“Good morning. Airlift Cab Service. How may I help you?”
“Hi. I’d like to book a cab to the airport for tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.”
“Ok Sir. May I have your name and address?”
“Kabir Majumdar. A-154, Swan Apartments, LBS Road, Vikroli West.”
“And your phone number, Sir?”
“Ok. Any landmark close to your house?”
“There’s a huge Ganesha temple close by. Like half a kilometre away.”
“Ok, Sir. Please note down your booking ID. It’s 749546. The cab would be at your doorstep tomorrow morning, 15th March at 8 a.m. Is there anything else I can assist you with?”
“No, that’s all.”
“Thank you for using Airlift Cab Service. Have a nice day.”
Kabir Majumdar replaced the phone receiver and approached his bedroom closet to decide which suitcase would be more appropriate for his journey. The trip that he was embarking on was just a five day affair, so he chose the smaller suitcase, unzipped it and placed it on his bed. Pulling out a couple of striped pyjamas from the closet, he placed them neatly in the suitcase along with a brown business suit, brown loafers and a briefcase. It was the attire he would don enduringly through the course of his journey, for it was imperative for the success of his plan.
Opening the briefcase, Kabir counted the cash inside. Despite all the expenditure incurred till date, he still had enough left to last him the journey. After that, he only had to wait and watch.
Walking across the room to his study table, Kabir opened a drawer and extracted the e-tickets of his flights to four cities over the next five days. Underneath, there was a thin sheaf of four hotel reservation receipts. He dropped the e-tickets and the receipts along with a thin, red file in the suitcase.
Finally, Kabir settled in a swivel chair by his study table and gratefully eyed the hair wig, the trimmed beard and moustache set, and the brown coloured contact lenses lying on the dressing table. It was the disguise that had saved his skin on more than one occasion in the past few days, the disguise he would count on again. His gaze shifted to the four large Manila envelopes on the dressing table - four identical letters, which would be delivered in four different cities over the next few days.
Meanwhile, in different parts of the country, four individuals, unknown to each other, went about their daily businesses. These people, hailing from diverse backgrounds, had one thing in common – an ardent desire to make tidy sums of money for meeting their goals, pressing, yet disparate. Little did they know their lives were going to change drastically in the next twenty six days.
And so were their bank balances.