Arvind was sitting in a helicopter with a geologist. They were circling in the sky, above the dry hills behind his home. They were studying a map and also looking down.
Mitsuki the monk, The Sole Executor and President of Russet Frazer Corporation, and his CEO Levin, both, had worked out a detailed plan with him to restore LaserGear to its original position but also gave him even better and profitable deal, but, there was a condition, a small condition attached. Arvind was responsible to make a small dam in the valley to harvest rainwater to recharge the aquifer, and then isolate, catch and relocate all the moray eel fishes from a pond circled on the map, to the new prospective lake.
Geologist told him, “To errect a dam is a huge bureaucratic hurdle with various agencies of government, it may be impossible to get the dam build. Even after bribing corrupt officials and politicians, and waiting, and waiting, more waiting for the permissions, and at the end, after several years of waiting, result could be null.”
Lines of worry appeared on Arvind’s forehead. Because he must follow those two conditions before LaserGear could be restored to its original position.
Geologist continued, “And then even if you obtain the permission, there are vested interests of many people, some want the dam to be built and other don’t because their land may fall behind the water or in the levy.”
“Then what is the other solution.”
“There is a solution but ….”
“You can bye-pass all government rules, agencies and courts, if villagers themselves start building the dam. You secretly pass them the expanses. You secretly pass money to the newspapers to write about the virtue of the hard work of people of village, building their own dam for themselves. You can secretly arrange a stunt, like some holy man ordering them to build a dam. In that case no politician or government agency or official will dare to confront with general public. Politicians will support the public for getting votes. I bet later on government will take over the dam and fix it to the official specifications.”
Arvind was relieved to listen to this. He made up his mind to follow the geologist’s advice. Helicopter dropped them at the open space in front of his home and flew away. Arvind knew that behind the hills was Rishi’s wandering area, his daughters told him that so it was understood that the condition was imposed upon him by Rishi.
In two hours he summoned the village chief for a secret meeting and whole affair was planned.
After two days, one holy man appeared in the village, showed them some magic. He also told them that he had a vision that some gold is buried in the wilderness. He took many villagers with picks and shovels, to the prospective dam site, and asked them to dig under an acacia tree. A box full of gold pieces was found buried there and also villagers found a rock upon which a Moray Eel fish was carved. Holy man said the Moray Eel god came to his vision, told him to use the money to build a dam and then relocate all eels in that water. Villagers took charge of the gold, hired an archeologist that was happened to be surveying near bye. He was the same archeologist who accompanied Arvind on the helicopter. Same day he decided where and how should be the foundation of dam should be place. Villagers began digging, the foundations of the dam at the same day. News spread to other villages like a fire and more people appeared to see the rock with eel carved upon. They decided to build a small temple on to house the rock.
In a week more money was passed to the village head who was an honest man, he played along with the scam for the benefit of his village. Many people volunteer for free, two architects were hired, man paid labors were hired followed by diggers, excavators, concrete mixtures etc. etc. Some government officials appeared on the scene and objected but they were threatened with the violent consequences and they ran away. Articles about the diligence, intelligence and hard work of villagers were appearing in the all daily newspapers.
In a month rough earthen dam was ready, by June it was half filled by pre-monsoon rains. A big leader appeared on the scene to inaugurate the dam and dedicated it to the public. Small Eel temple was also ready. Villagers caught and isolated all eels in the pond and transferred to the new water lake that was only for moray eels. People fed the fishes and they multiplied in the years. Nobody dared to wash the clothes there; nobody took animals in that lake to bath animals because of the sacred but ferociously aggressive fishes. Water stayed clean. Water appeared in the dry wells and many people were benefited. Moist earth prompted trees to grow healthier and taller and more trees appeared in the area.
Arvind discussed with his wife if to give Rishi a job, but that gesture was too patty because Rishi rescued their life and business. They had no idea what to do; they knew he was still jobless and wondering in the street. They decided to invite him on the dinner but then gave up the plan, because not offering him job to him but facing him on the dinner was only to create awkward situation. Arvind’s wife suggested him to keep quiet for while and then invite him after he gets a job elsewhere. Arvind too saw no other alternative.
Kulcha got married to Kalpana. Rishi had talked with the families of both sides and made them agree. Then Kulfa got married and then Fulka. It all happened in three months. They vacated their shared home.
Fukla got married to a girl, form a very rich family, she was twice fatter than him. Both were getting fatter by each day. He quit his job to work for his father-in-law and shunned all his friends. He never invited any of his friends to his wedding or at home. Friend saw him once a while only vaguely when he was passing in his car with his wife but he or his friends ignored each other.
Rishi knew Fulka was ashamed to see his friends due to the inferiority complexes that he has married to a very fat rich woman and was living and working for his in-laws.
Finally Rishi build his resume and found another relaxing and good paying job, which suited him perfectly well, and also involved some traveling. He moved in with three new young professionals. He named them Dhool (band), Bazaa (harmonium) and Bansri (flute). In return they named him Maestro (Symphony Conductor).
Same day he moved in with them, he scared a nightmare out of them by a prank, next day they three got together, and made him fool. It went on and on.
But the name Maestro turned out to be a tongue-tied name, when Kulfa came to their home to see Rishi, and addressed him – Coach. Rishi was renamed Coach again.
Rishi’s new job was closer to the village of his friends, Rajugopal and Chandrababu, where a new dam and a lake were built. Kulfha and Kulfa had arranged jobs for Rajugopal’s daughter and Chandrababu’s son. Some times Rishi went there at Fridays, spent a night at there and had yoghurt, homemade butter and homemade illicit-liquor drinking sessions some time.
Kulfa too joined him there to get away from his ever-angry-flighty wife. He begged Rishi to come to his home to talk some senses to his wife but Rishi always made some excuse because he was not good at talking senses. His only suggestion to them was if they can’t live in happiness then they should leave. Kulfa married with her against his parent’s wishes and wanted to prove to them that their marriage has worked and he was correct and they were wrong. He wanted to make it work or just to show them and all that it was working. Rishi said if they are happening in the same home as a husband and a wife, effortlessly and in harmony then OK, otherwise they should wrap up their stuff and move on.
Time and again Rishi received emails from Cynthia, Kiyoshi and Rarisa and he replied to them. Once a while they caught him on the messenger or called him on phone. His new housemates were also becoming their friend, they were always too eager to share the new drama that was always fermenting in their house.
Atul Mirchandani or Kulfa had married to a doctor girl whom he met when he fell down in the bathroom. She was only interested in shopping, theaters, cuisines, tailors and parties; she was earning five times more money than him. She was spending it all and Kulfa was paying the debts she was perpetually accumulating. She also loved to burn perfumed candles and almost burned the home three times. She claimed that cool flame and fragrance gave her soothing sensations. Kulfa was giving her neck massage twice a day because she demanded it. He couldn’t dare to refuse anything that she demanded or ordered, or a hell broke lose each time he defied any one of her wish. He was strictly vegetarian and hated creamy food, and she only ate meat or creamy food. She never cooked food or let him cook, lunch they always had at restaurants and at each dinner she dragged him to some new cuisine each evening. She could go to hundred miles to eat in a specific cuisine or attend a party. Anytime she tried to cook something she failed to cook but made wicked mess, burned and spilled things all over. Kulfa was used to having two or three cups of tea each day and she was drinking strong creamy coffee in large cups at least one by each hour. He was merely reduced as her escorting peon on her shopping sprees, theaters, cinemas and parties. More over she was always hungry, angry and gaining weight by each day where Kulfa was getting calmer and was losing weight by each day. His friends were not allowed in his home but hers were always free to come or go. He was not allowed to visit his friends because she claimed that she owned his time and owned him too. He was not allowed to listen to his music on the radio.
One day Kulfa made her agree to meet Rishi, she chose a newly opened Thai cuisine for the meeting, they three met and chatted this or that, over the dinner.
Rishi was feeling that she was always nervous, always on the verge of hysteria and always needed things, things, things and more things, just opposite of Kulfa.
To make her go ballistics and to examine her mind Rishi used his legendary bait.
He whispered in her ear, “It appears that Cuisines are your Temples and Waiters are your Gods.”
As Rishi expected, a can of worms was blown open. She was instantaneously angry, and in an electric movement she threw a glass of water at Rishi with her full might.
Rishi said, ducking the glass clean, “that was militantaneous and thanks for the party.”
All people in the cuisine were laughing. Rishi laughingly took his plate of noodle and bowl of soup, and sat on different table, and ate his food. Then she slapped Kulfa, first time in their just 2 months of married life, and he did not retaliate but laughed inside for what had happened. She took him out pulling him by his arm, digging her acrylic nails in his flash.
Kulfa thanked God for what was happened that day, he didn’t know what Rishi had whispered in her ears, and neither had she told him fearing he too would be making fun of her. From that day Kulfa began ignoring her completely. It was too much for her, she was a person who always wanted all the attention, all the time. Within a week she packed her belongings and left the apartment. Kulfa happily helped her to load the taxi.
She wasted no time to file for divorce, Kulfa or Atul Mirchandani felt he had suddenly recovered from some severe incurable disease. He moved back with Rishi and his gang of friends. Now they were five.
Cynthia and Kiyoshi were happily married. She had reduced her hospital hours but gave those hours for free charitable medical practice with Kiyoshi. They had already picked up the names of their future children – Rishi, Rishika, Rishicha, etc, etc, etc. One day Cynthia discovered that Kiyoshi had secretly placed a little picture of Rishi at the bottom of Buddha’s picture where he prayed each day and lit incense sticks. That day, Cynthia thought about Rishi and cried after three months.
She loved and worshiped Rishi. Now she knew that the moment when she had attached Ryan’s picture in her email to Rishi, and by clicking the send button she had signed Ryan’s death warrant, without being aware of it. Now she knew, as Rishi saw his picture, he had begun his planning from that moment. Time to again she thought about it and felt chill in her nerves but her love, respect and reverence only grew.
Rarisha was now cooking vegetables each day, had gained weight. Now she was dieting. She was unable to find a boyfriend because in each person she was looking for a mixture of Rishi and Kiyoshi. Rarisa still had Rishi’s set of clothes that he left in her car, made as a bundle. She also found Goodwill used clothing store’s receipt of twenty five dollars, in the pocket of his pants. Each night she went to sleep, hugging that bundle of clothes.
Gradually Russet Frazer’s estate was populated with monks, Mitsuki was still staying there otherwise he had to find other convenient place where a helicopter could land. He loved the company of monks. Cynthia and Rarisa always set aside food for him before they ate. That food was sent daily to him in his HQ where he ate it in lunch time. That food always acted as a bond of love between him, Cynthia, Kiyoshi and Rarisa. It was always so tasty that he felt their love in eating it.
Mitsuki remembered Rishi each day. The Buddha, who loved him, cooked for him, washed and ironed his clothes and polished his shoes. The Buddha who became his butler, stayed with him alone in his absence, in the haunted home.
When Rishi was returning to India, he gave his cell-phone back to Cynthia because it was not of any use in India; she also found the envelope of money that she left for him in the drawer, unopened. Rishi had made very few calls from that phone not even hundred dollar’s worth. Cynthia wanted to keep that cell-phone but Mitsuki wanted to have that number, Rishi’a number, to conduct his business. Mitsuki kept the number and Cynthia kept that phone. Rarisa stole it once but seeing Cynthia in anguish, she then returned it with heartfelt apology.
Mike McDonald moved away to his family, he was given the key and access to his home in the tree; he could come and stay there anytime he wished but he was too old to make the journey. Cynthia and Kiyoshi tried to spend at least one day of their weekend there. Rishi had visited Mike several times before he packed up from that home. Rishi also fooled him, saying that Russet Frazier’s ghost was always chasing him; sometimes he made his body his home. At that time Mike McDonald was not going to touch Rishi even with a ten fool long pole but then he said to himself, hey – what the heck, he is all making it up and had hugged Rishi.
One thing Mike McDonald was always sure that he himself saw Russet Frazier’s ghost with his own eyes. He was staring at him and Rishi, with menacing eyes, inviting them inside. But Rishi went in and he ran away from there. He told this story to his children grandchildren several times, about the ghost he saw by his own eyes, and the ghost-buster, Rishi, whom even Buddhist Monks bowed and revered. He also took Rishi’s picture with him.
Detective Levis Hopkins also nicknamed as Colombo, also pondered about Rishi several times. He tempered the evidences to make it look like tomfoolery. Of-course Rishi poisoned Ryan and then of-course Rishi was directly or indirectly responsible for Russet Frazier’s death. Of-course Russet Frazier hired Italian Mafia to assassinate Rishi but both assassins were killed. It was his job to assist in the investigation. But he immediately changed his mind when he heard the news that Mitsuki, a Monk was made Russet Frazier’s successor. His gut feeling instantly said it was Rishi’s doing. Rishi was guarding Cynthia like a hawk, he had hacked her mind. He saluted and bowed to Rishi in his mind and rushed to his HQ and tempered the evidences. Was there any evidence against Rishi? No there was none. BUT, in case any new evidence appears against Rishi in future, any good lawyer could overwhelm the trial with the issue of tempering and monkey business in the evidence room. Now any good lawyer could easily skyjack the trial in the different direction.
When Levis Hopkins had met Rishi second time in Russet Frazier’s home, he had been enjoying his day again in floating on the vagabond float in the swimming pool wearing full expensive dress of Russet Frazier, and with his own new invention, a three liter coke bottle tied to a string. He had used that bottle to anchor the float to shake hands with him. Levis Hopkins had winked his eye telling Rishi, “Your friend who is email hacker has a friend who is mind hacker.”
Rishi had replied him, “Huh, he dug his own grave. And then you changed your own mind.”
Ah! That’s exactly what Levis Hopkins had been thinking about Rishi at that time - he dug his own grave but he, Levis Hopkins had changed his mind to go against Rishi but to help him of-course illegally.
He had replied to Rishi, “If you can hack mind and hijack a billions dollars empire, I can only give it up Sir. I am a small fry, a little slippery eel.”
“Did I hack your mind?” Rishi had his well-known mischievous smile on his face and Levis had had chuckled for a long time and after a long time.
Did I hack your Mind? Did I hack your Mind? Did I hack your Mind? Did I hack your Mind?
It was not a question but a mother of all answers.
Rishi had taken him inside the home and had prepared coffee and breakfast for him. After he had eaten his breakfast, Rishi had given him the biggest scare of his life. Russet Frazier’s ghost was roving and breaking plates in the hallways and in the downstairs. He almost had a heart attack at that time, almost, almost. He always had thought that he never fears ghosts. But from that day he was uncomfortable to enter in that home, anyway and thank God, now that was a Buddhists monastery now, populated with monks.
Police and Air Traffic Safety Commission investigated Russet Frazier’s death in the helicopter crash. Detailed interview with pilots and Russet Frazier’s phone records revealed that he had received a call from Italy and then told the pilots to rush to the SFO. Pilots told police that Russet was in the state of hysteria and was shouting some Rishi or Chi or Rinchi, something like that. About one hour before helicopter crashed, two assassins unsuccessfully tried to kill Rishi but his cunning trick killed one and other was killed by water. Then Rishi was also a suspect in the homicide of Dr. Ryan. Circumstances were very complex and involved people from three countries. Rishi from India, two dead assassins from Italy and Russet Frazier was United States Citizen. Five people who were involved in the complex situation, four were dead except Rishi. Investigations were handed over to FBI.
In mysterious circumstances forensic samples from the Dr. Ryan and Rishi’s poisoning case were found damaged and un-presentable. FBI secretly discovered that a rift existed between Russet Frazier and Rishi. FBI secretly obtained Rishi’s Bangalore IP address and his search history but results were null. His laptop was recently formatted, either he rarely used Internet or was stealing someone else’s wireless connection. They accessed Rishi’s emails, he only saved some necessary emails but nothing incriminating was discovered there. Investigators were unable to discover if Rishi had ever searched about Moray Eel Fish or sent or received emails to or from Ryan or Russet Frazier. No whatsoever incriminatory evidence was found? FBI knew that Rishi had deleted Dr. Ryan’s all emails sitting in Russet Frazier’s home but that was not enough to prove anything. Time to time people share each other’s passwords. That evidence was not enough even to be presented to some grand jury.
One interesting thing was discovered by FBI liaison officer sent to Bangalore, he stumbled upon the information that a Moray Eel temple was being built and all moray eels from a near bye pond, were relocated to a newly build dam-lake, by villagers. Now those eels were sacred. He discovered that Rishi had friends in that village, he used to visit there, was still visiting there frequently on the weekends and holidays. There was no wisdom in investigating his friends or the whole village, for they too loved him, and they knew that the lake and the dam was Rishi’s doing, everybody knew it although Rishi denied it. Rumor was as good as true that LaserGear secretly planned and financed the dam and lake and the netting and transferring of all eel fishes to a safe-haven. Rishi was the friend of the people living in big red house. Man of the big red household, Mr. Arvind, went to see Mitsuki the Monk, to reclaim his company.
Rishi was terminated from that job in LaserGear, that Russet Frazier made his ancillary. Many things were complicated but not so complicated either.
Liaison Officer to FBI submitted his findings to FBI. There were no facts but some suppositions, assumptions, speculations, presumptions and guesses. Not enough to take any further action.
There were not enough evidences to indict Rishi in any court of law, in any country. FBI discovered that even if they try to indict him, Russet Frazier Corporation and all its resources were armed to the teeth to fight for him, viciously, to the finish. They have discovered that it was Rishi who had installed Mitsuki the Monk, as the Sole Executor, of the empire that Russet Frazier had build in over forty years. And they discovered that Monk worshiped Rishi, Russet Frazier’s daughter worshiped Rishi and her husband and his sister they all worshiped Rishi as their God. Even the Filipino maid Elysia and Mike McDonald worshipped him. They knew that Detective Levis Hopkins too admired Rishi, probably he messed up the poisoning samples, but it was impossible to prove.
Of-course they were flabbergasted. They knew Russet Frazier was waging a war with Rishi and paid with his life. They knew Rishi was waging a war with Dr. Ryan and Dr. Ryan lost his life. Two expert assassins were sent to kill Rishi, both paid with their lives. Whomsoever displeased Rishi or confronted him paid with his life, a bad omen for all Rishi’s victims, or Rishi’s criminal inclinations and intentions, they could not conclude. They could not conclude if he was a perfect criminal or a holy river was flowing behind him, washing all the evidences. Or just merely coincidences were working in his favor.
They had stopped the investigation, not to waste any more resources. The each path in the maze was leading either to dead people or to dead-end or to the people who loved Rishi or worshiped him as ‘The Buddha’.
In San Francisco Rishi had made only one international call, to that was to Anil, the super-hacker. Told him that he may be in the trouble because of those passwords hacking, and also due to some searches he made on the internet. Anil gave him many suggestions, first was to delete all or most of his own and other’s emails, whose password he had stolen. He told to delete each and every email, regardless in inbox. Outbox, junk or spam or any other folder, delete the address-book also. Second hint he gave him to call Kulcha and tell him to format the hard-drive of all computer’s he has used. The reason Anil gave this suggestion was that selectively deleting any email may leave behind some forwarded to and from and then again to and from hidden email.
Following his suggestion Rishi had deleted most of his own emails, Ryan’s and Nancy’s and some selective emails of Cynthia’s. He also called Kulcha to format his laptop’s hard-drive. He loved his Coach ‘The Coach’ and he did what he had asked.
In San Francisco, Rishi had told Rarisa to steal ‘Friends are always welcome’ doormat from Dr. Kiyoshi’s threshold. She had offered him to buy a new one for him. They were only ten dollars a piece but Rishi had wanted the same lucky one, she stolen it for him. Dr. Kiyoshi and Cynthia both were bemused about the missing doormat. Cynthia bought a new one next day.
Rishi brought that doormat to India, it fitted in his backpack with all his meager belongings. He gifted it to Jantilal Kantilal Desai also-called-as Kulcha, and Kalpana. The only gift he ever brought for anyone in his life. He put it at their door. They had given him a key of their home, telling that a warm meal and a bed would always be waiting for him there, forever.
Of-course, in the beginning - Filipino maid, Elysia’s fearful mind projected and invented Russet Frazier’s ghost but Rishi used the idea and propagated it to amuse himself and also to steer away Cynthia from her father’s memories, mostly unpleasing though. People don’t like to see their loved ones becoming ghosts to haunt them. In that case bye-bye to all the memories whatsoever good. Person who becomes a ghost becomes only a ghost. Cynthia’s father Russet Frazier only became a ghost to her. She only visited her home once to bring back some more of her belongings, like medical reference books, her bicycle etc. What used to be her home or was her isolation from the world, was now a Buddhist monastery anyway.
Cynthia called Jantilal (Kulcha), requested him to mail her that huge book that Rishi made by gluing several similar books, because she was not convinced if it was possible to make it look like one paperback. They already all had lost all bets on that book including her, she was very curious to see that book and show it to Kiyoshi and Rarisa.
Jantilal gladly parceled her that book.
When it arrived in Cynthia and Kiyoshi’s home in San Francisco, there was again unleashing of laugher, because the book was so neatly glued, it looked like one. Only some last pages numbers were neatly altered with a black pen. Book was nine inches thick.
Cynthia, Rarisa, Kiyoshi, Dhool, Baza, Bansri and Kulfa they all betted with each other and with with Rishi that it could have taken him to prepare such marvel in at least one week, they all lost all the bets again because Rishi built such book in only twenty minutes, they all saw it on webcam. Of-course they were not counting the time, Rishi’s going to junkyard to buy one failed author’s 15 copies of the same book, paid by the weight. That was another two hours. Total cost was about one dollar including the cost of glue. They had laughed whole days.
Next day Dhool emailed Cynthia that a new drama is distilling, the biggest ever one could imagine. Maestro or Coach has stolen a buffalo from someone’s home in the village he visits; he is hiding the huge beast in his friend’s bedroom. The friend is gone somewhere leaving him his keys.
Dhool had no further details because Coach had been hiding in the village himself, with the buffalo; he had to feed and water the beast.
After two days whole news came. Coach was helping a boy in the village, so he could gain attention of the family of the girl he was after. Coach stole that girl’s buffalo at night and hid it in the bedroom of a friend of his who went away giving him the keys.
After two days, at night the boy appeared pulling the buffalo with its chain at the girl’s home, claiming that he had searched for the buffalo, for days and nights, and finally found her straying in the hills. That boy had received a hero’s welcome in that girl’s home.
Now Coach had the big job, to clean the bedroom and get rid of the dung and its smell.
Another madness of laugher was unleashed in the Cynthia’s household.
Coach was still staying in the village, most likely cleaning the bedroom of his friend. He was not available to comment, BUT, they had placed several new bets on several new mysteries.
Did he milk the buffalo or not?
If he did milk her, what did he do with all four buckets of milk that he would have milked in two mornings and two evenings?
Or, was he able to milk her or not?
Did she hit him with her horns?
How was he able to muffle her bellows, for two full days?
What he did with those buckets full of buffalo’s pee?
Buffalos must be given bath in the summers or they get sick, did he give her bath?
Where did he sleep, in the same room with her, because it was a single bedroom house?
Rishi’s friends in Bangalore and in California were having a restless sleep. They were all waking up several times, laughing.
Then what would happen when they might lose all bets, slowly one by one as the mystery may begin unfolding leisurely and unhurriedly.
Rishi’s friends assured Cynthia that they will email her a picture of that buffalo that spent two nights with Coach.