• 02 Dec - 08 Dec, 2017
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Rehan and Maria were watching the episode of Crimes at Corners on YouTube.

In the video:

Professor Yasir was holding a mic and was standing outside a building. He was talking to the viewers:

“Good morning everyone, I’m Professor Yasir Javed and you are watching our show Crimes at Corners. We were informed about a fake astrologer who runs his business here. He makes money by fooling the illiterate and depressed people of our society. Today, we will interview him and find out whether he is a genuine astrologer or a fraud.”

In a few seconds, the team of Crimes at Corners is climbing the stairs of the building. They had finally reached the location.

In the next moment, Professor Yasir is standing outside an apartment, talking to the viewers, showing them the sign board displayed outside, “This is our infamous astrologer’s clinic and now we’ll find out whether he is what he claims to be.”

He turns his face towards the sign board and reads mockingly. “Nothing is impossible. Your dreams will come true. Say goodbye to all your problems.”

He chuckles looking back at the camera and says with irony, “Are you seeing this people? Say goodbye to all of your problems.”

He chuckled again and then said, “I’m dying to say goodbye to my problems, let’s see if our so-called astrologer can help us.”

He knocked at the door of the apartment twice. A man, appearing about 50 years old comes out. He was wearing a white hat and shalwar kameez.

“Hello?” Yasir said offering his hand for a handshake. “Do you work here?”

“Yes,” the astrologer answered, shaking hands with Yasir, “who are you?”

“My name is Yasir Javed,” Yasir said with a smirk on his face, “I need your help.”

“What do you want, son?” said the man, who was now secretly panicking, trying to handle the situation.

“Can I come inside?”

“First, tell me what you want?”

“I want my dreams to come true,” Yasir taunted.


“You have a sign board outside your door which says that all of your dreams will come true. That’s what I’m here for.”

“That is not what I do,” the astrologer spoke trying to avoid the situation.

“But that’s what you have mentioned outside,” Yasir said teasingly.

“I have but it doesn’t mean…”

“Can I please come inside?” Yasir interrupted him, now trying to sound friendly. “Come on, please let me in.”

The astrologer seemed reluctant but made way for Yasir and his cameramen.

“So, what’s your name?” Yasir asked as he entered through the door.


Yasir looked at the walls of his apartment. It was covered with different posters of horoscopes and zodiac signs.

“What are these posters?”

“I have to leave now,” Kamran said urgently, trying to get them out of his house.

“What are these posters?”

“It’s getting late, I have to go.”

“But, I’m your client,” Yasir replied cunningly, “talk to me right now.”

“Make an appointment first, and then come.”

“I’ll give you extra money, I’ll pay you double.”

Seeing that it wasn’t an easy task to argue his way out, Kamran sat down on a chair and asked him to sit down as well. But all Yasir wanted were the answers to his questions, “What are those signs on that poster?”

“Those are… those are…” stuttered Kamran, appearing confused, “those can define your future.”

“Our future?” Yasir asked, clearly faking his astonishment. “Oh my God! So you can actually tell us about our future?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you said the signs define our future.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did,” said Yasir very calmly. “Don’t lie; you just said that those signs define our future.”

“Oh… I didn’t mean to say define. What I meant was that it can help us make better decisions.”

“I see,” said Yasir, dragging a chair and sitting closer to him, “so tell me about that sign board outside your door. You’ve mentioned that you can make our dreams come true. How can you do that?”

“Do you want tea?” he asked, trying to change the subject.

“No, thank you, tell me how will my dreams will come true?”

“That’s what God does. I can’t do such things.”

“But you’ve mentioned it outside.”

“What have I mentioned?”

“That our dreams will come true,” Yasir answered spontaneously, “say goodbye to all of your problems.”

“That’s just a metaphor.”

“To fool the people of our city?”


“Then why have you mentioned it?”

“To… to…” Kamran appeared confused and couldn’t think of anything.

“To attract customers, right?”

“Well, to…”

“To attract customers,” Yasir said cleverly, “there’s nothing wrong with that, everybody does it. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Kamran nodded reluctantly, wiping off sweat on his forehead.

“So, what do you do here?” Yasir asked calmly.

“I help people with their problems.”


“People come here with different issues. I solve their problems according to their star signs.”

“What star sign is that?” Yasir spoke, pointing at the Leo star sign on the poster.

“That’s a lion.”

“It is a lion but what’s the name of its star sign?”

“People with birthdays from July 22nd to August 22nd have this star sign.”

“They do,” Yasir agreed, slowly accepting defeat, “but what do you call this star sign?”

“What’s your birthday month?”

“My birthday comes in January but what I’m asking is, what do you call this star sign.”

“If your birthday comes in January,” Kamran said, hiding his weakness, “then your star would be that one,”

Kamran pointed at Aquarius. Yasir chuckled and said, “Ok, if you are not telling me, then kindly tell me the name of my star sign.”

“I can’t remember exactly.”

“It’s called Leo,” Yasir lied, obviously to catch him.

“Yes, right exactly, it’s Leo.”

Yasir laughed out and said, “I was joking, it’s Aquarius.”

The fake astrologer remained silent.

“The one I was asking for earlier,” Yasir said, “was Leo, Mr Fortune Teller.”

Rehan and Maria laughed out loud for a while after watching this amusing interview.

“Your cousin was very smart. I adore his speaking skills,” Maria said to Rehan.

“Yeah, I’m surprised I never knew he was like this,” nodded Rehan.

Back to the YouTube video

Yasir stood up from the chair and said calmly to the fake astrologer,

“Look, Mr Kamran, you are a fraud.”

“I work here for…” Kamran tried to justify.

“Listen to me, please. You, Mr Kamran are taking advantage of the poor and illiterate people living in Pakistan. You are extracting money through illegal means. I urge you to stop this.”

“Will you let me explain?”

“There’s nothing left to explain. You don’t even know the names of the zodiac signs. Every certified astrologer is an expert in the field of stars and you sir, don’t even know the names right. Just shut down your business if you want to save yourself from any real trouble.”

“You are not even listening to me. My job as an astrologer is to…”

“Alright, if you are an astrologer,” Yasir interrupted, “then show me your certification.”

The astrologer remained silent.

“Do you have it?” Yasir asked.

“I don’t keep any important documents here.”

“Ok, you’ve lied enough. I’m going to give you one last chance. You’ll have to promise everyone that you’ll shut this place down.”

“Why should I shut it down? I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should I?”

Yasir smiled and offered his hand, signalling a handshake.

Before leaving, Yasir said, “Best of luck, Mr Kamran.”

An hour later, Yasir speaks to his viewers:

“People of Pakistan, as we have just witnessed, some people like Mr Kamran are not willing to give up their criminal activities simply for the sake of money. We have therefore called some police officers and now they will handle the situation accordingly.”

A police inspector soon appeared on his right hand side on the screen. Yasir continued:

“Here we have DIG Humayun Tunio, who will ask our so-called astrologer some questions.”

Minutes later, the police inspector and Kamran were standing outside the apartment and Yasir was holding two mics, one for each of them.

“Tell me, who has given you the authority to run this place?” the inspector asked strictly.

“I… I am…” Kamran could hardly speak.

“Since when have you been doing this?”

“Listen to me, please,” Kamran tried to speak in a low voice.

“Answer my questions! Since when have you been working here and who has given you the authority to run this place?”

Kamran pushed away the mic and tried to whisper something into the inspector’s ears. Yasir stopped him and spoke loudly, “Here, use the mic, Mr Kamran. Pakistan is dying to know what you want to say.”

“I’ll talk to him privately; you must leave my property now,” Kamran said to Yasir.

“Oh, come on, I’m your customer,” Yasir said trying to appear nice when he was actually being sarcastic, “do you treat all your customers this way?”

Kamran ignored him and quickly whispered something into the inspector’s ears. The inspector looked into the camera and declared, “This guy has just offered me Rs.50,000.”

“Oh my God!” Yasir said, springing into action. “Did you hear that folks? This person just offered to bribe an honest police inspector.”

“Come with us now!” the inspector ordered Kamran. “You’re under arrest and we’ll shut down your shop right now.”

“Inspector, please,” Kamran pleaded.

“Come with us.”

While watching the video, Rehan asked Maria, “Pause the video please.”

“I don’t think it can be him,” Rehan said referring to Kamran.

“Why not? I think he could be, after all, the Professor shut down his business. It was probably his only source of income.”

“No, it’s not him, trust me.”

“How can you be so sure?” she asked.

“Come on, didn’t you observe the guy? Didn’t you observe that despite being a fraud, he seemed completely harmless?”

“But what if he hired a killer?”

“Hmm… that can be possible. Anyway, I have to make a phone call. Let us watch another episode after this one.”


An hour later

Rehan comes back to the room. Maria is busy with her cell phone so he selects an episode on the laptop to watch himself.

As the episode starts, some clips start appearing on the screen. The clips show a glimpse of what the viewers are going to see in this episode.

Yasir’s voice can be heard in the video. “Are you a mobile snatcher?”

“Get out of here!” a dark-skinned guy yells out.

“Are you a mobile snatcher?”

“Yes, I am, now get lost!”

Yasir, whose face now appears on the screen can be seen smiling and talking calmly on the screen.

The scene has changed.

“So, at how many places have you snatched mobile phones?”

“An infinite number of places in this city.”

The scene changes again.

Yasir speaks. “I’ve made my promise to you. I won’t expose your face, neither will I…”

“If you dare expose me or do anything of the sort,” he interrupted, “then trust me, I’ll make you vanish as though you never existed.”

Finally, two police officers appear, standing by the dark-skinned criminal. The criminal says warningly, “I’ll be bailed out soon! And I swear, I’ll kill you with my own hands!”

The title of the show Crimes at Corners appears on the screen.

Rehan turns towards Maria and says, “Did you see that?”

“Yes, it seemed really interesting.”

“Alright, let’s watch this one.”

to be continued...