Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Series of Events

Madhavan was now at the head of the checkout queue in the supermarket. He fidgeted, praying the checkout clerk would not get suspicious. His plans were set. He had already rented a room in the nearby hotel. Go back there, have a heavy dinner and then the sleeping pills mixed with the vodka should do the trick. Pity that he, the local bank manager, would need to end his life this way. But there was no other way. He had only one regret - he would not be able to help that young lady, now what was her name, yes Priya. She really needed the loan for her husband's treatment. He had decided to sanction it, but with him gone now, there was no chance she would get it in time. Oh well, everyone had their own problems. His own was he had used the bank's money to dabble in shares. The auditor was coming for a surprise check tomorrow and there was no way he could escape detection.

He laid down the two bottles of sleeping pills on the counter. The clerk looked startled and asked, with a smile,"Not planning a suicide, are we?". Madhavan laughed, real loud. The laughter sounded fake even to his own ears.

****************

Gopal looked up, startled. The man standing in front of him in the queue had suddenly laughed.What an insane laugh it was too. Sent a chill crawling up his spine. Looked a respectable gent.Oh Well , he had enough problems of his own, without enquiring into why others would laugh out loud suddenly.

But at last , it looked like his own problems were coming to an end. He had lent a considerable amount of money to his old classmate , Priya. She had urgently needed it for her husband Suresh's treatment. The only problem was , the money had not been his in the first place. It belonged to the local goonda Mahesh. And now Mahesh wanted the money back. It had really looked curtains for Gopal , because he knew there was no way Priya could somehow get him the money. And God knew, he couldnt raise any himself. And just when things had started looking really dark for him , he had got the call from Priya. She had succeeded in getting the loan from the bank. Gopal had sent a silent prayer of thanks to the unknown benefactor, the bank manager.

"Julie...I love you"...His mobile was ringing. Gopal let it ring for sometime so he could listen to his favourite tune.

*****************

"Julie...I love you". Ajit was startled. The mobile phone of the man standing ahead of him in the queue was ringing. Set so loud too. Ajit screwed his nose in disgust. Why wouldnt the guy pick up the phone. Ajit's nerves were all jangled. They usually were just before a job. This wasnt usually how he started out. But he had had to come to the supermarket because he had forgotten his gloves. And he was nothing if not thorough.

Ajit quickly paid for the gloves and hurried out of the supermarket. As he turned the corner , he bumped into a lady. His right hand automatically went towards the gun hidden in his inner jacket pocket. He looked up. She had a pretty face. He calmed down. "Excuse me madam", Ajit asked, "can you tell me which way is the bank?"

*****************

Priya was humming a song as she walked home. There was a spring to her step which had not been there for some weeks now. The bank manager, Madhavan, had saved her. She would now be able to repay her dear friend Gopal. At last it looked like all her problems were solved.

As she turned the corner, someone bumped into her. She staggered back, her breath knocked out. She looked up. The man who had bumped into her was looking at her. He had a furtive look. "Excuse me madam", he asked her, "can you tell me which way is the bank?". "Take the next left , the bank is the second building on the right", Priya told him. As he hurried along , Priya called after him ,"But it will be closed now." She could have sworn his mouth opened in a grim smile. She suddenly felt chilly. Priya looked around. There was no one nearby. It was getting late. Priya hurried towards home, where Suresh was waiting for her. She smiled as she thought of how he would react when he heard the good news.

*****************

Madhavan reached his hotel room, after a long walk.He had wanted to work up an appetite for his last meal. The chicken biriyani he had ordered on the way up smelt delicious. He quickly gobbled it up. "And now for dessert", he smiled to himself. He emptied both bottles of sleeping pills into the bottle of vodka, mixed himself a drink. He switched on the TV. No point in dying an uninformed man. The local TV channel was on. There was a "Breaking News" banner on the screen. He turned on the volume. The announcer was breathlessly blurting out the news,"There has been a burglary at the local bank. The whole bank building has been gutted by a fire believed by the police to have been started by the burglar to destroy any clues." Madhavan watched fascinated as the camera veered to the smouldering remains of the bank. His bank. But but, he realized if the bank had been destroyed it means, the money would be gone too. All of it. So how could the auditor tell if any money had been missing before the robbery.He was saved. The glass of vodka remained in his hand, untasted.

"Thank you God," Madhavan prayed fervently, tears of joy streaming down his face."This was the only chance I needed. I will never do anything wrong again"

13 comments:

Kirthi said...

hey that was cool.... very well written... u seriously should have considered some other career apart from IT :P

Anurag said...

awesome story man
but gopal n priya wont be saved.....it would again take priya sometime to get her loan....n gopal would die in the meanwhile

i hope i am wrong :o)

Anurag said...

awesome story man
but i just hope gopal isnt screwed coz priya is not able to get her loan (i like happy endings :o))

Sachin R K said...

@kirthi - Thanks a bunch. I have said it before and I will say it again - You are too kind :))

@anurag - Not to worry. I checked with Madhavan and he tells me that since the loan has been approved in principle, it doesnt matter if his particular branch doesnt have the money. Priya will get her money (from another branch if need be ) in time and that good samaritan Gopal should be alright :)))

Kar bhala toh ho bhala

Chitra Shenoy said...

Hey Nice one!!

Really liked it.. For a change your characters are not dying now..:P!

redwaterstew said...

dude great piece.

i might need the rights to the story for a film that i am considering …….unless you have already sold it to someone :-) imagine a time when filmmakers fight for sachin's stories

doesn’t a plot like that demand a little more elaboration. This could be a novelette if you can delve into the internal world of Madhavan, Julie and other characters.

Looks like you are moving away from Virginia wolf mode….

Scribbles said...

Aye tooo good...too good..too good...
:)
as i started it , it crossed my mind... "enta sachin ithu...adutha tragedy aano"..but then the flow was too good...i wud nt have minded if it was a tragedy... great one...

Sachin R K said...

@chitra - Aaj puraani raahon se koi mujhe awaaz na de ...hopefully the days of characters dying are well and truly gone :P

@redwaterstew - Get in the queue mate :) "imagine a time when filmmakers fight for sachin's stories" Nice thought. Thante naakku ponnakatte

@scribbles - Thanks a Lot :)) Your comment just made my day.

Geordee said...

I wish it was a bit more longer and enigmatic. May be the clerk, the newsreader, suresh, gunda... everyone had a story to tell. And the ending killed the fun, you could have left it for the reader. Sort of inconclusive ending. But it's your story, plot, characters and ending. I liked it.

Harashita R. R. Bajaj said...

beautiful...awsome story...
I wish God was as kind to all kind ppl...

ReadnRyte said...

Wonderful set of setpieces...

But as another pointed out, the ending was best left ambiguous

Nice though :)

nikky said...

sachin...dis is a grt story..im impressed...all d stories r so engrossing...

Melinda said...

You write very well.