It’s been a week since Diwali. Thud!!! I succumb to slumber’s beckoning and foray into sleep. “Brrrrrrr!!!!!” wondering what the heck is wrong, I slide my hands under my pockets to get that damn thing out. Here it comes (yieps my mobile phone was in the vibration mode), a call from Rahul, the claims consultant of XXX insurance agency. “Mr.X!!!! now!!!! right now head to Nungambakkam. Shankarappa’s flat has been gutted down”. His son just rung me and wants the procedure of insurance claims commenced at the earliest. As per the fair “Fourth Force” company’s policies, “I wouldn’t budge on any personal acquaintances”, said I.
Dawn arrives and the Don’s (Shankarappa’s) men arrive. Well now a brief acquaintance to the readers hitherto: I am X, the detective from the renowned “Fourth Force” detective firm who probes into insurance claims cases. Mr. Shankarappa is the owner of several luxury hotels in the city and is a quite condescending rich guy in the vicinity (the person whose flat has been burnt down). Inspite of the goons entreating me to join them to the spot of mishap, I drive my own car. Oops the fuel meter is down. I swerve into the fuel station and zapp!! Comes the reply from the fuel guy “Sir, 500’s and 1000’s not accepted, Modi has banned them quite a few days back”. With a wicked smile I swipe my card and rush to the spot.
Rahul is already here to conceal my vacuum (Big clients they are!!, you understand!!?). Property worth Rs.12 crore has been gutted down. I send the details of the furniture, showpiece, car etc., to my “Fourth Force’s” office. Fourth Force has employees who have served Police Military and the Intelligence wing in the past. The organization has umpteen branches and well connected by the World Wide Web. In lightning speed I get the reply. The property is worth Rs.12crore and it has been confirmed. I smell foul play, however.
I ask Mr.Shankarappa’s son, “Do u people live here?” “No, we have it as a guest house”, comes the reply. Why would one furnish a guest house with Italian designer leather couches, teak and glass dining tables etc., Note that we wouldn’t be able to authenticate the nature of these burnt things now. Well, the couch’s wooden frame, furniture’s wooden frames are all partially burnt. I suggested my management for a radio carbon dating. They say it is going to be expensive.
For a claim of this flabbergasting amount, a Radio carbon dating wouldn’t do harm, I pacified my management (Radio carbon dating is done to validate the nature and the age of things). Just few days back they have been made, said the report.Mr.Shankarappa now confessed that he actually made all the furnishing anew from a nearby furniture shop. The furniture was a replica of the actual ones he owned. “But why you burn them, I cried!” “Now that 500’s and 1000 rupees currencies’ usage has gone into the oblivion, my only option was to claim insurance and convert the black currency to white”, he said.
Well, Mr.Shankarappa has been clever. Fourth Force has performed its duties well. The insurance claim has been rejected too.My local vegetable vendor wouldn’t accept a card as well. Let me stand in the queue at this ATM here, I decide and step out. Embracing patience, I stand amidst the queue typing out this whole content which stands testimony for our Fourth Force’s Intelligence and fair play.