On a night like this he would not have been out. But tonight, it was different. It’s raining profusely. Jaws hardened, he pushed on the accelerator of his bike.
Yesterday was no different a day for Risabh; same old race course, same old derby and same old losing the bet.
“I know you!” Risabh looked up. No, he hasn’t seen the man in the golden felt hat before. Risabh frowned. “1 million rupees for a job, if you care I will contact you”, the man disappeared in the crowd.
Risabh stood there speechless. Random thoughts cluttered his mind. Nandini his only daughter was diagnosed with a critical lower limb ailment. She was three. Rest of her life she has to spend on a wheelchair unless both her knees are replaced. Prosthetic knees were her only hope. The operation required 8 lakhs. He had two months or it’s all over.
Aryan took Risabh to the derby. The first day he won 20,000. Next day he lost 5,000. It’s his 15th day. The horses have so far given him only 40,000. He can manage 3 lakhs from his business, loans and savings but not more. Rest has to come from somewhere. Shoulders sagging, head down, Risabh knew miracles don’t happen.
“1 million rupees” Risabh halted. This is the place. It is 3 A.M in the night. Shower has stopped. He looked around. There is nobody. Carefully he took out the school bag from his bike’s back. With soft hands he hid the bag at the bottom of the bin, put some waste over it and carefully closed the lid.
The nights were agonizing. He was paid 50% of cash in advance. The assignment was to place a bag inside a bin and dial a number. The bin was in one of the busiest part of the city. Nobody announced but Risabh knew what was inside the bag.
Meticulous efforts were made in making the operation fail-safe. It took 7 days.
It’s 9 A.M now. Risabh took out the cheap Chinese mobile from his pocket. His bike was 250m away from the bin. Tears are irrepressible, life is inestimable. Nandini’s smiling face replaced the big LCD display of the phone. “Hello…100… there is a live bomb in the bin near the Southern Plaza bus stop, come immediately”, Risabh disconnected the number. The dark knight wins.
“Thwack”, the truck smashed Risabh from the back. Casualty rating: 1 dead, 1000 alive.
Prelude: This story of mine was published on the October 2008 edition of Spellbound, The Times of India.