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The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 3

Read Part 1  and Part 2 Part 3: Macanos Hangba It was a sultry morning as he got into the newly opened Dubai Metro service, Macanos wondered why Dubai was so late in introducing metros. His own hometown, Bangkok, though much worse in terms of traffic than Dubai, had a metro network since quite some time. The reason for all these thoughts was simply that he was running late for his meeting and could not afford to be late. This was a critical meeting. Thankfully the metro station opened into the hotel lobby and Macanos reached a good 15 minutes before the appointed time of 9:00 AM. Five minutes to 9:00, a young boy dressed like an American teenager walked in and joined him at his table – “Crimson Carter!” he said extending his hand. Macanos had heard that Internet hackers were mere ‘kids’ but he wasn’t really prepared to actually face a kid with a hoodie on him! This is going to be interesting, he said to himself. Crimson Carter was the online identity with whom Macanos had be

The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 2

Read Part 1 Manikarnika Crematorium Varanasi  Part 2: Prosenjit Hazra Prosenjit Hazra’s father, Biswajit Hazra migrated to Varanasi from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) at the time of partition. Belonging to a poor Hindu family from East Bengal, he was still pursuing his graduation when partition happened. Varanasi was once called a ‘mini Kolkata’. Nearly three lakh Bengalis, who had settled here were engaged in various activities – trading, business and tourist services, among others. Biswajit knew a wealthy Banerjee family who had a large house [ 5 ] along the riverbank in Benaras and visited the place during vacations. When partition happened, Biswajit sought out the Banerjees who lived in Kolkata – the Banerjees could not invite him to Kolkata, but instead offered him to become the caretaker of the family’s ‘holiday mansion’ in Benaras. Living as a servant of the Banerjees, Prosenjit’s father completed his studies – as a caretaker, he had almost no income, the Banerjee

The Curious case of Prosenjit Hazra - Part 1

Disclaimer: This is a purely fictional amalgamation of several real-life incidents I've read in the past several days formed into a contemporary tale running across threads of misinformation, cyber-security, terrorism et al. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series of posts are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. [ 0 ] Mumbai Police Headquarters Part 1: ACP Vaman Chandrakant ACP Vaman Chandrakant just couldn’t settle his mind on how he should present the case of Prosenjit Hazra. He had taken this case on the recommendation of his mentor ADGP Padmanabhan. “ Just like a case on the Underworld was a stepping stone to promotions in our times, it is going to be terrorism and cybercrime in yours – and this case has a perfect blend of both ” – Padmanabhan Sir had said. Padmanabhan himself had risen through the ranks of IPS to become the DIG

Why do we celebrate being a Republic?

Dots that never connected

Vivek Kumar Agrawal was retiring today, leaving behind an illustrious career at Coal India Limited and a model career path for his subordinates to look forward to. VK Sir, as he was called, was the poster boy of what PSU corporate executive should be - astute in his dealings, non-controversial decisions, well read from all worlds - VK would be able to recite lines from Munshi Premchand's novels as effortlessly as he would quote Phillip Kotler's management philosophies. Yet, VK was wondering if he had indeed taken the right decisions since he left his father's home 35 years ago. VK was the youngest of 3 brothers born in a typical 'Agrawal' family in Allahabad, the family had been living in the "holy" city for generations - at least as many generations VK had heard about! And they were even typical in their commercial engagement - his father like his grandfather and great grandfather ran a Kirana store in the city. VK's brothers, the eldest almost

Vishram: विश्राम (Arthvyavastha - Part V)

Continued from here: Viraam: विराम (Arthvyavastha - Part IV ). "Guruji!", Saakshaat called out to Kalpakji, his teacher (Guru) as they walked towards the Banyan tree in front of the Panchayat Bhavan, "You remember there used to be days when you would announce a test only to make us study the whole night, and then announce a cancellation the next day when everyone came ready for it?" Kalpakji smiled, he knew what Saakshaat was hinting at. "Yes, I do. But remember when the same exam was announced two weeks later, you all were better prepared for it! Do you agree Aanglesh?", Kalpakji had deliberately asked Aanglesh, noticing that he had been quiet all along after the meeting. "Yes Guruji, but you know - one thing that always made me study harder for every exam?" Kalpakji could not guess where this was going, he looked questioningly towards Saakshaat, but he too was clueless. Aanglesh replied on his own - "the fact that I knew I will be jud

Viraam: विराम (Arthvyavastha - Part IV)

Continued from here  (Vinimay: Arthvyavastha - Part III) When Saakshaat informed Aanglesh that his father Seth Pramanikji would also accompany Pramukhji, colour drained from Aanglesh's face. Aanglesh told Saakshaat that his father was a staunch disciple of Pramukhji and was as much in doubt of the tamrapatrak schemes as Pramukhji himself. This was a jolt to Saaskshaat, he had never expected that Pramanikji, a trader himself and whose son was the first and the largest beneficiary of the tamrapatrak vyvastha would be against the novel concept. He had expected Pramanikji's presence to bolster their position, but now on the contrary he felt even more vulnerable. Saakshaat and Aanglesh had spent the whole night preparing for meeting Pramukhji and Pramanikji. They talked to Anugam about any positives of tamrapatraks which he could identify to impress the village elders with. Anugam mentioned that the tamrapatrak scheme had benefited the society in two major ways - first that b

Vinimay (Arthvyavastha - Part III)

Continued from here: Tamrapatrak Vyavastha (Arthvyavastha - Part II ) Anugam's tamrapatrak scheme received a phenomenal response - also because Anugam had offered his tamrapatraks at a discount to all the workmen whom he employed or bought his wares from. Saakshaat became the official scheme operator for Anugam also, and soon many more traders wanted to float their tamrapatraks. By the end of the year, two more traders had started tamrapatrak schemes, and many more were planning to launch in the next year. Saakshaat then started training more and more young pundits on managing tamrapatrak schemes - he realized that this would be a huge business and efficient and skilled handling of  tamrapatraks would make them even more popular. With more than one tamrapatrak schemes in the market, people often came to Saakshaat looking for advice on which scheme to put their money in. Some even wanted to surrender tamrapatraks from one trader  and buy someone else's in exchange. During

Tamrapatrak Vyavastha (Arthvyavastha - Part II)

Read Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था)  Part I here. Saakshaat was the first 'tamrapatradhari' or shareholder of Aanglesh's trade - but many Saamanyas followed soon - it started with Aanglesh and Saakshaat's friends, then their acquaintances, some of whom were good friends of Aanglesh's father also. People saw Aanglesh's firm prospering, making more and more money with the growing number of tamrapatrakdhari's. Most of the community's elders saw this scheme as a devious one - it was helping people earn money from money, without actually requiring people to work to earn their bread. This included everyone including Aanglesh's father who was a devout disciple of Pramukhji. But the younger and middle aged Saamanyas loved the scheme, they put in every small bit of savings they could into Aanglesh's company. Aanglesh's was able to grow his trade beyond foodgrains using the money gathered from the sale of tamrapatraks. But as more people bought

Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था)

In a sleepy town, in ancient India named Arthvyaap (अर्थ्व्याप) lived a community of people called the Samaanyas (सामान्य). Arthvyaap was a typical setting, an elder was considered the head of the community - Pramukh, a group of traders, an elite crowd of intellectual pundits, and other  workmen like farmers, cobblers, blacksmiths etc. One of the young pundits was an extremely sharp mind called Saakshaat (साक्षात) who had such a sharp mathematical brain that even though he was just 17, everyone from the Pramukh to the traders consulted him in matters relating to finance and numbers. Saakshaat was also good friends with his childhood buddy name Aanglesh(आंग्लेश) who was the son of a not so rich but well to do trader. Aanglesh's father managed a large trade of fruits and vegetables in the town market and to ensure an early start for Aanglesh had allowed Aanglesh to start a foodgrain store alongside his shop in the town. The economy of Arthvyaap worked quite homogeneous with ever

Demise of a Bank*

"It was his child - the bank, how could he let it die?" - these were the thoughts which reverberated in Gopaldas's mind on that cold winter morning as he sipped his morning tea before readying himself for office .... for the last time, he thought. But had it not been for him, the Bank would have been sold out long ago. Samaj Uday Cooperative Bank was an ailing bank and so small in its operations that apart from its own depositors and borrowers, hardly anyone knew about the Bank. Started in the early years of Indian independence by a group of small traders along Gandhian principles - the Bank's main aim was to provide credit to small traders and businessmen. Gopaldas had joined the Bank in September 1962, the month he remembered so precisely because it was the month India went to war with China. He had joined as a junior clerk but his diligence in the early years saw him rise fast and become an officer by the time he got married. By 1984 he was among the senior mana

boys vs men

The three of them had met after 3 years; reminiscing the days when they used to stay together. It used to be exciting - newly found jobs, a new city to struggle through/survive in and new stuff to learn at the workplace. Bachelor’s life had been exciting. Sitting there in the restaurant, sipping on their drinks they all were brooding at the starter in front of them; forks and spoons in their hands playing with the vegetables. Sheon was thinking about the strife his life had become, torn between the girl he loved and his parents who would not agree to their relationship. Samit was lost in thoughts of saving his job endangered by the recession, his two year old marriage and how he would retain the comfort and balance of his life in these turbulent times. Naveen was pondering over his failed startup, contemplating on what he would do next to get out of his 9-5 routine job. In 2 years since they had gone separate ways, life had presented different set of challenges to each of them and

The Tree - a short story

I tried my hand at some amateur literature - attached is a short story I thought up on my way to home on last Thursday. Do leave your feedback in comments below. You can also download a PDF of the story from here . Thanks to my friends Abhishek , Payal, Shubham , Arijit, Somnath, Milind, Sabyasachi and Ashita for doing the proof reading and providing valuable inputs. The Tree A Short Story by Nikhil Kulkarni Murtaza watched with emptiness inside him as they chopped the massive trunk of the huge banyan into smaller prices to be loaded into the lorry. His thoughts went back to the day 45 years ago when he had moved into Mumbai. 20 years old, newly married he came to Mumbai from his native town Meermirzapur in search of a living. When he had told people in his neighbourhood that he was planning to shift to Mumbai after marriage – everyone laughed him off –“ Wahan kya Hero Banega? Arey bahot bada shehar hai – kaise rahega wahan par ?” [Will you become a movie star there? It’s