Pirates of Bollywood – Piracy, Crime, Copyrights, Legal Thriller, Novel – Episode 25
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Authored by Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala
From the body language and line of vision of the fast approaching policemen, Ilahi was certain they were gunning for him. Throwing away his plastic juice container, he quickly assembled the bedsheet with the discs, and tied what they call a dhobi’s knot. Some of the DVDs fell out, but Ilahi stayed focused on the escape. A quick glance at the police told him that it was time to run. Holding his bag in one hand and the bundle in the other, he started running as if he was being chased by wild dogs.
Already at the third arrest that afternoon, the two young spirited policemen instantly initiated a determined chase. While they covered the distance between them and Ilahi, one of the policemen turned the radio on and sent across a status message to their van, which was waiting round the corner.
Anticipating this moment some day, Ilahi rehearsed the escape route several times after he chose his place of business. He had to turn right, then a quick left before reaching a wall, jumping from which, he would land in a maze of alleys, and be lost in no time. It was a one-minute act during practice, but when the moment of truth arrived, anxiety was getting the better of Ilahi. As soon as he managed to get to the right turn, Ilahi risked a quick glance at his pursuers and realized that he would not make it with the sack weighing him down. Thinking fast, he threw the DVD bundle in the direction of the police men, got rid of his slippers, and sprinted, like a prize athlete.
Ilahi’s thin frame and bare feet carried him swiftly to the left turn, much faster than his heavy-booted pursuers. By the time the policemen reached the DVD sack, he was out of their sight. Ilahi soon reached the wall and was about to scale it, when he heard a car screech to a halt behind him. Ignoring the sound, he started to climb, when a voice shouted, “STOP. DON’T MOVE.” It was a female voice, and Ilahi for a moment thought he was hallucinating.
“Stop or I will shoot,” Helen warned again, while Ilahi tried to swing his legs over the wall. But before he reached the top, a strong, heavy hand caught one of his legs and dragged him down. Ilahi fell on his back, his head narrowly missing a sharp stone. Before he could come to his senses, Atre pulled him to his feet, and handed him over to the young policemen, who had just arrived.
A few moments ago, seeing Ilahi elude the policemen, Helen, who was passing by, had asked her driver to chase him. With help from the good reflexes of the driver, they managed to get to Ilahi just in time to prevent him from escaping. Content with the success of her pursuit, Helen was getting into her car, when Ilahi broke down. With tear-filled eyes, he pleaded, “Madam, can you please let me go. My family is dependent on me.”
“Shut Up,” one of the police men yelled, while they hand cuffed him.
Forcing her eyes away, Helen slowly sat in her car and gestured her driver to get moving. As the car passed Ilahi, Helen gazed at his innocent face, and felt sorry for him. It was Friday noon, and the man would be locked up over the weekend and presented in court only on Monday morning. Helen doubted if there would be anyone to represent him, let alone bail him out.
“This man was not a terrorist, not a murderer and not even a thief; he was just a small DVD vendor trying to make a living. What was I thinking when I took the gun out,” she questioned herself, and it made her terribly upset. All of a sudden, Helen found it difficult to accept that selling pirated movies was as wrong as she believed. “Where to, Madam?” her driver asked, interrupting the debate in her head.
Helen checked her notepad and half-heartedly said, “Head to Liberty Garden. That will be our next stop in Malad.” While the car rolled on, Helen’s mind once again went back to a philosophical realm. “Will the means justify the end?” she couldn’t help questioning the operation. Unlike a few hours ago, she was suddenly not certain.
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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.
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