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Hari sat sweating on the leather couch, his pulse racing with every gone second. "Should I, should I not!" His thoughts were in a constant skirmish with one another. His phone rang; he answered. The voice said, "Remember, you are hidden, only some minutes to go!" He stared into oblivion for some time.
The briefcase screamed from the corner of the room, "PICK ME UP!", it seemed to say, "TAKE ME!" Hari got up from the couch.
He checked his tie in the mirror and when all seemed perfect, he shouted with all his strength for the one last time, "God, forgive me!!!" He started crying. Then, wiping his tears, he collected himself and started for the door. The briefcase smiled at him and wished him luck. He picked it up, came out of his hotel room, locked the door, took the elevator, smiled at the bellboy, reached the reception and checked out.
He walked some distance and hired a cab. His phone rang, it said, "You know what you got to do, ain't you?" He hung up cursing, tensed. He got out of the cab. Walked and reached the location. His briefcase shouted, "Not this one fool, the next one!" He stopped. He was tired of playing hide-and-seek for the past 5 days. He had to be hidden from everybody. But he knew, he couldn't hide from himself.
The train arrived and he boarded. It was jam packed; somehow he managed to get a seat in one corner. He sat, clutching at his briefcase.
He closed his eyes and drifted back into memories. His first bicycle: his father had saved for the money for 10 months to get one for his son; he rode on it for the whole day and had reached home bruised and aching all over. The first time he got burnt: he had accidentally stepped on a burnt firecracker and his mother had shed buckets of tears. Praneeta, his first love: he had failed miserably to satisfy her for the first time and had broken up. His first salary: the gleaming sari for his mother and the coat for his father. His marriage: he had got married amidst a lot of fight; his wife was an outcast; but their love helped them win over everybody. The birth of his son: how his son resembled him was the hottest story amongst all relatives, still. And then, this phone call one day, on his son's 7th birthday. "Sumi, Arpan, where are you, Ohh God!!" he had shouted on returning back from office to home. The caller said, "Trust me, they are with us. Trust me even more, you fail there, your wife gets raped and your son, castrated!"
He opened his eyes, moist. The lady beside him, with her 2 year old son, asked him if he needed some water. The son eagerly offered him water from his pink bunny-shaped water sipper. He took a sip. His briefcase pleaded for some fresh air. He needed some too, he thought.
He came out of the crowd to the door and leaned outside. His briefcase breathed openly, quite aware it were the last moments. He opened his arms, looked at his watch, "It's time! Time to reveal the hidden!", he screamed.
11 July, 2006 - 6:35pm: There was a huge explosion on a fast train bound to Virar from Churchgate at Borivali station.
Hari, now unhidden, lay on the track minus his limbs, with parts of his briefcase and the pink bunny-shaped water sipper beside him.