Mr Varma was about to rest in peace when something arrested his death. A police officer stood beside his deathbed demanding his aadhar card.
“You can’t die without the aadhar,” insisted the officer. “How dare you disobey the rules of the country when we have such an efficient government?”
“I’m sorry,” Mr Varma wheezed.
“Not having the aadhar is a crime. You are under arrest.”
The constables moved Mr Varma into the police vehicle which was designed like an ambulance. The vehicle was a new addition to the police force under the Prime Minister’s Kaanoon Kaaryaanvayan Yojna.
Even before the PMKKY vehicle reached the destination Mr Varma breathed his last. He was a good citizen, however. The residents of his Society will vouch for that if you care to ask them. Like all good citizens, Mr Varma wanted to obey the government. But he had no choice here. So he just wheezed and died.
“The bugger died,” a constable reported to the officer.
“How dare he?” The officer fumed. “How dare he disobey such a powerful and efficient government as ours which has designed clear rules for everything? Put him under custody.”
The constables looked at each other. They dared not utter a word. In the new dispensation nobody questioned the higher authorities. You just obeyed. That’s efficiency. This is a country with a difference.
Mr Varma’s body was shoved into a custody cell.
The constables who were sent to bring the relatives of Mr Varma came back with the information that he had no relatives except a daughter who was now in America with her husband. She had arranged her father’s cremation with an event manager.
“Then bring the event manager. Let him produce the aadhar for his client.”
“The event manager terminated the contract as soon as he got to know that the client did not have the aadhar,” reported the constable.
The officer’s eyes widened. “Such a patriot! Who is that man? Bring him here. I will recommend him for Bharat Ratna.”
The event manager touched the feet of the constable and begged, “Leave me alone, sirs. I have a family to look after.”
The constables did not understand the connection between the event manager’s family and Bharat Ratna. They were only trained to run, shoot, beat up and – unofficially – accept bribes. Since the official duties of running, shooting or beating up were not applicable here, they demanded what was left. The event manager took out his purse and the constables grabbed it. “Okay,” they said giving the empty wallet back.
“File the FIR,” ordered the officer when the constables returned. “Crime: death without aadhar.”
One of the constables came rushing to say that the corpse had started growing in size. The officer frowned. But on the insistence of the constable, Officer went to the cell. Mr Varma was no more a mere corpse. He was a growing corpse. In a country with a difference.