Vikas was in the train returning after completing his official assignment. His co-passenger in the cabin of first class air conditioned compartment was an elderly man, a senior official of media world.
Introducing him nicely, the two of them engaged in a talk.
“No, I don’t like watching cricket but I love playing it myself,” Vikas replied when the other man enquired about his interests in the ongoing cricket tournament. The other man was interested in some more talks but the negative response from Vikas prevented him.
Vikas finished his dinner and opted to sleep on the upper berth leaving the lower one for the elderly man. In the closed cabin, very soon, Vikas was in deep sleep, courtesy the tiring day.
He might have slept for a few hours when he was woken up abruptly. It took few seconds for him to realize that he was in a train and the other man was trying to pull him down. “I am not feeling well,” he told with great difficulty. “Please call somebody.” His perspiring face explained everything.
Vikas immediately jumped from his berth, went out and called the coach attendant.
Giving an envelope to Vikas, the elderly man told, “Please keep this and….give…. it …..to….” before completing the sentence the elderly man died. Coach attendant found one doctor, who declared him dead due to severe cardiac arrest. On the next stop, the dead body was handed over to police along with his entire luggage. Police recorded Vikas’s statement and the train moved on. Vikas could not sleep for the rest of the journey after witnessing the very sad phase of life.
On reaching home, he recalled the envelope. There was no address on it, inside there was a one page letter. It was to inform somebody that in the next match of ongoing cricket tournament, captain of C team is going to score 28 runs and in the next match same batsman was supposed to score 50 plus runs. The information seemed to be addressed to somebody involved in the betting as it was written that “….since all your phones are tapped we are sending this on paper, by hand. Everything is fixed, bet as much as you can.”
Vikas was aware of the betting circuit being active in this ongoing cricket tournament from a news article.
“What to do now,” he thought and convinced himself that it was a god’s gift to meet all their needs. Although his earnings were not less but he was to pay for his father’s medical bills and certain additional expenditures. Keeping aside the debate of right or wrong, Vikas, reached to the bookie with all his savings & salary and put a bet on the batsman. He was supposed to get ten times of the money he has put, if the batsman scored as per his prediction.
Fingers were crossed during the match, when the batsman was batting on the field. He was playing well and exactly at the score of 28 runs, he got out. Vikas’s heart was thumping and he could hear his heart beats. His money was multiplied ten times; he was entirely out of this world. Medical bills, son’s education, wife’s demand for jewelry, everything was possible now. He thanked god several times.
“What next” he thought. It was all in his hands now. He knew the score of the next match.
“I will not inform to anybody,” he made up his mind.
He was having two days to decide. Going ahead he took all his money, sold all the ornaments of his wife and once again put his bet on the batsman. This time he was fully assured of his prized catch.
Then the day of the next match arrived, when C team was playing again. Vikas was watching the match on television, relaxed and planning for his future. His betted batsman was playing well and Vikas felt boosting up of blood pressure, inside. Vikas was counting each run scored; all of a sudden it started raining. The match was abandoned. The batsman could not score the predicted runs. The rain washed away all his dreams. Vikas was shocked and frozen, not able to even blink.
Rightly said that “God has everything for your need but not for your greed.”