Thursday, 13 August 2015

When Tables Turned - A Short Story

Vishwas  Anaaanthanaryan Trivikrama (VAT as he likes to call himself) is a software engineer who had landed in Bangalore three days ago, having got an appointment letter from a software company. He was staying with his cousin, Govindraju Sai Trivikrama (GST, though he did not like to be called so).

VAT was an unwelcome guest in GST’s flat. GST abhorred VAT but if someone’s grandfather had sponsored your father’s education, though after taking away his land, and held the post of Village Panchayat Chairman, you have no option but to accommodate such a cousin and sacrifice your data plan to fuel his desire to view porn. In the last three days, VAT had exhausted 20 GB data plan viewing porn and made GST to wonder, whether cousin VAT had studied software or porn ware in his college. In the midst of all this, dominating GST thoughts were how to convince Smita, his girlfriend, to say yes to marriage, and before her roving eye manager convinces her to come for an onsite assignment to UK. Not that he suspected Smita, but you do worry if the middle aged manager is handsome, unmarried, with a swanky flat, has 3 imported cars, and holidays bi-annually in exotic locations.
Smita was desperate to own the `Plus or Minus’ mobile phone but she didn’t have the invite. GST had one and purchased it. Over the weekend dinner, he planned to gift the mobile, slip in a diamond ring on her fingers, and propose marriage.
It was a Thursday evening, and VAT was relishing his porn collection, when his mobile phone rang and he answered `this is VAT’
The voice at other end `Rascal, VET, this is PIN, Police Inspector Nagaraj from the C crime branch. I have called you to arrest you for C crime’.
The language of PIN is not grammatically correct and intentionally done so to retain a certain reality to the conversation.

Within 3 days of landing in a city, if a cop wants to arrest you for C crime, you don’t mind whether he calls you VAT or VET, so VAT feebly asked `Sir, what is the C crime I’ve committed’
`Do you almost frequently visit the site,’
`Have you posted on your FB page, between the heaven and, you would choose the second one. Rascal, do you know people are willing to die on Vaikunta Ekadasi just because they will go to heaven and you want this sex page’
VAT drawing courage, and sounding annoyed `Sir, how does that constitute a C crime?’
`Scoundrel, did you downloaded in the recent, latest of the six episodes of Savitha Bhabhi from SIT. Did you get intimation from the site that such downloading is the punishable offence of US Law with jailing in Colarado’
A software engineer worth his RAM is ready to do anything to go the US of A, but to expect that he will be ready to be deported for that purpose. It is as futile as expecting that, in future one can download food from the net. Jailing someone for viewing porn in one country and jailing the same person for copy right violation for viewing the same porn illegally is not a done thing. It is like, puncturing the vehicle of a motivation writer in middle of a dense forest, first you fine him for fearing the worst while walking to safety, and later ask him to return to the readers all the money he has earned by emphasising positive thoughts in times of adversity.  The problem with writing short stories is it should contain a minimum number of words, and the writer is often constrained to resort to ephigrams, smilies, and metaphors, rather than continue with how Vishwas, with all his vishwas dented, was trying to wriggle out of the paws of PIN.

Continuing with the word filling, Vishwas was proud of the fact that Indian Law was unflappable but its enforcers can definitely reduce the impact, if you agree to place a shield of notes at their disposal. So he spoke up and asked `Sir, is there any other way to settle the issue?’
PIN `you the rascal fellow, you want to bribe me?’
`No sir, it’s just an offering to reduce the impact of law’
`Ok,ok, you’re also young boy, it’s not right to send you to jail and all that, I will set you free, get me the Plus or Minus mobile phone’
`but why only that phone, sir’
`only that phone has so much memory, I can store all the videos and images of Sunny Leone and Savitha Bhabhi and monitor how much wrong they are doing?’
`ok, sir, where do I meet you?’
`Come to the CCD Café at 5th Block Kormangala within the next 100 minutes with a Plus or Minus mobile phone or arrest warrant is ready’.
`Ok, sir’
                VAT knew that his cousin GST had got delivery of this phone, but did not know whom it was meant for. Given that GST’s family owed so much to his family, VAT unrepentantly picked the phone and went to meet PIN.
                A wise man once said `when it has to go bad, it goes really bad’. VAT had to cover 12 kms to reach the destination but it seemed GST’s fate was really bad on that day, VAT got an auto immediately; it was not raining; no VIPs were inaugurating anything and unbelievably there was no traffic jam near Silk Board. VAT reached the said café well in advance. He walked into the café and looked around for PIN. Being a working day the café was sparsely populated. At the entrance, on the left side was a middle aged guy seated with a young girl, and trying to convince her to accept an offshore project. The guy was ogling at the girl with intensity, nasty enough to be booked for `Public Display of Anticipation’. Neither could be the PIN he was looking for, so VAT walked in and on the right side, he found two girls busy on their mobile, once in a while putting up their heads up, smiling or frowning at each other like  stickers in Facebook. Leave alone them being PIN; VAT believed they should be booked for `Personal Display of Animation’.
                VAT was wondering why PIN did not come and began to wonder whether it was a hoax? These gut feelings he knew were just that. His anticipation to meet PIN was the same that of a husband whose wife had gone into the jeweler shop six hours ago, and is yet to come. From nowhere, a short dark guy appeared and beckoned him. VAT could not fathom how such a short guy could become a police inspector but when you’re facing arrest for viewing porn and subsequent deportation, you give reason a holiday. VAT walked towards the guy.
He coughed and spoke `Mr VAT?
` You’re Police Inspector Nagraj’
`No, he does not come for such small things, he sent me’
`So you’re not him’
`No, I’m HIM’
`What is this, you’re telling you are not Police Inspector Nagaraj but still saying you’re him’
`I’m not that him, I’m HIM, Harschandra Indira Manikandan and I’m the PIN’s secretary’
`How do I believe you?’
`Ok, here take the arrest warrant and follow me to the police station’

VAT did not want to appear too much flustered; he maintained, on his face, the calm of a melting ice cube and browsed the paper. It contained a picture of Vidhan Soudha, below it the national emblem and below them written in bold words `ARREST WARRANT’. The matter was in Kannada which he could not read. VAT did not want to drag the issue any further, he handed over the phone to HIM, got it written that the warrant was cancelled and left the place in a huff.

VAT came back home, he was surprised to see the door flung open. He stepped in, and heard PIN `Where is that rascal VAT, he did not give me the Plus or Minus phone, I will arrest him’
VAT felt like a HR who has recruited a guy with forged certificates for the post of security analyst. He sank on the floor when GST walked out with a guy who was speaking like PIN. GST introduced him as the RJ who was famous for live prank calls on his programme `Bakra Live’. He also revealed that the call VAT received from PIN was a prank call made by the RJ.
RJ `so did you meet PIN?’
`No but somebody claiming to be HIM his PA took the phone’
`HIM, his PA, are you drunk?’
` Harschandra Indira Manikandan, PIN’s PA’
RJ broke in `OMG! Somebody who heard the prank call, conned him, I mean HIM conned VAT, whatever?’
GST `but where did you get a Plus or Minus phone so quickly, you get it only by an invite’
VAT` How should I know? I just took the parcel you had and gave it to him’
GST `that was for my girl friend Smita and now she is sure to go with that baldy for an offshore assignment in UK’
VAT `I think she is’
GST ` how the hell do you know?’
VAT `In the café I had been to, a middle aged manager and a young girl were chatting on similar lines. The baldy was referring to her as Smit’
GST `must be him that is how he calls her. I was so desperate to marry her. In England, who knows what will happen?’
VAT `Anyhow serves you right, you tried to prank me and landed your love life in a soup’
                The RJ left the cousins to fight, wondering whether he should leak the news of his prank call gone wrong to the Press, because he understood that bad publicity is the best publicity.


  1. Good one Bala. I love the way you have named your characters in the story.

  2. Just your regular wonderful stuff!

    I was off these things for the better part of 2 months and now I see you have been quite busy posting. I will read as many as I can.


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