Metro life

Morning time. Everybody is getting ready for office.

I have to leave home in next 5 minutes but it does not seem so. I have to take bath and eat my breakfast.

It’s 9.30. I went inside bathroom and came out in 4 minutes. It was a record. I never came out in less than 10 minutes. I ate my breakfast in another 5 minutes.

It was already 9.42 and I was late by 7 minutes. I took my office bag and rushed out. My friend Sanjay had to go to Azadpur and was waiting outside in Honda City. He was about to honk horn but saw me coming and smiled.

We started and the car zoomed to 80Kmph speed. Badli Metro station was about 5 minutes drive. Metro originates from here so one gets seat for long journey to Gurgaon.

We missed the right cut towards Badli metro station and reached GT Karnal road. Sanjay took left turn towards Azadpur and we finally reached the metro station. I said bye and got out of the car and headed towards stairs for the platform.

I reached the platform and waited for the metro to come. There were few people there and cold wind was blowing. I was wearing wind cheater and hence did not feel the pinch.

Metro came and we all came closer to the edge of the platform to board DMRC metro. Gates opened but I felt heavy.

All seats were occupied and it was a 1.15 hours journey from Badli metro station to Gurgaon.

But why the seats were occupied if the metro originates from this station. Was it because people on the other side of platform were standing and boarding metro?  They got seat as the metro went  some distance towards right and then came back at the platform.

I looked at the route map. This was the 3rd metro station. Samaypur badly was the 1st metro station followed by Rohini sector 18 and then Haiderpur Badli mor station.

Now I realized that I had missed the 1st metro station in a rush to reach office. Both 1st and 3rd stations had “Badli” word and hence this confusion. I did not get seat and my legs were paining.

Finally I felt relaxed in the night and next morning I was perfect.

It is always better to check the station and route before boarding metro in haste.

Twin brothers

It was cold day. Light winds were blowing and sun was shining outside.

It was a jail with lots of visitors waiting outside the building waiting to go inside. Visiting hours were 2.00 to 4.00 in the noon.

I got a call at around 1.30 in the noon to meet a prisoner. I usually avoid going during visitor hours as it is very crowded.

But I had to meet this prisoner as I generally meet them whenever need arises and especially when someone’s life is involved. That’s what lawyers are taught-ethics.

I drove from my home in Hari Nagar to jail and thought of reaching in 10 minutes but it took half an hour in reaching due to slow movement of traffic.

I reached at around 2.30 and saw heavy crowd. I went to the gate and entered inside from the side gate after showing my identity.

It was a long distance from the entrance gate. I went straight about 200 meters, turned right and walked another 150 meters. I entered a big hall where I made entry in the visitors log register. I displayed my identity and went straight to the cell where the inmate was sitting in one corner.

I went near the cell. The inmate called me by name. Krishna. I saw his face. I kept on looking at his face. His face was exactly same as mine. He said I am your twin Shyam.

I was stunned. I did not have any twin. I was never if I had any sibling.

Shyam’s height and complexion was same as mine. His face was plump unlike me. His hair was clumsy. He could not have shiny and soft hair like me. One does not have that privilege in jail.

I said. Well Shyam. How can I help you?

He said I am a poor man and have been framed in a murder case that I have not committed. Please save me from the clutches of law and let me live my life. You are a very famous lawyer and have never been defeated in a criminal case.

I looked at him with suspicion. I knew these criminals. They gather information and use people for their personal benefit.

I said why I should believe you. I do not know you. I came because you wanted to meet me.

He started narrating his story.

He said Krishna, you will not believe me but our mother is same. Our mother name is Karishma Mehra and stayed in Paharganj. You were fortunate to get good education and become a lawyer. I was left to feed myself on the road.

I grew and attended a govt school but dropped out. I had to feed myself and think of earning. I started washing utensils in a road side hotel.

One day I meet Pappu a thief who stole petty things.

We became friends and started dreaming of leading a good life. Pappu was earning reasonable good amount.

Sometimes you earn more through wrong ways rather than going right way. Though person pays in some form or another for earning through wrong ways.

We were walking in Paharganj for our prey.  We were looking for someone with fat wallet or expensive watch.

10 minutes later a short and plump man got down from his car, a Mercedes. Three other men also got down. They all looked smart and rich.

Our plan was ready. The men walked and enjoying sunny weather. We walked and came near them. Pappu slowly took out wallet from hip pocket of one of the men and tried snatching wrist watch very gently from another man. This man suddenly noticed the movement and started shouting at us. Pappu and me were alerted and started running. But soon another group of men caught both of us and called police van. We panicked as we knew if once caught we would rot in jail. The man calling police seemed influential. We started shouting back at him.

He became angry and took out pistol and fired at us. But the shot was missed. The group of rich men with fat wallet and expensive watches on their hand also came at the spot. They knew each other as was evident from their faces as if they were about to beat each other.

They knew each other as it was evident from their conversation. The man who called police fired at rich man whose wallet was with us. The rich man also fired at him and the man fell down on the road with blood all over his chest. Now the rich man threw gun at me and ran from there.

The police came in about 5 minutes and saw gun in my hand.

No one came forward to protect us or say any defensive statement. Police wasted no time and took us to the police station. We were locked up for two days. Third day in the morning I was told by the constable that I would be shifted to Jail and Pappu would be released as there was no evidence against him.

But I had gun in my hand in the market and police had seen this. I had to be in the jail for this. On the day of shifting I saw a fat man talking to the police man. I got closer to him when I was being shifted. He was the same man who was in the market and fired in exchange for the shot received by the man calling police.

I started thinking and many things were cleared in my mind.  I had to think of my mine as no one else will tell me these things.

The fat man was a part of mafia dealing in drugs and smuggling. The person killed in the market was part of another mafia.

Shyam was now crying. He said it has been 10 years in the jail and heard about me last month. He saw me on the TV which is located in a hall in jail so that inmates could see it the evening.

My heart sank. It was not because he was my brother (as told by him though I did not believe him). It was because as a human Shyam had suffered for a crime he had not committed.

I said, I will take your case but you have to promise that whatever you had told should not be a lie. Otherwise I will leave this case immediately.

I left the cell and walked out. Sun had set and it was 4.00 in the evening.

I started working on the case. I went to meet him again next week and saw one man meeting him. He was aged about fifty years old.  He was tall and slim with white hair and glasses. I did not see him properly but he looked like my father.

My father had left my mother after incurring loss in business and was staying with another woman.

I had to produce him Shyam in the court for hearing of the case. There were few witnesses and few arguments were exchanged.

Finally after two months of hearing, Shyam was released from the jail.

I felt relieved that I had won the case and also Shyam had got justice.

I never thought of doing any DNA test to establish whether we were twins. I knew I never had any twin and I took Shyam’s case so that he is released if he is innocent.

He did not tell me any future plans after getting released.

A week later I was reading newspaper to know what was happening around the world especially in the field of crime.

I turned pages and suddenly saw my photo. I thought that the media has published it because of winning case.

I started reading but my happiness turned sour. The words read” Shyam and Richard are now great friends and hold a major share in mafia world.

I could not believe whatever I read. I again read the article and now I was furious.

Shyam had lied to me. The fat man had gather information about me and had got Shyam released from the jail so that they could expand their empire.

I learnt one thing. You should never be emotional especially in this field.

 

Dead man

I had to go inside the room. The light inside was very dull. It was dark outside.

Not because of street lights but because it was a moonless night. Street lights anyway did not work for last couple of weeks.

The municipal corporation was not doing its job properly. It did not listen to people’s grievances and gave excuses to address the issue.

The situation did not improve due to the corrupt officials in the corporation.

I was responsible for this planning.

I met Jacob about a month back in the summer of June.

I was having coffee in café coffee day in the relaxed atmosphere after visiting bank.  I was sitting alone chatting with my friend on phone when I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder. I held the call and saw who he was?

He was a middle aged man about 55 years old, wrinkles running down his both cheeks. He was wearing stark white collared shirt with blue denim jeans. The gentleman was wearing black shining shoes. He was looking dude with goggles tucked in the shirt pocket and a black cap on his round face. Face was clean shaven.

He said hi. I replied the same. He said “how are you gentleman”. I replied I am fine and fit. He said great. I offered him a seat and ordered 2 cups of coffee

Jacob started conversation. He asked if I was interested in making money with a short span of time.

I was jobless. I was working in a call center for UK client but the process was ramped down and I was given a pink slip. It was not only me but there were many people who were asked to leave.

I was looking for a job and needed money. I shown him interest and he started telling me details of the plan. The plan was to go to Donley George capital bank and encash a cheque lying with Jacob. I saw the cheque. I was taken aback.

The cheque was bearing my name. Michael Harold. I saw the amount. It was 2 million dollars. I saw Jacob in his eyes and he was smiling.

I felt suspicious and told him that I would need time to think about it. I was about to leave but he stopped me and said this opportunity will not come again.

He had been following me for some days from home to office and office to home and had gathered information about me.  The cheque was given to him by one of his friend named Michael Harold and personality was almost same as mine. Jacob had shifted in my locality few months back though I had not noticed him before.  How will I notice him? I left in the morning and came back at night not interacting much even with immediate neighbor.

He had arranged for all legal documents including identity proof required to withdraw such a large amount.

Jacob and his friend Michael were partners in a finance company and Michael had run away with hard earned money earned in last 10 years of his life.

I had to go to bank next day. It should not be a problem as name was same and as per photo needed in bank the face was same as mine. Slim and long face aged about 29 years.

I wore my navy blue suit on white shirt. The button of my suit was unbuttoned and did not feel like buttoning it.

I was feeling high as I was about to get this money if not initially but in installments after one month of getting money from the bank. I had to go to a specified location every week and take out money from a box kept below the bed in the room.

The bank was full of people doing banking for different purposes. I went to the counter to get the cheque encashed. The person on the counter saw me and then the cheque and then again saw me with some strange looks. I felt uneasy. I thought if the person had recognized that it was not the same Michael. The counterman checked the system. He was satisfied now. He asked me to go to the senior manager and get his authorization in the system to proceed further. I stepped into his cabin. He cabin was big and well furnished. There was wooden work all around and very good cabins.

He looked into my eyes and then the cheque. He asked me to sit and checked his system. He asked me if I was doing well and if there was improvement in my breathing system. I felt nervous as Jacob did not tell me that his friend Michael was an asthmatic patient. Thoughts flashed into my mind and I said with calm tone that it was much better now and I could breath well now especially in air conditioner. The senior manager was comfortable now.

The senior management generally asks these questions to ensure that the bank is dealing with correct person where huge amount is involved.

There was no flaw in signature as Jacob had shown me his friend’s signature and I did the practice well.

I went again to the counter and finally got two million dollars. I kept on seeing money and could not believe my eyes.

I came out of the bank and saw Jacob in his Ford Mustang   waiting for me. I stacked bag on the rear seat with calmness so that nobody notices us. Jacob started engine and asked if everything was smooth. I assured him that nothing went wrong. He was happy to hear this.

He drove the car and stopped in front of a house on the deserted road. It was only one storey building. I felt uncomfortable as this was the place where I had to come after a month to collect half of my share in ten equal installments.  He would earn interest till then by lending it to other people at 24% interest p.a.

I again did not enquired much as I was getting 1 million dollars without slogging for it. It was 24th Jun. I had to come on 24th Jul.

24th Jul. I went to the house. I was not supposed to go during day time as someone could notice me. It was dark and humid. I went inside the room and opened the door. Jacob had given me a set of key.

It was a big room. There was old furniture all around with dust gathered on it. I found the bed and the box under it. I opened the box and found the exact amount. One hundred thousand dollars. I had a small bag that I opened and put all money inside the bag. I kept the box at its original place and came out and locked the door.

Second time I came after a week. This time I noticed some humming as if something was being aired on TV. I thought it must be coming from some neighbor. I ignored it.

This was my eighth visit. I had already gathered seven hundred thousand dollars. Now it was going to be eight hundred thousand dollars. I had dreamt of going abroad and visit casinos and doing bungee jumping.

I opened the door and saw the box lying under the same bed. It looked as if Jacob had been refilling it every week.  This time the humming sound was louder. I became curious. I thought of going out and check with neighbor about it. But I realized it would be a blunder and I might land up in jail and all my dreams would be shattered. I went further and found another small room. I never noticed this as I had to simply pocket the installment and leave the place quietly. It was anyway now only 2 more visits and I will have my share.

I noticed someone sitting on a rocking chair and was swinging. A very small radio was airing some news. The sound of the radio was very disturbing. My heart sank. I had never thought of this. I went ahead to face the man.

I was shocked and was about to faint. I controlled myself. It seemed as if I had seen my face in the mirror. I realized that it was not me but the face was very much same.

He was Jacob’s friend Michael Harold. He could not be anyone else. He was looking at me smiling. I went closer to him but found him dead. He was not breathing.

Now I started thinking Why Jacob had come to me on that day. It was his planning to get million dollars without any efforts risking my life. He chose this deserted place so that no one notices us and I could not find anything in this dark and desolated place.

I never returned to that place and did not find Jacob either later on. He was a con man.

It was a win win deal for both. He got millions in his share and also another three hundred thousand dollars with a planning well executed.

I had got seven hundred thousand dollars without working though I risked my life in the bank..