Monday, 20 May 2013

THE ASSASSIN


THE ASSASSIN


He had his finger steady on the trigger. The suave businessman in white kurta pajamas, dining  at his plush apartment on the 14th floor ,in the upscale  Malabar Hills was to be the target.  He had set his pad on the opposite building terrace .The bullet left its safe haven to travel to its final destination but the ill-fated piece of iron and steel  found its mark into the heart of the businessman’s daughter who accidentally ran across chasing a red and pink balloon . There was silence for a split second and subsequently  commotion replaced the shock and silence. His nerves of steel were unaffected and he aimed once again at the target, this time not going wrong and hit the bull’s eye.
Having  wrapped up his work, he moved out, hailed a cab and boarded a train at CST ,that took him out of  Mumbai .  He would be out of Mumbai jurisdiction till the news from the first page of the newspapers took to a small paragraph on the fourth or fifth page.
Kalia was notorious in the Underworld for his accuracy with the gun. He was a master of disguises wearing masks upon masks and peeling them after each ‘shot’ never to be ensnared into  the dragnet of the law. The coloured wigs, false eyelashes, the multi-coloured eye lens   were just props to the changes in outward physical appearance. The art of imitating someone else’s   voice and mannerisms were like a child’s play to him. The various languages and dialects that he had learnt on the streets helped him to blend effortlessly and anonymously   in to the teeming world of the common man. He had never seen the inside of a school but life has been the greatest teacher and this student lapped up whatever was offered to him. Vices like guzzling liquor, gambling and girls were miles away from him which his brethren from underworld loved to indulge in.
He spoke to none about his roots in a small nondescript village in northern India. He had run away to escape from the tyranny of a step-mother and an alcoholic father into the cruel arms of the dark underbelly of the Maximum City. But the City that doesn't disappoint anyone who sought  refuge, embraced this runaway with open arms. He was under the tutelage of Scorpion, the uncrowned King of nefarious activities and slowly graduated into the upper echelons   of the gang. He was the most trusted lieutenant of his Supremo.
He had now checked into a small hotel under a false name and a different disguise under the cloak of darkness.
Kalia woke up with a dizzy   head. The alcohol which he had forced down his throat could not drown his growing guilt. He had a gnawing feeling in his stomach. He had broken the unwritten rule of the under-world :  Women and children were to be spared.
The little girl should have been a target of a kiss and not a bullet. He could never forgive himself. He had enough of this profession. But retreating his steps was just next to impossible. The tentacles of the Scorpion would fish him out from the deepest  crevice of the earth to inject the venom in him. He had to find some way out to emancipate himself from this grave and suffocating situation.
After nipping a budding tender life, his existence  became a  heavy burden and ceased to have a meaning or a goal. If he had settled to matrimonial bliss, his daughter could have been of that girl’s age. He had committed an unpardonable sin, though not intentionally.
Four fortnights later he was in the Scorpion’s den with him, alone. He sat down on the chair opposite his boss.  They were peering over the details of the new assignment when Kalia picked up the Scorpion’s weapon. Next moment he fished out a note from his pocket and placed it near the lifeless body of the Scorpion. He made several calls from the Scorpion’s cell-phone ,  imitating the Scorpion’s voice perfectly.
He then wiped clean for any traces of fingerprints that could be left behind as evidence.  He had de-activated the CCTV camera before coming in.
He boarded a State Transport bus that would take him on one leg of his journey to his final destination, his village. He would start his new life as a vegetable vendor.
Next day the police swooped down upon the den and found the Scorpion’s gun and a suicide note. They checked the cell-phone records which had orders for dismantling the organization and subsequent dispersal of the gang members. The police put this down to suicide. Another theory floated that it must be inter-gang rivalry.
Whatever was the outcome of the investigation, Kalia was off, to turn a new leaf in his life.

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