Friday, April 20, 2012

Anti-hero

Akshara saw the endless curves of the gleaming Jaguar, shining in the street light outside the compound walls.

Wow, some hot-shot has checked into the hotel.

She overheard a couple of hotel employees take Amardeep’s name.

 Amardeep!

He was her pin-up boy ever since she was in high school. He was here? She had to get a glimpse of him, get his autograph – maybe shake his hands as well. She found herself blushing.

Come on, Akku…this is ridiculous, you aren’t in high school anymore. As if he’d have the time to stop and look at you.

She then asked around and learnt that the star was there for a shoot and would stay for a couple of more days. Ah. Nice.

****

Akshara was at the sleepy town of Madikeri, to do a story on the local planters and how the coffee business had changed over a period of time. Her prime subject was Mr. Bopanna, who’d patented a unique way of growing coffee and his brand of popular bean had made waves across the continents. She had a quick supper that night and decided to walk to the historic Raja seat, both a tourist spot and suicide point.

As she approached the spot, she noticed someone was already there. The place was empty save for her and that other person. He was sitting on one of the benches and shaking his head. Listening to music, she assumed. She stopped in her tracks.

Amardeep. Wow.

She turned to see if his bodyguards were around. She was certain she didn't anyone at the entrance. And they weren't here as well.

Why did he venture out alone at this time? Oh well, maybe because he felt nobody would probably recognize him, anyway. Stars had strange whims.

He turned around when she came close to him.

“Uh..hi, Mr. Amardeep?” Akshara said, her heart beating wildly.

He took off his ear-plugs (just as she’d guessed), and smiled that charming smile that millions like her died for. Ah, vanity. But she didn’t care. She wanted to pinch herself. Was it really him? She was glad it was dark, else he’d be embarrassed to see her blush so much.

“I’m…I’m a huge fan, sir…”

“Hello,” Amardeep said and rose to shake hands with her.

“No, no..please sit, sir.”

He smiled again, and Akshara went weak in her knees.

“Sir..I…”

Just then three men walked up behind them. They'd have passed them by, but one of them stopped.

“Well, look what’s happening here…” said the guy who'd stopped, probably the leader of the pack. As they approached nearer, one of them recognized the movie star.

“Isn’t that Amardeep?”

“Amardeep?” Echoed another.

“Yeah, I think it’s him. Come on...” They came closer.

“Oh, yes...it is him.”

Amardeep put on his best behavior and smiled. “Hi, guys…”

“Hi,” Said the leader and motioned something to his cronies.

They were three of them.

“Uh…autograph?” the leader continued turning to the star again, chuckling. Akshara stiffened now.

She stood silently. They're trouble.

Amardeep could sense her discomfort and winked at her, as if to say, “relax baby, I’ve got this under control.”

Damn these jokers, just when I had him all to myself…

“Sure,” Amardeep said jovially. He put out his hand, asking them for something to write on.

Instead, one of them pulled a knife.

“I actually meant my autograph…on your neck,” the leader said, and looked at Akshara. “You just stand quietly, madam…ok?We'll first finish 'interviewing' our dear hero first.”

Akshara waited Amardeep to do something smart. But to her dismay, she saw him quickly hand over his watch, chain and other gold trinkets. “Keep them. Yeah?”

The three ‘stooges’ couldn’t believe their luck.

One of them looked at Akshara. “And her?”

They laughed.

“Uh..she’s a friend. I think you guys should leave now.” Amardeep tried to sound composed.

“Oh I see. Friend."

“I want to be her friend too,” the third guy said, in a complaining tone.

“Listen..don’t want any trouble, ok? Just…leave.”

“And what if we don’t?” The leader asked innocently.

“Then we’ll have to kick your asses.”

There was total silence for a moment, as the trio looked at Akshara dumbfounded. It was she who’d said that.

Even Amardeep looked at her.

“Uh..miss…” he started saying.

“Akshara,” she said.

“Akshara..I think we should leave. I’ll..let’s..let’s call my bodyguards…” the movie star was at a loss of words. Akshara couldn't believe her eyes. This was not how she wanted to see him. She knew whatever he did on screen was acting, but she didn’t expect him to be such a sissy. They were just three of them, for God’s sakes. Damn them..why did they have to come by. At least she could've lived out her dream of having met and spoken to her idol. But now it looked like she had to take control.

“Don’t worry, sir. I'll handle it.” she said, her voice steel cold now. She then turned to the chief. "Sorry, correction. I...will have to kick your asses."

The leader stepped forward. "Oh you will? How?"

She brought her hand up, and raised an eyebrow, glaring at him. “Don’t you dare...”

“Ah..a fighter,” the other guy said.

“Shame on you, hero,” the third guy said, laughing at Amardeep.

The leader put his hand on Akshara's shoulder. “Come now, sweety…”

A cry of pain rented the air. Akshara had broken his wrist.

“Fuck…you….bitch,” he tried to say, his breath knocked out. The two men immediately stepped forward, one of them with the knife. Akshara moved like a wild cat, stepping forward swiftly and delivered a side-kick at the second guy’s groin, bringing him down to his knees. As he bent, she swept her out-stretched left leg at his chin, keeling him over. The third one lunged at her with the knife. She quickly clasped his wrist, avoiding the shining blade, twisted it quickly and pushed it in the opposite direction, breaking his wrist. As he cried out and sunk to his knees, she jabbed her elbow at his neck, knocking him out.

She expected the leader to attack from behind her and swung back. But he was long gone.

Amardeep, who all the while, was a mute spectator, looked at the two goons groaning on the ground. He swallowed hard after a while and looked at Akshara, who was panting heavily.

“Uh…I,” he started saying.

“It’s ok, sir,” Akshara said.

“You know, that was a brave thing to do, but risky. What if they come back…?”

I can’t believe this guy just said that.

“What?”

“I mean…you know..they were armed…”

“With a blunt knife. And were only three, not an army.”

“Yeah..but..”

“Well..it was nice meeting you, Mr. Amardeep,” Akshara said and turned to leave.

“Hey - Akshara” he said. She turned.

“Thanks..you fight really well. Maybe you can train me for my forthcoming movie…I like this style…what’s it called?”

“Krav maga. And no thanks. I don’t think I want to train you.”

So much for drooling over a loser. Ugh, I can never watch his movies now.

****

38 comments:

Kanthu said...

As I have said, time and again, ur stories remind me of some or the other movie. For a change it was a Tamil movie(Payanam) this time around..;-)

phatichar said...

Kanthu: Haven't seen Payanam, but now I must.. :)

Revacious said...

Wish I knew krav maga.. googling that now.
btw, I remember u saying u sing. Which genre? Going by the genre of your stories I'd say death metal, but knowing your penchant for twists, Carnatic music would be a better bet, eh? :D

phatichar said...

Revacious: Hindustani.. :P, but it was a long time ago. I don't sing a lot these days; never pursued it actively, you know - professionally or otherwise.. :)

sumitra said...

Oooh, it's my dream to kick some ass like that someday. Of course, I know no krav maga. Love reading your heroines.

aks said...

hehehe you just demonized so many teenage dreams :P

Sri said...

Nice twist..and Krav maga sounds really interesting.

Have you learnt it?

CD!!! said...

I was thinking this to be a horror story too! You surprised me :D
And what fun it must have been kincking those assholes!

Rohu said...

yeaheeeeee!!! How I loved this one! Women empowerment in the truest sense!! Lara croft style! Kick Ass.
This will be one of my favs! :))

phatichar said...

sumitra: Thanks...yes, I like to have non-conventional heroines. :)

aks: ha ha..haven't I?

Sri: Thanks :) Err...my characters also put bullets in other people's head, and walk through walls..sab seekhna padega phir to ;-)

CD: :D

Rohu: LOL..

Tongue-fu Lady said...

hahaha..amazing! Always wanted to learn Krav Maga...maybe i will now, if I have to protect SRK in the same way :P

phatichar said...

TFL: aha! SRK, huh? :p

Rahul said...

Scintillating.As usual.:-)

phatichar said...

Rahul: thanx bro, gud to see u after so long :)

the little princess said...

finally no ghosts! i was almost expecting to stumble upon one at any moment!

but loved it anyway...most of my stories have the women in the lead so this was kind of my stuff! nice..

cmus said...

Brutal counter attacks - Krav Maga. Everytime I visit your blog, I learn something new. :)

Slight deviation -
Raja's seat is a rock, right? There were no benches when I went there a couple of years ago. Or at least, we assumed that the huge rock was Raja's seat and uploaded it all over Facebook.:D

(No guide. We were following a map during our trek. Ah, this story made me nostalgic.)

cmus said...

Sorry. The above comment is not so related to your post and seems incoherent. Typed it in a hurry. Also...

uploaded its pics*
feel nostalgic*

phatichar said...

Princess: thanks :)...waiting for u to complete your story - hurry up! :p

cmus: thx pal, oh is that so? There used to be benches a long time ago, or maybe, like you, we mistook that place to be raja seat. Why do you feel your comment was incoherent? I thot it was just fine. Relax :)

Me said...

Hi,

Just landed here blog hopping. Enjoyed this post a lot - reminded me of my teenage days when I used to hero worship to the extent of even giving my life for 'him'. :)

Reflections said...

I like Akshara and her kick-ass attitude;-D

Soumya said...

Woohoo woman power :D

I had a similar incident once, me being the hero ofcourse :)

Shreya said...

None of them were ghosts?!?!?! Now that was the twist for me!!! ;)

phatichar said...

Me: welcome! Glad u liked it, thx

reflections: :)

soumya: haha...yeah

shreya: :) not sure if that comment was...oh well, never mind...

aks said...

next story ?

Erratic Thoughts said...

:D:D whattaa story...Super-liked it!
"cry of pain rented the air"-erudite writing sirji...phod dala :D
Just loved that line...

phatichar said...

Aks: shortly :)

M: heyyy junior, good to see ya :)...hehehe, thx

Varsha Naik said...

super duper....likey

Why don't you add the goole 1 plus button...I want to plus one all your stories!

Varsha Naik said...

google plus 1 I meant

phatichar said...

Varsha: Hey..welcome back! Exams over? :)

Thanks a lot, but..you know, honestly - I like 'super duper...likey' much better than a 'google plus 1' click; adds a more personal touch to it. :)

psst: Have never subscribed to clicks (whether its a 'like' or 'plus 1'). I don't know whose idea it was. Genuinely expressing something in words...ah, nothing quite like it, now, is there? :) Hope you don't mind..

kismitoffeebar said...

This was really a feel good story :)

phatichar said...

Toffee: :) thx..how've u been?

Kirisute Gomen said...

I see. You are finally changing up stuff. Very similar to your style, (so should it be) I like the fact that the crucial element of your writing (which was getting rather redundant) has taken a small nap. Now this is awesome.

Cinema Stars; what can you say!

By the way, I changed my name :)

phatichar said...

KG (R): Thanks, son. Yeah, the keyword is 'nap', and not sleep. The 'crucial' element will never go away for good. :)

I'm not really sure I understand the name, must mean something to you 'm sure. Take care. :)

Kirisute Gomen said...

Ah, it has to be a nap, not a sleep ( it ,in fact, has woken up) because your blog is a "Midnight" blog, so to say.

The name means "Pardon me as I rip your head off." It is an old Japanese shogun code of honour and a right for Samurai to kill lower-honour people who violate the code.

Shreya said...

Hehee..no yaar...I love all your stories...really do :)

phatichar said...

Rohan: "midnight" blog..hmmm, got a nice ring to it. Thanks. :)

I think I should take on that name, as I keep ripping my readers' heads off.. :P

Shreya: Touche! :P

Sri said...

Good point :-)

phatichar said...

Sri:...well taken ;-)