Gallops


Update for week ended 11 March 2011

Al-Hasnal was not academically oriented. His parents were migrants and they lived in the shanty town not very far from the city central station. The Hindu Muslim riots in 1947 had forced them to flee from their hometown near the Sarayu River and seek refuge in this cosmopolitan city by the Arabian Sea. They spent their initial years mingling in with the rest of the residents of the shanties, and Al, as he was called, got into rough company. So by the age of 14, he was suspended from school, after slapping his female school teacher and he spent more time roaming the streets of the town picking pockets and betting on street-side gambling dens. In his early twenties, he moved to the nearby city of Poona, as he graduated to following the horses and their fortunes from the Mahalaxmi Race-course to the Poona Racecourse. His ability to bribe the jockeys, the trainers and influence bookies made him a notorious but successful regular at the races. Al’s turning point came when a racehorse owner stepped in try and stem the rot that had set into the races. Al just shot the industrialist in the stables, as the jockey and the trainer looked on, stunned. He then just left after bolting the stable door, stood outside, took out his golden cigarette case, pulled out a filter cigarette and put it to his lips. He looked at the stable, clucked with the cigarette dangling from his lips and then bent his head as he fished out a lighter from his pocket. He walked back to the stable, and raised his sparse eyebrows questioningly to the two live men in the stable. They were ashen faced and looked once at the lifeless body of their now dead employer, said a silent prayer under their breaths and quietly slipped out of the stable though the side door. The jockey led the filly with him. Al then lit his cigarette, bent down to pick up some dry hay-roll. He lit it with the still burning lighter and threw the burning ball into the stable. He turned his back to it and tossed the lighter backwards into the raging fire. It exploded within a few seconds and the whole wooden stable was afire. Al just walked on to his car and drove off. The cops could not piece together the mysterious death of the industrialist. Strangely there were “no witnesses” to the incident, the body was charred beyond recognition except for the signature 2 carat diamond solitaire found from his melted ring. The Race King was anointed, without any opposition. Al ruled the turf and hob-nobbed with the changing political hotshots. He could get them the land to build their banks, he could arrange for the conversion of marginal farmland into “cooperative” sugar cane plantations and even dairy farms. He knew how to please the political mandarins in Delhi, as he arranged for their special trips to the tax havens like Mauritius and Switzerland, purportedly to help the local “farmers” learn better cane cultivation from the picturesque Indian Ocean archipelago and get indepth knowledge of how to raise cattle and improve milk productivity from the Alpine Cowherds. And on these trips, Al also managed to stop over at Geneva’s lakeshore-facing baroque styled buildings, where he held secretive meetings. Al knew how to move money from the “controlled economy” back home to the shores of the source of the Rhone.  

As the D Boyz struggled through the week, they were shocked at the brazen arrogance of a person who had shot to the limelight for evading taxes totting upto mindboggling levels, like being able to fund the entire Health Budget of the government for 2011-12. Feeling sick, the Boyz, could not control their BPs as well as their SENSEX, as it shuddered with them. The brazen gent feigned illness, stuck to his wheelchair, complained of stomach pains and diabetes. But the Judge did not hear him out and knew that he was bad actor; however, the cops still didn’t know how to book him. So his horse stables remain intact, as he is quizzed more by the investigative agencies. The D Boyz just looked askance and swayed with the international markets – so if a tsunami hit Japan, they followed their Taiwanese and Chinese counterparts dropping the SENSEX. All in all – the SENSEX ended 312 points down from last week – at 18174.

The cops turned to the revenue service guys for help and the Economic Offences wing snooped around and “stumbled” onto a CD containing Swiss account details of Al. They rushed to arrest him, but could not authenticate the CD and the Swiss bankers wont talk – they are sworn to secrecy. And why would they squeal – they have bigger problems heading their way as Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians are rushing to the city by the lake that houses over 125 nationalities. Of course, not all of the citizens in this city are rich bankers or their clandestine clients, but there are refugees, and diplomats, educationists, activists and occasional tourists, too.

Any ways, Al led (and continues to lead) a life on the dangerous side and who knows, he may never get indicted, but that should not stop us from doing what we do every day. Lead a nice and happy life, spend time with your family and play with your children, tell them stories or make them their favourite sandwich. Watch a movie or a game or just simply go shopping or for a walk. Do whatever you want this week, but take care and be safe.

Have a nice weekend … Cheers …….

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