The traffic is moving at a reasonably good pace and you are sitting in the bus, thanking God for the millionth time for the mercy he has bestowed upon you today- giving you the opportunity to sit on one of those cushiony little things. You look at a person standing in the aisle, sandwiched between two others, exchanging sweat, perfume and what not. The sight grosses you out and you squirm in disgust. The person turns towards you and kick starts a telepathic conversation. You know he is cursing you and you turn your gaze away.
The driver speeds up and before you know it the bus begins to sway past all the puny cars and autorickshas like a Batmobile. They seem like insignificant worms crawling on the road. You watch their owners drive them in fear. “Ha… You might own a shining Merc, pal. But no one can beat the King of the Road.” Gripped with a sense of complacency you sit back and relax.
Suddenly Batman decides to come to a halt when the traffic lights turn red and the bus, racing at a whooping 70km/hr stops in a matter of seconds. You are thrown forward; your head hits the seat in front of you. You suspect a minor crack in your skull and perhaps a broken spine as well but you beam from ear to ear. The sheer bliss of sitting comfortably on a seat is indemnifying.
Your eyes fall on the traffic around you. While the car drivers push their vehicles in any nook and corner they find empty a few bikers, probably the descendants of Einstein, think a little out of the box. They haul their bikes on the footpath, flash an impish grin at the car drivers and zoom away. “The pedestrians can go to hell”, you think, “It’s high time the humans learnt how to fly.”
The traffic light turns green and a deafening noise pervades the surrounding. The honking game begins. The rules are pretty simple. If the vehicle in front of you stays put for a few millisecond you honk and you honk so loud that the entire humanity turns deaf for a a moment or two. Fearing permanent damage, you cover your ears with your hands.
The bus lurches forward and halts at your stop. You get off in the hope of catching a breath of fresh air. But Batman decides to bid adieu by blowing a puff of hot, toxic gases straight into your face. “Didn’t I get a facial done yesterday?”, you think as you walk towards your office. “Well, they say that activated carbon is good for the skin. Why waste seventy bucks on a stupid Ponds facewash when one can get this carbon free of cost.”
You walk briskly towards your workstation. After all, your grumpy boss is waiting for you in his cubicle and the power point presentation is still battling its way towards completion. But you smile. “After braving the Bangalore traffic I can surely handle my boss”, you think.
I love the sweet smell of smoke as it lingers near my nose preventing any other smell from entering my body. It’s feathery touch on my skin is so exhilarating, almost orgasmic, like hands of an invisible goddess that caress my body and my soul. The whimsical patterns it forms in the air blind me. The rest of the world becomes invisible. I can’t see the smile on people’s faces, I can’t see their grotesque expressions as they scream and shout, begging me not to kill them. I guess it’s this goddamn smoke that helps me kill people with such ease.
Yes. I kill. I kill for a living. As a child I never thought I would grow up to become a murderer. But here I am, the henchman of the biggest don in the city.
Today I stand at the very same place where my family was murdered fifteen years back. It seems only yesterday when a mob of religious fanatics, incensed by a provocative comment that a religious leader had made, ran up these staircase and slaughtered my family like butchers. I was right there, hiding under the cot and watching a scene that settled in my mind as indelible memories.
Having satisfied their thirst for blood those bastards went away, leaving behind a room in which my loved ones rested with their eyes wide open and their throats cut. The floor was damp with their blood and my tears. The eerie silence that hung in the air after the bedlam made me sick. I stood there nonplussed.
I had survived, but only to skid on the blood of my kin and fall into the world of crime from which there was no coming back.
At the moment I am waiting for my accomplice. He’ll hand me a gun with a bullet that has an unlucky soul’s name written on it. And after that… one more life will be taken.