Somebody Asked me if this is a real story…??? Well maybe or maybe not 😉 :p
So finally they made me think about their offer….
“How long will it take?”. I asked finally.
“That depends how quickly you can draw Mallik out. Given his increased activity, i think we can do it in a few weeks.”, said Daya
“If i do this, i want something more than a goodwill in return. I want that ‘start again’ you just mentioned.”
Daya nodded.He seemed to have expected a negotiation.
“I want a New ID, like the Witness protection Program, Sanskar Maheshwari won’t be able to get a job- not with computers anyway-but Sanky Kundra will. And i want to go to Yale university and get a degree. I want a normal life.”
There was a pause while Daya looked thoughtful and Abhijeet looked annoyed. But i knew they would be expecting me to negotiate. My recent court appearances no doubt left them with that impression. Pandey had presented thousands of pages of evidence, and had petitioned for what amounted to the court making an 8 example of me. But what it came to in the end was the plea. I had talked my way out of it, like i had dozens of people out of their passwords.
Daya’s eyes moved across the ceiling as if he was making a mental calculation.
“Just the tuition fee alone would exceed more than 3 million ruppees,” He said.
“I can do it in an year. I know every single item on the syllabus, and i can graduate early. That’s less than 5 lakhs.”
“Even if that were true it still is a lots of money plus your other expenses.”
I shrugged and said,as meekly as i could,”If the CBI can’t afford it maybe Mallik can.”
Daya stared at me and scratched his forehead. Then he smiled, as if allowing himself to be amused. Good natured Mr. Daya grinning while he threw the football back over the fence to young Sanskar.
“All right”, he said a t last, with a nod. Then he added,”On one condition that we get Mallik. If we get nothing, you get nothing.”
I allowed myself a little smile, too. Daya said something about picking me up in the morning. But I wasn’t listening. Already my thoughts were whirling around, trying to slot this development into the plan that I had been working on for the last six months: a little something for Laksh. Pandey was going to be watching me; I had guessed that. But now I was a white-hat hacker working for the CBI, and that changed things for me in a better way.
I came out of my thoughts when the door clanked, and the guard came back in.
“Good Bye, Sanskar,” Daya said.”We’ll be here tommorow at ten a.m.”
I said good-bye. The guard led me through the door, and back into the corridor. Though it was autumn, the sun coming through the barred windows was bright, and the corridor was warm. Looking through the mesh-covered security windows, I could see the guards at the gate, just the wrong side of the real world. The stroll back to my cell seemed like a practice run for the next day’s walk to freedom. The guard next to me said nothing until we reached my cell.
Then he spoke. “Your last day, today.”
His earlier coldness was gone.
“How did you know the feds would be coming?”, He asked
“Just a guess.”
“Take some advice Sanskar. Get a job, and get a girlfriend. Stay out of here.”
“Sure i will.”
The guard shut the door behind him, and I was alone in my cell again. I lay on my cot, and stared at the ceiling. There I was, at the dawn of the new electronic frontier, in which, against all probability, I had somehow become a gun for hire. I had plenty of thinking to do, and only one day to do it in.