Having seen it all now, the other geographies of the world held no charm for me as much as being around my own people and spooking them. Yes, there were a lot of people to spook. I had a rip roaring time scaring the daylights of the neighborhood children, those who had deliberately kept playing on in the afternoons noisily ( despite requests and then warnings ) during my siesta times. Hence now when they played cricket, I kept floating their ball out of reach in the air till it freaked them out completely. Next on my list was the mean green grocer Dayanand, who refused to look at me and insisted on speaking to my daughter-in-law only because she was the one who paid his bill. I whistled past and made him drop the vegetables on the staircase. Later also blew his dhoti exposing a dark posterior in the middle of the busy market. I visited the old crime beat and the police station. It was huge fun to rock the chairs of the few officers who enjoyed refusing sanctioning leaves, then after I scared a few fellows while they counted the collected graft.
Soon I got bored with all this and couldn’t wait for my journey to begin.
This did resemble the inside of the new Consulate in Bombay at Bandra Kurla, the one that issued American visa’s. A name would flash on a door and an occupant of a chair would get up, glide over to vanish inside. No one came out. After a brief wait while a few more of the chairs emptied, felt a tug and saw that it was my name “ACP Mahadev Ramchandra Pinge” flashing. I too found myself gliding over to the door & go through it.
Beyond the door was a small cubicle that had a working table and two chairs. “Chitragupta” was sitting in one & he gestured for me to take the other. Looking around curiously & studying the place, I saw on the walls a picture of a red eyed man with an extremely dark complexion. He had fierce moustaches, was holding a mace on one shoulder and a noose loosely coiled in his left hand like a cowboy. Only instead of a horse, he was astride a tall strong but benign looking water buffalo. Chitragupta, who was watching me with a smile said that’s our Co-Founder and CEO Mr.Y. My curiosity was further aroused with his answer. Only a co-founder, does that mean there are others involved in this enterprise? He nodded. This particular section, he said was the most chaotic amongst all. There are 330 million founders in all. Mr.Y was the CEO and took all the decisions. The other founders rarely interfered with this section & being alone it had become Mr. Y’s fiefdom.
At that he looked up & asked me “Are you very sure?” because that’s the reason we are sitting here. I looked down and saw all entries on the page that had balanced out had vanished, only one remained, blinking furiously. The words were an amber red. It was the same one that had bothered me when I had officially closed it. But now here it was winking mischievously to haunt me even after my death.