Rohit and Tanmay were the best of pals. They were high school classmates in a CBSE school in Jamshedpur. Both of them grew up together in the small industrial town and had known each other since they were toddlers.
Rohit and Tanmay had just appeared for their standard 10 board exams and were enjoying their holiday’s at home.
Jamshedpur a town in Jharkhand, is quite small. It has grown up around the TISCO factory, were both Rohit and Tanmay’s fathers work. Comprising of primarily middle class families, children in the industrial town were encouraged to be academically oriented and almost every child in Jamshedpur grew up dreaming of one day going to an IIT.
Rohit and Tanmay were a little different. Though sufficiently pushed and coaxed by their parents to concentrate on their studies, both harbored a secret desire to become movie stars. Rohit had come to learn as a young child that his mother’s elder sister’s father in law's cousin’s son was the famous movie star, Mithun Chakravarty. Ever since that day, he never missed a Mithun flick, whenever it came at a nearby theatre. Rohit’s passion soon became Tanmay’s too, as it would often happen between the two of them. Tanmay always did what Rohit wanted or asked him to do.
The exams had gone off reasonably well for both of them and they had two months before school re-started post the results being published. Most their friends had already joined private coaching classes preparing them for the IIT battle two years down the road. Rohit and Tanmay’s fate was no different.
However, today was a Friday. The day movies changed in theatres across the country. A Mithun Chakravarty flick was being screened in the only theatre in Jamshedpur, there was no way Rohit, and Tanmay were going to miss the screening because of their physics tuition classes.
It was a regular Bollywood action thriller with the hero despite his age wooing his lover as a college student and later killing his nemesis in a pitched gun battle in the streets of Mumbai. But this movie was different because Mithun’s character had shades of grey in it. Mid way through the movie, he is tricked into evil ways with the villain hypnotizing Mithun and commanding his every action.
Rohit and Tanmay thoroughly enjoyed the flick, especially the part where the villain hypnotizes the hero in a dark room by rhythmically moving a pencil torch in front of his eyes.
Entertained and satisfied with a day well spent Tanmay headed to Rohit’s home to spend part of the evening gossiping at Rohit’s place and gorging on the hot pakoras that aunty made for him every time he visited.
On reaching the house, Rohit found that his mother was not home. She had probably gone to the market. It was then that the idea struck him. He suggested that he would try the movie hypnosis trick on Tanmay. As always, Tanmay agreed. Rohit managed to retrieve a small torch that his father had in his toolbox. Tanmay sat in the chair, in Rohit’s darkened study. Moving the torch in front Tanmay’s eyes, Rohit asked Tanmay to repeat after him that Mithun Chakravarty was his father. Both laughed but Rohit asked Tanmay to play along with him and to take the game seriously.
For 10 minutes, Rohit kept repeating the same thing until he lost interest and switched on the lights of the study. Tanmay had fallen asleep. Rohit was very pleased with his effort and woke Tanmay.
After gorging on the pakoras prepared by Rohit’s mother, Tanmay trudge home slowly. His head felt a little woozy and he was feeling really tired. As soon as he reached home, Tanmay crashed. Suspecting he was tired from the physics tuition, Tanmay’s mother decided not to bother him.
The next day morning, Rohit was rudely awakened in the morning by his mother. She looked flustered. On asking her what the matter was, she blurted out that Tanmay was missing. Rohit could hardly believe what he had just heard. How was that possible? He must have gone out for a morning round of cricket with his friends. Rohit soon rushed out to Tanmay’s place. Tanmay’s parents were worried. Some of his clothes and a bag along with his sneakers were missing. Surely, Tanmay wouldn’t carry that entire luggage for a cricket match or a morning walk. The police were informed. The whole town was awakened from their Saturday morning slumber.
Rohit, stunned with the happenings of the day, headed home. What could have happened to his best friend? Morning turned to noon and then to night. Tanmay whereabouts were still unknown.
Rohit sat silently on the sofa. His brain racing, trying to reason with the happenings of the day. Soon his father returned from his duty at the factory. Disgruntled, he looked at Rohit and scolded him for his obsession for movies. Rohit was confused. What did his obsession with Bollywood flicks have to do with any of this? On asking him the reason for his outburst, Rohit’s father said that the police had interrogated a few porters at the local railway station. One of them had seen a boy matching Tanmay’s profile. Apparently, he was asking a few people about trains to Mumbai, because he wanted to go and meet his father, the famous movie star Mithun Chakravarty.
A cold shiver ran down Rohit’s spine!!!! The hypnosis had worked!!!!!