Exploring the tinsel town of Allahabad was an experience I wouldn’t dare to forget. I had been posted here only a few days ago and was working as a Graduate engineer trainee in one of the reputed construction firms. I had been sent here to add the numerical strength to the depleting supervising bench of the firm over there, which I was initially hesitant but later convinced myself when a convenient incentive was offered.
But I was all stuck and confused, as all the names of the shop were in Hindi and being a South Indian, it was bit of challenge to comprehend. But I did find the shop which I was looking for, the mobile recharge shop. I had to buy a new SIM as I couldn’t tolerate the roaming which was already killing my meagre salary. The shopkeeper assured me of activation within 24 hours, which in actual took another 24 to be put it in use.
And the first message as soon as the number got activated wasn’t even from the telecom provider but it was from some hot shot bank. I opened in curiosity and found lakhs of rupees being transferred into some account number which was also displayed along with the message. Within a span of one hour, I had ended up receiving 20 messages, each carrying a message from the same bank and the same amount. I didn’t think it was some advertising propaganda because the balance kept increasing and stood at an astonishing 1 crore rupees as displayed in the last message. I was in total disarray because I couldn’t comprehend such a huge transaction, all done in parts and all done on a single day.
Three days later
Sipping my tea while I watched the fog engulf the road ahead; the cold had started to take its toll but mind remained restless to know why these messages where delivered to me and why haven’t they stopped. As I unchecked the last message, the phone starts beeping again but all the more continuous this time, so I decided to answer to this unknown number, totally unaware of the mess I was getting into.
Writer’s Note: This is first of the three part series, titled “The Phone Number”.