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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

# 64 - NSFW - a short story

 There are certain words that just grab you by the collar and demand your attention, and sometimes, if the timing is right even innocuous words do the trick. 

In this case, the word and the timing – let’s just say, grabbed me a couple of feet south of the collar. I mean, how often does one hear shouts of “M*******D” at 2am?


Mind you, I stay in Mumbai, not Delhi. 


So I got up and looked down from my balcony to try and locate the source of the commotion.

 I should have known. 

There’s a slum not too far from my society, thankfully it’s not visible from my apartment, but some of the occupants had spilled over onto the street and I was well within earshot so far as late night drunken abusing was concerned. 

I couldn’t see much so I tried to discern the voices and understand the context. 

The two lead actors to the unfolding drama were arguing - accompanied by a number of equally drunk supporting actors on either side, none of whom were remotely concerned with stopping the argument, if anything, they appeared to be itching for the exchanges to escalate from verbal to physical. 


“Prakash M******, sahi bata saali ko kaha chhupake rakha hai?”

Ah, a woman, the most probable cause behind alcohol fueled late night arguments. 

“Tu bata bh****, wo boli wo maike jaanewali hai...magar uske purse ghar pe hi kaise bh****d?”


I lit a cigarette, this could be interesting. 


In a while, the absent woman’s name came up. 

“Bhanu kaha hai usko leke tera itna fikr kyun hai? Pati toh main hu”


Okay, now this was getting too interesting for my taste, Bhanu was the name of my maid who also stayed at the said slum. 

I couldn’t make out all that was being spoken, but figured that Prakash was the jealous husband of Bhanu that she spoke of frequently, the other man, whose name wasn’t uttered seemed like a childhood friend/lover who hadn’t quite moved on from Bhanu. 


Who knew that she was such a sought after commodity? But to be fair, she was quite the looker. If she did her make up right, wore the right clothes, and kept her mouth shut she would fit right in as a resident of the society. I had caught myself staring at her more often than I would –



Someone had finally made the first move and now they were exchanging blows and abuses; the other rowdies joined in, the words, though familiar, sounded coarser than I was used to, it was repulsive and yet I felt a tinge of electricity in my spine, a perverted pleasure in imagining the lowlifes fighting on the street over some girl, who in all likelihood had affections for neither of them.


The security guards of my society, no doubt considering themselves a notch or two above these people by virtue of their uniform, stepped in to intervene, partly out of their imagined superiority over them and partly concerned that the residents would blame the guards for the tranquility of the night being rudely interrupted.


They started scattering away, calling a temporary truce and grumbling in hushed tones, the fight would have to resume inside their homes or postponed for tomorrow.


I suppose I should have been worried for Bhanu, who would most certainly get a thrashing from Prakash whenever she was back.


But I guess I am a bit too selfish for that.


I was too preoccupied to notice that the ruckus had woken her up and she had silently stepped onto the balcony and had been following the events as closely as I had; she shook her head and merely said “dono pagal hai, daaru peeke halla karte hai.”

-       “Aur tum purse bhool gayee?”

She winked in what could only be called a vulgar gesture and pulled my hand, motioning me to get back to the bed.

I pulled her back and grabbed her by the waist, enjoying the longing in her breath and body that the two men were fighting over.  


Tomorrow was a Saturday, there wasn’t any hurry.

 Original image from here