A flash blinded me. It’s strange how sudden darkness and brightness both have affect our vision. As my eyes adapted to the brightness, I saw the lady in front of me. She was elegant in her scarlet dress. The make-up was loud but complemented the dress well. Her looks demanded attention from the attendees. I could see why Bishwas felt insecure.
“Nice to see you,” she said.
“Yeah, me too.”
I turned around to see the party venue. It had been so well-decorated that it did not seem like a warehouse. Balloons, stars origamis and lights hung from the ribs of the tinned roof.
Before I could take a view of everything, I got distracted by the crowd. Bishwas’s guests ranged from young to old, rich to poor (as I could make out from their clothes). Some were in the middle of conversation and some were alone, probably contemplating why there were here.
“Quite a mass he has gathered,” the lady said.
“Seems like he invited everyone personally,” said an old man behind us.
We turned around to face him. He had thick round glasses over his eyes and held a black cane. He looked wealthy. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I overheard your conversation. I didn’t intend to, I swear. I heard other stories, too. All of them said Bishwas met them and gave the invitation.”
“Who are you?” I asked, “How do you know him?”
“I sponsored this.”
We looked at the old man doubtfully. Without paying heed, though, he continued, “A month ago, we had adverstised a vacancy. Bishwas applied and came for the interview. Before we could ask anything, he said, “I’m organising a charity programme in a couple of months. I don’t have a job. I don’t have anyone who can help me out.”
“I was shocked. “If you want to do a charity, do it with your money. Also, this is not the way you ask for sponsorship. You can not do that in an interview.”
“But Bishwas has this special quality of convincing people. He convinced us in no time. And I personally decided put ninety percent of the money for this programme. Only Bishwas hasn’t shown up and I’m a little worried.”
I could swear the old man was hiding something. I’d rather love to hear his secret than him boasting about his wealth. I looked around to see if I could find something more interesting. And I found it.
On the farthermost wall was a target board. I could not exactly make it out but the board did not look normal. As I went forward, I discovered why it was different. It had the centre point (the golden-coloured portion) removed. It was pointless! What an idea, Bishwas! I smiled. But why was it there?
Upon closer inspection, I saw words written along the circumference of one of the circles. The tiny printed letters said, “Take this board off and look on the backside. You will find a CD attached by a tape. On the stage is a CD player. Run it. Bishwas has a message for all his guests.”