By Neel Anil Panicker

“That would derail it”.

Laksh looked at Inder, his expression conveying his annoyance.

“Derail? Now, tell me, how would it lead to a derailment? I mean, do we have a flight to catch or what?”

Inder opened his mouth to say something but Nandu, who was patiently hearing the two, cut him short.

“I think Laksh is right. To pull off such a thing time is of essence and as such one needs to conduct this operation with military precision. Meticulous planning is the key to its success. One single mistake, and we will all be spending the rest of our years in jail? So, tell me Inder, are we on the same page?”

As two pairs of eyes probed him, he relented and gave in, nodding his head slightly, “well, as you say”.

“Good”, Laksh retorted. “Now that we are in agreement, let’s break the tasks we need to do. Nandu will put an newspaper advertisement on behalf of the Government of India inviting applications from bright young graduates to apply for the position of CBI Trainee Officers.  The candidates are expected to attend a walk in interview.  Inder, you need to go to the Old City and get for us genuine looking CBI badges, uniforms, and three blank letter heads that have the CBI seal and logo. All these should look authentic enough to pass the strictest of scrutiny.”

As the two nodded their heads, Laksh continued, “Friends, remember, to pull off a crime such as this requires more brain than brawn. We will interview the candidates exactly five days from now at Maurya Sheraton. A day before we will check in. The next morning, which is a Monday, the prospects would be led to the Conference Room. Inder, you will assist them, do all the preliminary work___inspecting their certificates, fixing their interview time and order of appearance. Nandu, you will conduct the first stage of the interview, and select twelve of the aspirants. The rest would be sent back. These shortlisted would be told to come for the final round and asked to assemble outside CBI Headquarters at exactly eleven in the morning.”

By this time, the other two were all ears.

Laksh continued, this time lowering his voice, “Now, here is the next thing. After five minutes, a black mini truck would arrive. You would instruct the boys to climb atop and once inside, hand over to each of them the CBI badges.

Inside, you would introduce me as CBI Deputy Director Ashwani Chopra. I would then take over even as the vehicle heads to Kalyan Jewellers, which is a fifteen minute ride.  I hope the rest of the operation need not be spelled out, right?”

The three men probed one another’s faces to search for traces of doubt or trepidation.

There seemed to be none, as a long silence prevailed.

Finally, it was Nandu who spoke.

“The rest is easy. We arrive at Kalyan Jewellers at exactly 11: 15. and conduct a seize and search operation. We take everything___gold, silver, diamonds, books of accounts et al, seal them, issue a certificate of seizure, and leave the moment the clock chines 11: 20. The vehicle heads back again and stops at the side street of CBI Headquarters. There, under the fading light, the boys alight, and are instructed to come the following day to collect their Appointed Letters. Thereafter all us head by road out of the city and state, the loot safely buried fifty feet under the earth. We lie low for three months, come back, get the booty, convert it into cash, send through hawala, and leave the country.”

Even before Laksh could conclude, Inder and Nandu screamed with joy.

“Now I see light”, Nandu finally spoke. “It’s a zero struggle operation designed to succeed. To add salt to wound, we would also have the added pleasure of pulling off the biggest money heist under the garb of conducting a raid of the premier law enforcement agency of the country. So come guys, let’s shake hands on this, and make help ourselves with so much money that we would not have to work for a single dime  for the rest of our lives.”

The three swindlers broke into an impromptu Bollywood street dance.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory


1 thought on “neelwrites/flash/fiction/shortstory/29/10/2019

  1. Thanls for the nod Neel. Good story

    Liked by 1 person

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