The Easy Money...!
The Easy Money...!12 mins 59 12 mins 59
At Kishore's house, an IT professional, the long Saturday night had been enjoyed...or if you want to say correctly...had been wasted with drinking and playing rummy. That important job which would help our country to move ahead in the economy, was dragged on till the next morning at six o'clock. So, the weary, exhausted guests all were served breakfast by Kishore's irritated wife. But, no one seemed to notice her annoyance.
"Well, Vijay", asked Kishore inquiringly, "what's the news?"
"Oh, you are asking about that? The lost job?", replied Vijay with exasperation," my dreadful luck is playing horribly with my fate, what can I do?", The small Vijay shrank even smaller with the burden of melancholy.
"What about you Murali?",Ashok, another guest weighed in, "you were with us the whole night, but, you didn't join us in the play"
"Play enthralls me greatly", responded Murali, "but, I don't want to sacrifice the essentials of life for some uncertain luxuries"
"Murali built his family from scratch. That's why he is economical", Kishore announced, "but, the problem now is, that we are all in need of money, quite a big money in a quick way to get it"
"Absolutely!", echoed a chorus of voices.
"Do you have any plan for that? It should be legal", asked Vijay with enthusiasm, who is drowning in the sea of debts.
"Of course it is legal. But, don't you agree that an act, legal or not, is according to the individual's perception?"
"So, you mean it's illegal?", questioned Murali. If it would be an illegal act, he is not going to involve in any of these.
"You first tell us the plan. Then we all will decide it later whether to go ahead with it or not", Ashok gave his opinion.
"Have you all ever heard of a magic stone", Kishore started.
"Well, then, listen to it. I think you might have all noticed a palatial bungalow in the corner of the street. That belongs to an old man about ninety years old. About sixty years ago, he lost an enormous amount of money in the horse race. He told his father about the loss and debts. But, his father denied outright to pay it. He cried. He begged. But, nothing could induce him to change his mind on the subject", Kishore paused to have a sip of water.
"Finally, he remembered a venerable sage at the Himalaya, once his friend told him about, and he decided to go there and meet him. There were so many amazing stories about the sage. He was said to have discovered the happy juice, the mantra for prediction, the universal germicide, the holy wand for healing, the panacea for long life, and the magic stone. So, he gathered his little money with him and set off a journey to the Himalayas", again Kishore paused to have a sip of water. Ashok lit his cigarette, took three deep puffs, crushed it into the ashtray.
"He searched for the sage for nearly a year and spent another year at the doorstep of the cave where the sage was living. By noticing the man's perseverance, the sage finally signaled him to come inside and asked his problems. The man cried, bewailed, wept, and told his problems between sobs. The sage heard all his melancholic soliloquy for nearly an hour with patience and asked a very important question"
"What was that", the other men asked eagerly. Kishore waited for some more seconds to pique their interest and continued,
"The sage asked, 'do you think, I have a lot of money with me?', for that, the man replied, 'no Swamiji', the sage asked again,' do I live in a bungalow?',
'am I not happy now?'
'no Swamiji, you are exuding joy and peacefulness'
'then, how can I help you?'
'Swamiji, everyone is talking about the magic stone you are having. If you give that to me, it will make my life somewhat happier', the man begged. Finally, the sage gave the magic stone to the man and gave some instructions for using that. That's how the man cleared all his debts and became wealthy", Kishore finished his lengthy sermon and looked at the other three.
"What do you mean? Are you saying that we should all go to the Himalayas and meet the sage?"
"Even if you go there, you won't find the sage. He is no more!"
"Then, what's your plan? Are you going to steal the magic stone from that man?"
"Did I say that? Let's all directly go to that man, tell our problems and request him to give us the stone"
"What if he refuses?"
"I think he will not refuse"
"How do you know that he will not refuse?"
"Once a very poor man came to know about the magic stone that man possessed and went to him for help. The man took pity of the poor man, gave him the stone, instructed him to use it only three times, and sternly warned him to return it back. But, the poor man became greedy at one point and didn't return the stone to the owner. The next day he met with an accident, got frightened, and returned the stone to its owner. So, I think he may not refuse if we play our cards nicely. We should all act like poor people. Ok, We all will meet that old man on tomorrow sharply at ten in the morning"
With that, the party broke up, each one taking his leave.
The very next day all the four were gathered at the entrance of the old man's house. They saw a security guard in his cubicle reading a magazine. They told the guard that they were there to meet the old man. The guard told them to wait, entered into the house, and returned back after a few minutes. He opened the gate, allowed them inside, and instructed them to go straight to the staircase. They did as they were told. A maid was standing near the staircase and told them to go to the first floor. Another maid was waiting on the first floor and guided them to the old man's spacious mega-sized bedroom. The man seemed fragile because of age, having his breakfast. He looked up and cast a welcoming smile on them. He ordered the maid to get something to drink for all the four.
"Welcome young men, what can I do for you?"He squinted his eyes towards Kishore and said," I have seen you a couple of times. You should probably be living in this area"
"Yes sir, my house is at the far end of the street. These are my friends Vijay, Ashok, and Murali. We have come for help"
"And, what was that?"
They all wailed their whole story of having many debts and all are in need of enormous money to keep their lives go on. Actually, they are all having enough to get on with their comfortable living. Because of the fear of not getting the magic stone from the old man, they pretended like the poor.
"Oh, you must have heard about the stone. That's why this visit!"
"Yes sir, if you please give us that stone, we will be relieved off our debts. Kindly help us sir", they almost started begging because of the greed boiling inside them.
"Ok, I will give you the stone. But, you can use it only three times, that too in gambling, because the sage designed it that way, since, the money rotated in gambling is spent unnecessarily. You can use the stone only in those areas. The sage who gave me the magic stone told me that the stone can be used only a hundred times. After that, it will lose its power and become an ordinary stone. The stone was used ninety-seven times. So, you can use it only for three times wisely and relieve yourselves off your debts. After that, the stone will lose its powers. Then, you may keep the stone with you or you may throw it. That's up to you all. Since my sons and daughters are well settled, they don't need that!"
The old man opened a small locker beside his bed and took a small box. He gingerly opened it and took a stone with a size of 5*5 inches. It was hexagonal in shape. It sparkled brilliantly in the daylight. On one side of the stone, some numbers were scribbled on its surface.
"All of you come here. See, this is the magic stone. Only one person can use it at any given time on behalf of you all. Before entering into the gambling center or a casino, the person who is going to use the stone should keep the stone in his right hand and touch a number on this side of the stone with closed eyes. You can use the number in one game only once a day. You can use the next chance on the next day only. Use it wisely to get some big money and clear your debts"
All the four thanked the old man and came out.
They all wanted to test the stone whether it really had the said power in it. They drove to the main street and saw an opened modern casino. Before entering into it, all unanimously decided that Kishore should always keep the stone and touch the magic number whatever happens.
So, Kishore closed his eyes prayed God, and touched number four. All of them entered the casino. Even at that time of mid-morning, the casino was crowded. Cigarette smoke and the smell of alcohol slapped on their faces. A barrage of noises including the sound of slot machines' spin, coins hitting the metal, the pitter-patter of the people running the game, hit vehemently their eardrums. The peculiar sound of the slot machine will give you a false belief that everything is in your control. This will make every gambler to go for more and more gambling. Unaware of the psychology behind the designs of the casinos, they wandered into it. They saw the counter number four was a 'wheel of Fortune'. The number plate was fixed by a nail to the wall behind. They went near the game area, each gave their share of rupees five thousand to a total of twenty thousand. If they win, they will receive five times the amount, that would be about one lakh!
The wheel is divided into a number of equal segments separated by spokes. Each segment is associated with a number. The wheel is spun by the dealer, and the winning segment is indicated by a pointer mounted on a flexible piece of rubber, which also rubs against the spokes to impart friction and slow the wheel down. Should the player stop the wheel, the segment at the top is the winner.
"At which number, you want to bet your money sir?", The dealer asked politely.
"At four", Kishore replied in a trembling voice.
"Deposit your money now sir. We are going to run the wheel"
"Ok", Kishore pushed the money towards the dealer.
The dealer set the wheel in rotation.
After a few seconds, he told Kishore that he could stop the wheel then. Kishore stopped the wheel and all of them eagerly were looking at the pointer. The number was four!
Oh my God, we got a jackpot!
They collected the money they won and came out immediately.
Once outside the casino, they went to a coffee shop, sat around a table, and ordered coffee for four.
"Now, it is clear that the magic stone is really magical", Kishore announced.
"Yeah, we can bet more money on tomorrow", Ashok said with determination.
"But, we should be careful. We should not gamble with huge money. We can gamble with money in lakhs. But not too much. Say, for example, about five lakhs by each one of us"
"Ok, accepted", all said in a chorus.
The next day, before entering the casino, Kishore touched number eight on the stone with his eyes closed. They entered. They saw the counter number eight was a roulette. They bet their twenty lakhs on number eight and, oh my God, they won! They returned with one crore. They again came out immediately. They went to the same cafe.
"So, now it is confirmed that the stone is really having extraordinary power. It's time to make some serious money. And moreover, we have only one chance. We all take one month to sell all our properties, jewels, and whatever you have, to sell. If you are not able to sell within one month, pledge it. Come with at least five crores each. We will return back from the casino, each with twenty-five crores!"
After a month, all the guys again met outside the casino. Kishore touched the number six on the stone with his eyes closed. They entered into the casino. Counter number six was also a wheel of fortune'.
The dealer asked, "how much you want to bet and on what number"
"Twenty crores on six"
Men from the nearby table turned towards them, stared at them briefly and resumed their game with murmuring 'goddamned wealthy brats'
The dealer put the wheel in motion. "Now you can stop the wheel sir"
Kishore confidently stopped the wheel. With so much eagerness, they saw the number. Are they seeing the number correctly or some weird game was played on them? The number was eight. They lost twenty crores now. They lost everything. The house, lands, and jewels everything! How the hell the stone didn't work this time. The old man told that that would work surely for three times. Did he miss the count?
At that time, a steward came and fixed the metal plate showing the number of the counter to nine.
All the four were shocked and shouted at the steward,"what are you doing?"
"I'm fixing the nail tightly. This counter number was actually nine. Because of the loose nail, it slid down, so the number appeared as six"
"Why the hell you didn't fix it before?"
The steward was bewildered at their anger for this trivial reason.
"Because they informed me now only"
Oh my God, we came to the wrong counter!
"And, where is the real six?"
"See the old man at the roulette table. That is six"
They ran towards the table number six. The same old devil was there!
"Will you please give the amount in a cheque for the orphanage?"
Hearing familiar voices, the old man turned, "oh, now only you are here! I saw you all were yelling number six at the entrance. So, I came here to make some money for the orphanage. I waited for you all for ten minutes. You didn't come. I thought you might have gone to the restroom. So, l played. Now, you can play"
Now, the four people are on the trip to the Himalayas not forgetting the magic stone, but for themselves to become sages!