Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mania of Maniacs - Part 2

“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.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mania of Maniacs - Part 1

Washing his hands after dinner he noticed his mobile vibrate. A message beeped,

“Everythingready!! The road is set!! See you at 11.00 PM sharp “

His heart raced as he watched his mobile. He had to make his movements fast. He looked at his watch to see the time, there was an hour left for him.  Everyday had become a challenge for him since he had started this game, the most daring sport. It meant life and death. But he wasn’t scared anymore. It had started with excitement, pulse racing speed, a desire to be ahead of all but now it was addiction and the sheer need to calm his burning desires.

He stealthily walked to his room and tried to avoid any conversations with the members of his family. Locking the door of his room, he switched on the table lamp and sat in the light that shone from it. The time started to pass and he waited for the final signal after which he would be gone into a different world. Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t notice his mobile beep. It beeped a second time and he stood up astonished.

 “Assemble at the Thiruvanmiyur signal in ten minutes”

He took the keys of his vehicle and checked to see if everyone had slept at home. He walked to the door when he remembered he had forgotten the most important thing.
“I forgot to kiss Trishu”, he thought. He walked into his sister, Trisha’s room and kissed her on her cheeks and ran to start his bike. “His bike”, was the instrument in this game. He rode fast as being late would cost 
him his life.

Far at the Thiruvanmiyur signal there were members of RSR (Royapettah speed racers), boys in the age group of 18 – 25 stood with bikes making the loudest noise as possible and that were made to race. He reached the signal on time and joined the rest of the group.
The road was dark and lonely. The streets lights were bright and the wide road was an advantage to race in a spree. 10 bikers stood across the lanes. 5 in each group competing with the other 5 in the other group. The entire city slept when these bikers woke to play the most dangerous sport. Brakes were not meant to be taken, gear was the key and the accelerator was epochal.

The bet was made for Rs. 50000 and the “winner would take it all”. The race was a 12 km one from 
Thiruvanmiyur  to War memorial. Three signals were given after which the race would begin. The first signal was given and the bikers started their bikes. The second signal was given and the accelerator was raised to the most formidable limit. The third signal and the bikers set the road on fire.

 He was always the king when it meant to race. He had been trained better than the rest because he had the potential to be the best. He was the lead and when he raced he felt the road was a magnanimous mystery which had many unfolded secrets. His eyes were blind to any disturbances and disturbances meant just anything and anything that would make him use something that he hated, “The brakes”.

There was a style in which the entire team rode; it was a zig-zag fashion and not a linear one. This style was maintained to divert the opponent and anyone who missed the fashion ended up giving his life. Sparks of fire were emitted from the bikes which was a sense of pride for every raced.A myriad of images gazed in front of him when he rode and the road was his fantasy. When he rode, he rode with a zest and passion as thought he was born to rule the roads.
 The destination was not far and he had already decided in his mind that he would make it and victory would be his. As the finish line approached he was sad that his drug would come to an end and he would have to wait till he would hit the roads again. He cherished the last minutes of his celestial journey which he finally won. He raised the accelerator in his right and held the clutch with his left hand and watched as the opponents stared at him and his charisma.

He picked up his cash that he had earned and walked towards Jerry, his mentor and his master. For Jerry, he knew his “bishop” would win the game for him. Jerry hugged him and paid him for his win.  His mission accomplished, he knew he could rest in peace.He drove back home and opening the door of his house, he stood astonished as there was someone waiting for him. The person who according to him should have been the last person to know about his late night mystery was standing in front of him with inquisitive eyes.

 “Vikas anna, would you please oblige and tell me where were you so long at this hour of the night?”, Trisha his sister enquired with gleaming eyes.

 “Trishu, I had some important work outside. Listen just let this be between us don’t take it to Dad and Mom”, pleaded Vikas.

 “Okay anna, I promise I wont tell it to Dad and Mom, but on one condition that you have to tell me truth about your whereabouts”, Trishu played her card right.

Vikas thought about the deal, it was a difficult decision to tell everything to the person whom he loved the most. His sister had always been his life since she was born. But racing was none the less important to him. When he weighed his love for both of them he realized that he could give up all his aspirations to the girl who sat in front of him.

 “Trishu, I was street racing!!!”

The words hit harder than a thousand bells rung together. “Anna, are you kidding me, I knew biking and bikes were your passion, but does that mean you can risk your life and others too?”, Trishu reminded.

She glared at him and walked off to her room. Trishu was more than his little sister. She meant more than anything in the world for him. He had waited for 7 long years for her to be born and ever since she was his most important responsibility.

Vikas sat in the porch of their house and focused on what Trishu had just said.Many a time he wanted to give up this madness, but now racing had entered his blood and veins. He gazed around and his eyes fell on his bike. His thoughts ran back to the time when he was 15 years old. He had watched Sashi his neighbor race the bike and ever since then he wanted to own one. He waited till he was 18 to get a license and even scored well in his engineering exams as this was the condition put by his father if he wanted a bike.

It was his 18th birthday and the day his dream had come true. Trisha had tied his eyes with a scarf and led him to the porch where he now sat. She had screamed in his ears, 3….2……………….1 ½……………..1…. and pulled the scarf from his eyes. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a Stylish black and blue Yamaha R15 standing in front of him. He walked and knelt beside it. He touched it as though it was a new born baby. He was going to cherish it for a lifetime. And since then his bike had been his all, his love, his life and his passion.

“Vicky, you ride really well, why don’t you show your skills to my friend, he loves bikers”, Sashi suggested to Vikas. Sashi had always been an inspiration to Vikas when it came to bikes. Sashi introduced Vikas to Jerry. Jerry had heard a lot about Vikas and wanted him in his group in any cost. Jerry owned the RSR group and he was always in search of bikers. He showed Vikas a whole new world of biking and Vikas was overwhelmed and decided to drive for RSR.
He got his bike sophisticated with a lot of essentials from Puddupet the land for bikers where they enhanced the ability of bikes and gave them extra effects. Vikas had done well from the very first race and had held a special place in Jerry’s heart. He was Jerry’s right hand and his trump card as well.  Ever since then there was no looking back for Vikas. The roads and his bike had become his life.

The next morning Trishu behaved a little abnormal with Vikas and this hurt him. 6 months back Trisha was diagnosed with leukemia and Vikas had almost died when he had heard the doctor say this. He knew it would give her more pain if she had heard her brother woke up every night when she slept and risked his life on the streets. He gathered courage to speak to her and end the silence.

“Trishu what is wrong with you? Why are you not speaking to me?” he enquired.

“Anna, dad and I met the doctor yesterday, he said my chances for survival are vey meager. I don’t know how long am I going to live. You are all I can leave for maa and Paa, but instead of being responsible you are ruining your life on the streets” , Trisha spoke without a pause.

 “You have to promise me Vikas anna that you will give this up and never take up this dangerous game again”

Vikas took time to reply and again the love for his sister outdid his passion and he promised to give it up for her. At the beginning it had been difficult for him to forget his addiction but he slowly started spending more time with his family and came out of the death hole. He had almost forgotten everything when one day he received a call from Sashi..……

What could the call have been? Will Vikas go back to the streets? Will he break his promise?......

To be continued……….