11 a.m.: I accompany Shailendra to the head office of the Punjab and Sind Bank. Shailendra wants to enquire about details of the account holder associated with the bounced cheque. The frontline clerks at the head office ask us to direct our enquiries at a branch office, so we head to the nearby Ghumar Mandi branch. There the clerks try to divert us to Majra branch, from where the cheque had been issued. Shailendra’s requests for help mellow one of the clerks who looks up the details of the account holder associated with the cheque. The clerk confirms the name and mobile number of the entrepreneur, which match the details held by Shailendra. The clerk also informs Shailendra that the account has absolutely no balance in it! Shailendra appeals to the clerk to provide the residential address of the account holder. The clerk reluctantly complies with the request. The guard provides us the directions to the said address.
12:30 p.m.: Shailendra and I book an autorickshaw to drive us towards the address. Once we reach the locality, however, we are confused since the addresses on the houses follow no discernible pattern. We ask a 25-year old man about the directions to the address.
“Whats his name?” he asks.
“Sunny,” Shailendra replies.
“How tall is he?” the man probes.
Shailendra tells him.
“Ah- you mean the dude who rides the black coloured Splendour Motorbike?”, the man springs to attention.
“Yes, yes. That guy,” Shailendra says eagerly.
The man gives us the directions. We reach the address but find the place to be deserted. An elderly woman sits at the balcony. It turns out she is Sunny’s mother. She says Sunny is not home and claims not to know where he has gone or even what his mobile number is.
2:00 p.m.: The driver of the autorickshaw suggests that we meet the Sarpanch of the village. We head towards the Sarpanch’s residence and note the stickers of the Congress Party and Captain Amarendra Singh that adorn its gates. Someone from inside the house tells us the Sarpanch is not at home and asks us the purpose of our visit. Shailendra tells them about Sunny.
“Ah Sunny!” the person exclaims. “He has frauded the Sarpanch. What good will the Sarpanch do?”
As we turn away dejected, a passer-by asks us what the problem is. Shailendra explains in great detail, upon which the passer-by assures us that if we meet the Sarpanch, he will certainly help us.