“What happened anna? “, Trisha enquired worriedly when she saw Vikas hold the phone to his ears and not speak a word.
“Nothing Trishu, I don’t know who was online I couldn’t hear anything”, Vikas tried to manipulate and walked to the other room.
Trishu sensed something was wrong but she trusted her brother and knew he wouldn’t break the promise he had given her.
“I need to meet you Vicky, It’s important. Please don’t say a no. I know you are bound with responsibilities but I want a favour from you….. a last one…… Please meet me at Elliot’s beach today evening by 7.” Vicky tried to recollect everything that Sashi had spoken on the call.
He walked into the bathroom for a shower. He switched on the shower and as the water splashed on him from head to toe he tried to compose himself to make a decision. A number of voices echoed in his ears. “You are all I can leave for maa and Paa………”, “I know you are bound with responsibilities but I want a favour from you….. a last one……”
His mind was caught between the love for his family and his passion, his dream.
“I would land in the asylum if I don’t figure out what Sashi wants”, he consoled himself and decided to meet Sashi.
“Thanks Vikas for coming, I knew you wouldn’t have denied a favour for me.”Sashi stood at Elliot’s beach on the shore and thanked Vikas. The waves were calm and slightly kissed their feet.
The evening sun fell on their face and Vikas turned to Sashi to reply, “Don’t thank me Sashi, I only agreed to meet you, I didn’t agree to help you.”
Sashi was stunned to see a new Vikas in front of him and was a little worried that he shouldn’t back out. He thought it would be easy to convince Vikas and have him say a yes. A “yes” to what he wanted. However, not everyday is Sunday.
“Vikas…”, He folded his hands and started weeping. “Vikas, Amma is sick, I need a lot of cash to treat her.”
Vikas couldn’t believe what Sashi spoke and asked, “Sashi, what happened to amma? What is wrong?”
“She is sick and the doctor has asked her to undergo a surgery and Appa can’t afford that. I need some cash Vikas and you are the only person who can help me out.” Sashi spoke praying to Vikas.
“I don’t have so much money Sashi, how can I help you?” Vikas was helpless.
“You can Vicky…. You are the trump card for Jerry. He said if the team wins the next race and won he would give all the money earned to me. And I know the team would win only if you race. Don’t say a no Vicky. It is just for my mother or else I wouldn’t have forced you.” Sashi continued.
Trisha’s voice was all he could hear. But he knew his sister would support her for this cause.
He came close to Sashi and kept his right hand on his shoulder giving him an assurance. “Yes Sashi I will race for your Amma one last time”. Sashi broke into tears and hugged his friend.
The race was a week away and Vikas had started to make all plans for it. He tuned the bike with oil and ready for the big day. Meanwhile he hid all this from Trisha. He decided to tell it to her once the race was over. He knew she would understand him. He was excited that he was going to hit the roads again. However he knew this was the last time.
The day finally arrived and as always Vikas reached the Thiruvanmiyur signal with Sashi. Jerry stood at the post to welcome his “Bishop” once again.
“Welcome back, Vicky”, Jerry hugged Vikas. “Thanks Jerry”, Vikas replied in a friendly gesture.
The three signals were given and Vikas knew he had to bring in the charisma again. He began to start his bike when he remembered that he had forgotten something very important, “his lucky charm”.
“Oh freak, I forgot to kiss Trishu before I race. How could I forget this?”He had been superstitious when it came to winning the race.
He closed his eyes and saw Trishu’s smiling face cross him. He was at peace now. The race began and as always the king ruled the race. Jerry was confident they would win with his trump card racing for him. Vikas could see his destination from quite a distance and he knew he would win it this time too.
He was just half a kilometer away, he had to cross a signal, Vikas raced his bike in a speed where he couldn’t have been able to take a sudden brake. The speed had almost blinded him and he failed to see a flash of light coming from his left. A white car headed from one of the lanes beside the signal. Both Vikas and the car were in similar speed. Vikas had to decide. He knew losing a second of time also could cost him his race. He closed his eyes and raised his speed to cross the signal before car could.
It was a close finish and Vikas succeeded in crossing on time. Vikas heard a screech and could
hear the car hit somewhere and stop. He dint stop to look behind but kept driving to his destination. He was driving for his friend’s mother. She was all that was in his mind. He tried to concentrate on the race again and reached the finish line just in time.
“Here you go Sashi, take this money and treat Amma. I will pray for her.” He consoled Sashi and drove back home. On his way back he crossed the lane where the car had lost control to see if anyone was there. He parked his bike below a tree and all he could see where a few pieces of broken glass. He prayed that he shouldn’t have hurt anyone.
Nearing his house he saw that the lights in Sashi’s house were still on. “Maybe Aunty is still awake, i must go visit her”, he thought and parked his bike outside Sashi’s house. He opened the grill door and he heard Sashi’s mother come running out. “Vikas, Son what are you doing at this hour? Sashi is not at home”, She spoke with ease. Vikas was confused that Aunty was speaking as though she was completely fine. “Aunty How are you? Sashi said you were not well, so i thought i must drop in to check”, Vikas enquired.
“Who said i am not well, son? I am completely fine. Nothing is wrong with me.” She replied. Vikas was taken aback. “Had Sashi lied to me?” he murmered. He didnt want to conclude till he heard it from him. He went back home and thought he would deal with this in the morning. Parking his bike without making any noise, he entered his house to see that all the lights were switched on. His house looked like it was 12 in the noon. He entered wondering, “Did trishu find out that i went racing? Has she told maa and paa? Will she give me a chance to explain?”
His mother sat in the porch. Her eyes looked moist and her cheeks were red with drops of tears. Vikas went close, “Maa, what happened to you? Why are you crying?”
“Vikas....”, she went close, hugged him and burst into tears. “Trishu’s pulse suddenly decreased by 11 in the night, We came to your room so you could take her to the doctor but you were not there. We were worried and Trishu fainted seeing your room empty. Your dad took her in the car to the hospital...” Her voice trailed and she wept even louder. Vikas tried to calm here, “Then what maa.... ? Is Trishu fine?”
“No .....”His mother shouted. “Our Trishu is not fine. On the way to the hospital near War memorial some goons were racing bikes at this time in the night.... “ Vikas’s heart started to beat faster. He wished he had not heard the next sentence his mother was about to say.
“And your father tried to stop the car and it skid hitting a tree. He was saved, but Trishu is injured.” His mother moaned. Vikas couldnt believe that the car he had hit during the race was the one which his father and sister were in. He suddenly got a call from his father saying, “Vikas we need blood of the group A1-. It is a rare blood group and we need it immediately for Trishu.” Vikas tried calling all his friends but to no avail. He then remembered that Sashi shared the same blood group.
He raced to Sashi’s house when at a distance he saw Sashi get out of Jerry’s car, he was drunk. Vikas tried to go closer when Sashi waved to Jerry saying, “Finally your right hand was caught in to our trap. Vikas got fooled just by my tears. He thought he could give it up. No he is going to ride again and we are going to earn more and more and enjoy.” Vikas couldn’t believe that Sashi had cheated him for money and he was the reason that Trishu was fighting for her life in the hospital.
The next morning he convinced Sashi to donate blood to Trishu and then he spoke, “Sashi, thanks a lot for your favour, you saved my sister. I need another favour, Can you ask Jerry if i can ride another race? I need money for Trishu.” He pleaded in the same manner as Sashi as he really needed money for Trishu. Jerry agreed and Vikas drove another race. Jerry was all the more happy to have Vikas back. He had incurred a heavy loss in Vikas’s absence and he wanted to make all the profit he could now.
He walked into the ICU were Trishu lay and kissed her before the race. The race began and as always RSR won it as Vikas, their HERO was back. Jerry came to hug Vikas on his victory when suddenly Jerry heard someone call him from behind, “Jerry Sequera, Sashi Chinnappa, we are officers from Thriuvanmiyur police station, You are under arrest for illegal bike racing, Thanks to Vikas for helping us in this mission.”
Vikas had succeeded in his plan, he had purposely asked Sashi to donate blood similar to the way Sashi had convinced him to race for Amma and got help from Jerry to race again and he was the one who had informed the police regarding this.
He drove to the hospital thinking, “Trishu is going to be fine soon and she will be so proud of me for getting those goons caught”. He smiled and raced on his Yamaha R15.............
Street racing is illegal in India, however many such incidents do happen even now. These incidents pushed me to write this post. Innocent people become victims to this heinous act. Many a times the culprit stays within the walls of our house. It is upto us to be watchful. Like Vikas the youngsters of today must take a decision to stop playing with the lives of others and theirs too.
Have you thought that this story could be any of ours and we may have brothers like Vikas and Sashi? We could also become victims like Trisha. This story is a work of fiction, however, the concept is a bitter truth.