The Sophisticated Prize
The Sophisticated Prize22 mins 10.9K 22 mins 10.9K
THE SOPHISTICATED PRIZE
The story revolves around an IT employee – Mithran a handsome guy and a typical nerd. He works as a Software Engineer with one of the top product development companies in Chennai and is also one among the best engineers in the company with a six digit Salary. One more reason which makes him happy these days is about him getting married to his childhood bestie -- Shalini.
With one more month pending for his wedding Mithran shed day and night at his office to meet his deliverables. He never felt the stress for work because his mantra for working was “Love what you do”.
Things take a complete turn one day when he returns back home from his office, gets trapped in a very big problem and this story is all about how he comes out of it.
Its 12:00 in the midnight, Ramajeyam is one of the security officers in-charge at RMZ park regularly during the night. A very sincere and friendly person at work who always ensures things are safe since he always feels the responsibility for the people and property inside the tech park. When he does his usual check across all the floors he sees light still glowing inside Huddle Technologies (One of the companies inside RMZ Park). He opens the door to check and finds Mithran sitting with coffee in one hand and a pen in the other hand
Ramajeyam: Hello Mithran Sir!!! Today also stuffed with lot of work??
Mithran: Hey Ramajeyam. Yes!! My marriage date is nearing as you know I have planned for a long vacation. So I wanted to make sure I complete my work before that.
Ramajeyam: Yes sir I know!! Take care of your health as well. If you work like this then you will go really weak and you will look tired at the time of your marriage.
Mithran: Yes, You are right!! I am just doing my part of the work. My team members will do the remaining of it. Anyways I love what I do!!!
Ramajeyam: You always say this sir!!
Mithran: He he!!! And by the way, I again am repeating the same thing,Your presence is more important for my marriage.
Ramajeyam: Sure sir.You continue with your work. Call me when you are done. I will come and lock the doors.
Mithran: Yeah ramajeyam will do!!!
(Mithran a friendly person by nature, always maintains a healthy relationship both at workplace and outside. He never looks for appearance or status to become a friend, rather looks for a good character)
By the time he completes the work it’s about 1:00 AM in the midnight. He calls ramajeyam so that he can come up to lock the door and by the time he arrives, Mithran goes to the basement and drives back his two wheeler, back home. He was so much involved in his work that he had missed 25 calls from his fiancé Shalini. He opens his whatsapp to check if she is online and to his surprise she was still awake. He immediately stopped his bike to have a conversation with her.
Mithran: Hey Shalini.I know you will be angry with me before you start scolding me a big “Sorry” from my side.
Shalini: Be responsible Mithran that’s all I have to say. Incase of any emergency in future please don’t be the same.
Mithran: Hey lots of work pa!!! Why getting angry???
Shalini: Just put me in your situation and think. No more words from my side. Good night take care. Love you!!! (Shalini disconnects)
Mithran: Hey Shalini… Hello…Hello… My god what’s wrong with her… Hmmm calling her again will lead to some unnecessary arguments. Let me call her tomorrow.
Mithran says this to himself and starts his bike to drive back home.
Since he resides at Pallavaram he normally uses the velachery bypass road which is traffic less and a short route to reach his place. All of a sudden he stops his bike as he finds someone lying on the street. He immediately parks his bike aside to see what’s wrong with the person.
Mithran: Boss… Are you ok…? Are you drunk???
He doesn’t get any response from the other side. Mithran goes back to get the water bottle so that he can sprinkle some water on his face. He drags him back to his side to sprinkle water on his face and gets into a big shock. The person whom he thought was drunk was lying on a pool of blood.
Mithran: OMG!!! Hey man come on get up!!! What happened to you??
Without any delay he decides to check if the person owns a mobile, ID card or any sort of contact details to reach out to his friends or relatives and inform about the situation. While he keeps searching, a strong light flashes his face three to four times which distracts him.
Mithran: Is anyone there?? I think someone lit torchlight!!! Please help me!! Anyone there???
He gets no response and assumes lightning might have struck since it was a cloudy night. After one point of time, he decides to leave the place since he has his marriage in a month’s time and wanted to make sure he doesn’t involve in any problems. Reaching his house, he rushes inside locks all the doors, windows, washes the blood stain from his hand and goes directly to sleep.
Alarm rings at 7:00 AM, that’s his scheduled wake up time. But after the last night tragedy, he doesn’t feel like going to work. He picks up the mobile, drops a message to his manager requesting for leave and again goes back to sleep.
It’s about 8:00 AM, in the morning he receives a call on his mobile from a unknown number
Mithran: Hi this is Mithran.. Who’s this?
Anonymous: Hello Mithran sir!! How are you?
Mithran: I am fine, May I Know your name?
Anonymous: My name... Hmmm... Call me by whatever names your like!!
Mithran: Boss!!! Stop playing around. Now tell me what do you want...
Anonymous: You killed a person last night and now happily sleeping as if nothing happened. How could you do that?
Mithran: I think you have dialled a wrong number (Replies with a quivering voice)
Anonymous: I can sense a change in the tone you speak, Why? getting tensed?
Mithran:I am not tensed. You are calling me and telling I committed a murder? What stupid blame is this?
Anonymous: Oh!!! Then let me rephrase the incident for you. Yesterday night Velachery high road at about 1:30 am you killed a guy!!
Mithran: No sir!! You have mistaken!! The person was lying unconscious on the road. I tried helping him!! OMG he died? Are you sure?
Anonymous: Yes... it’s me who killed him.
Mithran: You bastard!! It’s you who killed him and now passing the blame on me. I am right away calling police now.
Anonymous: Yeah I will also accompany you. Come let’s go but before that just check your postbox outside… I have a sweet surprise for you. By the way don’t hung up the phone, Just check and let me know if you like my gift.
Mithran rushes outside and finds an A4 size envelope addressed to him. With very high tension, he opens the envelope and finds a lot of photographs which gives him an additional shock.
Mithran: Hey… Hmmm..I was just trying to help the person and you took photographs of it. What can you do with this??
Anonymous: You are such an innocent baby Mithran!!! You touched him which means your fingerprints are on his body now and I have supporting photographs of that… What more do you want. Come-on man grow up!!!
Mithran starts sweating with tears in his eyes!!
Mithran: Sir, I am getting married next month.My future will be lost if get caught. Please spare me sir.
Anonymous: Hmmm now you have come to the point… I feel sorry for you. Let’s talk about a deal.
Mithran: What do you want from me?
Anonymous: See today is Friday. I wanted you to arrange 10 Lakhs for me by Monday. I will call you back on Monday at 2:00 PM in the afternoon to inform you the venue.
Mithran: What 10 Lakhs?? Are you kidding me?? Where will I get this huge amount?? Please leave me sir… We haven’t met in the past neither have i done anything bad to you. Why are putting me in this situation?
Anonymous: That’s too much of words. Get into Action Mithran. Find someone who can give you 10 Lakhs… Give me this money and I will ensure to destroy all proofs which I have with me. Trust me I am genuine. But if you try to escape from this, Monday by 2:30 you will be at police station.
Saying these words he hung up the call. Mithran is now totally clueless since he has already spent all his savings for his marriage which already costed him about 5 Lakhs. With only a weekend more for him to arrange huge cash and no other options left, he thinks his life is totally gone.
Mithran gets too much worried and he gets calls from his office friend Sarvesh.
Sarvesh – A person with a good sense of humour, kind and a good person at heart. He works with Mithran in the same office as a System Administrator.
Sarvesh: Hey Machi!!! Not coming to office ah?
Mithran: Machi not feeling well da...Anyways will try to come da...
Sarvesh: Please come da.. While coming please get 1000 rs for me da... I am in urgent need!! Please help da software engineer!!!
Mithran: Machi please don’t frustrate me. I don’t have money in hand da!!!
Sarvesh: Anyways machi you come to office we will talk!!!
Mithran thinks for a while and decides to leave for office so that he can seek help from any of his colleagues or even check if his company can provide him any kind of loan. By the time he enters office, Sarvesh welcomes him with a big.
Sarvesh: Macha you came da!!! I think without seeing me you got a headache!!
Mithran: Yeah of course!!! Now it’s getting even worse. Can we have a cup of coffee?
Sarvesh: Coffee free only. Anything which comes for free is fine with me!!! He he, come lets go.
Mithran decides to rephrase the entire incident to Sarvesh and ask for help..
Sarvesh: What 10 Lakhs??? Are you kidding Machi???
Mithran: Yes da... Can you help me out???
Sarvesh: What help macha...? Asking for 10 Lakhs is not help da... This is called loan.
Mithran: Jokes apart Machi.I am not asking from you. Do you have any people in your contact who can arrange this on priority basis?
Sarvesh: My contacts.. Hmmm.. (Sarvesh browsing through his contacts) Hey there is one person called Mahesh. He is actually having a finance company da but interest rate will be too high.
Mithran: I cannot think of interest rates and other stuffs... The only thing running in my mind is to come out of this problem...
Sarvesh: Then let’s go tomorrow
Happening on Saturday
Mithran and Sarvesh start early in the morning to meet the finance company owner,Mahesh. Mahesh is a tall fat guy carrying a typical look of financier. Sarvesh describes Mahesh as a friendly person but when it comes to money he makes sure he does whatever it takes to get it back.
Mithran: So from whatever you say I understand if we repay him correctly, he will be nice to us
Sarvesh: Macha how did u become software engineer da?
Mithran: Why asking like this
Sarvesh: No machi all financiers in this world are the same, if we don repay they will be bad to us. It’s who gave a general build-up about the person, and you also tell the same to me in a different way.
Mithran: Enough of jokes. Now tell me the route correctly.
Sarvesh: Take this right da. Hey stop...We have reached!!!!... This is Mahesh's office.
Mahesh doesn’t have a separate office setup since he doesn’t have a registered finance company. He earns money through some illegal transactions and gives out the same at a very high interest. Since he has a very strong political background neither police nor Income tax professionals disturb him.
Mithran and Sarvesh reach there and they see a couple of people waiting.
Mithran: Seems like lot of people are in need of money macha.
Sarvesh: Money is very essential need for everyone da.All people have their own problems.
Mithran just gives a glance at number of people waiting there and suddenly turns back because he finds his college friend Prem there.
Mithran: Macha that’s my friend prem da!!!
Sarvesh: Then go and talk to him da!
Mithran walks towards prem and gives a strong pat at the back.
Mithran: Macha prem how are you da??
Prem gets shocked and gives a mixed reaction of happiness and tension in his face.
Prem: Hey... Dint expect you here da!.. I Am fine.
Mithran: I thought you would be happy after seeing me.
Prem: Hey come on da... It’s a surprise for me.. how are you???
Mithran: I Am fine da... What happened da... You have any financial problem..
Prem: Yeah... Yeah...Well...I wanted some money for son’s first birthday da... I spent some money for my mother’s heart surgery...
Mithran: Oh! How is your mom now? Is everything ok? Machi you will call me for birthday party ah?
Prem: Sure machi. Yeah mom is fine now. ok da they are calling me inside..
Mithran: ok da. You go meet and come.. we will talk Later.
After a while prem comes out with a happy face
Mithran: What prem you got the amount?
Prem: Yes da. He has asked me to come on Monday.
While they were having some conversation, Mithran gets his turn to meet the financer.
Mithran: Macha wait here itself , I will meet him and come.
Prem: Sure da...
Mithran and Sarvesh enter inside the room where Mahesh is sitting in the middle of the room with two gundas standing on the either side.
Mahesh: Sarvesh... How are you? Already I have given you enough money... What now??
Sarvesh: Anna I am fine... I have come here to seek some financial help for my friend. He is Mithran working with me. My very close friend anna.
Mahesh: Hmm yes Mithran sir... How much you are in need of?
Mithran: Sir I am in urgent need of 10 Lakhs
Mahesh: 10 Lakhs? Why so much amount?
Mithran: I am getting married next month sir. I tried in various places but things are getting delayed.I am in urgent need sir.
Mahesh: Hmmm okay... Even for marriage 10 Lakhs... Seems to be a big fat wedding!!! Usually all expenses are bared by bride family right?
Mithran: Hmmm... Hmmm... Yes sir but mine is a love marriage. Moreover they come from a very poor family.
Mahesh: Hmm ok… I don’t care the reason for which you are getting the money... I want you to repay me properly. Your reason is atleast acceptable, the person who came before you also asked the same amount (10 Lakhs) but for his son first birthday… I don’t know who will spend that much for a birthday. Anyways come on Monday morning by 11:00 AM, your cash will be ready.
Mithran: Thanks sir!!!
Mithran walks out of the place with a casual smile but with lot of questions running through his mind about Prem.
Mithran searches for his friend Prem but without informing him he has already left the place.
Sarvesh: Macha thank god you got cash da all your problems will be solved on Monday. By the way, your friend left without informing!!!
Mithran: Yeah da… I told him to wait but not sure why he left… But macha I feel he has got some problems... I don’t think just for a birthday he needs 10 Lakhs.
Sarvesh: Everyone has problems machi… Just leave da. We don’t have time to think about that at this point of time
Mithran: You are right da!!
Both Mithran and Sarvesh go back to their houses after a long conversation. Mithran with some relief goes back to house, takes out his mobile phone to talk with Shalini. After a long ring Shalini picks up the call.
Shalini: I never expected this miracle to happen!
Mithran: Hey dear!!! What’s that?
Shalini: For the first time ever in history you have called me!!!
Mithran: Hey come one, nothing intentional…You know right… I have got lot of deliverables, just bare me with for a couple of days.
Shalini: Mr Mithran I don’t need 24hrs of your time, just one or two hours in a day… I don’t know whether you will even remember me after marriage!!!
Mithran: Shut up and get lost!!! I don’t need to justify myself or my love. Already I am down with lot of problems. (Mithran tells in an angry tone and hangs up the call)
Sarvesh listens to the entire conversation but makes sure he doesn’t interfere in any of their personal matters. Mithran drops Sarvesh at his house and drives back home. Without even changing the dress, he takes out the laptop and keeps browsing through Facebook. He scrolls through his page to sees some of his friend’s latest updates (Photos, Videos etc.) which had some of the latest updates from Prem, recollecting the incident that happened in the financier’s office he clicks on Prem profile and browses through his page and views some of his latest photos—there comes a shock for him. His page contained some of his kid’s first birthday photos and now Mithran understands that prem has given a false reason to get cash. He immediately makes a call to Sarvesh.
Mithran: Macha free ah??
Sarvesh: Yes machi.Tell me any problem?
Mithran narrates the entire incident to Sarvesh
Sarvesh: Dai CID what’s your problem now?
Mithran: Something is bothering me... I know Prem's house can we go tomorrow?
Sarvesh: Dai you please look after your marriage arrangements. Don’t put other people problems in your mind.
Mithran: If you can’t accompany me leave... I will go da!!!
Sarvesh: Chill bro... Tomorrow morning we will go but one condition... Shall we have beer tomorrow?
Mithran: Sure da!!!
Happening on Sunday
Mithran and Sarvesh reach Prem's house
Calling bell ringing!!!
Prem’s wife opens the door and welcomes both inside. A general greeting happens and she calls her husband. Prem comes down and again gives a mixed reaction (Shock and happiness)
Prem: Hey what da sudden visit?
Mithran: I asked you to wait the other day but why you left?
Prem gets a bit nervous and takes them to terrace
Mithran: Dai why did you lie?
Prem: Hmmm....Hmmm... What are you blabbering bro?
Mithran: Then call me your wife let me ask her about your kid’s birthday
Prem: Hey what man... Trying to fight with me?
Mithran: Tell me the truth buddy.I am trying to help you.
Prem narrates the entire story and things a take a complete turn there. The incident which prem narrates is similar to the one Mithran is currently facing. Mithran and Sarvesh gets completely puzzled!!!
Mithran: Hey bro hold on there!!! What’s going on here??
Prem: Macha I told you the complete story da...No more things to hide.That’s the reason I wanted to arrange funds as I need to give them tomorrow... They are threatening me that they will kill my child if I try to make a complaint against them in Police station.
Mithran: Macha... I don’t know what to tell da!!! Will you believe if I say i am also into the same problem like yours!!!
Prem: Stop kidding machi!!!
Sarvesh: No bro he is serious!!! He also tried helping someone and now he is into a problem...
Mithran: Macha I don’t understand da... Why you and I should be in the same problem???
Prem: Even I can’t believe da!!! I am feeling so angry and irritated thinking of that bastard who is playing with our lives.
Sarvesh: Chill bro... Tomorrow you both should give him the money he demanded.. Already you people are facing a lot of problems so better give him the cash and destroy all the proofs he has. Be happy!!!
Mithran: Hey stupid it’s not like that!!! Think logically machi...The culprit has targeted me and Prem but not you... So from this I understand some common person who knows me and Prem very well is behind all these problems
Prem: Yes da... Both of us are college friends.So the culprit should be from our college??
Mithran: Might be. College mate, lecturer, peon etc.
Sarvesh: Stop it guys!!!... Both CID’s don’t do some heroic act and get caught. Both of you have lot of future plans. Dai Mithran your marriage is next month and Prem has a family too... Please don’t get into any problem guys!!!
Prem: Boss it’s not about problems... Why us?? Neither I nor Mithran didnt create problems for anyone or never thought about putting someone into a problem and getting happy out of it.I wanted to find him because someone who knows me and Mithran well are playing this game.
Mithran: Yes Macha you are right!!! We need a proper plan in place to execute things…
Prem: Yes da… so I am expecting a call tomorrow anytime between 1-1.30 PM da… Probably tomorrow we might have to give the cash to him… How about your case da?
Mithran: Tomorrow only da… But he said he will call me at 2:00 PM.
Sarvesh: Hey Guys sharing time slots as if both have some interview tomorrow… First plan how are you going to find him.
Mithran: Prem lets do thing call lets meet our college gang and discuss about this… Let’s see if anyone else is on list apart from us…
Prem: That’s good idea machi!!! But I think Balaji and Satish are in UAE da… Let me try reaching Pradeeban, Ganesh and Hari
Prem talks with Pradeeban, Ganesh and Hari and they plan for a meet in a local tea shop at kodambakkam at 4:00 PM.
Prem: Machanssss how are you da???
Pradeeban: Good machi how are you??
Ganesh: Mama I am fine da!!! How are you???
Hari: Good da!!! I am all well by god’s grace!!!
Mithran: It’s been a long time since we met da!!! I am fine!!
Pradeeban: How is your marriage arrangement going on da?? And how is Shalini???
Mithran: Yeah macha she is good!!! Marriage arrangements are going in full swing!!! This is my office friend Sarvesh
A casual greet happens with Sarvesh
Ganesh: So Mithran, we are all together after a long time so what’s special? Treat ah?
Mithran: Treat is definitely there da!!! But this meeting between us is to discuss a different issue!!!
Pradeeban: Issue ah??? Tell me machi I will sort it out
Mithran narrates the whole incident to his friends which has been haunting him for the last two days. Prem also tells his part of the story which leaves the guys in a very big shock.
Ganesh: Mama... What’s happening? Why this problem for you guys?
Pradeeban: Leave the problem da!!! How can two people get caught in the same problem? Seems like some kind of chain da?
Mithran: You’re right Pradeeban!!! The only thing common between me and Prem is we know each other in college!!!
Hari: Yeah right!!! So you mean to one of our ex-college mate is behind all these things!
Mithran: One or many!!! Not necessarily our class mate da anyone who know us well from our college may be the reason!!!
Ganesh: Hmmm… But to my knowledge none from our class have this much guts da.
Mithran: I also thought the same da… Neither guts nor hatred towards us!!!
Hari: We can’t assume like that da… Time may change anyone
Pradeeban: Let me know if you wanted any legal help… I will check with my uncle since he is in cybercrime da!!!
Mithran: No need of police da!!! Myself and Prem have arranged the funds which he demanded to destroy the proof. The reason I called you guys is to check if we can draft a plan to catch this bastard!!!
Hari: Why not machi!!! I can help you with this!!!
Ganesh: I will help you da!!!
Pradeeban: Let’s plan machi…
Mithran and his friends identify the person behind these things and that’s the biggest shock of all!
It’s none other than their college mate and a very good friend Balaji.
Balaji comes from a very poor agricultural background where his father pledges all his belongings to enroll him in an engineering college. Things go really good since he excels in his academics. Mithran, Balaji, Ganesh, Pradeeban and Hari are always a separate gang and very thick friends at college. They always stay united and roam around together. After 4 years of completion all of his friends get placed at various companies and Balaji also finds himself a job at Singapore through one of his friend’s relative. Again Balaji’s father arranges a huge sum of money for visa and other formalities. All the guys split up and get busy with their jobs. Everyone assumes Balaji has already settled in Singapore but things turn upside down for him. The agent who promised him a Software Engineer job at a big company in Singapore cheats on him and Balaji ends up being a toilet cleaner at the same place. This leaves him extremely depressed, he never tells this situation to his friends or parents. After a year he returns back to Chennai without informing his parents, he finds a mansion for himself and starts searching for job. Since he comes from a rural background, things get tougher for him interms of communication. Lot IT parks which carry happy faces coming in, going out with ID cards with costly mobile phones in hand etc. seeing things happening around Balaji gets completely depressed. He gets along with couple of people in mansion and all of them are also into the same situation. Balaji starts getting along with them for drinks every day and things start changing. They all start doing some small time illegal activities to make money for daily living. Money changes their mindset and Balaji inorder to clear the debts in his village decides to get into a big time robbery which would help him. He and his friends initially plan for a bank robbery but later drop the plan thinking of the security system. Instead of stealing from the bank they decide to get it from rich people. They stand in-front of large hotels, shopping malls and IT parks to identify rich people but due to high volume of crowd they find it difficult to pick. Atlast Balaji plans of robbing from familiar people so that they may not be doubted. Initially one of the person from his gang tells about a friend who owns a big company. So Balaji instructs him to invite him somewhere for a casual conversation where they can create a scenario and rob some small things from him. They continue this for sometime but balaji’s huge need of money is not satisfied. He prepares a list which contains a couple of people from his college out of which he understands Mithran tops the list. But this time he was clear that he needs a huge amount which would help him settle somewhere. That’s the place where the story starts.
Balaji gets all required funds in his pocket, and on the same day night government announces demonetization. So the total 20 Lakhs become invalid.
The financier who gave money for Mithran and prem also gets caught in an income tax raid and is arrested.