Thursday, July 19, 2012

Murder, She thought - Part 2

I still remember that fateful night, I relive it every day. Like a slapping scene on a Soap Opera it keeps repeating on and on. Every time I took a step and it pained, every time I looked into the mirror, every time Naresh introduced me to someone and he went from his name to Oh ….

We were an insane couple who were insanely young and insanely in love with each other. It was when Kavita was 6 years old; we had left her with the neighbor and finally had some time to ourselves. It was the welcome party for his friend who had left India for USA and had to come back when the dot com bubble burst. As any America returned he was full of energy, the idea that India was shit and good Bourbon. 

And Naresh had plenty of it; every time I asked him to slow down he sped up. He was drunk and driving his new bike that he bought with the royalty cheque. We were giggling like school children and I punched him in the arm every time he sped up. I remember my laugh, because that was the last time I ever laughed. It was over in a flash, it was blind turn and he got a car coming in from the side, I saw a headlight in my eyes and in the next second I heard was scratching, like metal sliding on metal. And then nothing. 

I woke up in some place which looked like a hospital. Naresh was crying, the first time I had seen him like that and he swore on my life never to drink again. He didn’t have a scratch on him, while I had tubes running in & out of me everywhere. I had one tube going in my mouth, one coming out of crotch and the third coming out of my arm. The mouth one fed me food, the crotch one took it out and the arm one sent things through me to lessen the pain. Morphine they kept feeding me, just enough to make the pain tolerable, not enough to make life tolerable. I had the same dream every night, Naresh pushed me off a building and I fell screaming, screaming until I couldn’t scream anymore. Then there was this silence, a tranquility like no other, an agreement reached with death, then there we no worries, no anger, no pain, just the spirit of being in the moment. And then I used to wake up. Why do our dreams never continue after death, why doesn’t anyone see this life, the life which is better than life?

After 3 months I was released from the hospital with a stern warning not to look in the mirror. I limped my way through my daughter with extended arms, though the ‘Welcome Home’ sign, through everything which was supposed to make me feel better. I limped directly to the mirror where I saw my disfigured face, they had tried their best to stitch my face, but it was worse than the worst patch job I had even seen. I had a scar and stich marks running across my face and the right leg which didn’t work well as it had lots of plates and screws in it. I was asked not to walk too much, not to pass through a metal detector and to see a Physiotherapist. I didn’t do the first or the last.

I took a job in an IT company near my house as an Accounting consultant and gave up on my dream of being a financial advisor, I took a desk job where I didn’t have to travel at all, and I used to walk to and back from my office and hardly ever saw the Physiotherapist assigned. It was a shit life and I got used to very fast. Naresh used to apologize to me every night and he used to mean it, he tried to kiss the scar on my face but I pushed him away, I closed my eyes and waited for him to push me off the roof. I wanted his love instead of pity. I wanted to pretend that this never happened, instead of coming to terms with it, but looking into his eyes always made me remember, so I stopped looking into his eyes. After a while my cynicism won and he stopped trying; trying to apologize, trying to reach out to me in spite of my sarcasm and anger, trying to pose in front of my daughter that it was all right.

We had finally become the couple we were always supposed to be, broken, bitter and non-believing. Only Kavita kept us together, the 6 year old girl who used to walk around with her Barbie was soon transformed into a 16 year old discontented child who used to walk out on during arguments, family outings and us in general. “If you two can’t live with each other, how can you expect me to?”, her words.

But even after all this she was my greatest regret, greatest regret of dying. Leaving her alone in this world. She was a typical 16 year old, angry, insecure, illusioned, and worrying over pimples and hair extensions. I wanted to tell her that all this will pass, and life’s biggest worries have not even crossed her mind yet. But I don’t think she will listen to me, like all teenagers she also thinks her parents were born old and will never understand them. I wanted to tell her that I wasn’t always this bitter, self-righteous bitch that I am. I was young, pretty, carefree and risk taking like her; who used to sneak out at night to try cigarettes and watch Madonna videos. And her dad was handsome, slim, funny, charming, confident guy who used to debate professors to tears and steal answer copies from their desks while they were sleeping. I wanted to tell her that whatever we advise her to do is not something copied from a scripture or a “Morally correct mother’s guidebook” but something that is statistically proven to yield best results. But as I said, she wouldn’t listen to me.

Naresh was sleeping off his hangover when Kavita was ready and out of the house. She was practically jogging and didn’t go through her morning beauty routine, which meant she wasn’t going to school. She took an auto and I realized to follow I had to hop on to it, so I did.
She was texting the whole time and I was having a difficult time following what she was typing. Apparently she was informing someone of coming over to her. It was a short drive, didn’t realize the time at all. She got out, paid the auto guy and started walking into a thin street. The locality looked pretty dingy, I was getting worried about her safety but she didn’t, she took calculated confident steps, she walked up stairs and walked straight into a house.

It was Sid, her ex-boyfriend. Or at least that’s what she had said when I had caught her with grass in her handbag. It was her ex-boyfriend’s, she had meant to return it, she doesn’t smoke, and it’s all over; that all was her answer. I gave her a stern warning and a promise that I will toss her out of the house the next time she did drugs, along with the promise that I won’t tell Dad and she won’t see that guy again.
But she was seeing that guy again, in fact she just ran upto him and hugged him. He was too groggy to say anything; he just held her and tried to breathe her in, like I used to breathe Naresh in when we first used to date. As soon as they separated she let out a scream and shouted “I’m so happy that she is dead, you know I wasn’t convinced it was you the first time when they told me, but then when they told me it was a hit and run by a car I was sure it was you.”

“You know when Najeeb Bhaai first told me”, she continued “that an SMS is going to go to the owner of the card, I was so shit scared. I thought we were caught and like she is going to find out that I am paying to get her ring out of mortgage from her own card.... She is very smart you know, that way my Mom.... She was gonna come around here sniffing and she was gonna find out that I paid for our stuff from Najeeb bhaai by mortgaging her wedding ring. She never used to wear her anyways, just this credit card would have been the pain". "But what could I do?" She let out an question to no one in particular, "Najeeb Bhaai was after my life to pay the money and take it back, I really had no option.”. She stopped for breath and continued “I swear baby when I first called you about our problem I didn’t know what could you possibly do? But killing her was the master stroke, she is gone now. My Dad is happy, I’m happy and she is never gonna find out about her card”. She punched in the air and lit a cigarette, or maybe it wasn’t just a cigarette considering the stuff that was lying around in the house. There were rubber tubes, syringes, silver foil, candles, rolling paper and lot of other stuff present to prove that this wasn’t just another teenage boy’s house.

I let out my breath,  fell on my knees and started laughing while tears fell down my eyes. I suddenly remembered Nietzsche “Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter”, I couldn’t agree more. But I was happy that I was killed for more than a few thousand rupees that my daughter had borrowed from a drug dealer, I was killed for love. That guy Sid did it to protect Kavita from me even though I would have done nothing so bad, I probably would have ignored that SMS like the dozen others I ignore every day. But I was glad, there were only two reason men waged war, money and love. And wars waged for love were always more brutal. I was bittersweet about the whole affair, while I was just murdered, my daughter had someone who would kill someone for her love.

As I was gloating over the whole thing when I realized that Kavita had already left and Sid was left on bed. He crawled over to drink some water, light a cigarette and started typing on his phone. His hands were shaky and he had to correct a lot but in the end it read something like this “Im sorry Ka bt it wasn’t me. It ws someone else. Bt I luv u anyways.”

God Damn! So  it wasn’t him either. So maybe it was some other random guy in that dark sweat shirt, just a random hit & run after all. Who knows? Maybe he didn’t want a witness and me made sure by running over me twice, maybe some psychopath looking for kicks on a Tuesday night. But my gut feeling; and I still had one, didn’t let me believe that and I still needed to know who killed me.

<To be continued... >

Monday, July 9, 2012

James Bong - The Spy who Scrapped me

It was the summer of 03 when Jishnu banerjee aka JB first saw American Pie on his friend’s new PC . He had lied to his parents about going to Debashish’s house for studying. Debashish had lied to his parents about his stomach ache so as not to go on his parent’s trip to Digha. They were home alone and that only meant one thing, watching forbidden American movies. There were too afraid to ask the CD Rental guy for the real good stuff and no fun in Schwarzenegger movies now so they settled for the movie which would change his life, American Pie. While Debashish could only care about Shannon Elizabeth’s bare breasts JB saw the deeper meaning in the movie. It was not a teen – comedy, or love story or social commentary. It was but a Rallying cry for ‘every man who should be getting laid but isn’t’. It was a message for the involuntary celibates of the world to unite and fight for their right, that is sex. Of course it required some modifications for Indian Culture. Most kids around him didn’t even know what second base was, let alone been to it. Indian high schools were nothing like American high schools, there were no cheerleaders, everybody wore uniform, and only high point was when Mrs. Das looked down to correct the papers. But hope was around the corner. Across the corner lay short skirts, songs in the canteen, dances in basketball court, freedom or in other words College.

JB got into Jadavpur University, his dad’s dream or rather second dream, first was IIT Kharagpur. Though his dad was a little disappointed of him getting into Mechanical Engineering; according to him the real action lied in IT, he would soon realize that, but not in the sense his dad meant.

After 6 months of short hair, formals, dancing on ‘atariya pe lotan kaburtar’ and running around in his underwear finally he got to step into fabled hallows of the canteen. And it was nothing like he imagined, no girls in short skirts, no guys dancing on table tops, nobody sharing a cold drink with two straws. Instead there were girls with hairy arms, guys fighting over a piece of samosa and the fat canteen owner scratching his belly. This is not what he had hoped for, after finding out there was only 1 girl in all the 4 years of mechanical and she was a girl by a long stretch of imagination, all his hopes laid on the canteen and girls in the IT departments. All his dreams came crashing down, this seemed even worse than school, at least no one came to school in bathroom slippers. At that he moment he realized that there was no strip poker, no beer funnel, and no frat parties in store for him. And all the few girls that were there lay way out of his league and his social circles. Most of his time would be spent attending soporific lectures, drooling over Jenna Jameson and the company of his left hand. The world was a very dark place now.

But then came light in his dark world, the shining beacon in the place devoid of any hope, joy or coitus. Orkut. The story was that the guy created this site to meet his ex girl friend who was lost for 8 years. JB didn’t give a rat’s ass for whom and why, all he heard that there is where the hot girls of Calcutta were, posing in provocative poses and waiting for the right guy to seduce them. On Orkut you didn’t need a car, not even a bike to pick up a girl, money didn’t make your profile better and girls would never get to know if you stammer or spit when you talk. It was a level playing field; he was sure that god was out there somewhere, for nothing less divine could have made such a site. It was time to dig out his old e-mail address which he had formed to ask his cousin studying in Texas to get him a cowboy hat, apparently the mail got lost before reaching him, as he never replied to him.

Project Orkut was initiated. He realized that his normal persona was not going to help him pick chicks, not in the real world, not online or alien. He needed a new personality, a character that was smooth yet restrained, cool yet sophisticated, someone who got all the women but wasn’t trying too hard. In short someone exact opposite to him. And this only meant one man, the legendary agent from MI- 6 with his numbers as 007. In his excitement he didn’t even notice the typo when he named his profile as JáMěs BōnG. It was now time to flesh out the rest of the profile. Of course he wasn’t actually in horse breeding and fast race cars but he would have been if he had the money. And of course he didn’t play polo and squash or was in body building but he would surely like to and he hadn’t read, War and Peace and all the 16 sonnets of Shakespeare but he would someday. Orkut was the place where you weren’t bogged down by your current circumstances and could be all that you aspired to be. The real tricky part was the ‘About Me’, this was like the heat tempered, 108° drill bit of the drill which would penetrate the material. So he decided to extra research on that finally he came with his masterpiece. If Mrs. Sequiera had seen this she would have surely kissed him, he mentally made a note of looking up for Mrs Sequiera or her even hotter daughter on Orkut. Here it was – 

Hello there cute and charming gals and girls
i would to u make new friend and im introducing about my self ..
Im a positively possessive attitude that fuels the undying zeal to work for broader prospects puts me where I am today. A young lad hailing from Asansol who has seen the dark side of the life only to light up the future. A man with proven track in intelligenze (I study in Jadavpur University, 1st year B.E.) and dreaming of one day to have one my own software company. I like guns and fast cars and my Martini shaken not stirred.
By the bye my name is "Jishnu banerjee" with 18 ears of experience on the earth. I would like to make friendship with u if u are interested please add me or feel free to call..
Awaiting for your reply

P.S. - I wrote this 4 years back when Orkut was cooling down and the star of Facebook was rising. But today I thought what the hell and posted this. Coz I wanted to post something on my blog just for the heck of it. I had a whole series of these planned earlier ,  next one was - James Bong : From Calcutta with love.Might still do it if enough people 'Like' this.

And of course there was no intention of making fun of Bengalis (this time), but just James Bong rhymed with James Bond, so I'm sorry for doing this.

P.P.S - I plan to continue my 'Murder She Thought' Trilogy (ooh I love this word - Trilogy) but I'm stuck up on one plot point here and not able to resolve it. I will get back to it as soon as I do. Mental note to self - Get all these ready before you start writing a story and don't get ideas mid-way.