Pirates of Bollywood – Copyrights, Producers, Movies, Legal Thriller (Novel) – Episode 18
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Authored by Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala
Fifteen kilometers away, at the same time, another meeting was in progress. The venue of the meeting was a small, gloomy pub called Alpine, a couple of blocks away from the popular Leopold Cafe in Colaba. The pub’s high ceiling, old, yet ornate lights, large, sculpted columns, and stony walls was reminiscent of the British Bombay days. Owing to the heavy rain, and the odd time of day, the pub was literally empty.
Two tables on either side of the entrance to the pub were occupied by well-built, casually dressed men, the bodyguards of the meeting attendees, who did not bother to conceal their guns. From their loud chattering and laid back attitude, it was apparent that they expected no trouble that evening. While the masters were deep in conversation, their bodyguards savored Alpine’s home-brewed beer, and flirted with the women at their service.
Despite the reverberating loud music in Alpine’s confines, the three attendees of the meeting, dressed in dark overalls, sat in a close huddle and kept their voices low. Though it was a business meeting, the discussion did not start with formal greetings or niceties that formed part of standard corporate etiquette. From the seating arrangement at the table and body language, anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have no trouble in concluding that the man seated at the centre, hooded and wearing tinted glasses, with his back to the wall, a vantage position to observe the door, was in charge. “Your updates Pido,” he asked, turning to the man to his right, who was clean shaven and wore sun glasses, despite the lack of light in the room. “The CD and DVD business is going good, Francis. Collections have exceeded targets in northern and eastern regions.”
“We will touch 4000 crores this quarter. My boys are working hard to sell as much as possible.”
“Good work, Pido. Keep going. I will inform the boss about your progress.” Then, turning to his left, he looked at the dark, thick-mustached man, whose apprehensive face was lost in the shadows, and asked, “Your report Thambi?”
“Francis, things were going good in both south and west India until last month. But recently, we have had trouble with our Telugu and Tamil agents. They have not paid our dues for three weeks in a row.”
“Hmm … police trouble?”
“No Francis. Police are with us on this. These rogues have moved out of our circuit. They have tied up with local goons and are running their own pirated disc business.”
“How are you handling this?”
“As per your earlier instructions, I threatened them, but that did not work. Do you want me to do anything else?”
“No. I will take care.” Knowing Francis’ violent ways, Thambi was petrified and merely nodded his Acquiescence.
“Anything else?” Francis asked.
“Francis,” Pido said, “the Producers guild is in a meeting now. Our contact has sent us a message a few minutes back. A guy by the name Lamba from Kris and Khan is giving a presentation on combating piracy. He apparently has a rock-solid plan.”
“I assumed this issue was over with Khan. I believe Shan has arranged this.”
“That man has become a pain in the neck. He made it big, and now does not want anyone else to make money,” Thambi added with clenched fists.
Waving his hand at Thambi for silence, Francis stated, “Shan will come to terms. Pido, you fill me in, as soon as you gather any further information.” Then, he stood up, and got moving. There were no farewell moments. Francis walked out with his bodyguards on his heels, guns drawn. Two black Mercedes Benz G class cars arrived as soon as he stepped out of Alpine, and sped away with his party, before anyone could realize what happened. Amar Pido and Nala Thambi stayed back, for a couple of minutes after Francis left. They exchanged pleasantries, discussed plans, and shook hands, before they also went their separate ways.
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Copyright, Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala.
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- Episode 13
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- Episode 17
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