He was in tattered clothes; but somehow the clothes did not go with his personality. He was a strong, handsome and well-built person, not used to wearing shabby and worn out clothes.
He was feeling uncomfortable in his dress. The umbrella was another oddity. It was an expensive umbrella which no poor man could afford. It was his own umbrella that he had allowed them to use for the shoot.
‘Why do I have to dress like this? And this umbrella is a nuisance. They could have thought of some other prop.’
He looked around. No one had turned up; the delay annoyed him. After fretting for a few minutes he thought it would be rather prudent to recollect what all he was required to do.
‘I have to approach an area of the park where a fairly large number of people would be present. I have to attract people’s attention and then loudly say, “Wake up you fools; wake up from your deep slumber. Wake up you sinners or the Lord will strike you with His thunderbolt.” Then I have to open this umbrella and look towards the sky and shout at the top of my voice, “Look at the dark, raging clouds, it’s our Lord’s warning. Wake up or prepare to die.” And then I have to run towards the far end of the park……..What sort of documentary is it? It makes no sense.’
He was not wearing any watch but he was aware that everyone was late by at least one hour. He had to reach back by six and it was already half past twelve. He felt irritated and nervous.
‘I think I am also supposed to do a rehearsal before the shoot. Of course I have to rehearse; I must……let me not waste my time.’
At that moment a group of students appeared from nowhere and mobbed him. One of the students whispered in his ears, ‘It’s a setup. You are being manipulated. Don’t open the umbrella. It will trigger a bomb and kill many people. You are so gullible but we will take care of everything.’
For a few seconds he did not comprehend what the boy had said to him. He observed that that person was not actually a young boy; he was a young man masquerading as a student. Even before he could ask anything, the young man had vanished, as if in thin air.
He stood rooted to the ground, tongue-tied. He felt that the hand holding the umbrella was trembling slightly.
Two men, standing at a good distance, had been intently observing the umbrella man. They looked at each other and nodded gravely.
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