Saturday, 11 April 2020

A Humourless Story When Everything Was F****d Up

It was the middle of May, and Raja was travelling seated besides the engine driver of a goods train. The train was crossing a naxal infested area who were prone to attack goods train. Luckily, that day the mercury was hovering around 48 degrees, and even the naxals choose to stay in the shade. Raja had to still cover 1795 kms, and the entire journey had to be covered only through bus, lorry, goods train, and auto in the ration of 4:3:2:1. The entire journey was 2500 kms. The route had been well defined, and it was an arduous one. After he got down, Raja lost his cool, opened the Whatsapp messenger, and should the worst possible expletives into Kuldeep’s window. He knew it is of no use, because Kuldeep’s sim was not reachable but he had to vent his frustration.

Raman his colleague and best friend was not having it easy either. He had to travel 500 kms on a road roller. To compound his problem, he had to do so by avoiding toll boths except at one place where a river crossed the path. He had another 350 kms to cover and the journey was back breaking. He too dialled Kuldeep’s number, and though he received the pre-recorded message `this number has been switched off’, he abused with the worst possible words.

Pradeep had a shorter journey to cover but nonetheless fraught with dangers. He had to travel 50 kms on his 7 year old son’s bicycle. The path chosen for him had its share of poisonous reptiles, and leeches. He too was abusing Kuldeep.

Their entire progress was being monitored through a camera fitted on their bodies, and a speed cum route tracking device. Any cheating would mean starting the journey from Point Zero. No body dared to cheat. All were angry with Kuldeep. To be fair to Kuldeep, he was not making them do this nor these three guys responsible for what he did. Their boss had subjected them to this tribulation. His brief was simple, complete this task or repay my loans within 15 days or face a criminal case. Each had taken loans running in lakhs, and would never be able to repay the amount in such a short period of time. I am not responsible if you split your hairs when I mention that even their boss did not want to subject them to such a task, though he had a special dislike for Raman.

The boss was also Pinky’s father. He was also the owner of `Goods Safely Transporting Corporation’. There is no need to know his name because it is as immaterial as keeping an ice cream parlour open during lockdown. GST Corporation had its reach throughout the country, and was headquartered in a district of South Karnataka. The question will arise why Pinky’s father, a Punjabi had his company’s headquarters in a district of South Karnatak. The cryptic answer is, he could not do successfully what Kuldeep had done. The next question could be, why a transporter has to be necessarily a Punjabi. The answer is simple, there is something called creative freedom, and using a cliche is the foremost among them for a writer of limited abilities.

The guy who was making the three do these tasks was `The Beneficiary’. Only he could help `Pinky’s Father’ out of the mess that Kuldeep had created. In every office, there is an individual like him. He is most incompetent at most tasks. People who are more skilled stomp him like a doormat. Such individuals usually cling on to their job because they do whatsoever the boss desires. They don’t just bootlick but even shine them.

Offices are not also devoid of Raman’s. The super talented and hard working guy who suddenly falls out of favour with the boss. The boss usually necks him, and Pinky’s father ideas about Raman were no different. However he could not do so because Raman was the GPS, processor, monitor, and even the power connection of GST Corporation.

Raman knew in and out of GST corporation. His exit could not only result in loss of business efficiency but also expose the underbelly of GST Corporation to the authorities. Pinky’s father might have been unaware of the mess that Kuldeep was creating but when it came to business acumen, he was sharper than a knife made of German steel (cliche alert!). A transporter at times has to do a lot of diversions in his career. At times he has to pick consignments from isolated areas of the coastline, and at other times he has to drop consignments and people at the same isolated areas of the coastline, for transportation to greener pastures. Many a times he has to transport precious wood from deep in the forests. One as a transporter cannot avoid fleets of old trucks getting burnt to ashes in fire, and claiming insurance for the same. These are business secrets but the problem is snakes like Raman collect evidence for the same, and also send it to their relatives abroad for safekeeping. In such cases shrewd businessmen like Pinky’s father give a hefty raise to creeps like Raman, and shift them to a different location. He also transferred the technical operations to Bangalore alongwith Raman.

Pinky was brilliant at studies. She outdid her father, and completed matriculation. Everything in this world is relative. Pinky’s grandfather could decide the welfare of any human bone in this particular district of Southern Karnataka, and hence it did not matter that Pinky was at home while someone else was answering her paper. Nobody asked her biometrics, or Aadhar card because the examiners did not want to lose their identity. Subsequently, she started working in GST corporation as the General Manager (Complete Operations).

It is time I blow the lid off what Kuldeep did. Kuldeep came to GST corp to sell a few financial products. He did sell a lot of products but most importantly Pinky sold her heart to this DTH (Dark, Tall, and Handsome) Guy. The closeness of Pinky and Kuldeep was visible to all including her father. However, there was nothing much Pinky’s father could say to Pinky about her dalliances with Kuldeep, because Pinky knew some dirty facts about his relationship with Shaheen who was just two years older than her.

However, Pinky’s father was a canny businessman. He used his contacts and got a better assignment for Kuldeep in Bengaluru. However, there is nothing much that can be done about a video that has gone viral, a loan that has become a NPA, and most importantly a love that has gone beyond PDA. All of a sudden, Pink got interested in doing a course in `Creative Cooking’, and she too left to Bengaluru. Pinky’s father asked his property caretaker Ganesh to keep a watch on Pinky’s movements surreptitiously. Ganesh was a master in such activities but he did not act on Pinky’s father’s instruction, because of what he had done to Ganesh’s sister, and moreover why would he report that his nephew, whom he had set up to trap Pinky, was a shady character. He never reported to Pinky’s father that Pinky was indulging in creative cooing with Kuldeep.

It is difficult for an average story teller to keep the suspense for a long time, hence we try to confuse the reader with irrelevant details. I like, subscribe, and share this idea. Raman was no Ram, he was in reality Kamdev. Only thing good about him was he ensured that his acts ( both nocturnal/diurnal) did not bear any fruits unlike Kuldeep’s. It must be quite clear to the reader that Kuldeep had got Pinky pregnant. If you didn’t get it, please stop reading this story, and go watch POGO channel.

Raja was the offfice administrator. He had good grasp of many languages but poor knowledge of his work. He had the gift of gab, and could breath sarcasm in any language. As he himself claimed, leadership was not about talent but about the ability to graze cattle effectively.

Pradeep was the nicest of the trio. He was the accounts manager. Pinky’s father used to often remark, `Eagle’s eye’ should be replaced with `Pradeep’s eye’. Not a single mistake took place in accounts. He was honest to the core, and to the interest of his owner.

Beneficiary started working in GST corp as an accountant being a commerce graduate. But his contribution in accounts did not add up to much, so he was shifted to the logistics division. He hardly had any logic, and hence that posting too met its end. Finally he was made the PRO, and used to do all wheeling dealing on behalf of Pinky’s father. He had a lot of mediocrity in his dishonesty, and hypocrisy in his earnestness. He was a guy who was often bullied, badgered and ridiculed by the trio of Raman, Raja, and Pradeep. He could not respond because he was as essential in GST Corp, as a sun film is in a Men’s Saloon or a No in Kim Jong’s regime. Nothing much would be missed if either of them are not there. He knew one day his time would come.

That one day came when a badly cheated, fully pregnant Pinky turned up at her father’s house. She had a few months back eloped with Kuldeep taking with her a good cache of cash and jewels. This was after her father had suggested her a MTP. Kuldeep had disappeared with her cash and jewels, she finally reached her native place thanks to her father’s network. Her father still objected to her pregnancy but no longer he could prevent her delivery. It was essential that Pinky’s would-be-child has a surname, and there was not much time to find Kuldeep. Pinky’s father secretly envied Kuldeep because he had done what he could not do to Pinky’s mother, get her pregnant and run away with her valuables.

Much before cleanliness became a national passion, it was our pursuit to find a dustbin to dump all our sins. Finding a Bali ka Bakra was one of the first baby steps taken by our civilisation. Beneficiary was chosen to be Pinky’s husband. He was unmarried, incompetent, and most importantly it was impossible for him to find another job. Thus, an offer was made to him by Pinky’s grandfather to Beneficiary. Beneficiary considered the proposal with the same seriousness an individual considers when he gets a seat in a Metro train during peak hours. A worthless guy like him could inherit Pinky’s net worth, and hence he decided it was worth his effort, and agreed to provide his surname to Pinky’s baby. However, he demanded his pound of flesh, that the three be subject to the torture of reaching office through the most bizarre means. Pinky’s father readily agreed to it, and conveyed it to the trio. Though they resisted in the beginning, they gave in when Pinky’s father demanded that they repay their housing loans and car loans in the next 15 days or face a criminal case.

The task was completed, and beneficiary was feeling on top of the world. He had further plans for the trio, and he conveyed to them that this was merely an appetiser. The three wanted to strangulate him but their financial commitments prevented them from doing so.

The wedding was scheduled on the morning of the next day (as per the wishes and customs of Pinky’s Grand Father). Next day morning Pinky was missing from her bridal chamber. There was hustle and bustle, finally she turned up alongwith Kuldeep as her legally wedded husband. Kuldeep had an attack of morality when he realised that Beneficiary may inherit all the property of Pinky just for providing his surname to her baby. He made up with Pinky, and with the help of Pinky’s mother got married to her on the same day of marriage in a temple.

Beneficiary on seeing the couple prostrated before the trio.

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