THE LUCKY TICKET | CH:04

CHENNAI

01-04-2016
01:00 AM

“Just some more premier customer accounts to look into..and then you’re done for the day..”,a tired Sam Joseph reminded himself.

He looked around to see that he is the only person still working in the whole section. He smiled at the familiarity of the situation that he is stuck in. He had started getting used to it. Working overtime-for extra money.

Money.

This five lettered word was the top priority in his life since he got this high profile job here at Orient Bank. The very fact that he is working his ass off to earn a few thousand bucks more than his monthly pay of 35k says it all.

The Manager and the Supervisor of his section always applauded him for his unparalled dedication towards the job. But personally, even they were confused why a guy who earns so well does overtime. A reason which only Sam keeps to himself.

Sam’s overtime and overly focussed to job attitude didn’t help him to make friends here. The point was he never made good friends with anyone,anywhere.
He was such a closed person that he would rarely interact with people. His life was controlled by his job and a possessive urge to earn more and more money.

Well,there’s a reason behind that too.

His childhood.

His family was so poor that they couldn’t afford his studies. Sam was an excellent student when it came to academics. With his marks,he survived on scholarships to move ahead. But this method of his lasted only till he reached 10th grade. He stood third in the whole district and was bound to get another scholarship for his Junior college. But corruption and politics made it sure he didn’t get his hands on it.

At the same time, his Dad was diagnosed with kidney failure and was admitted to hospital. They didn’t have the finance for dialysis. But he was lucky on one front. He had relatives with a good heart who not only helped him in his father’s treatments but also paid his fees without making any fuss. They believed that Sam was a bright hardworking student who deserved to study more and achieve greater glories. He took a vow that he won’t let down their expectations.

That day marked the beginning of Sam Joseph as an extremely focussed, aim oriented , time conservative and an arrogant person. His only aim was to score good marks, never allow distractions and get placed well. But he was hunger for more knowledge, or more success to be precise. He got in to IIM-A without breaking a sweat, repeated the same steps and lo! A high end job at Orient bank at his place itself.

And what about the money that he earns? He gives a part of them to his kind relatives who helped him in his past, every month. And the rest? He just spends it on whatever he wants. He didn’t have a family or a girlfriend to spend on after all. He didn’t get a chance to enjoy his college days while his classmates enjoyed the time of their lives, spending on parties, gadgets ,cars ,bikes and other stuff which he badly wanted a hand on. But he didn’t. He put in extra efforts so that he can see this day. And he was fairly successful in the calculated decision that he took.

Since he was always alone and had no friends, plus he loved the job, he didn’t mind spending extra hours at the office. After all, he’ll be paid for it too. And that’s all what he want.

It was another normal overtime schedule for him, except he was a bit more tired than usual. Caffeine and his urge to earn more and more kept him awake.

01:42 AM:

“Phew! Finally done with this thing!”,he let out a sigh of relief.
Quickly, he packed his bag and left the place.

And since it was almost 2am, transportation issues are a part of the schedule.

Although he had earned quite a lot, he rarely believed in the principle of ‘saving’. But since he did overtime most of the days, he was used to the habit of waiting for autorickshaw’s. But lately, his luck and patience was being tested a number of times and that led him to set his eyes on buying a Mercedes A class. The slew of recent overtime’s this week was for that.

“Just a few more days and I’ll be cruising on these roads in my Mercedes and not waiting for these crap rickshaws who rarely show up at this time of the day”,he vented out his anger on a stone by kicking it hard.

Luckily, his patience wasn’t tested more as he got an autorickshaw, soon.

He seated himself, told the driver the nearest landmark to his apartment and decided to drown himself in the world of social media.
As he was about to take out his phone from his pocket, he spotted a small leather wallet at the corner of the seat.

“Is this yours? “,he asked the driver.

“What?”

“This..this wallet on the seat.. ”

“No. Not at all. Maybe it might have rolled out of someone’s pocket. Guess what, you’re too lucky! ”

“This isn’t a normal wallet anyways. There is no money in it. Just some rare postal stamps, coins from different nations and a photo of Rajnikanth. I expected some thousand bucks in here..oh wait..”

“What else did you find?”

“There’s a zipline inside, a secret section of some kind.. ”

He touched it from outside, before unzipping it.

“Seems like it’s some piece of cardboard or something of that sort.. lemme see it..and ya..haven’t we reached till now? Fast old man! Fast!”

“Yes Sir! We’re now at the railway crossing. Just a few more minutes and we’ll be there. Good that there’s no traffic at this time. ”

“How much time will we have to wait? Plus this rail crossing is unmanned. Any idea? “,Sam asked as he slowly unzipped the inner section of the wallet.

A folded piece of cardboard emerged from it. There was something written on it which he couldn’t read due to the dim light.

He turned on his smartphone’s flashlight and the next moment,he was speechless.

“THE LUCKY TICKET” said the bold centered title.

“Get a chance to fly to New York!” said the subtitle.

He quickly scratched off the silver area which revealed the digits 555555.

He quickly skimmed through the terms and conditions. He was overjoyed!

“Finally, the hard work pays off!”

“Yes Sir,as far as my knowledge, there is no train at this time. We can move ahead. No risks.”

“You cent percent sure about this? Because I don’t want to die so young..”

“..and I have a trip to New York in the offing too.!”

“No Sir! I’m more than hundred percent sure. I have been driving at this time for around an year now, and there is no train at this time. The previous train must have left half an hour ago and the next train is about 25 minutes away. No risk Sir. “,the driver replied confidently, deliberately including stats of train timings so that his customer can’t say a “No!”

“Fine then. Fast!”

The auto driver was more than happy to listen to that.

He got past the road, and entered the rail part. That’s when he realised that his auto has got stuck in between the tracks. The auto just suddenly stopped moving.

“No! This can’t be!”,the driver started hurling abuses at his vehicle,which in fact was his only source of income.

“I told you already,it’s not the right time you..you bastard! Now how do I get home fast?”,an angry Sam exploded.

“Stop your preaching and get out of there and help me push this dumb trash to safety you corporate idiot!”

“Do you even know how much I earn you filthy good for nothing auto driver? ”

The driver was in no mood to argue with anyone at this juncture.
At this point, if his passenger doesn’t help him, his vehicle is gone. That’s for sure.

He made a smart move by apologising.

“Sorry Sir..my mistake. I forgot the difference between our levels..”

“Good. ”

“Now please help me to push this out and I’ll be ever grateful to you.. ”

Sam had a choice-either to walk a few minutes to home,leaving the auto driver mercilessly,or helping him out of this situation.

He decided to go with the latter.
He clearly knew how much ‘help’at the correct time meant to his life.

“Ok..fine.. I’ll help you with this..”

As Sam was about to get out of the rickshaw, he heard a sound that sent chills down his spine.

The sound of an approaching train.

Apparently, the trains were late that night. A fact that the driver didn’t consider while saying “No risk”.

Two seconds later, a scorching fast train rammed over the tiny automobile, shredding it to pieces.

Maybe, Sam wasn’t as lucky as the driver supposed him to be.

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