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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deadline

Mr.Itkyal, a journalist entered Annasaheb’s residence. He handed over a letter to Annasaheb. This was the letter of the news agency for which Itkyal was working. He didn’t utter a word, searched a point for his CD recorder, switched on the recorder and said, “Shoot!”

Annasaheb remained staring at him. Folding the letter in his hand he kept it on the table before him. Then he pointed towards a mahogany chair on the other side of the table and said, “Please be seated!” Mr. Itkyal sat on the chair in a dumb like manner. Annasaheb looked behind him inside the house at the entrance of the drawing room. His wife Mrs. Radhabai was standing at the door. Radhabai looked at Annasaheb and went inside. Anna drew another mahogany chair near him and silently sat in it. He stretched his hand over the table kept in the middle of the two mahogany chairs and switched of the recorder. Mr. Itkyal looked at Annasaheb.

“Sorry to say this, you have come to interview me but you are looking bit disinterested, isn’t it?”

“Just…not like that!” Itkyal said and sighed.

“Your surname is Itkyal! Do I pronounce it correctly?”

“Yes Sir!”

“That reminds me… some time back… a telephone booth distribution scandal took place in our country… you had probed it… am I right?” 

Mr. Itkyal just nodded. But Anna was staring at him and it compelled Itkyal to deliver a formal and typical press style smile.

“That’s it! Then you must not be interested in interacting with an ordinary freedom fighter like me, isn’t it?”

“No… Not just like that…”

“How would that be? An uninteresting and totally non interactive stuff to décor your cheap and colorful supplements! Tricolor flag as the background of the matter! Offset printing! A new freedom fighter per year! Have coffee! Please!”

“You know Sir! To work in this field on has to…” Itkyal had to deliver the ‘same’ smile again. Radhabai had come with a tray of coffee mugs and Itkyal took one of it. Radhabai offered another mug to Annasaheb and sat on a near by chair. Annasaheb drank his coffee at his usual speed and kept the mug in the tray on the table. He was first to finish the coffee. Radhabai looked at him for that and a faint smile mounted on her face as usual. Annasaheb cleared the cough in his throat by making certain voice out of it and started again, “Do I tell you another reason Itkyal… for your disinterest in this assignment?”

Itkyal had to say yes as he had to finish off the matter quickly. But the old man was looking smart, was not at all looking exhausted, not at all enthusiastic to talk about himself like his other old counterparts. Anna was staring at him.

“Mr. Itkyal… you were through probing the telephone booth distribution scandal… but not only your colleagues, your employers were not happy for that… you become an entity! Some what like a phenomenon compared to them! Ha! Ha! Ha... Then they transferred you to the general interview section… to interact with the mummies like us…Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha...

Radhabai shuddered and looked sharply at Itkyal. This was the beginning and it was Radhabai who would have came to rescue Itkyal. Itkyal was not at all a layman. In fraction of a second his face became expressionless. He pressed the eject key of the recorder, took out the CD and started inspecting it. Annasaheb sensed it…                 

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