It was 7:35 pm when I parked my bike. security guard gave me a snobby look as I turn of my 110 cc engine. My face should seem familiar to him as I used to visit this place now and then, still, he was looking at me like I’m an out lander. Might be he is new to this cosmopolitan VIP club, I thought.
“sir, you’re not supposed to go inside, unless you buy a membership ” check-in guard ceased me, as my guess.
“ya, I know, tell your security chief that I’m here to meet Mr. Hombe gowda” I ordered, glimpse from his face faded away as he caught that name.
The name which is pretty much celebrated in the arena of attorney, the name which could bring vibration on anyone who knows him. The former justice of high court and now businessman, the man who known for his canny charm was my uncle.
“Hey, let him go, he his familiar” chief guard shouted out from his chamber.
Now the turn of being snobby is mine, I looked into his eyes till his face turn pale and faint. I liked the way, how the spark dissipated through his eyes.
I was exception. Even though I wasn’t a member, my was capable to get me in there, whenever he wanted. It was just a speck of capability from his numerous potential. I believe, men who make rules are really good at law bending.
It was a colossal swimming pool, beside that a lounge, which is emblazed by luminous lightnings, fancified fire lamps to make it more immaculate ambiance and nevertheless large firewater and booze. I have always wondered how this posh people squander money just to lift their mood up.
He started to visible as I passed the pool, there he was sitting beneath a big old tree, along with his typical scotch and soda gentlemen, talking and laughing over something. Most of his counterparts were from attorney and business, still, he successfully managed to cling with all the premier fantasy elites from the city.
“Come on, get yourself a glass, it’s an important occasion” Mr. Reddy business associate of my uncle said as always, with his over enthusiastic voice.
“No sir, I won’t drink” I politely refused making sure my uncle is watching me.
“Excuse me, I have some business with my boy” uncle broke that event with his last sip of glass. He placed his wild arm on my shoulder and took me few yards front.
“I need you to do me a favor, there is someone who is coming to my house for a few days stay ”
“Ok” I nodded.
“She is coming over her project work and I need you to take care of that”
Word ‘she’ from his converse caught my attention, it didn’t take 0.33 seconds to realise that it was all about a girl.
“How?” I asked without knowing what he’s really asking to take care.
” Taking her outside whenever she wants, buying her needs and all that” he said ” she is D/o Adijot singh, my friend, we used to work together in punjab”
I knew he was working in punjab when I was a kid, but never knew about that friend part, after all how I’m supposed to know? when he is a man of million friends.
” Take it” he consigned one of his debit card.
“I will text you the password, pick her yourself from the airport, take my SUV, she is coming to the evening flight” he said every point remembering from his half memory, one by one.
” what’s her name?” I asked.
” Oh I forgot to tell you that, ‘Karen’ it is “
“Karen? what kind of name is that?” abhi distorted his face as I asked him to search for her Instagram profile.
” If I knew why would’ve asked you? you’re the one who know the depth of that platform” I replied.
” Karen must be a christian name, let me see” he paused for a while “Hmm hmm no luck, results shows some white chicks from UK and Europe but Delhi” he made it in a sad tone.
” It’s ok, I will carry a name board to the airport, that will be helpful” even I made it in a sad tone.
” He would’ve send his driver for that, but why you?” he asked.
” I don’t know, he’s a reasonable man, I believe there is a reason for him” I justified.
we were sitting in a park, which was prohibited after night 8’o clock. Only ghost would stroll over there at that time, in a dark ground. somehow we’ve managed to make our byway into this park. It was our night club, and till date no security guard have stopped us, asking for a fucking membership.
” Ignore it, guess what I’ve bought? “ I placed a unsealed ‘Johnny walker’ in his front.
” You crazy son of bitch, how come you got this? ” he screamed out of surprise.
” Now, I own a debit card ” I winked, showing him my new card.
It was 1 am already, yet, I wasn’t able to sleep. Left side of my brain was forcing my eyes to shut down, whereas right side was still concerned on her howabouts.
How does she really look like? why my uncle is so concerned about her? why did he emphasized to take care of her oftentimes? what the hell is that project? and all the other questions were popping out regarding her incoming. I successfully stifled all the thoughts and slept, three hours later.
I went an hour before the landing, as my uncle instruction. but it took more than 20 minutes to find a parking space, in places like bengaluru, alongside driving you need to have a great parking skill. I left to entrance along with her name board.
I had dressed decent enough, sadly, even the best of your best shirt won’t boost your confidence when you’re confronting a girl. I drew a deep breath after seeing people coming out of exit doorway.
Everytime, when gorgeous girls pass by me, I was expecting them to be her, I knew it was shameless to think that way, still, I didn’t knew why I was doing that, may be it was common male nature, may be every men in place would’ve done the same, craving and praying for beauty.
Device in my pocket started singing, it was abhi’s call, I knew exactly why he was calling.
“Excuse me” before I answer his call a mellow voice interrupted. “I don’t know if this me, but I like to say Mr.Gowda is expecting me” she said pointing to her name board.
Tall woman with a sandy skin, her blonde hair was arranged in a cascade of curls, some of them were below her ears. Her face was shining with a giant cooling spectacle, covering her eyes and half of her face. Clean white shirt over aqua short jeans had made her look conspicuous. In bottom line, she was beautiful but Jumbo.
“From delhi?” I asked in a wobbly tone.
“yeah” she nodded her head in affirmation.
“Welcome to bengaluru” I faked a smile and picked her luggage.
I went straight to meet abhi after dropping her to my uncle’s house. I badly wanted to meet him and tell what happened.
“So, what’s the news?” abhi was waiting.
“She is out of my reach” I said.
“Why do you always think that for being middle class? Even rich people have good heart, you should try”
” I’m not about ‘rich-poor’ you idiot, she is almost six feet tall, like a mammoth, I’m talking about that reach” I reclarified him.
“Oh, that’s sounds like a problem then” he tattered. “so, what happened next? did you talk to her?”
“Nothing it was a mute journey, she didn’t uttered a word, neither did I”
“My six year old nephew have more testosterone than you” he fussed.
“I tried but, I didn’t know what to talk at the moment” I showed my helplessness.
“Trust me friend, you’re going to die virgin” he cursed.
I had come all the way, pushing down all the work, just to get a face palm from my sarcastic friend.
“Where were gone yesterday ah? your aunty was expecting you for dinner, idiot, come on, I’m assigning for a work” uncle yelled straight to my face.
“Ok listen, get her to the central prison, i’ve spoken the warden, he will take care of her whatever and need you to make it look unsuspicious” he was talking about the work he gonna assign “and if anyone superior comes to question you, just tell him my name and she is my concern” he added.
I understood why he wanted me for this instead of driver, if anything goes wrong he knew my face can hold an impact than driver’s. Also, it was clear that they were going to do something that they weren’t supposed to.
I remained in car, waiting for Jumbo to climb in, I thought it was a better name than ‘Karen’. Then she appeared, wearing kurta, neat combed hair, completely contrary to yesterday’s avatar.
“Why didn’t you tell me that he’s your uncle? I thought you were some random driver” she conversed in a soft voice.
I dressed up for an hour to not look like a driver, yet, woman sitting in my car called me a driver. That moment I realized, no matter how many hours you take to get ready, what dress you put on, your face rating can’t be hidden, if anyone don’t introduce oneself properly.
“Sorry, I thought you were tired and my introduction could wait” I grinned ear to ear, scratching my hair.
“Shall we go It’s getting late, appointment is in an hour and it couldn’t wait” she grinned back looking to her time.
I found it as a irritating sense of humor. I decided to not talk with her anymore. Bloody fat jumbo, I will never smile to this girl, not even fake, I determined.
I parked car few yards before the gate and started to walk towards the prison office, she was following me.
“Excuse me, Hombe gowda sir said…….”
“Ah ah, he called me” he remembered “so, who is among you is going inside, see, I can’t take risk here, only one is allowed” he was looking to our faces.
“She is going inside, I’ll stay and wait here” I clarified “And one more thing, she doesn’t speak kannada uncle told you to take care of that” I added.
They left, leaving me outside, after spending lot of humdrum time I left the room to get some air.
what the hell is she doing exactly? what exactly was her business inside? why didn’t my uncle told me about that? why’re they doing it mysteriously? I started to feed my curiosity. I decided to put an end to it once she come over.
After long three hours, she appeared.
“So, how was it?” I asked, though I wasn’t interested in her, I was intended to know what she was doing.
“Oh, I think that can wait, can I have my lunch first, I’m hungry” she replied.
I thought she was trying to irritate me, no, it was clear, she was making fun of me with intension, which was still irritating.
I didn’t speak, just drived the car until she said ‘stop’ in exterior of a grand restaurants.
“Go jumbo go, eat whatever shit you want, don’t ask me to stop again” I wanted to yell. ” you go I’ll be waiting here” I said instead.
“Why? you’re not coming? uncle told you will take care of me wherever I go” she said in sarcastic tone.
suddenly I realized what my uncle told, I was suppose to pay for all her bills. I looked for the debit card in my purse and said “Yes, I’m coming”
Waiter showed menu, she ordered something I had never heard of, now it was my turn, waiter – whose job is to wait wasn’t waiting, he was asking me to order, I didn’t know how to tell that I’ve never taken way to any of this restaurants.
“No-gotts” I confirmed.
“Sir, do you mean nug-gets?” he re-asked.
Karen started to giggle.
I didn’t understand where this waiters and watchmen get this attitude from, Everytime it happens to me with them, the embarrassment.
“Yeah” I said after a awkward moment.
It was just a similar day to the first day, was again, irritating, but there was no embarrassment.
” Dai-tai-fung, drop some milk topping” I told.
This my pronunciation was befitting, beside that I disturbed waiter’s equilibrium by making it in style.
Karen, who was watching it closely gave me an applause through her eyes.
“Hello, who’s this?”, it was an unknown call.
“Karen speaking from this end”, it was her.
“Yes,what can I do for you?” a pseudo confident voice generated autogeneously.
“Can you come early today?”
“yeah”, I ended her call, saved the number as Jumbo.
she fetched me to the prison early, I wanted to ask why, but, I feared again she would come up her ‘Oh that can wait’ response, I didn’t ask anything.
” Yeah, that is all, finally I’m done” she came pretty early from her mysterious work.
“So, can we go home?” I asked.
“Why so hurry? Its my last day in this city, come on, show me how is your city, let me see how it looks” she went to sit inside the car, without asking my ‘yes-no’.
It seemed like an command, but glad news is she is leaving tomorrow. Let me bear this all for today, just for uncle sake, I thought.
I took her to forum mall, kormangala, global village and other giant teckparks. After two hours of loaf through out the city, finally she moved her lips “How boring? Delhi have bigger malls and seeable places”, I just drived without talking, “Take me to the places where I can feel some some positive energy” she continued.
“Like temple?” I asked.
“Hmm, not a bad idea, is there any sikh gurudwara around? its been ages, never visited one off lately” said like she got an alarm from somewhere.
“There is one, but it’s in ulsoor, It takes complete afternoon, evening and some hours of night to return” I said thinking this would freak her out and probably she would say no.
But on contrary she said something which freaked me out “Ah, I’ve all the day, take your time” she said.
I did made a mistake, I shouldn’t have told her, a simple ‘I don’t know’ would’ve saved my day, as a atonement I took U turn over yashwanthapura flyover to catch the nearest way.
She stepped out of the car like a religious women, her wale passed around her head, which was further left to flow down through her shoulder.
That reminded me Anushka of ‘Rab ne banadi jodi’. I had never seen anyone costumed in that way, honestly, she was looking beautiful. I simply followed her like shahruk khan did, singing “Tujme rab dikhtha hai yara mai kya karu”
I didn’t know how to perform the praying actions, I had never been one of the religious stereotypes, could’ve done some hypocrisy to impress her, instead I choose to wait outside the temple, thinking what shahruk khan did for anushka to impress her.
By the time she return, I left all the bad influence had on her before, Inarguably it was a positive place with romantic vibes.
“So, did you got?” I asked.
“What?”, she was looking confused.
“Positive energy” I told.
she bursted into laughter, ” yeah, but still I have to get some” she breaked a breathe to say this and again continued to laugh. I felt proud myself for making a girl smile.
we stopped by the chat street on the way to home back, since she was hungry.
“So how’s benagaluru?” I initiated a conversation
“Take me to the remaining places, I’ll tell you then” she said.
“That’s not possible today, it will be late night by the time we reach” I replied.
“What will be that time?”
“8pm most likely” I said.
“In delhi, night starts at 11pm” she laughed and climbed the car, we moved to road again.
“Hello uncle, yeah, I’m with him now,yeah, everything went fine, no uncle, I’m going out with my old friends, yeah, delhi friends, don’t worry I will tell my papa, yeah, I’ll take care of that sure, bye” she was talking to my uncle. seemed like she was going to have big off night.
Just few seconds later I got a call, it was him, my uncle, “where are you now?” he asked
“With her” I said
” she said, she gonna hangout with hr friends,make sure she is safe, wait and bring her back” he said.
I never heard his voice in such soft, caring vox
“Yeah, definitely, I’ll look after that” I assured him.
“So, girls are having fun tonight ah?” I asked taking some gentleness.
“Bring me two Budweiser, two Blue moon, I’ll show you how it will be” she said without hesitating.
Girl who was religious two hours back was asking for a strong beer, I knew alcohol was quite common for a punjabi, but I wasn’t ready to risk my neck.
“Nice joke” I tried to dispell what she said.
“Hey, come on I’m not kidding”, she left me perplexed.
I hit the brake, car stopped.
“Then you should ask my uncle, I’m not supposed to do that” I said
“Come on, do they all want to know about this?” she was looking to me, like I’m timid.
I took few moments, calculated the permutation and combination of getting caught, result seemed safe.
“Ok, where are your friends? where you guys will go?”
“Let us grab our beer first, we can figure it out later” she told
I left her in car alone to bring her a combination of two good beer. I called abhi as I entered the outlet. He said needn’t to worry, this all quite common for people from such background and lastly he told me not to let her get bamed.
“I’m sorry” she said as i appeared with her bottles.
“Why? what happened?” I asked out of turmoil.
“Don’t know how to break it you” she paused for a while “My friends aren’t coming, said they can’t make it to the party”
I didn’t know why she was asking sorry, It was a good news for me.
“Ok wait, I’ll return this” I started to walk.
“No wait” she stopped me “Don’t give it away, I’ve a plan”
“What?” I asked.
“Why can’t we both have it, even two guys can make a great party” she said in demureness.
I had done many lucrative risky jobs for my uncle before, but this was the worst of all my plight. I didn’t know how to articulate for it. May be some sinister is waiting for me, may be I’m being succumbed goat here, I thought.
“Look I’m risking my head for this” I took some fortitude to say yes.
“Don’t worry” she patted on my shoulder “I’ve expertise in that area, I will manage it all without bringing it to you”
Stubborn girl made a strong promise, but deep inside I was totally pissed off, I knew I was banging my head against the wall.
Now the problem was ‘where to take her?’, taking her to the public place was obviously equal to digging out my own grave. So I decided to take her to the club, not to the VIP one, my self proclaimed night club.
“Come on, jump on” I whispered.
“This is dark, I can’t see anything down” she exclaimed
” That wall is shorter than you, don’t worry jump on” I assured her.
There was no joke in that, literally she was taller than the wall.
“Wow, this is a great place” she screamed as she saw som flowers around her.
“Yeah, this is , but on polar, this place is known for negative energy” I tattered.
she laughed her heart out, her cheeks started to glow even in the gray dark, I understood why they say ‘ Beauty can’t be hidden’, mercury light inside the park was making her sandy skin more beam and outshine.
” I think you’re less boring among your family” she said after ending her laughter.
” Thank you” I smiled and opened the bottle for her.
karen: ” I want to confess something”
karen: “Actually, I don’t have friends in Bengalaru”
Me: ” what? you don’t have friends in benagaluru?”
karen: “I don’t have much friends anywhere”
Me : “why you lied to me?”
karen: “Would you’ve said yes?If I asked you out for a drink? so, I framed it all”
I rewound everything she did right from the morning, yes, it was a wind up, clean set up for her “Budweiser’ whim. City rounds, gurudwara, hotel and all were just for distortion. Clever, I thought.
Me: “Even I’ve to confess something”
karen: ” Oh, what’s that?”
Me: “I tried to stalk you profile in Instagram”
karen: “I don’t have my face in that platform”
Me: “Hmm, strange, I thought it was made for people like you”
karen: “What you mean by people like me?”
Me: “Rich and beautiful”
karen: “It’s for people who live in simulation”
I didn’t get what she was telling, I settled sipping my bottle.
Me: “Tell me what is meant by karen?“
karen: “Actual name is karenjith singh, karen is short name”
Me: ” Sorry, I made fun of your name without knowing what actually it is”
karen: “It’s ok, even I made fun of you”
Me : “when?”
karen: “Remember the first day? when i told you ‘Oh that can wait’, oh my god, I can still remember that face” she giggled
Me: “Fun ah? It was insanely irritating”
karen: “Let’s forget it, come on, tell me something about you”
Me: “I don’t have a great portfolio, persued our nation degree, engineering and job is still foreign to me. Now figuring out what to do, nothing as interesting as your life”
karen: “Why do say like that? you have your uncle, he will help you out”
Me: “My father is a self respected guy, he never stood before his brother for help, even he will never allow me to seek any help from him. Still they hold mutual respect on each other, still they’re good brothers”
karen: “That’s great to hear, guy who never get boosted, though having a rich brother, give him my gratitude” she saluted.
karen: “Yeah, I heard about that, what happened that day?“
Me: “Even my uncle is a noble man, but now he’s not quite active in much of his interests, after losing his son in a car mishap”
Me: “He was drunk and driving the car, over speed in the city limits”
karen: “It should be hard for him, right?, losing his only son?”
Me : “That day will never fade from my eyes, he thinks he spoiled his own son by over feeding him, he never denied anything he ever asked, problem with the rich parents, you see”
karen: ” So, now you are his son figure?”
Me: ” You can say that, now he cares everyone he owns, but either of us know that I can never replace that void”Move Paragraph block from position 206 up to position 205Move Paragraph block from position 206 down to position 207
karen: ” Can you drive when you’re drunk? please don’t drive now if you can’t, we can go home with cab” she was concerned regarding her return.
Me: “Heroes never outreach 30kmph in city glimits and I’m a hero”
karen: “Kya dialogue mar diya yaar, pat jayegi sub ladkiya”
she laughed, already her smile was my kryptonite.
Me: “Ok, now tell me something about yourself, wait-wait-wait, first tell me what are you doing that prison? what is work exactly?”
karen: “Seriously? you don’t anything about that?“
karen: “It’s a project of mine, I’m studying Criminology- behavioral science, I wanted to talk to the real criminals, so, I happend”
Me: “Why is that? what will you do from it?”
karen: “Classifying their behavior and creating profiling manual for domestic law enforcement”
Me: “No one really knows you went there except uncle, warden and me, what is the reason for keeping visit off record?”
karen: “Sensitive criminals aren’t easy to interact, I will hardly get permission if I go through procedure and policies”
Me: “ That is all? I thought you were some lady james bond working for CIA or MI6″ I laughed, hard enough to irritate her.
karen: ” What’s funny here?”
Me: ” The way you and my uncle showed it up, seriously, I’ve done more menacing work for my uncle, illegally, but I never showed it up in the way you did” I said
I realized I’ve gone overboard by the eyes she was looking at me, I wanted to stop irritating her now.
Me: “you could’ve done that in Delhi itself, even delhi is also know for pathetic crimes, why this particular prison?”
I asked to bring some sense talk in our conversation.
karen: “Because I chased this one specific criminal profile, Kallayya Ipparagi”
Me: “who is he? what is that exceptionality in that person?”
karen: “A human as normal as you, convicted for killing 17 people in 3 hours”
Her words seized my tongue, beer got stuck right in the middle of the throat. How could that even be possible? 17 people in 3 hours? I was lost.
karen: ” I came across his file once during my lecture, I thought his case was perfect for my study”
I was half listening to her , mind was visualizing the intense of that crime, family of innocents and blood he had spilled out.
Me: “Can we stop talking about this? I’m quite timid to crime and horror stories”
karen: “You don’t have a girlfriend, right?”
Me: “What are you speaking?”
karen: “People who are nervous to crime and horror are hardly courageous, also low on confidence, and girls don’t like who are low i n confidence”
Me: “Can you stop this bullshit?”
karen: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” she giggled.
Me: “Now I know why you don’t have much friends“
I replied, looking to her belly laugh.
Me: “So, you have multiple boyfriends then?”
karen: “Ya, I have many that I couldn’t keep count on them”
Me: “It’s obvious for girls like you”
karen: ” Thank you, I’m flattered”
Hour passed, we have finished merely two bottles, still two beers were looking to us. Honestly I wasn’t a beer guy, even bottles wasn’t enough for me topple down, I was a scotch guy who was inspired by my uncle.
But for girls I wasn’t sure, I seldom knew about their choices. karen was high already, getting ready for her next beer.
karen: “You know what? I was in love with a man once”
This time it wasn’t her who was speaking, It was her alcohol.
Me: “What happened then?”
Karen: ” I lost him for a misfortune”
she started to drink entire bottle in one gulp without taking a breathe.
Me: “Hey relax, easy”
I freaked out looking to her madness. I remebered what abhi told, ‘Bring her back once get bamed’. That urged me to get her home.
Me: “Karen, we had enough”
karen: “Wait until I finish this”
Me: “Enough karen It’s getting late, wait, let me help you to stand”
Karen: “you know what? you’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met”
It was 10 minutes passed to 11pm, I drived carefully all along to home. She prepared herself to act normal.
karen: “Don’t worry, having told you before I’m good in managing this”
Me: “Hey, take this breathe mint”
karen: “I’m I smelling?”
Me: “You can’t ask that question for another drunken, just take it for safety”
karen: “Ok, good night then “
Me: “When is your flight tomorrow? I’m coming to bid a farewell for you”
Karen: “Evening” she smiled.
Me: “ We spent a great time together”
karen: “It was so bracing, I wish could stay with person like you, forever”
It was so confusing remark, I couldn’t make out if she was really telling that or she was making a joke.
Me: “Good night, see you tomorrow”
karen: “Hey thank you again”
She uttered looking at me, before getting inside the door. At that moment I felt her were speaking something, there was a glimpse of gratification in her eyes, she really meant in thanking me.
Next day I went to karen early, so I can spent some time before she leave.
Me: ” Hai aunty, where is karen?”
I asked my aunty.
Aunty: “She has gone to her early morning flight”
Brain went stagnate, I was shocked to hear that, stood on the cracked ground thinking why did she left without informing me, I felt bad and cheated. Gift I bought to give her started to laugh at me.
I tried to call her number, It was not reachable already. I badly wanted to see her for one last time. Only person who could tell why she left, was my uncle, I decided ask him.
Me: “Aunty where is uncle?”
Aunty: “Inside, watching TV”
I went inside to confront my uncle, he was sitting in the living room, watching big screen on the wall.
” There is a breaking news coming in, Kallayya Ipparagi, the psyco killer, mass murderer has been dead, sources says he killed himself by slitting his hand this morning, reason behind his suicide is yet to be detected” lady in the news was shouting.
A jolt ran through my body, my body wasn’t ready to take another shock. I lost my sense for a moment.
I looked to my uncle, he was sitting comfortably, smiling to the news.