Rajif comes back exhausted to his small flat after a long day of working at a big construction site while the heat was more than 35 degrees on that day.
He finds his friends making supper and listening to the radio and enjoying the cold breeze that comes from the old noisy air-conditioning system.
They are busy preparing their meal and invite him to come and eat with them.
He is very tired and thinks of sleeping immediately without having supper, but his mind was busy and he wants to speak with his best friend Komar about what he had been thinking of for a few days.
So, he comes to eat with them and sits silent while they were speaking about what happened to them in that day and how they suffered a lot because of the heat, the high percentage of humidity in the air and the heavy weights which they had to carry.
Their life is really miserable because they are working in the United Arab Emirates as servants and construction workers for very low salaries.
Life in Dubai is better than living in India where they were all suffering from abject poverty and starving.
They came to work in this country to get some income and send some money to their families in India.
Rajif wants to gain money quickly to send it to his family in India because his two brothers are sick and need special nutrition in addition to medicine.
His father is sixty-seven now and unable to work. The money they receive now from Rajif every month can hardly sustain them.
His employer refused to increase his salary many because the wages of the Indian laborers are all nearly the same though many of them have been working there for a few years.
He felt desperate and could not think of any way to increase his income to help his family.
Though all his friends have almost the same salaries, but his circumstances were different from them as he has a very big family to support in India.
They finish their supper and start to lie in their beds to sleep because they are all exhausted after a long day of hard labor.
Rajif says to Komar: “Come with me, I want to speak with you. We have to go out for a walk. Let’s go to the nearby park to sit there, Komar.” Komar looks at him with astonishment and feels that there is something serious in Rajif’s eyes.
They leave the flat together and walk towards the park. Komar is tired and asks Rajif: “What do you want? Is there anything on your mind?” Rajif says: “Yes, there is something on my mind. I will tell you now. Let us sit here on this bench.”
They sit on the bench and Rajif starts to tell Komar what he was thinking of: “I need money for my family. My brothers are sick and starving in India. I have to help them.
I have to gain a lot of money quickly, and need your help to get it.” Komar looks at him with amazement. “What?” Komar says, “you want me to help you to get money. How?”
Rajif says with a sad tone in his voice: “You know that in this country the law states that if a man dies as a result of a car accident, the driver has to pay one hundred thousand dirhams to his family.
I want to throw myself in the way a car and die. I only need you to witness the accident and take the number of the car to inform the police about the driver.”
Komar is flabbergasted; his mouth is open and his eyes became wide and fixed at Rajif’s face. Rajif continues: “It is the only way to get the necessary money for my family.
My life is useless here. I am just taking one thousand and six hundred dirhams per month. I have to pay two hundred dirhams for food, two hundred dirhams for clothes and travel expenses in addition to all the other expenses.
I send the rest of my salary which is one thousand and two hundred dirhams to my family in India. It is not enough for them because I have nine brothers and sisters. My father is unable to work and two of my brothers are sick;
they need medicine and special nutrition. My father needs money for a surgical operation on his kidney. If I stay here working for one hundred years, I can’t afford all the money they need.”
Komar looks at Rajif with sadness and sorrow. Rajif continues: “I am working like a donkey for more than ten hours every day as you see and there is no way to get the money for them.
I am not happy in my life here. I don’t think I will ever be able to improve my life and get one tenth of the money my family needs.
I want to sacrifice my life to help my family and save my father’s life. So, I decided to commit a suicide, and I need you as a witness.”
Komar says while he was about to cry:” No, please Rajif, I can’t let you die. You are my friend. I can’t see you dying like that.”
Rajif replies immediately: “Help me, Komar, I can’t live like that and let any member of my family dying.
I want to end all their sufferings. I want to make them happy and rich. Please, help me. If you don’t help me, I will ask another friend to help me.”
Komar says: “No, please, I like you to live and be happy. I wish I could help you in another way. You know that my situation is almost like yours.
I can’t give you more than twenty dirhams now if you want as a loan. I have to send the money to my poor family every month as you know. All our friends are like that.
Maybe we can ask them to give you some money…” Rajif interrupts Komar: “No, please, it won’t help that much.
My family need more than that, and I can’t pay you your money back anyway. Even if you and all my friends give me all what you have every month, it won’t be enough to save my family.
I am sorry to bother you, but I need your help to get more money quickly as I told you to help my family and rescue my sick father.”
Komar thinks deeply about what Rajif says. It is true that in the United Arab Emirates there is a law now that obliges the driver of a car to pay one hundred thousand dirhams
to the family of the victim when he is killed in a car accident as compensation. Many Indians started to throw themselves under the wheels of cars to commit suicide in order to help their families.
Komar himself once thought about doing that, but he likes life and does not like to die. Rajif now is under severe pressure to die in this way to help his family. There is no way to help his family except in this way.
Rajif says with an imploring voice: “Please, don’t tell anyone about what I told you. We should go back now to sleep, and we can arrange what we want to do later.” They head back to the flat slowly without talking to each other.
Komar starts to think of Rajif as a brave guy because he is not afraid of death. He cannot understand how Rajif can throw himself under the wheels of a fast car and die with all the pain of the wounds and the broken bones he will have.
Rajif must be really suffering from an overwhelming psychological pain that forces him to end his life in this way.
He must be also a very good-hearted guy who is ready to sacrifice his life for his family.
Komar says to himself: “Rajif is really more courageous than me to accept death in this way. I could never do that whatever happens to me; not even to rescue my family if I were in his place”
Rajif and Komar speak about what they want to do for a few days. Komar tried very hard to convince Rajif of to change his mind in all the possible ways, but he could not dissuade him.
After a few days, they sit together to agree what to do. Rajif suggests that they should go to an empty street, wait till a modern car comes and then he would jump in its way and let it hit him or run over him.
Komar should take the car number immediately before the driver runs away, call the police and tell them that Rajif died because that car hit him.
It should be done in an empty street because other people should not see that Rajif jumped intentionally in the way of the car. Komar should be the only witness in the court to say that it was an accident, not a suicide.
The two friends go to an empty street after midnight and wait for a modern car to come. After nearly half an hour, a modern Mercedes comes into the street at a high speed.
Rajif says: “Komar, that’s a modern car. The owner is rich. I will go now. Goodbye my dear friend.” Rajif walks a few steps forward and stops on the pavement waiting for the car to come closer to him.
When the car becomes a few meters away, Rajif jumps to the street before it; the car hits him immediately because the driver was unable to brake before hitting Rajif.
Rajif’s body lies on the ground motionless. Komar immediately looks at the number of the car and memorizes it.
The car stops after nearly ten meters on the right side of the road. Komar runs to check Rajif’s body. Komar catches Rajif’s wrist and finds no pulse.
The driver of the Mercedes comes to see the body and stands motionless and scared. Komar says to him: “You killed my friend, you criminal.”
“He jumped into the road on purpose right before my car”, the driver replies,” I couldn’t stop.” The tears start to fall on Komar’s cheeks.
The driver starts to sob. Suddenly, Komar looks at the driver’s face with astonishment; the driver is Indian, and he doesn’t seem rich. “Are you from India?” Komar asks the driver, “I hope you can pay one hundred thousand dirhams for his family”.
The driver replies immediately: “I am very poor. I am just a simple driver for the owner of this car. I don’t have money to pay his family. My master, the owner of the car, will not help me to pay one hundred thousand dirhams as you want.
I will be sent to jail and deport me to India. My family will die of hunger if I go to jail.” Komar looks with astonishment and sorrow to Rajif's body.
He says to himself: “Oh, Rajif, what have you done? You destroyed the guy’s life and his family as well. You lost your life for nothing.”
The driver looks at Komar and suddenly says: “Listen, brother, let me go and don’t tell anyone about what you saw. Please, let me escape.” Komar looks at him and replies: “No, I have to take you to the police. You killed him".
The driver begs Komar and kneels before him: “Please, I am ready to kiss your hand, I kiss your foot. Let me go now please. I don’t want to go to jail. My family will starve.”
Komar looks at him and doesn’t know what to say. He has never been in such a predicament in his life and it was difficult for him to take a decision quickly.
This is not what he and Rajif have planned to do and he has to think of a way to help Rajif’s family and this driver who is scared and begging him.
Rajif has lost his life and if Komar informs the police about this driver, they would put him in prison and then deport him to India; this would make his family helpless and starve forever.
The driver starts to kiss Komar’s hands begging him to let him escape from that dangerous predicament. He says to Komar: “Please, I am ready to give you what you want. I have some money with me.
I have some money in the car. It is for the owner of the car, but I can say to him I lost the money or it was stolen from me. That is easier than jail.”
The driver runs to the car and comes back with some cash in his hand. “Please, this is five thousand dirhams.
Please, take it and let me go, brother,” the driver says: “Let me escape and take the money for your family. Please just remain silent, brother”
Komar hesitates. He doesn’t know what to do. When the driver reminds him of sending the money to his family, his eyes shine with internal happiness. His hand takes the money slowly.
He has never had such a big sum in his hand. It seems like a good chance to improve his family’s life standard for a few months. Komar says to the driver: “OK, brother, you can go. I will not tell the police about what you have done to my friend.”
The driver kisses Komar’s hand again and says: “Thank you, brother.” He runs to the car and drives it away quickly.
Komar walks away of the body while his hand was holding the money firmly in his pocket. He looks around in the street and finds that nobody is around and he realized that no one sees what happened in the past few minutes.
The police find Rajif’s body and after long investigations, they could not know who was responsible for that accident. Komar sends the money to his own family to improve their life standard.
They were very happy with the money. His conscience starts to torture him by telling him that he should have sent the money to Rajif’s family, but he considers Rajif a fool because he died for nothing.
He says to himself: “Rajif had spent many weeks thinking of committing suicide, planned for everything, but he has never thought that the driver could have been a poor Indian like him.
Rajif’s courage was useless because courage without good thinking and wisdom can cause disasters like that. Thank God because I was a coward and I have never done that.”
Komar took the money from the driver because it was useless to send a poor Indian to jail for nothing. It was not the driver’s mistake anyway.
After many years, Komar was walking in the market to visit one of his friends who was working as a salesman at a luxurious jewellery shop near the biggest moll in Dubai.
Before reaching his friend’s shop, he sees the driver of the Mercedes who hit Rajif coming out of the shop with a few big jewelry boxes in his hands.
He looks at the man and remembers how he met him a few years ago in that night when Rajif died. The driver walks away without seeing Komar, gets into a very modern BMW and drives away with a confident, wide smile.
Komar notices that this time that man was wearing a very expensive, elegant clothes and shiny shoes.
It is very rare to see Indians wearing clothes like that in Dubai because most of them are very poor. He says to himself: “If he is poor, how can he afford such expensive suit and shoes?”
Komar enters the shop and he finds his friend counting money in his hands. “Hello, Rajo, how are you?” Komar says, “Did that man buy many things from you?”
Rajo says with a puzzled look on his face: “Yes, don’t you know him? He is a well-known millionaire here, all his family is rich here and he always buys jewels, gold and expensive gifts for his wife and relatives.
I know all his family here.” Komar is shocked. “What? Are you sure?” Komar asks quickly, “that man who just left your shop with a few jewellery boxes in his hands and drove off in a BMW?”
Rajo says with confidence: “Yes, I am quite sure. I know all his family. They always come to buy expensive things from the nearby molls and the luxurious shops around here. Why do you look astonished, Komar?”
Komar thinks of an answer and says: “In fact, a friend of mine told me that he is only a poor driver working for a rich man here.”
Rajo says with a wide smile on his face: “No, Komar, don’t believe him. I am ready to show you where this guy lives with his family because we sometimes send deliveries to their house.
They all have credit cards in their names and they all have expensive cars. His father has been working in commerce here for more than thirty years. Trust me; I know them very well.”
Komar leaves the shop after a few minutes without telling Rajo about the story. He feels that he was cheated by that driver. He believed him and took the money from him after Rajif died because he thought he was poor like him.
Most Indians are poor here in Dubai, but some of them are rich. It is too late now to inform the police about him. Komar thinks again of how Rajif died for nothing and says to himself:
“Rajif has thought that he was smart, but it seems that that rich guy outsmarts him and me. I didn’t mean to do it to Rajif,
but, anyhow, if someone sells his own life for one hundred thousand dirhams, no wonder if his friend sells him for five thousands dirhams only.”