Saturday, August 25, 2012

Time up

It was now or never. The contract had to be taken en route to the airport, before he fled the country. He looked at his radium watch. 15 more minutes.

But when nature calls…

He stepped aside into the darkness for a moment.

He returned only to see his gun missing. Panic. Boss would kill him. He looked around frantically. Who could steal a gun here?

He heard a chuckle and turned. The local tramp...the retard.

Shit, not now.

“Give it back,” he said.

“Hands up!” Said the tramp and cackled.

5 more minutes.

“Give it back, you madman,” he growled, taking a step forward.

“Step back or I’ll shoot,” mimicked the tramp, like a movie cop.

“Listen, it’s not a toy. It’s a real gun.”

“Oh yeah? What fun,” said the tramp...

…and pulled the trigger.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012 it was.

The empty house was maddening. Everything reminded her of him. The way he’d stand, sit, or move about the house. Oh, and his CDs. Always leaning right to left on the shelf. Always.

She looked at the rack lovingly; just one CD was leaning to the right.

Then it gently leaned back to the left.


Monday, August 06, 2012

Not out...

The old man opened the door and turned his back to the young guest, expecting him to walk in behind him. The two security guards who frisked him, were walking away.

They sat in the living room. The old man stared at the younger guy who fidgeted for a few seconds, smiling nervously.

“Relax. Some water?” The older man asked and rose to get it.

A few minutes later, the younger guy looked better.

“You ok?”

“Yes..yes sir.”

“Good. Let’s begin. Let’s start with your name.”


“Vivek,” the octogenarian said, like he recognized that name from some place. But he remained quiet after that.

“Sir, you’ve been in exile for almost  15 years now. Do you still feel you have enemies who’d care to come after you?”

“Should that be your first question? You don’t beat about the bush, do you? I like that,” The older man said, chuckling.

Vivek laughed nervously. “No sir..I’m…guess I’m just a little excited to see you.”

“Why me?”

“Excuse me, sir?”

“Why a story about me? There’s so much happening in the country today. I’m just a retired hit man.”

“Sir, the fact is, along with doing a story about the underworld, I’m also doing…uh, research about the has-beens. I mean..not you, of course. I mean, you’re retired and all, but..see you still command that security. In political circles, you’re a respected man. Nobody can enter this house…”

“You did..” the old lion said, his voice almost a growl. He smiled.

Vivek didn’t know how to respond to that one. “Well, sir..I’m just a journalist. Well, anyway tell me sir. After you and Kukku fell out of ..”

The old man stiffened. “Who?”

“Kuk…umm, Desai, sir. Your arch enemy. After you two fell out, did you ever worry that he’d come after you some day?”

The senior man shifted, just a bit, his hand relaxed under the cushion. “Not worry. There’s not much to worry. I’m on my way to the grave anyway. Hmm?” He laughed.

Vivek laughed like a little school boy. “Well, yes, sir..”

Now the old man looked hard at him. “I don’t worry, Mr. Vivek. I’ve never worried.”

The air grew just a wee bit thicker as the old man’s hand came out from under the cushion swiftly and emerged with a small pistol, a silencer attached to it.

What followed, happened in a fraction of a second.

Two quick shots. Short and sharp.  Vivek’s body fell back, two button-like holes in his forehead.

The old man shook his head and rubbed his nose. He groaned, his voice almost sad.

Vivek’s cell rang just then.

“Hello? Vivek? Is it done?” The voice on the other end asked enthusiastically.

“Hello…Kukku,” the old man said softly, stressing on his name.

“Shit,” Desai said on the other end.

“How’re you Kukku?”


“Expected something more from you, son. I’m disappointed.”

“I..I just wanted to know how you are, Dada..really, I..”

“I’m just old, Kukku. Not stupid.”

A pause.

“How did you…” Desai asked.

“Your name, Kukku. Far as I know, but for the fraternity, nobody outside knows you by that name, right? Your boy made the mistake of addressing you as Kukku. You forgot to mention that little detail to him.”


“Your protégé’s body will be delivered to you. Don’t bother coming for him.”

More silence.

“Next time, I’m hoping you come up with something better. If I’m still alive, that is.”

He hung up and threw the cell phone on the youngster’s body.


Round (and round) trip

Deepa smiled as the bus sped past the beautiful countryside. She loved going on excursions with her students. She couldn’t miss this for the world.

Yeah, but she missed being with them in person, though. Sometimes.

If only she had not drowned in one of the trips…four years ago. She sighed…and then shrugged.

 Oh well…