|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||Old Palace OR Bungalow|
|OBJECT||Any Jewellery – Necklace, Ring…|
|THEME||Big Fat Indian Wedding|
The Old Maharaja’s Palace at Udaipur, Rajasthan had been decorated like a Princess for the Wedding of this Year. The stage was all set; as this was the “Day of the Year” – 11 May 2012.This was going to be Big Fat Indian Wedding of “Dharavi” the only daughter of Rajasthan’s Wealthiest Man – Mr. J P Agarwal’s – better known as JP – Business Tycoon & Industrialist. JP by nature was a man of soft by heart but tough by words. He carried immense patience and his success was a true story of hard work. He had seen the other side of life during his childhood when he had to work for day labor to earn his two meals. Carrying strong values, he had a generous heart and worked towards a social cause. He was not only rich by wealth but also by respect for his goodness.
The beautiful Old Maharaja’s Palace had an adjoining natural lake which was a special attraction with beautiful migratory birds and paddle boat facility. This lake drew its water from the River Som. The palace had become a resort with 7 star luxurious facilities. It had all which a person on earth could think of when he thought about luxury – swimming pool, speed boats, Bar Boats, Jacuzzi, Spa, Rest-o-bars and Musical dinners.
Guests had started reaching since the previous day and the glamorous resort was bubbling with excited visitors. The place for the finale wedding rites in front of auspicious “Agni” was to be the Swarna Wedding Hall. The hall illuminated with colorful diffused LEDs was a delight to sight. The ceiling was white in color with Plaster of Paris artifacts. The white walls were decorated with red, purple and colorful flowers had given the hall look elegant.
The aroma of the fresh flowers was spreading a natural freshness. Each and every detail was meticulously planned. Nothing should go wrong as nothing was supposed to go wrong. There were a number of hi-tech and security gadgets deployed for the first time in an Indian wedding. The reasons to do so were obvious with the plethora of high profile guests. There were cameras installed in four corners of the hall which were clicking high resolution photographs every 3 seconds. This ensured that not a single photographic instance was missed and all the events were being captured from each angle.
For this special occasion, everything was supposed to be special. The decorators had come from Europe. They had brought maple leaf, crystal light emitters, rare flowers and sea shells for decoration of lakeside, garden, passage and the hall. Clothes and shoes of all Agarwal family members had been planned by Designers and the colors were chosen apt for the occasion. The food was a gourmet’s delight and had the exhaustive variety from Thai to the Western cuisine. And the much media hyped attraction of the wedding ceremony was going to be Dharavi’s jewellery. It was cited in the media that Dharavi would be adored with jewellery worth Rupees 101 Crore when she would sit do the “Feras” – the auspicious wedding rounds of “Agni”.
Who else would have supplied jewellery for this occasion other than Shri Hirachandani Seth – The World Famous Diamond designer?
Sethji was sitting a little tensed. The unmatchable necklace for the wedding occasion was the “Nur-e-Khas” (Special diamond) which had a large prism shaped diamond with a bluish tint. It was tied to a 24 carat thick Golden chain. The necklace was all ready for the grand occasion except that it needed a final polishing. Sethji very well understood that the polishing was only possible at Jaipur which was at a 4 hours road distance. Also his 30 years experience in the diamond industry told him that polishing would need at least 2 hours.
He had exactly 10 hours with him before Dharavi walked into the Swarna Wedding Hall. There was absolutely no time to lose. So Seth Hirachandani assigned his most trusted commander – Biswas, the task to travel to Jaipur, get the polishing done and finally delivered to Dharavi on time. Biswas took off from Udaipur in a Tata Scorpio and understood his responsibility. He knew that there not even a minute to be wasted as he must reach Old Maharaja Palace by 6 PM.
Biswas was an honest, humble and a family man. He had a son aged 9 years; both father and son agreed that they would have been happier with more time for each other. The boy would always stop his father to go to office and say
“Papa, Do not go to work today – please stay and play with me”.
And with no choices, Biswas would reply, “No Babu, I have to go, I will bring chocolates for you if you let me go”.
As he was returning from Jaipur, he was thinking about the large 5 star chocolate which he had brought for his son. He looked at his watch and saw that he was on target. The “Nur-e-khas” diamond necklace was polished and he would reach Old Maharaja Palace at 6 PM.
Boooom! Suddenly there was a huge burst sound. One of the Tata Sumo’s tyre had burst. The Driver had frantically tried to keep the vehicle on the road. But the Sumo had skid off the road and was about to hit a boy. The driver tried his best to swerve and save the boy but could not. The boy was bleeding badly and the Sumo had also hit a tree. Biswas had minor bruises and quickly tried regaining himself. He saw the boy yelping in pain and crying for help. He was in tears as he saw his son in front of him crying for help in despair. Biswas had two choices – one was to rush to Udaipur and deliver the responsibility with which he had been entrusted and the other was to deliver the bigger responsibility of humanity. Biswas chose the second and took the boy to the nearest hospital. He called up Sethji to update him about the emergency and said that he would be late in reaching Udaipur Old Maharaja’s palace by a couple of hours.
Dharavi, was getting ready to walk into the Swarna Wedding Hall when a staff of Seth Hirachandani came and delivered a packet to her. She knew that it must be the only and only Nur-e-khas” worth Rupees 81 Crores. A little nervous she definitely was. She knew that the whole world would be watching her wedding live – some on webcast, many on Television and the lucky few would be around her.
Hotel Service Personnel – Minku and Pinku were the best in class and getting ready for serving the high profile wedding guests. They had realized that one’s fortune never changed on its own but it had to be changed. They had promised themselves that they would do this only & only once. Because twice would become a habit and they were not habitual criminals. If they were successful – Minku and Pinku knew that even their children would not be required to do anything like this ever.
Exactly at 6:45 PM, Dharavi walked into the wedding hall dressed like a Blue Swan. She was displaying the world’s best jewelry and yes, the “Nur-e-khas” was there adoring her neck. Almost everyone in the hall could not help exclaiming “Wow!!” She took small steps to reach the podium where the bridegroom was waiting for her. Minku was serving Soup and Pinku was serving soup stick. And as the job needed, they were walking behind each another.
At exactly 7PM, there was darkness for few seconds. There was a sudden loud hush and for some time, the only light visible was the automatic cameras flashing. Lights came back in 3 seconds and nothing changed, except the princess looked anguished. The necklace was no more in her neck. She raised her hand and spoke to someone at her side. All music had stopped and everyone was looking with their unbelieving eyes. JP had asked the doors to the wedding hall to be locked so that no one could leave the room. However, he looked doubtful because the jewel thief might have already left. Though JP maintained his calm, he was in action immediately and called his detective friend Karan.
Detective Karan with a thin and curly moustache looked like a tough nut to crack. He was a very good friend of JP and reached the Old Maharaja Palace in 15 minutes. All the guests were a little tensed but did not have a choice as this was a serious matter. JP had promised to resolve the issue in an hour’s time with the help of Karan so that police need not get involved and spoil the evening.
Karan reached at 7:30 PM with his assistant Lucy and first asked Dharavi –“When did you first realize that the necklace was not in your neck?”
Dharavi replied, “As soon as the lights went off, I felt a hand near my neck and the next moment, it felt as if something has been removed from my neck. After 2 seconds, lights came on, the necklace wasn’t there and no one was near me.”
Karan inspected the wedding hall with a torch and tissue paper. Lucy was closely behind her with chewing gums for her boss. With JP’s permission, Karan even chose to smell Dharavi’s neck. Suddenly Karan’s eye fell on the large cameras overhead and asked Mr. Agarwal,
“What are these, JP?”
JP whose smile had vanished replied in a low tone, “These are automatic cameras which click photos every 2 seconds”.
Suddenly Karan’s eyes were beaming bright and he immediately asked for the photos clicked between 6:45 – 7:15 PM. Within few minutes, he had the master camera in his hand and he was scanning each photo by photo. After about 10 minutes, Karan announced that he now knows who the thief was. There was excitement as the whole episode was unfolding like a thriller movie in front of their eyes. All waited anxiously to know who the jewel thief was?
There were three photographs in Detective Karan’s hand, one before the light went off, and one during the darkness and the third when the lights came. The necklace – “Nur-e-khas” was clearly visible in the first photo. In the second photo which was clicked in the darkness, “Nur-e-Khas” was shining bright with a bluish tint. However, in the third photo, the necklace vanished. His eyes shined as he again displayed the photo which was clicked during darkness and asked everyone to look again at it.
He showed them that the shining necklace had the reflection of the black coat waiter who was closest at that time. He also told that Dharavi’s neck smells a little buttery. Then he concluded that the whole fiasco looked like the misdeed of none other than the Soup & Butter Waiter. It took only few minutes when the hotel management found their names and sent out a team to look for them. It seemed that they knew the exact time when there was power switch over to Generator every day, and they took the advantage of the same.
As planned, Minku and Pinku were speeding away in a speedboat on the River Som. After sailing for a couple of hours, they reached a Mc Donald Ship which was waiting for them. They entered the ship and gave the “Nur-e-khas” to an ugly-looking rough, bald man. He hurled a bag full of currencies towards them and asked them to leave. Minku asked –
“How much is this?”
The man replied “5 Crores”.
“Hey, that’s very less! We had agreed for 50 Crores” exclaimed Pinku.
“That’s what you get”, said the bald man with a waving pistol in his hand. Minku and Pinku understood the message that it would be better to move out. Anyway they were afraid of any conflict. Sad but happy also, Minku and Pinku moved out of ship and away from each other in a different direction for an unknown safe land.
JP was very disappointed as the Hotel Managers informed him that the miscreants had got away in a speedboat. It was already 8PM and the marriage was no more fun. There were long faces in the wedding hall and Dharavi was also looking down, dejected.
Unaware of anything, with an apologetic face and folded hands, Biswas walked into the wedding hall with a shining box in his hand. He walked up to JP and spoke about the road accident and how he got 2 hours late. JP couldn’t believe his ears as he asked
“So what was that which Dharavi was wearing few hours back?”
Biswas told that it must have been the glass replica of “Nur-e-Khas” which Sethji may have sent seeing Biswas getting late.
Smiling with shining eyes, JP embraced Biswas and applauded him. He instantly rewarded Biswas with a big bunch of 1000 notes and said that he would be amply rewarded for his goodness. JP announced that the real Nur-e-khas had come. The marriage party was again lively, colorful and the music started playing again.
“All is well, that ends well”. This was a real blessing in disguise for Biswas, Seth Hirachandani and JP. They were all smiling and thanking God for their good luck as Dharavi walked towards the second innings in her life.