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     Volume 5 Issue 123 | December 8, 2006 |

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Common Cold

Jail Diary of a Don…!

Neeraj Sinha

Day 1
The first night at a new abode is never comfortable. Usual difficulties like cleanliness and hygiene apart, it's hardly easy to convince the patrons in a new surrounding of your need to keep in touch with the outside world. They learn… they always do! But never easily or in a spirit of mutual accommodation or give and take! Trust me, it does not give one pleasure to have to break people's heads for ordinary things like a TV, a mobile connection or the other refinements of civil society that more often than not, one takes for granted.

But as the saying goes, if one gotta do it, one gotta do it. And so we did. Break a few bones, what else? And like always, with immediate results. Barely could the Assistant Jailor have had the time to get his wounds dressed at the local 'Mortuary' (that's what we call the official facility), than I settled down to my usual bump and grind routine on the Music Channel. The programme ended with some unshaven idiot in a golf cap singing sad love songs with a foreign accent. Don't think he has come into our tax net yet. Will send him the usual E (Extortion…what else?) note tomorrow for 10 lakhs. On second thoughts, will make it 15 lakhs. Five extra, for bad singing. And now, happy snoring.

Day 19
Settled for 10 lakhs. Our unshaven singer has promised to invest in a complete shaving kit apart from resolving to take a crash course in melodious singing. The foreign accent has already gone, as has the cap. Some people learn their lessons the hard way.

Day 235
Our case came up for hearing today. The prosecution bungled up as always. They insisted we killed an innocent man with a long knife on a moonless night as he was returning home with his ill gotten wealth in his imported car. Our lawyer put up a fine show (am told he was a stage artist before he joined the legal profession). With the usual sound and fury he asked the prosecution if they had collected samples of the victim's blood to prove that he had indeed been knifed and did not die a natural death on account of a heart condition. The prosecution naturally hadn't because we never had to use the knife we were carrying. The fellow helped our cause by kicking the bucket on his own with a massive heart attack. The judge took the prosecution to task for bringing false allegations and the police got a dressing down for incompetent investigation. What fun.

Day 434
Threw a massive party inside the jail today. All inmates were served Biryani and Mutton stew. The local ice-cream vendor volunteered to provide a slice each of the very best for everyone. The Jail superintendent did not come down despite an invitation. Have to remember to deal with him later. Eyes feeling heavy, after a hearty meal. The Biryani was particularly tasty with lots of juicy chicken legs thrown in. Will go for my beauty sleep now.

Day 622
Heard today that some chap in Bollywood has re-made 'Don'. Remade…? And I didn't even know there was any original 'Don', that is apart from me! Apparently the so called original 'Don' was made with a fellow who once he started growing, never knew when to stop. And the re-hashed version has a chap who can't speak a full sentence without stammering. Have to get in touch with the Director with my usual note asking for a share of the royalty. Will also remember to caution him to get his casting right the next time.

Day 823
A wonderful day. Good news doesn't seem to stop. We successfully en-cashed two of my E notes worth 40 lakhs each on a day that we were freed from all the charges for lack of evidence. Our Witness Threat Programme (WTP) seems to be yielding handsome dividends. Will reward all our WTP Associates with double bonuses this festive season.

Day 826
Have finally managed to come out. Our Associates were there outside the jail gate in full strength to welcome us. Its been a long time since we walked (well actually rode, in our brand new luxury version of the latest SUV) the streets of the city. If you asked me what has changed, I would say traffic. The queues of vehicles at the street lights seem to have increased even more and the endless jams appear to have become even more endless. But I am happy to be out none the less. Have got to now make detailed plans for the future. Our treasurer tells me we have enough money now to last us a life time and more. Oh to be a free man. Even better to be a rich, free man.

Day 829
Events seem to be moving at a fast pace. Life is full of thrill these days. We have finally made our decision. Our days of honest, back-breaking labour are over. We have, as I mentioned last time, enough cash to fuel our journey through life.

Dear Diary, we have decided to move into the realms of the so called civil society and invest in Business. Sad it is for me to mention this, but Diary dear, your days are over too. All these days and years as you have noticed, I have been telling you all that we did and you remained privy to all my secrets. I was at all times completely transparent and honest with you and the world at large. I knew what I was doing and so did everyone else. But you have seen the world, Diary dear, chronicler of human activities since the beginning of time. You tell me, with the change in profession and my new found status as a member of the 'civil' society…" can I now afford to remain honest and transparent any longer?





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