In the unobtrusive life of Karan came an incident that broke the monotone of his life. On facebook he befriended a girl Pooja few months ago, after knocking tirelessly on facebook chat window whenever the green dot sat beside her name, he finally reaped a response. Their relationship as facebook buddies went on for a few months before Karan emerged from his cocoon, after much insistence Pooja finally budged.
“Let’s meet in the Street Corner” she agreed, Karan obliged unhappy with the bargain,Street Corner a local cafe in Madhyamgram is an expensive hangout place for teens and adults alike,but Karan wasn’t ready to lose this opportunity which he earned after much hard work. A salesman’s job in a private MNC fetches him quite a amount of bucks, but at the end of a month he gets financially crippled, till the next month brings his salary and incentives.
Karans heart weighed heavy as iron as he kept 1000 rupees in his purse, ‘Will these be enough, why such things should happen at the end of the month’ he sighed.
“Ma I am going” Karan called out.
“Go tomorrow Baba ” Karan’s mom answered “the rain can come any time shattering the sky, Tell Vikas you are Ill”,
“Ma I will come back before the rain comes, It will not look good if I skip this invitation“ Karan stepped outside, “You will get flu if you get drenched in rain, have you taken the umbrella” noticing that her son has taken nothing resembling an umbrella she called out earnestly “don’t get wet in the rain, stand under some shade until the rain stops” and made a silent prayer to the gods for her son.
After galloping through the pothole broken roads when the autorickshaw stopped, the sky is under a blanket of dense dark cloud and drizzling un rhythmically, Karan strode inside the cafe paying up the autorickshaw. The Street Corner cafe is scarcely filled with occupants in their teenage, who bothered less about the wraith of the weather and more about their newly found sensation of being in love. Karan took a seat and admired the meticulously designed menu card, which displayed food items captioned in bold letters highlighted by a spectrum of colors. He carefully picked the items and sorted them in a four course meal, in the most cost effective way possible and waited for Pooja to show up, he pretended to be busy as few prying eyes stole a glance of him.
Few minutes flew past before a girl in mid 20s came in,a subtly beautiful face as depicted on her facebook pictures, but few inches taller than the average height of other girls, dressed in a dark pink t-shirt and jeanse trousers she came in.
”Pooja hi” Karan stood up showing courtesy,”Hi” Pooja smiled timidly and took the seat opposite next to him “sorry for dragging you out in this weather” Pooja apologised “but you know about my job, I couldn’t squeeze out any other date ”, “Yeah no problem at all, I can understand the dog eat dog world of the corporate houses” Karan tried to be pull on the modernised Indian youth impression on Pooja. “What will you like to have with coffee” he looked at one of the waiters signalling one to come over to their table.
A screeching sound of the glass doors of the cafe diverted his attention from the waiter, 5 well built men entered and the loud thudding sound their boots made on the floor tore the subtle environment of the cafe into pieces, before taking a seat a little away from them, Pooja looked unaffected by the commotion and didn’t throw a glance at them. The silence came back as they settled down, a waiter hurried to their table with cups of coffee a cookies and made a gesture that looked like a salute, one of them wore a black over coat on a mismatched t-shirt, that contradicted well with his light colored trousers.
Karan gave their order returning his attention to Pooja, “The rain gave some respite from the heat, I hope it stays like it for the next two days” Karan tried to start a conversation “Where is your office”, “Park street” Pooja swiped her fingers removing light strands of hair dangling over her right ear “I work at client site”, ”Park Street the journey is arduous in this furnace like weather” the doors swung a few more times more producing a screeching sound announcing entry of customers like a good alarm system. The coffee dried up quickly as Karan signaled to the waiters again, he made an careful observation which looked funny to him, in the scarcely populated cafe Pooja is the only girl left as last couple left their table strewn with plates, paper cups and tissues
‘has rain lost its romantic charm on gen XY couples, probably air conditioned hangouts is the new hip, they don’t need nature to conjure a romantic environment any more’ Karan made a philosophical note. “Put your hands up Modak, don’t try anything or we will burst your skull ” Karan was tugged away to reality from his chain of observations, men from most of the table are up, they gripped their handguns with one hand and supported them on the other pointing them at the man in black over coat, man in the black over coat looked at them dazzled probably finding it hard to process everything like Karan. He heard Pooja getting out of her seat, “Pooja stay low …” his words are cut short Pooja fished something from the purse with one deft movement, shedding her purse on the floor she aimed at something behind him and bang a deafening sound echoed in the small cafe and escorted a weird and distorted human shriek, it gave enough time for the man in black blazer and his companions to recover, they took out their guns in a blink of an eye and crouched under various tables pointing handguns at the men who cast the impression of policemen ordering them to comply.
“Enough is enough” Karan bellowed “No violence in my area will be tolerated, I think I gave this message loud and clear earlier”, all eyes pierced him some with surprise, some with disgust and others amused as if they heard a joke. “Get down Karan, stay low and try to get out” Pooja whispered.
“Shut up girl, you set me up, you dared to play with Biman“ he made his voice as firm as possible.
“Oye cartoon shut your mouth and stay put or ” said the one whose tall and muscular features stood out most in the group, his expressions were enough to complete the sentence, “Hmmm Papon, is that what they call you, or should I say Bittu” Karan’s voice was calm enough to pass a eerie sensation in Pooja, specially the name Biman, one of Rakhals dependable muscle in his gang
“Oh I forgot we are sorry to hear about your mother’s illness, and Rakhal bhai has personally taken the responsibility of taking care of her”, Papon’s expression changed from that of a tiger to a mouse.
“So Mr Rakshat you made enough money extorting from the poor ignoring Rakhal bhai’s warning” Karan turned towards the blazer clad man “he wants me to make an example of you for everyone to remember what happens when one goes against Rakhal bhai’s authority”,”even police can’t save you now” Karan made his tone as baritone as possible.
“Bhai its all their fault” Rakshat mates pointed fingers towards Papon and Rakshat and disappeared through the door as fast as they could leaving Papon and Rakshat, the police men trailed them. Papon stood up his eyes radiated hate as he removed is long loose vest, baring is beefed up upper body and sprinted in slow motion ready to fight the hero.
What followed next is what happens in a typical action movie with flimsy romantic overtone This story is not new story to Archita, she had heard about this incident many a times, which is still making its rounds among her friends and relatives, finally packaged in a movie a blockbuster one. Though the depiction of Karan in this movie is a far cry form her father, who is neither as cool as the hero or as persuasive enough to talk his way through any situation. Her mother contradicts the lead heroin of the flim, she never shoved her authority at everyone’s face and seldom went public flaunting her fighting skills.
What started as an innocent date for her father turned him a hero in public figure, when her mother tracked the leader of ruthless gang, and used her date with her father as a cover to track the criminal to his lair morphed as a cafe serving customers. As a sales personnel her father traveled all kind of places, meeting all kinds of clients so it was not that hard for him to about the notorious don Rakhal and about few members of his group trying to back stab him cutting deals for themselves, mainly extorting in his name from local vendors, labourers and builders. Seeing death one step away in a desperate attempt he used all convincing techniques he learned from his profession, in reality convinced that one of Rakhal’s muscle is standing in front of them, the goons surrendered unconditionally. So persuasive was he even her mom thought he really is one of Rakhal’s strong men and arrested him.
It still raises hearty laughter in her household, though dad wasn’t all happy of being arrested.