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Pirates of Bollywood – Piracy, Project Pi, Bollywood superstar, Copyrights, Legal Thriller (Novel) – Episode 15

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Episode 15

 

Authored by Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala

 

That marked the end of the grand old advisor and the eventful beginning of Frames, 2013. Khan’s dramatic demise earned him celebrity status and media space for a couple of days after which he was blissfully forgotten. But for a few rumors, no one had any doubt in their mind that he suffered a heart attack and that his death was completely natural. Despite Khan’s absence, nothing in Frames changed and business moved on as usual. Many people came, saw, and conquered business opportunities and returned on a happy note. The sessions organized by Shan on piracy were boring, academic, and theoretical and produced no value.

With his key mind out of action, Shan’s war on piracy did not start on a positive note. Disheartened though Shan was, he was not set to give up on his quest. He asked Unni, the surviving named partner of Krish and Khan to prepare a comprehensive plan based on Khan’s ideas. By virtue of being Khan’s only aide during his last days and the only subject matter expert left in the firm, Lamba was the obvious choice for the job. Having planned his career growth around Khan, Lamba was thoroughly disappointed with his abrupt demise, and was pondering over his fate when Shan’s project came by. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, but soon realized that the complexity of the project was beyond his limited knowledge and acumen. To stand up to the grand expectations set by Khan, Lamba needed to work with someone who knew the law and the entertainment industry very well.  This necessity led Lamba to Viren Bhatia, a top-notch entertainment lawyer with an impeccable track record. Viren promptly spotted the promise the project held for him and his stature.

If they could somehow pull it off, he was confident that it would propel him to legendary status. So, without any hesitation, Viren agreed to help Lamba in return for due credit and a major role in its implementation. Lamba and Viren, two diverse minds with complementary skills, started working on an ambitious, yet seemingly-plausible strategy to achieve the impossible: to eradicate piracy. They met Shan at regular intervals to update him on their progress and to debate feasibility of their ideas. It was during one such meeting that Lamba received his first threat. “Drop or die,” the hoarse voice on the phone warned.

“Drop what,” Lamba had asked, bewildered and confused.

“Drop your project with Shan if you do not want to meet Khan in hell.”

“Who are you?” Lamba stammered, visibly shaken.

“You don’t want to know, Lamba. We know that you are in Shan’s office now. Our eyes are everywhere. YOU DROP OR DIE,” the voice repeated. Then, the line went dead, leaving Lamba terrified.

“What is wrong,” Shan and Viren asked in unison, noticing Lamba’s fearful state.

“Someone threatened to kill me, if I continue working on this project. Despite our best efforts to keep this a secret, they seem to know a lot. They even know that I am with you now.”

After a short moment of silence, Shan was the first to respond, “Welcome to the club, Lamba. Do not let such calls bother you. It’s a daily affair for us. You buckle, they extort; you show some spine, they recede. Besides, I am here to protect you, against all odds. Trust me.” Before Lamba could utter a response, Viren spoke, “Welcome to the club, Lamba. You are officially a celebrity now, stalked by nuts.” That brought a twisted smile to Lamba’s face. By now, Viren knew how to play Lamba, whose fickle mind blew hot and cold in minutes. That was just the beginning though, the anonymous calls continued, worrying Lamba each time, but his desire to succeed always stumped the fear. When Shan’s attempts to lobby for legal reforms faced unexpected roadblocks, they came to a conclusion that they were playing against a dangerous rival with high level connections, and large reserves of money. But they did not know, who it was, and how he was getting hold of their confidential information. They were sure about one thing though. Their rival was fighting a faceless war under the garb of anti-copyright militants, free-culture activists and public interest groups. With the failure of law reform efforts, Lamba’s project assumed greater importance, forcing them to work out of the box. And so they did, finally arriving at a workable plan to seek their objective, which according to Viren, was to kick piracy’s butt. For professional purposes, they referred to it as ‘Project Pi’, and maintained secrecy on all fronts. Supremely confident and consumed by a false sense of security, they totally disregarded their rival’s infiltration into their camp.

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Disclaimer:

ALL EVENTS, CHARACTERS, ENTITIES AND SEQUENCES DEPICTED IN THIS LITERARY WORK ARE FICTITIOUS. ANY RESEMBLANCE OR SIMILARITY TO ACTUAL PERSONS (LIVING OR DEAD) OR ENTITIES WHETHER EXISTING OR OTHERWISE, IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. ANY DESCRIPTION OF PERSONS, NAMES, MARKS, WORKS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION PORTRAYED IN THE LITERARY WORK IS MERELY INCIDENTAL UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGED.

Copyright, Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala.

May be distributed with prior permission of the author.

All queries/concerns/suggestions related to the episode, the story or intellectual property in general, may be redirected to the Sinapse Team at contact@sinapseblog.com.

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