The Identity

Where am i ?
Who are you ?
Why am i in a hospital ?
What are all these things attached to me ?
My head hurts.
Hello ? Why arent you answering me ?
Alright, if you dont tell me, i am going to the doctor.

The doctor says i was badly injured and you were the one who brought me to the hospital. I need to thank you i suppose. Well, thanks. Who are you ? How did you find me ? You dont speak much do you ? OK i know this is probably the last thing you would expect me to say, but WE need to get out of here as soon as possible !

Dont give me that quizzical look. You have to come along too. I am sure you need to know how i was injured. I will tell you my story, but first we need to get out of here. Lets go. Come on. Dont stare at me. I have to take you along too. If they saw you bringing me here, you are in danger too. You have no choice other than coming with me. Dont worry. I am not the bad person. You can trust me.

Make sure there is no one seeing you or me. We are going to the nearest railway station and heading south from there.

Keep up with me. You cannot just walk. I have been running the whole day. No, i am not a thief. They are after me. They are trying to kill me !

Lets take a right on that road. I know a shortcut that will lead to the station. I literally grew up on these streets. Here, hold my hand.

Come along. Just a little more and we are there.

Finally ! Stay here while i get the tickets.

OK, i have got 2 first class tickets. We should be there by tomorrow morning. Its a place where few of my relatives stay. No one ll trace us there. We can get you some fresh clothes once we are there. Hey, thanks for trusting me. If it was safe for you, i would have dropped you home. It will be a few days before you can go home. Please inform your parents. I hope my problem will be settled by then.

Here comes the train. Careful now.

Its 2 hours since we got into the train and you havent spoken a single word. I know you might be angry at me. Even worse, you might be scared of me.
Lets start from the begining then.

Hi. I am Ravi Shankar. I live in Bangalore . I work in a software company. What about you ? Whats you name ?
Chikku ? Thats a beaUtiful name. I am sure that isnt your real name, but that is ok. I like Chikku. Chikku, nice to meet you !

You arent convinced yet? Here, this is my ID card. Hope this will convince you and give me a chance to explain myself.

Thanks ! Glad that you are finally convinced. Ok then, here goes my story.

I am going to take you into a flashback. This is something that happend about a year and half ago. I used to work in chennai and i had requested for a transfer to Bangalore so that i can be near my family. I got my transfer request approved and was traveling back from Chennai to Bangalore. I met this strange person on the train. In the begining, he looked quite normal to me and we got talking. We had quite a lot in common and this got us closer as time went by. We exchanged our phone numbers too. After we reached Bangalore, we said our good byes and left to our respective places.

For a long time after that day, i did not hear from him. Then after 3 months i got a call from him asking for some help. He said he cannot tell it on the phone and wanted to meet me. So the very next day i go to meet him. He was already waiting for me there. He looked very upset and i felt bad for him and asked him why he wanted to meet me.

Chikku ? Are you sleeping ? Who am i telling the story to ? Oh ok you werent sleeping. This is what happens when you dont even answer me. Is it dinner time already ? Good god its 10 p.m. You must be very hungry. Let me get you some food at the next station.

Ok, here are some parathas and curry. This is all i could manage. Hope you can make do with this. Finish your dinner and we can talk.

Hmm so where was i ? Yes. I went to meet him and there he was, fullly upset. He said he wanted some money, but if he would ask on call, that would sound like a normal favor and he wanted to tell me his side of the story. Well, i asked him to tell me his story.

Oh by the way i did not tell you his name. His name is Ravi Shankar too. That was one of the things we had in common. He told he was from a poor background and had taken a lot of money to finish his educational and build a home. He had taken it from one of those local places where the interest rates were high. Now they were after him. He needed about 25000 rupees urgently and promised me he would return it in a week. One week sounded fair enough and i transfered him the amount.

True to his word, he called me back a week later and asked me for my bank account and other details to transfer it to me. He also asked my home address so that he could personally meet me and thank me. In a days time, i had got back my money.

Again, months went by and i did not hear from him, nor did he visit me home. One day, i am sitting at home and there is a knock on the door. As soon as i open the door, few people rushed in and started beating me up. I was taken aback and shocked as i wasnt even sure what was happening. I tried to reason and escape from their hold, but they were Rowdys and i was injured quite a bit. They did not even tell me who they were and why they had hit me. They just left.

Few days later, i got a call from an unknown number. The caller said that i better give back their stuff or be ready to face the same situation again. I asked him what he meant. He was desperate for something i knew, but i was unaware of the entire situation. I told him that he had the wrong number and i wasnt the person he was looking for. He wasnt ready to listen. He disconnected the call. I got the call 2 times again in that week. No matter how i tried to reason, he wouldnt listen.

One morning i was just glancing through the newspaper and i saw a familiar face. It was Ravi Shankar. Well not Ravi Shankar. That wasnt his name. He was Raj and he was a criminal, a fraud. He was known for stealing peoples identities and using it for his personal gain. He had got a lot of details from me in the train, not important details, but common details like my work, my mother tongue, my place of stay etc and now after i transferred him the money, he had my account details as well as my home address. He had created a false identity using these details. I assume he had some kind of deal with those guys as well and now they are after me as i am the person whose identity Raj had assumed.

The following week i was boarding a bus to office and i saw familiar face at the bus stop. I recognized one of them. He had come home with the rowdies the first time. I wasted no time and started running in the opposite direction. As soon as they saw me, they started running behind me. They caught up with me soon and started beating me again. Suddenly there was a siren and thinking that it was the police, they just left me there and ran.

That is probably how you found me Chikku. I know it all sounds like a story from the movie. All i am trying to figure out is why are these people behind me and what are they looking for ? All i know is that the guy i met in the train is behind all this and i need to find him soon. I guess you are very sleepy. Its already past midnight. You must get some rest. We can talk tomorrow.

Good morning Chikku. Wake up. We are here. Take your hand bag. Lets get moving.

So here we are. This is the house that belongs to my aunt, but she doesnt stay here anymore. I should have told you this earlier, but Raj was last seen around this area a few days early and this is my best chance at nabbing him. Freshen up and i will take you to my cousins place. I will get you some clothes and you can stay at their place for the next few days .

Chikku ? Chikku ? There you are ! I got you breakfast. Get ready and lets go.

Chikku, say hi to my cousin Rekha. Rekha this is Chikku, the person i told you about. Rekha works for the local panchayat. She is a great girl to hang out with. Chikku, so let me begin my work here. I will go to the town to see if i can get any details about him, meanwhile i ll leave you two ladies to your self. This is actually a very beaUtiful place. Rekha can show you around if you like.

Hello Chikku. I am exhausted after an entire day of search. Dont ask me how the day went. It was terrible. His real name isnt Raj either. I went to Raj’s house and it was a completely different person there. He too had been duped the same way. I have alerted the police and have given them a sketch of how he looked. Poor Raj, he came along with me too. He has promised to help me find the fraud with the help of some natives. I should get some information by tomorrow. I hope you had a better day.

Oh glad you could go around this place. How do you like my place ? Wait, dont answer that. I can guess from the look of your face that you would wanna build a house and stay here forever. Anyways, i think i should eat something and get a good nights sleep.

Good morning. Day 4 search begins. I cant believe its already 3 days since we are here. Oh ! here comes Raj running. Let me see what happened.

Chikku, looks like they finally nabbed him ! I am going to the town to see if its him and then tell you the entire story.

Hi there !! I know i cant hide the smile on my face. I dont look tired either do I ? Well, good news for you too. We found him and we are taking him back to Bangalore tomorrow. So his real name is Satish. He has been playing this game for quite a while now and he is pro at this. Unfortunately for him, it was his own mistake that cost him. He had disguised himself as one of the village priest and wanted to get some funds for a new temple, but little did he know that the temple priest was well known in the area and that he had died few months back. This caused confusions in the villagers and they went to Raj. Raj immediately asked the priest to be welcomed into his house. Raj was just gaining time so that he can alert me as well as the police. Although he tried to escape when he saw me, he couldnt get far. There were enough people to overpower him.

Before i hand him over to the police i need to meet a few people.

Rekha, I will be leaving early morning tomorrow. Chikku will be staying with you. I need to make sure i talk to that person who had me beaten up and clear out everything. Once that is done,i will come back to take you home Chikku. Hope you are ok with that.

Hello Chikku ! How are you ? I apologize it took me 2 more days than i promised. But everything is sorted out now. You are not safe to go home. Lets board the train tonight.

The rowdy guy actually seems to be nice. As soon as i gave him the proper evidence, he let me go. Actually he is not even a rowdy. He had to take extreme measures to get back his money and those expensive statues that was stolen from him.

He mentioned one more thing. All this while, he had made sure someone was following me so that i dont get away. Chikku, you are that person, arent you ? You are his daughter and you kept that secret from me ? I am supposed to be angry but i am not. May be i cannot be angry on you. May be this travel and stay with you has made me closer to you.

Since we all are revealing secrets here, let me tell you mine. I am not Ravi Shankar. No no, don’t get me wrong, i am not a fraud. I am actually Ravi Shankar’s Cousin. Ravi Shankar was one of the victims of this case and i had to act as Ravi to get closer to Satish. That actually helped me to get in touch with your father and in turn you i guess.

Now we are even. So friends ? Let start from the begining.

Hi. I am Hari Nandan. Whats your name ?

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