“A man carrying lakhs in an autorickshaw, an armed robber on a motorcycle, and a death. All on the busy road connecting Delhi and Noida around 3.30 pm on Wednesday. Minutes before his death Santosh had withdrawn Rs 8.65 lakh from a bank in Noida. The police said the accused, identified as Anil, followed Santosh from the bank, shot him and tried to flee with the booty.” (Courtesy: Hindustan Times) Full Story
I read the above news item on 4th July and asked myself: “Will the meek, 165 cms tall Jammy survive North India?”
My alter ego, the weaker (and meeker) of the two, replied: “Not if you get out of a bank or an ATM with a huge sum of money.”
The reply was some solace…after all, how often do you see a married man get out of a bank with a huge sum of money? I am discounting the times when wives are with them….and the next stop is the beauty parlor.
“I am safe”, I told myself and resigned to my new job at www.ibibo.com.
On 8th July my broker called me up and said that I will have to bring in Rs 75,000/- (Advance for my house, the first month`s rent and the broker commission) to a Hotel called ‘Don` at 7 p.m. the next day.
I readily agreed, but on my way home from the office that evening I began to shudder at the possibilities. What if the whole act of showing me a house and arranging a meeting with the landlord was actually a plan…and this was a trick they played on every 165 cms tall, south Indian who came to make a decent living in North India?
On the way back, I told my office driver that I didn`t have Rs 75,000 at home…and I had no plans of withdrawing the same from a bank. He looked surprised…and I am sure he wondered why I was telling him all this. I didn`t tell him that I would be going to Hotel Don with Rs 75,000 the next day – what if he was part of the ploy?
During my dinner at the guest house, I asked the gentleman (I call him gentleman because he walks really gently…and it takes him two-chappati-eating-time to serve one chappati) serving me food: “Which fool will keep Rs 75,000 in the guest house?”
He gave me a blank stare…but I had made my point. I was now sure that he didn`t know about the Rs 75,000 I had in my laptop bag up in my room.
At about 11 p.m. when I went to bed, I stuffed the Rs 75,000 in my shorts pocket – now I understand what my father meant when he said “those with money don`t get a peaceful night`s sleep”. The huge bundle didn`t allow me to sleep in my favorite position – the position Kate Winslet had chosen while posing nude. (If you noticed, she is six months younger to me…but that doesn’t irk me. What irks me is the fact that she has had more sex in spite of being six months younger).
As luck would have it, at 12 midnight we had a blackout…and the lights I had kept switched on to spot a robber as soon as he entered the room…went off. I lay still for a while thinking if the man serving me food had come to know of the Rs 75000. I waited for two hours but nobody knocked on the door…my trick had worked after all.
Around 2 p.m., the bulbs lit up again and I decide on a ploy to stave off any robber threat…I decided to hide the money in a not-easy-to-spot place. I looked around the room and spotted two used toilet paper rolls – when one bullshits a lot, one uses a lot of toilet rolls.
I divided my money into two and inserted it within the rolls and placed them neatly in the dustbin – the last place I expected the robber to look into. The night went on peacefully – I slept like a baby….just that I wasn`t wearing diapers.
The next day at 6 p.m. I told my driver to take me to Hotel Don. When he asked me if there was anything special, I said: “Need to have my lunch.”
He didn`t suspect anything, though I did spot a knit of his eyebrows.
As you would have guessed by now…no robber attacked me and I managed to pay the advance and pick up my house key.
Living in North India will definitely be fun – if you can stay alive, that is.
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