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CST 11 30PM

RAVI VERMA WAS SITTING IN THE VICTORIA TERMINUS WAITING HIS TRAIN THE CHENNAI MAIL
TO COME
IT WAS ALREADY 11 30 PM
HE WAS TIRED AND FED UP WITH THE INDIAN RAILWAYS BUT HE HAD NO OTHER OPTION BUT
LOOKING AT THE SEA OF HUMANITY BEFORE HIS EYES AND WAITING FOR HIS TRAIN
THE MAIL WAS SCHEDULED TO START AT11 30 PM BUT DUE TO SHORTAGE OF ENGINES IT GOT
DELAYED
RAVI VERMA ALWAYS TRAVELED BY FLIGHT
HE WAS THE DEALER OF TYRES HIS SHOP HAD ITS SUPPLIES FROM CHENNAI
SO HE FREQUENTLY TRAVELED BETWEEN MADRAS AND MUMBAI
HE ALWAYS PREFERRED THE 11 AM FLIGHT OF JET AIRWAYS BUT STRANGELY HE COULDN�T GET
A TICKET ON THAT FLIGHT OR ANY OTHER FLIGHT FOR THAT MATTER
SO HE HAD TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN
HE BOOKED HIMSELF A SECOND AC BERTH
BUT HERE HE WAS SITTING IN THE WAITING ROOM STILL WAITING FOR THE TRAIN TO COME TO
THE PLATFORM

HE HATED RAILWAY STATIONS AND THEIR STINK AND THE MASSES OF HUMANITY THERE
BUT OF COURSE NOW EVEN AIRPORTS ARE LIKE THAT
WHEN HE WAS A KID HE LOVED TRAVELLING BY TRAIN
THE SOUND OF CHUK CHUK FROM THE WHEELS OF A TRAIN WAS A WONDERFUL SOUND TO A KID S
EAR
BUT THE SAME SOUND TWENTY YEARS LATER TO THE SAME PERSON WAS A IRRITATING NOISE
THE VENDORS SHOUTING CHAI CHAI WAS SIMPLY MAGICAL TO RAVI VERMA WHEN HE WAS FIVE
BUT NOW HE DESPISED IT
HE WONDERED WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM
HIS SUPPLIERS IN CHENNAI CALLED HIM AND ASK HIM TO MEET HIM IMMEDIATELY AS THERE
WERE COMPLAINTS THAT HIS SHOP HADN�T BEEN VERY COURTEOUS WITH THE CUSTOMERS
AND THERE WAS SOME MISBEHAVING OF THE SALESMAN WITH ONE OF THE CUSTOMERS
WHEN HE ENQUIRED ABOUT IT IN HIS SHOP HE FOUND OUT THAT ONE OF HIS SALES MAN NAMED
RAGHU COMPLETELY IGNORED A MLA WHO WAS THERE BECAUSE HIS CAR HAD A PUNCTURE

WHEN RAGHU EXPLAINED THAT THE SHOP IS NOT A PUNCTURE SHOP THE MLA WOULD SIMPLY NOT
LISTEN
SO RAGHU COMPLETELY IGNORED THAT MAN WENT ON DOING HIS OWN WORK
BUT MLA S ARE MLA S
THE MATTER DIDN�T END THERE THAT MLA FELLOW COMPLAINED TO THE HEAD OFFICE IN
BOMBAY WHO IN TURN REFERRED THE COMPLAINT TO THE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION DEPARTMENT
IN CHENNAI
SO HERE HE WAS WAITING IN THE WAITING ROOM BECAUSE SOME IDIOT OF AN MLA DIDNT KNOW
THAT THEIR SHOP WAS NOT PUNCTURE SHOP
SIR THERE IS A DIESEL ENGINE AVAILABLE
HOW QUICK CAN WE GET A ELECTRIC ENGINE
THERE IS ONE COMING TO BOMBAY
BUT IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME SIR
OKAY PUT A DIESEL ENGINE TO THE MAIL AND
AT A STATION IN BETWEEN SWITCH THE ENGINES
OKAY SIR
MOHAN WHO HAD BEEN WORKING FOR THE RAILWAYS FOR NINE YEARS KNEW THIS METHOD VERY
WELL
IF THERE ARE SHORTAGE OF ELECTRIC ENGINES THEY WOULD SIMPLY PUT A OLD DIESEL ONE
WHEN THE TRAIN MEETS AN GOODS TRAIN IN BETWEEN THEY SIMPLY SWITCH THE ENGINES

SO THAT WHEN THE TRAIN REACHES MADRAS


WHICH IS UNDER SOUTHERN RAILWAY THE WESTERN RAILWAY DOESN�T NEED TO ANSWER FOR THE
SHORTAGE OF ELECTRIC ENGINES
HE CALLED THE SHOLAPUR STATION MANAGER AND ASKED HIM TO STOP ANY ELECTRIC TRAIN
GOING TOWARDS MUMBAI

SHOLAPUR RAIWAY STATION 1135PM


THE STATION MANGER OBLIGED AS ALWAYS
HE TOO KNEW THIS PRACTICE

TRAIN NUMBER 2364 MUMBAI TO CHENNAI THE MUMBAI MAIL IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART AT 11
55 PM FROM PLATFORM 7
PLATFORM 7 SAAB THE COOLIE SAID TO RAVI VERMA
OKAY THEN
THE COOLIE TOOK THE LUGGAGE AND STARTED GOING TO PLATFORM 7
RAVI VERMA FOLLOWED HIM UNTIL THE TRAIN
HE CHECKED HIS TICKET TO FIND THE BERTH ALLOTTED TO HIM WAS NUMBER 23
HE PAID THE COOLIE OF AND STARTED CHAINING HIS LUGGAGE

THE SHOLAPUR STATION MANAGER HATED THESE JOBS NOW HE HAD TO EXPLAIN TO THE GOODS
TRAIN DRIVER THAT NOW HE HAD TO DRIVE A DIESEL ENGINE UP TO BOMBAY
AND ALSO HE HAD TO DECIDE WHETHER TO STOP THE TRAINS BEHIND OR ALLOW THEM TO
OVERTAKE THIS GOODS TRAIN AND THEN SWITCH BACK TO THEIR ORIGINAL TRACK AT SOME
SMALL STATION
THERE WAS A PASSENGER TRAIN COMING BEHIND
HE COULD STOP IT AND HE WOULDN�T BE QUESTIONED BY THE AUTHORITIES BUT THERE WAS A
EXPRESS TRAIN WHICH WAS ALREADY LATE BY 5 HOURS AND HE COULDN�T POSSIBLY DELAY IT
MUCH LONGER
SO HE DECIDED TO ALLOW THE EXPRESS TRAIN
TO PASS THE PASSENGER TRAIN AND THE GOODS ONE AND SWITCH BACK TO THE TRACK NUMBER
1
TRACK NUMBER 1 WAS USED TO GO TO TO MUMBAI AND TRACK NUMBER 2 WAS USED TO LEAVE
MUMBAI
SO HE HAD TO STOP ALL TRAIN COMING TOWARDS SHOLAPUR FROM MUMBAI USING TRACK 2
HE CONTACTED THE WEST CABIN GUARD AND ASKED HIM TO DO THE JOB ON HAND
THE WEST CABIN GUARD WAS LAZY AND A SLEEPY FELLOW

BUT TONIGHT HE KNEW HE HAD TO DO THE JOB HE CHANGED THE SIGNALS AND INFORMED THE
NEARBY STATION AND SIGNAL MANAGERS OF THE CHANGE IN PLAN TO LET THE EXPRESS TRAIN
AND ONLY THEN ALLOW OTHER TRAINS FROM BOMBAY TO PASS

CST 11 55PM

RAVI VERMA LOOKED AT HIS WATCH AND HE KNEW THAT THE TRAIN WAS NOT GOING TO START
AT 11 55
MOHAN REALIZED THAT THERE WAS SOME MISTAKE THE STATION MANAGER AT SHOLAPUR
OTHERWISE THE THREE TRAINS WAITING TO MOVE OUT OF MUMBAI WOULD HAVE LEFT ONE BY
ONE
HE CHECKED WITH THE SIGNAL MEN AND THE GUARDS AND HE FOUND OUT THAT THE SIGNALS
WERE RED FOR THE TRAINS GOING OUT OF BOMBAY UNTIL THE EXPRESS COMING IN TOWARDS
BOMBAY REACHES A STATION WERE YOU HAVE MORE THAN TWO PLATFORMS
MOHAN CHECKED THE RAILWAY MAP AND THE NEAREST RAILWAY STATION TO SHOLAPUR WAS
DESPUR WHICH WAS JUST 10 MINUTES FROM MUMBAI BUT 30 MINUTES FROM SHOLAPUR

SO MAYBE HE COULD CLEAR ONE TRAIN TO GO TO DESPUR AND STOP IT THERE UNTIL THE
EXPRESS REACHES THE STATION
BUT HE COULD CLEARLY SEE THAT THE STATION MANAGERS DECISION WAS A WRONG BECAUSE OF
ONE EXPRESS TRAIN THREE TRAINS HADN�T EVEN STARTED FROM CST
HE HAD TO GET APPROVAL FROM HIS SENIORS BEFORE HE COULD MAKE ANY DECISION
HE WENT TO HIS SENIORS ROOM
SIR
YES NOW WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
DON�T TELL ME IT IS ABOUT MAIL AGAIN
WELL NO SIR SAID MOHAN
HE EXPLAINED THE PROBLEM TO HIM
WELL LEAVE IT THAT WAY WHO IS GOING TO BOTHER JUST MAKE SURE THAT THE ENGINES ARE
SWITCHED AT SHOLAPUR DON�T BOTHER LET TRAINS RUN LATE EVEN THE PASSENGER ARE NOT
BOTHERED WHY SHOULD WE BOTHER
MOHAN LEFT THE ROOM BUT HE DECIDED TO SEND ONE OF THE THREE TRAINS AHEAD UPTIL
DESPUR
HE CALLED THE DESPUR STATION AND INFORMED THEM OF THE DECISION TO CLEAR ONE TRAIN
ASKED THEM TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS
NOW HE HAD TO DECIDE WHICH TRAIN HE HAD CLEAR

THERE WERE THREE TRAINS ONE TO MADRAS ONE TO HYDERABAD AND OTHER COCHIN
ALL WERE EQUALLY IMPORTANT ONES BUT THE HYDERABAD EXPRESS WAS THE MOST DELAYED AS
IT WAS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE AT 10 30
BUT HE DECIDED AGAINST CLEARING HYDERABAD EXPRESS AND INSTEAD CLEARED MADRAS MAIL
AS THE ENGINE HAD TO BE SWITCHED AT SHOLAPUR
RAVI VERMA WAS GETTING MORE AND MORE FRUSTRATED THE TRAIN DIDN�T START AND THE
COACH GUARD INFORMED HIM THAT THEY COULD ON THE AIR-CONDITIONING ONLY IF THE TRAIN
STARTS (SINCE NOW THE TRAIN IS A DIESEL ONE NOT AN ELECTRIC ONE )
HE WAS FED UP WITH THE INDIAN RAILWAYS HE VOWED NEVER TO AGAIN TRAVEL BY RAIL
ROAD WAS BETTER
HE DECIDED TO CALL HOME AND TALK
SUDDENLY THERE WAS SHAKE AND HE LOOKED OUTSIDE TO FIND THE TRAIN MOVING
HE FELT A SENSE OF RELIEF AND DECIDED AGAINST CALLING HOME
AND SLOWLY DOZED OFF

DESPUR RAILWAY STATION 12 00 AM

THE DESPUR RAILWAY OFFICIALS WERE FRUSTRATED NOW THEY HAD TO SEE THAT THE MADRAS
MAIL STOPS AT DESPUR AND IF IT GOT DELAYED THEY MAY HAVE TO STOP THE EXPRESS TRAIN
COMING TOWARDS BOMBAY
ALTHOUGH THE DISTANCE FROM MUMBAI WAS FAR LESS THAN DISTANCE FROM SHOLAPUR
BUT U NEVER KNOW THE MAIL WAS PULLED BY AN OLD DIESEL ENGINE WHICH HAD BEEN LYING
QUIETLY FOR SOME TIME SO IF ANYTHING HAPPENS THEN THEY HAVE THEIR JOB CUT OUT
CST 12 05 AM
MOHAN KNEW HE HAD TO WORK HARD FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS TO ENSURE THAT TIMETABLE IS
FOLLOWED
THERE WAS A BREAK BETWEEN 12 00 AND 3 30 WHEN THERE WERE NO PASSENGER TRAINS FROM
OR TO BOMBAY SO HE HAD TO SORT THIS MESS BY 3 30 OR ELSE THE NEXT DAY SCHEDULE
WOULD BE DISTURBED AND THAT WOULD BE QUITE HORRIBLE
SO ALL THE TRAINS MUST BE OUT OF THE WESTERN RAILWAY ZONE BY 3 30 AM
BUT THE CHANCES WERE LOOKING QUITE SLIM
THE WAY THINGS WERE GOING NOW

ANOTHER DECISION HE HAD TO MAKE IS WHETHER TO ALLOW THE HYDERABAD OR THE COCHIN
BOUND TRAINS TO OVERTAKE THE MADRAS MAIL WHEN THE SWITCH IS BEING DONE
AND OF COURSE THERE MAY BE SOME MORE GOODS TRAINS COMING INTO BOMBAY BUT THEY
COULD BE DELAYED

SHOLAPUR RAILWAY STATION 12 17 AM

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE


TRY TO UNDERSTAND WE HAVE SEND AN ELECTRIC TRAIN TO MADRAS NOT ANY DIESEL ONE
BUT WHY MINE ASKED THE DRIVER OF THE GOODS TRAIN NO 2313 WHICH HAD BEEN JUST
STOPPED AT SHOLAPUR AND THE ENGINE WAS BEING DISMANTLED FROM THE TRAIN
SHUT FOR GOD SAKE ORDERS ARE ORDERS U AND I CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT THEM SHOUTED THE
STATION MASTER
THE DRIVER WENT AWAY GRUMBLING FOR A CUP OF TEA
THE STATION MASTER NOW HAD TO GREEN SIGNAL THE EXPRESS TRAIN NO 7534 WHICH HE
DIDN�T REMEMBER FROM WHERE IT WAS COMING AND DIDN�T BOTHER TO CHECK

THE TRAIN NO 7534 WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN LATE FOR ABOUT 5 HOURS WAS NOW PICKING UP
GOOD SPEED THE DRIVER WONDERED WHETHER HE HAD TO STOP BEFORE BOMBAY BUT THANKED
HIS GOOD FORTUNE AS HE SAW THE GREEN SIGNAL BEFORE THE RAILWAY STATION
40 MORE MINUTES HE WOULD REACH HOME
SIR THERE IS A FREIGHT TRAIN STARTING NOW FROM PUNE THEY ARE ASKING WHETHER THE
COAST IS CLEAR
TELL THEM TO GO TO HELL SAID THE INFURIATED SHOLAPUR STATION MANAGER
SIR I BELIEVE IT�S A BIT URGENT
ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE ANOTHER TRAIN ON THESE TRACKS RIGHT NOW
TELL THEM RIGHT NOW IT IS IMPOSSIBLE

THE MADRAS MAIL 12 11

THE TRAIN STOPPED AS EXPECTED AT DESPUR AND THE OFFICIALS WERE RELIEVED TO SEE
THE TRAIN
NOW THEIR JOB WAS SIMPLE SIMPLY GREEN FLAG THE EXPRESS
RAVI VERMA GOT UP AGAIN SUDDENLY FEELING SWEATY AND HE REALIZED THAT THE AIR-
CONDITIONING MUST BE OFF
HE LOOKED OUTSIDE TO SEE THE LONELY DARK PLATFORM NO 2 OF DESPUR RAILWAY STATION

HE WAS TOTALLY FED UP AND HE NEEDED TO RELEASE HIS ANGER ON SOMEONE


HE DECIDED TO GET DOWN ASK SOME ONE WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS
HE SAW THE COACH MAN AND STOPPED HIM
SIR THERE HAS BEEN SOME PROBLEM WITH THE TRACKS THE TRAIN WILL START IN 5 MINUTES
CONVEYED THE COACH GUARD BEFORE RAVI COULD OPEN HIS MOUTH
RAVI KNEW 5 MINUTES IN INDIAN RAILWAYS �S CLOCK COULD BE ANYTHING BUT FIVE MINUTES

HE DECIDED TO GET DOWN AND LIGHT A CIGARETTE


HE GOT DOWN ONTO A DARK SOLITARY PLATFORM
HE QUITE LIKED THESE SORT OF PLACES AND ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ALONE HERE AND
THINKING TO HIMSELF
BUT HE NEVER GOT TIME OR TO BE PRECISE HE DIDN�T HAVE THE COURAGE TO TAKE SOME
TIME OFF HIS BUSY SCHEDULE
HE SAW ANOTHER MAN GET DOWN FROM THE OTHER END OF THE BOGIE AND WALK TOWARDS HIM
SIR DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
THE COACH MAN SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE TRACK NOT BEING ALRIGHT

ITS RUBBISH
ANYWAY I AM SANTOSH FROM MADRAS
RAVI VERMA, MUMBAI
THESE RAILWAYS ARE ALWAYS LIKE THAT SIR
PEOPLE LIKE U SHOULD TRAVEL BY FLIGHT
SAID SANTOSH
I USUALLY DO THE SAME BUT COULDN�T GET TICKETS
SIR DO YOU MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED THAT AN DIESEL ENGINE IS PULLING OUR TRAIN
WHAT?
YES SIR MAYBE THATS THE PROBLEM
MAYBE
WE CAN WALK UPTO THE ENGINE TO CHECK
OUT
THE TRAIN DOESN�T SEEM TO MOVE NOW
OKAY THEN
MUMBAI DOMESTIC AIRPORT 12 12AM

AIRPORT MANAGER DAULAT PANDEY


WAS IN A SPOT OF BOTHER ACTUALLY IN MORE TROUBLE THAN A SPOT OF TROUBLE
THE MONSOONS STRUCK AGAIN AND THE RUNWAY 2A WAS FLOODED AGAIN

LAST AFTER THE SAME DISASTER HAD HAPPENED HE HAD WRITTEN TO THE AIRPORT
AUTHORITIES TO IMPROVE THE DRAINAGE FACILITIES ON RUNWAY 2A BUT THEY HAD REFERRED
IT TO THE BMC SAYING THAT DRAINAGE WERE NOT THEIR CUP OF TEA
AND WELL WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THE BMC
THEY HAVE A SENSATIONAL RECORD OF NOT SOLVING ANY PROBLEMS OF BOMBAY WHEN IT COMES
TO THE QUESTION OF THE MONSOONS
MUMBAI HAD BEEN EXPERIENCING THIS SORT OF RAIN FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS
DAULAT REMEMBERED SEEING THE FILM �THE INCONVENIENT� TRUTH WHERE THE PROTAGONIST
AL GORE USED BOMBAY AS AN EXAMPLE TO HIGHLIGHT THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
DAULAT WAS NOW SURE THAT GLOBAL WARMING WAS A REALITY COZ THE SAME RAIN IF RAINED
IN OTHER PARTS OF MAHARASHTRA
THE NUMBER OF FARMER SUICIDES WOULD HAVE BEEN LESS
MR PANDEY
YES
WE HAVE GOT AN EMERGENCY FLIGHT 2341 HAS ALMOST RUN OUT OF FUEL
THEN MAKE IT LAND
THAT IS THE PROBLEM MR PANDEY WE DON�T HAVE ANY RUNWAYS FREE AT THE MOMENT SIR

SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO CONSTRUCT ANOTHER ONE


NO SIR ACTUALLY I WAS SENT BY MR IJAZ KHAN HE WANTS TO MEET YOU
SAYING THIS THAT MAN LEFT PANDEY �S ROOM
IJAZ KHAN WAS THE CHIEF MANAGER OF THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER BOX
PANDEY KNEW NOW THEY NEEDED A MIRACLE TO CLEAR THIS MESS
IJAZ KHAN WAS WORRIED RUNWAYS 1 2 AND 3A WERE FULL AS THREE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
WERE TAKING OFF AND POSSIBLY FLIGHT 2341 DIDINT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME
RUNWAY 3 WAS ALREADY ALLOTED TO A FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK AND RUNWAY 4 AND 5 COULD
NOT BE USED AS THEY WERE NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOEING 767 FLIGHT NO 2341
TO LAND
SO EITHER HE HAD TO MAKE THEM WAIT UNTIL ONE RUNWAY CLEARS OR
OR HE HAD NO OPTION HE HAD TO MAKE THEM
THIS IS KLM AIRLINES NO 2341
WE ALREADY INTO OUR RESERVE THE PLANE I DON�T THINK LAST MORE THAN 3 MINUTES
I REPEAT
OKAY WE GOT YOU MUMBAI
JUST THEN DAULAT ENTERED THE ROOM
THANK GOOD YOU HAVE COME SAID KHAN
KHAN EXPLAINED THE PROBLEM ON HAND

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH 2A


SIR IT IS FLOODED AND WATER IS TOO MUCH FOR THE PLANE TO LAND IT SLIP REPLIED KHAN
IN HIS OWN WAY OF SPEAKING ENGLISH
WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE ASK TTHE FLIGHT TO LAND ON 2A WITH AS LOW AS SPEED
POSSIBLE AND TILL THE LAST MOMENT ENSURE THAT THE RUNWAY IS BEING SUCKED OF ITS
WATER AND GET SOME GRAVEL AND SAND AND PUT IT AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY AND
PRAY TO GOD
QUICK WE HAVE TO DO ALL OF THIS A MINUTE
\DAULAT LEFT THE ROOM
HE KNEW THAT THE PLANE HAD REMOTE POSSIBILTIES OF LANDING SAFELY BUT MANY OF THE
PASSENGERS COULD BE SAVED IF THE PLANE DIDN�T SKID OFF OR OVERTURN HE HIMSELF
EXAMINED THE RUNWAY 2A AND IT WAS A RIVER
HE REALIZED THAT THE RUNWAY WAS CORRECTLY BUILT
RUNWAY 2A WAS BUILT JUST TWO YEARS AGO BETWEEN RUNWAY 3 AND 2 TO ENSURE THE SMOOTH
FLOWING OF TRAFFIC WHICH HAD GROWN TREMENDOUSLY OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS

RUNWAY 2A WAS ALREADY THERE BUT WAS FOR MEANT TO BE USED FOR SMALL PRIVATE PLANES
AND NOW WHEN THE NEED WAS TO CONSTRUCT A NEW BIG AIRPORT THE AUTHORITIES SIMPLY
SANCTIONED THE EXPANSION OF RUNWAY 2A
AND NOW THE AIRPORT OFFICIALS HAD TO SUFFER DUE TO THIS
HE WENT TO HIS OFFICE AND DIALED 100
I WANT THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NO OF AMBULANCES DOCTORS SENT TO THE HOSPITAL
IMMEDIATELY
SIR IT MIGHT TAKE SOME TIME AS THE ROAD LEADING TO THE AIRPORT IS FLOODED
SHIT
DAULAT KNEW THE STATE OF THE ROADS IN MUMBAI WHEN IT RAINS

NOW HE SIMPLY HAD TO WAIT


SIR SOME PASSENGERS ARE PROTESTING AT THE CANCELLATION OF SOME FLIGHTS
SIR APPARENTLY THE REASON FOR CANCELLATION HAS BEEN GIVEN AS BAD WEATHER
BULL SHIT HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I TELL YOU THAT PLEASE DON�T CANCEL FLIGHTS JUST
DELAY THEM
SIR IT WAS RAO SIR WHO TOOK THE DECISION
SO WHY COME HERE?

WELL RAO SIR IS NOT FEELING WELL AND THE SITUATION IS GETTING OUT OF HAND AND WE
THOUGHT WE NEEDED SOME OF HIGHER AUTHORITY ON OUR SIDE SO
I AM NOT COMING I HAVE ENOUGH ON MY HAND S ALREADY
SIR PLEASE THE SITUATION IS GETTING OUT OF HAND
SOME OF THEM ARE BEHAVING REALLY VIOLENTLY SIR PLEASE
OKAY I WILL COME IN FIVE MINUTES
WELL FIRST HE HAD TO SEE TO THE FLIGHT LANDING ON RUNWAY 2A THEN HE COULD VISIT
THE DOMESTIC TERMINAL
WELL THE PASSENGERS WHO WERE MAKING THE TROUBLE WERE ACTUALLY ONLY THREE PEOPLE
WHO HAD TICKETS TO MADRAS
ON A FLIGHT TO SINGAPORE
AIR INDIA FLIGHT NO IC 972 FLEW TO SINGAPORE VIA CHENNAI AND AS THE PLANE WAS HALF
EMPTY UPTIL CHENNAI THEY HAD ISSUED TICKETS TO DOMESTIC PASSENGERS TO CHENNAI
RAHUL SAXENA WAS ONE OF THE THREE MAKING TROUBLE FOR HIM THIS FLIGHT WAS IMPORTANT
VERY IMPORTANT ACTUALLY THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT FLIGHT IN HIS LIFE SO FAR

AND HE WAS DETERMINED TO SEE TO THAT THE OFFICIALS DO NOT CANCEL IT


EVEN FOR A.RANGARAJAN IT WAS THE SAME PROBLEM AND HE TOO WAS FIGHTING FOR THE
FLIGHT AS IT WAS HIS LIFE
AND THE THIRD PASSENGER WHO WAS CREATING TROUBLE WAS AN MLA NAMED ARUMURUGAN FROM
TAMILNADU
THE OTHER PASSENGERS WERE JUST ON LOOKING THE FIGHT AND WERE SITTING THERE
AMONG THEM THERE WAS A SHOMIT CHATERJEE WHO WAS VERY NERVOUS AND HE APPEARED VERY
FRIGHTENED
THE FACT THAT SHOMIT WAS BEHAVING UNUSUALLY WAS NOTICED BY EIGHTY ONE YEAR OLD M�S
APARNA BHUPATHY
BUT SHE DIDN�T THINK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH AS SHE HOPED THAT THE FLIGHT WOULD NOT BE
CANCELED AND SHE COULD REACH MADRAS TO SEE HER GRANDDAUGHTER

RAHUL SAXENA WAS BORN IN MUMBAI AND HE LOVED THE CITY AS MUCH AS HE LOVED HIS LIFE

RAHUL SAXENA WAS A SOFTWARE PROFESSIONAL WORKING IN A MNC FOR EIGHT HOURS A DAY
FOR 25000 PER MONTH

WELL PEOPLE THINK THAT IT PROFESSIONALS ARE LUCKY AND THEY GET A VERY GOOD SALARY
BUT 25000 WAS NOTHING IN MUMBAI YOU COULDN�T EVEN GET A HOUSE IN BOMBAY FOR THAT
MONEY YOU NEED TO LIVE IN THE SUBURBS AND MUMBAI WAS A CITY WERE THERE ARE
NEIGHBORS ONE OF THEM WHO IS A BIGSHOT AND SPENDS LAKHS OR EVEN CRORES PER MONTH
AND OTHERS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO EAT AND JUST MANAGE TO SURVIVE
BUT NOW RAHUL SAXENA WAS ON THE RUN FROM THE MUMBAI POLICE
A WEEK AGO IN A HIT AND RUN CASE RAHUL HAD BEEN ACCUSED OF THREE DEATHS OF
PAVEMENT DWELLERS
A CRIME HE HAD NEVER COMMITTED
A CRIME HE NEVER KNEW HAD BEEN COMMITTED
HE HAD BEEN DRINKING AND WAS CAUGHT BY A POLICEMAN AND HE HAD TO SURRENDER HIS
VEHICLE TO THE STATION AND PICKED IT UP NEXT MORNING
THEN IN HIS OFFICE HE RECEIVED A CALL FROM SOMEONE ASKING HIM TO COME OUT OF HIS
OFFICE
AS SOON AS HE CAME OUT HE WAS DRAGGED INTO A BOLERO AND WHISKED AWAY
HELLO RAHUL

WHO THE HELL ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT ASKED RAHUL WHO WAS TIED TO A CHAIR BY
IRON CHAINS AS HE TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE SPEAKER WHO WAS SEATED IN FRONT OF HIM
BUT WAS IN COMPLETE DARKNESS
COFFEE OR TEA? ASKED THE VOICE
WHAT DO YOU WANT
OK COMING TO THE POINT THERE IS A PROBLEM AND WE THINK YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO
CAN SOLVE IT \
WHAT IS IT ?
REMEMBER YESTERDAY RAHUL?
HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME ?
I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU RAHUL YOUR SALARY YOUR JOB YOUR FAMILY AS A MATTER OF
FACT EVEN THE GIRL YOU LOVE
BULLSHIT? WHAT THE HELL
KEEP HIM QUIET
A STURDY MAN CAME UP AND PLASTERED HIS MOUTH
THE SPEAKER WAS SUBHASH GHANDEKAR A PRIVATE DETECTIVE WITH DETECTIVE FIRM
SHARMA DETECTIVES
THEY HAD RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE LOCAL MLA THE PREVIOUS NIGHT
SHARMA DETECTIVES SIR HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
I WANT TO MEET YOUR BOSS I AM VILAS GUNDE

SO SUBASH GHANDEKAR WENT TO MR GUNDES HOME


I HAVE A PROBLEM MR SUBASH
I KNOW YOUR PROBLEM SIR AND WE BELIVE WE CAN SOLVE IT QUITE EASILY
OH YOU GUYS APPEAR QUITE SMART
WE HAVE HAD MANY CASES LIKE THIS AND WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESFULL IN ALMOST ALL OF THEM
\
WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS
I CANT GIVE YOU NAMES BUT THEY ARE ALL ON YOUR SIDE OF THE STREET MLAS MPS
INDUSTRIALIST S ANYONE WHO HAS MONEY
HAVE YOU WORKED IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE
NOT YET
WE EMPLOY ABOUT A THIRD OF THE POLICE FORCE IN MUMBAI AND ABOUT A QUARTER LAWYERS
WORKING IN THE HIGH COURT ARE OURS
INFORMATION S POWER AND WE KNOW EVERYTHING WHICH HAPPENS IN MUMBAI WE KNOW EVERY
JUDGE EVERY LAWYER EVERY POLITICIAN WHO IS IN TROUBLE WHO ARE THE TROUBLE MAKERS
WHO ARE NOT EVERYTHING
WE KNEW ABOUT YOUR SON BEFORE YOU DID
AND WE HAVE THE RIGHT SOLUTION
LETS HEAR IT ?

THIS COULD HAVE A VERY EASY CASE IF YOUR SON HAD NT MADE IT WORSE BY SHOUTING AND
SCREAMING TO THE MEDIA
BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR IS ON OUR SIDE
AND WE COULD HAVE EASILY WON THIS CASE
\BUT NOW THE MEDIA HAS CAUGHT YOUR SON AT THE SCENE OF CRIME SO YOUR SON IS THE
PRIME SUSPECT AND HALF OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT HE HAS COMMITTED THE CRIME
SO WHAT�S THE SOLUTION?
AS I SAID INFORMATION IS POWER YESTERDAY AROUND THE SAME TIME A FELLOW NAMED RAHUL
WAS CAUGHT BY THE POLICE FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING
SO WE COULD EASILY PIN THE BLAME ON HIM AND YOUR SON WOULD BE FREE
THIS SOUNDS A BIT FAR FETCHED
IT IS EASY
ANYWAY I BELIEVE YOU
THANKS
WHAT�S THE FEES
12CRORES 4 ADVANCE AND THE REMAINING AFTER WE WIN THE CASE
12 CRORES ? ITS TOO MUCH
NOT MORE THAN YOU HAVE
OKAY COLLECT THE MONEY
AND SUBASH WAS DOING HIS JOB NOW
RAHUL YESTERDAY YOU WERE CAUGHT FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING
WHO ARE YOU?

ANSWER ME WERE YOU CAUGHT FOR DUI?


YES
IS THERE ANY POSSIBILITY THAT THERE COULD HAVE BEEN SOME ACCIDENT WHILE YOU WERE
DRIVING AFTER DRINKING A COUPLE OF BOTTLES
COUPLE OF BOTTLES I ONLY HAD ONE
THAT�S NOT IMPORTANT MY BOY
WE WANT YOU TO CLEARLY REMEMBER THE ACCIDENT
ACCIDENT
YES DON�T YOU REMEMBER YOU KILLED THREE PAVEMENT DWELLERS
ARE YOU MAD WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT
SHUT UP
WHO ARE YOU .YOU ARE NOT POLICE
SHUT UP
BUT RAHUL CONTINUED TO SCREAM ABUSE BAD MOUTH AT THE TOP OF HIS MOUTH
SUBASH MOTIONED TO A MAN NEARBY
HE PUT THE PLASTER BACK ON RAHULS FACE
SO RAHUL CANT YOU REMEMBER THE ACCIDENT
RAHUL REALIZED THAT THIS WAS SOME TRAP SO THAT THE ACTUAL CRIMINAL COULD
ESCAPE
HE TRIED TO BREAK FREE FROM THE CHAINS BUT HIS EFFORTS WERE IN VAIN

SO YOU STILL CANT REMEMBER RAHUL OKAY THEN YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY SAYING THAT SUBASH
LEFT THE ROOM
AND RAHUL WAS LEFT ALONE IN THE ROOM
SO THIS WAS THE STORY OF RAHUL
NEXT DAY HE WAS ARRESTED BY THE POLICE
MORE THAN THE ARREST ITSELF THE SHAME IT BROUGHT TO RAHUL WAS MORE HUMILIATING
\THERE WAS NONE WHO WOULD BELIEVE HIS STORY
EVEN HIS PARENTS
HIS PARENTS TILL THAT DAY DIDN�T KNOW ABOUT HIS DRINKING PROBLEM
ONCE THEY HEARD ABOUT HIS ARREST AND ALSO THE TICKET RAHUL GOT THAT NIGHT FOR
DRINKING UNDER INFLUENCE THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT RAHUL WHEN DRUNK HAD
COMMITTED THE CRIME
THEY WERE VERY ASHAMED OF HIM AND IMMEDIATELY MOVED OUT OF MUMBAI AND WENT BACK TO
THEIR VILLAGE
RAHUL WAS LANGUISHING IN THE ACRET JAIL
AND SUFFERING
HIS LAWYER HAD JUST MET HIM ADVISED HIM TO PLEAD GUILTY
IT HAD COMPLETELY SHOCKED HIM

THE LAWYER SAID THAT THE EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM WAS OVERWHELMING AND HE WOULD SURELY
BE CONVICTED F THE CRIME AND IF PLEADS GUILTY MAYBE HE WOULD BE GIVEN A LESSER
SENTENCE
THEN HE HAD ANOTHER VISITOR
IT WAS SUBASH AGAIN
HELLO RAHUL
RAHUL WAS SILENT
WE BOTH KNOW THAT YOU ARE INNOCENT
BUT THERE IS NO POINT IN TALKING ABOUT THAT AS THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE GOING TO
PROVEN INNOCENT
SO I GIVE YOU AN OPTION
I GIVE YOU FREEDOM
I WILL GIVE YOU AN AMERICAN PASSPORT FLIGHT TICKETS TO NEW YORK AND 5000 DOLLARS
SO THAT YOU CAN START YOUR LIFE AFRESH
YOU MUST SEND A LETTER TO SOME TV STATION THAT YOU HAVE COMMITTED THE CRIME AND
ARE VERY SORRY FOR THAT BUT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SURRENDER
SO I GIVE YOU 2 HOURS ITS YOUR CHOICE
RAHUL AFTER A LOT OF THOUGHT TOOK THE DEAL
BUT HE HAD OTHER PLANS
FOR A MIDDLE CLASS BOY LIKE BEING ACCUSED OF SUCH A CRIME WAS QUITE HUMILIATING

IN COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA WERE THE MOST OF THE POPULATION IS MIDDLE CLASS
THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS ASPIRATION AND HOPES BUT AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS RUINS
EVERYTHING
IT BETTER TO BE BORN POOR THAN MIDDLE CLASS
BECAUSE IF YOUR POOR YOU DON�T HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES HOPES ASPIRATIONS ON YOUR
SHOULDERS
YOU CAN LEAD YOUR LIFE AS YOU PLEASE YOU CAN BEG AT ANY PLACE YOU WISH
YOU CAN ROB SMOKE DRINK BUT NO ONE LOOKS DOWN UPON YOU
BUT THE SAME THINGS ID A MIDDLE CLASS PERSON DOES NOT ONLY HIM BUT HIS WHOLE
FAMILIES NAME BECOMES DISGRACED
SO RAHUL HAD OTHER IDEAS
HE SAW THE TICKETS AND FOUND OUT THAT THE FLIGHT WAS MUMBAI CHENNAI NEW YORK
ONE
HE NEVER WANTED TO GO TO NEW YORK ONCE HE WENT THERE EVEN IF HE RETURNS TO INDIA
HE WONT BE RAHUL SAXENA
HE WOULD BE GOLLAPUDI KALYAN AS THE PASSPORT SHOWS
HE WANTED TO BE RAHUL SAXENA TILL HE DIED

SO HE ASKED HIS FRIEND SHIMIT MINTO TO HELP HIM OUT


AND HE CAME OUT WITH A BRILLIANT IDEA
HE RAHUL AND SHIMIT BOTH WOULD GET ON THE FLIGHT
SHIMIT WOULD BE WITH THE GREEN BOARDING PASS MEANT FOR CHENNAI
AND RAHUL WITH THE RED BOARDING PASS FOR NEW YORK ONCE ON THE FLIGHT THEY WOULD
EXCHANGE THE PASSES AND THEN RAHUL COULD GET DOWN AT CHENNAI
AND SHIMIT CAN GO TO NEW YORK WHERE HE WOULD BE DPORTED BACK TO INDIA
BUT ALL HIS PLANS WERE A BIG WASTE AS NOW THE BIG DIGITAL BOARD AT THE MUMBAI
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SHOWS THAT THE FLIGHT HAD BEEN CANCELLED