Vijayan was in deep slumber when the phone rang. By the sound of the ring itself, Vijayan could tell the call was from a Landline. Vijayan peeped outside through the window, and it was still dark. Normally he doesn’t receive calls before 10.00 AM in the morning. Daily during that time, Vijayan’s wife would call to check If he had his breakfast and slowly the discussion will drift toward saving money for their daughter Shalini’s marriage or buying Gold for the marriage. He detested those discussions and would keep the phone down midway. But it looked like it was still very early morning and not the time he would get a call from his wife. It looked like 5.00 AM in the morning.
Rajan was on the phone. Before he could confront him on the timing of his call, Rajan was screaming. “ Shalini met with an accident, today morning. She was going to catch a bus to Ernakulam when She was hit by a van from behind near the Bus Stop. She has lost lots of blood but Parameswaran Doctor told nothing to worry and to rush to MedCity Hospital, which is just 10 kms Away. We are just going to start in five. minutes. I will call once I reach the Hospital and meet the Doctor”. Vijayan was lost for words. He just froze. Before he could even check whether he had money Rajan had kept the Phone.
As the Sun was rising, Vijayan was restless. The first Bus was at 7.00 Am and would take couple of hours to Thrissur. He was feeling bad that he couldn’t be there now. He decided he will go to the main road and probably take a lift in Lorry or other vehicles. Fortunately a tempo traveller was going to Thrissur and he hitched a ride paying Rs 100 to Driver.
Vijayan lived in Thrissur with his family until last year. With no formal education he wanted to make quick money. He had tried his luck with different things and most of them ended as failures. He couldn’t quite figure out the fastest way to make money without any risk. This changed when he met Madhavan. Madhavan was a native of Thrissur, and had a tyre puncture shop and couple of other business. During a drink session, Madhavan told Vijayan, “People are ready to pay any amount of Money when they are in Distress. So the quickest way to make money is put them in Distress. Then you can demand as much money from them”. This thought struck a chord with Vijayan. He made few quick plans. He left to Walayar the next day.
Walayar is in the border of Tamilnadu, Kerala and saw exorbitant traffic these days. With the new highway, lots of people travelled to Kerala and used this road. With the help of few of his friends, he started a small puncture shop just after the border. That stretch of 20 kms didn’t have many shops which was ideal for him. His plan was simple. He bought several nails and made a small stand to place each one of them. Everyday morning he will place several of these nails in the highway leading to his shop. Invariably around 10-15 vehicles would run over the nail and come to his shop for tyre puncture repair. Initially he just charged for Puncture repair. But as Madhavan told, people were ready to pay any amount as they were in distress. So he started telling them the tube is completely gone and it has to be replaced. That way he could charge 500 -600 Rupees per vehicle. In a day he would do 10-15 transactions like this and soon he started making huge money. Ten more times the money, than he could even imagine. Two or three years if this continues, he would have enough money for Shalini’s marriage and he could probably go back to Thrissur itself and do something there. He decided probably he would find a place near to Thrissur itself now and would never go back.
Vijayan was lost in thoughts, when the Driver told it is Thrissur. Time was around 9.00 Am. He got down in front of the Medcity Hospital and rushed inside. There was a huge crowd near the front door and then he saw his Wife and Rajan crying uncontrollably. Rajan saw Vijayan and came running with a huge howl…
“ Chetta, Everything is over.. we lost Shalini. We took her in a Car but on the way, the Tyre got Punctured and it was too late before we could bring her to the Hospital”.