Lurking amidst the shadows the killer waited for them to fall asleep. And so they did after a long arduous day of picking up garbage and bargaining with the raddiwalas for a penny more or begging in the scorching heat in the selfish and unforgiving city street or may be just surviving. So fast asleep they were. Tomorrow is the day the poor and the homeless are fed by the city council to mark the birthday of a great man. Which means chaos, struggling for getting nearer to the food van for the free grub. A feast. So fast asleep they were. From behind the shadows the killer limped towards them. In the dim street lights one could barely make out his ragged clothes covering the bones and the big chunk of rock, probably gathered from the any of the numerous construction sites in the city. The street lights suddenly got dimmer and thud…thud…thud!
A relief for the notorious serial killer, the stoneman murderer, three less stomachs to compete with, which means more food for him and his family tomorrow. Armed with hope he slipped into the shadows again with the bloody chunk of rock leaving behind his nameless, faceless victims.
From the dim lights and the consequent shadows of a high profile night club emerged a man probably in his twenties, but one can’t surely tell as his face look pale and haggard from the consecutive nights of club hopping, binge drinking, ectasy pills and humping. He reeked of alcohol and could barely make it to his Mercedes. A while passed and after a lot of swearing and cursing when his shaking hands and blurry eyes could finally make out the keyhole, the german engine roared to life, the horses started to show their power and in no time the suave black car was speeding down the empty city roads at 120kmph. Screeeeech and crack! and thud!…the man probably dozed off a bit and the car left the road for the footpath and bumped into a wall of a Government building. As the german airbags caressed the drunk, “Fuck!”he thought and with still shaky limbs he got out, checked the damage, thought of ordering the new BMW that had just come out and called his minister father who immediately sent a private car to take his truant home. As the ‘serial killer’ left in the passanger seat of an Audi, the minister’s handy man discovered a couple of bodies with skulls crushed under the tyres. Very casually he placed a chunk of rock in the pool of blood and drove off into the night.
“It’s a part of this policy called Garibi Hatao Desh Bachao…and our bhai’s chair in the ministry depends upon it” said a man in tight tees and bootcut denims, to his pillion. “Oye do chai de! Ahhh, so instead of removing Garibi, bhai wants to remove the garibs before the American dignitaries visit the city?! Bhai ka jawab nahi!” A small malnourished boy delivered the khullars. Sipping “So we’ll start tonight. ” The shadows grew longer and darker and from behind came two silhouettes against a dim street light and they were carrying something big and black and yes,heavy. Thud!…thud! and a slight sleepy scream in a child’s voice before a third thud! “Chal we are done here”.”Arrey boss yeh wohi chaiwala bachha hai na?” “Hai nahi tha…hahaha! Now lets go..bhai ko report karna hai aaj kitna garibi hataya humne!”
Our dining table had lost a leg and had become a bit wobbly. So I had to put a stone slab underneath it. We had our special sunday dinner tonight on the now perfectlybalanced table. Matar paneer and ghee chapatis. Sushma cooked today. She’s such a beautiful woman. She has gifted me my most prized possession my four-year old daughter Shama. I love them both. We finihed our dinner, put Shama to bed, finished our chores and went to the bedroom. I opened my laptop and started reading the latest of Stoneman news to Sushma who was busy doing her bedtime hair and skin care regime. Finally she turned the nightlights on and came to bed. I kissed her goodnight and fell asleep.
I am thirsty. I woke up. It was 2am in my radium-dialled watch. I went to the dining room, opened the fridge and poured chilled water down my throat..a bit too chilly for October? I didn’t mind. I stooped down, took out the stone slab, my lucky stone slab and returned to bed after kissing Shama goodnight. Sushma looked beautiful in the red glow of the nightbulb,in fact, they all did, Sara, Saima, Shalini, Susan, Savita, Sakshi….and I lied down in the oozing liquid warmth of my beautiful wife for the last time before moving to Kolkata tomorrow…