigration. In the queue, just behind him, a person was trying to draw his attention. Satish looked at him. He handed over a small note to Satish. Satish took that in his hand and tried to read it. When he looked up to find something more, the person was going away hurriedly. Satish read the message.

“Dear Satish.

You may be wondering why a family of weird persons is following you everywhere you go. Read this carefully.

“A gang of a large number of persons in our country is trying to uproot one ideology. They are acting by killing wonderful persons from our embassies who do not follow their ideology. They have killed more than 25 intelligent and dedicated persons during the last 15-20 years. The matter is hushed up by taking advantage of being away from our country. Please take care of yourself. You may be on their list. We do not want any more headless people in our family. Beware.”

Satish folded the chit and put it in the pocket.

Satish noticed some person with a revolver aiming at him. He swiftly dodged the bullet and attacked the person who fired at him. Holding him with both hands, Satish handed over the culprit to the police.

After all the formalities, Satish went to his room in the allotted bungalow. He called the Delhi office and narrated the entire incident. Within an hour a personal security guard joined Satish.

Soon the gang behind the conspiracy was nabbed.

Satish did not face the warning alarms by the headless persons anymore.  

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