3: Big Mac

>> Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Like a tiger, she growled as Sid came into the alley. The growling turned to a purr, menacing still, as Sid slowly came to a stop. Kicking out the side-stand from his Royal Enfield Machismo, Sid lovingly caressed the beast. She was his pride. He spent hours on lazy Sundays tinkering with her. She was probably the only constant in his life right now.

Sid looked around at the familiar alley. To a normal bystander, it would look like any one of the hundreds of typical, dusty back alleys in the heart of South Mumbai. The one thing that stood out though was the collection of bikes parked there. Shiny Royal Enfields, imported Harley Davidsons, renovated Mazdas and Bullets, 'Hot Rod' Choppers. It was a biker's dream. As Sid locked his bike, he smiled. There was actually no need to lock it. His bike was small fry amongst the monsters out here. And then ofcourse, no thief in his right mind would try to put his hands anywhere on a bike that was parked in Big Mac's alley.

The sun cast a beautiful glow over the evening skies as Sid walked to an old wooden door. He knocked. A small slit slid out and two eyes poked from it. Then they seemed to smile. The door opened. Sid shook hands with the old doorkeeper, grinning at his toothless grin. "Sid's here!", he hollered and there was a roar as Sid went inside.

What was an old wooden door outside, seemingly of a run down establishment, transformed into a chic bar inside. The bar was styled after the Italian hangouts in the Godfather movies. Big Mac loved the Godfather movies. Sid had an inkling that he thought himself to be one too. There was a long bar at one side, with all kinds of drinks neatly stacked behind it. An overlying frame structure held glasses of all shapes and sizes across the length of the table. True to its styling, a short portly bartender was behind the bar, trying to look busy. In the area up front, there were two rows of short tables with three to four chairs around each of them.

A mix of 20 odd guys, mostly of Sid's age were either sitting at the tables playing cards, flirting around with the ladies, or downing drinks at the bar. All of them had one thing in common. They had a certain swagger about them. They were men in control. Men with power. They talked with the girls in a sort of off-handed way that can only come with that kind of power.

As Sid walked through, they nodded, winked and grinned at him. "What's Sid's score?" someone asked. "He's scored one more, haven't you?", someone else asked. "Update the scoreboard!", another one pointed at a white board on the wall. "You are the man, Sid!" One more yelled. Sid just smiled. He didn't react much. There was admiration, there was envy, but there was also a sense of belonging.

At the far end, there was a plush leather sofa. In the middle of it was sitting a huge mass of a man, with a cigar in one hand and a drink in another. A twenty something girl was trying to cozy up to him. But Big Mac was busy discussing something with two skinny gentlemen in front of him. Big Mac not just had a huge physique, he also had an impressive personality. Shoulder length hair neatly combed back, a graying beard hiding most of his fair-skinned face. But what kept you captivated were his eyes. While his overall persona seemed laid back, his eyes told a different story. They were intense. They didn't miss a thing. They bore through your whole being, trying to figure out exactly what you were thinking. Like they were doing right now to the two people sitting in front of him, scared shitless.

Sid walked right up to him. Big Mac looked up and roared in his guttural voice, "Ah Sid! My boy!" He gestured Sid to sit down. "You don't have a drink in your hand! Tony... get Sid a drink." He yelled out to the portly bartender. Like a mouse who has just realized that the fat cat has noticed it, Tony scurried around to prepare the drink. "So, how you doing Sid?" Sid nodded. "I see you are still topping the scoreboard ha!"

"I wouldn't be anywhere even near you hadn't you taken yourself out of the competition, Big Mac."

"Ah... I have grown too old for that, young man. And nowadays, this flesh does not excite me as much..." He looked at the pretty young thing besides him. He took his cigar towards her ample cleavage. She thought he was joking and started giggling. "Oh Mac, you naughty boy..." And then suddenly, she shrieked as she felt her bare skin singe. Big Mac laughed out loud as she ran away, sobbing. The two sitting in front seamed to cower down even more.

"But yes, these two gentlemen here do have a proposition for us that excites me a little. Sit down Sid. Hear them out. I am glad you are back to your old ways. That bitch of yours had me worried!"

Sid grimaced a little as Big Mac referred to Neha. But he hid it well. "Well, Sheila solved that problem without even doing a thing." Sid replied. He remembered the look on Ishika's face when she saw Sheila cosying up to him. And then, it was all over.

Since he had joined Big Mac, there had never been a dirth of girls. Big Mac had just one rule. Don't get involved. 'Ain't good for our business. No more than two months with one gal', he always said. 'Two months is just about enough time to fuck the living daylight outta her and yet not get completely involved', was his mantra.

Neha had been different. She was not one of the girls that Sid used to date. After his last job for Big Mac, he had taken a break. He wanted to live normal for a while. That would keep him sane, he figured. He had gone to one of the flats that he had bought recently. And then he had accidentally met Neha on orkut. She was searching for someone else, but found him. The messaging started. And the rest fell into place pretty quickly.

She was a software engineer living in a new city and he had a lot of time on his hands. Long weekends became a regularity. He had no idea when the two months became three. After a long time, he was feeling normal again. And then Sheila turned up.

Big Mac had sent her. Big Mac always knew everything about his boys. Sheila was one of Big Mac's special girls. "Fetch and Retrieve". That was her specialty. Sheila met Sid to make him understand that it was time to move on. And she did that in her own peculiar style. And just at that moment, Ishika saw them. Before he could decide what he wanted to do, his decision got made for him.

He didn't know how he really felt about Neha. Maybe, he didn't actually feel anything. Maybe, she was just another score. Like on of Big Mac's girls. Just a little different. Or maybe, he was too scared to know how he really felt about her. Whatever it was, he decided to act the cold hearted bastard. Maybe that was what was best for Neha. Anything else and she would have required an explanation. And he couldn't give her any.

Sheila had made things easier for him that night. Dragged him back from his so called 'normalcy' back to this world. Where he belonged. And just like that, he was back in contention as leader of the scoreboard. The "WTF" scoreboard they called it. It was a game amongst Big Mac's boys. It was really simple. No rules. Just the number of scores. And Sid had been leading the board for the last year or so. Neha had made the competition a little interesting. In the last three months, others had been able to catch up with Sid. But now, he was back at the top.

"Big Mac, sir, your reputation precedes you. So when we wanted this job to be done, we came straight to you." The mustached one had hesitantly started talking. Sid looked at the two properly for the first time. They were decently dressed in matching flannel suits. You could make out that this sort of a situation was not an everyday occurrence for them. They were scared.

Their kind were the best to work with, Sid thought. Their jobs were typically simple and straightforward. Out of fear, they paid well and on time.

He brushed away thoughts of Neha out of his head and started listening intently to what was probably going to be his next job...

9 comments:

Marie 3:32 PM  

"WTF" scoreboard!!!
That sure is some scoreboard. ;)

This is turning out to be a nice intriguing story!!
Keep them rolling...

Yamini 7:34 PM  

This part was amazing!! But I am a bit confused about a lot of things....
I am sure they will be cleared out eventually.... waiting for the next post!
This surely was a litrary masterpiece!

Caught Offside! 11:27 PM  

@Marie: Hehe... Thanks! Will try to keep it coming...

@Yamini: Well, I think now I am confused! Literary masterpiece? Come on now! :)

Rucha 10:48 PM  

Interesting ...
somehow you have developed a whole new style of writing ..

Its different from your previous works.

sahadevan 1:42 PM  

abe Saale Big Mac is waiting...
what next,,, it's about time... next installment plz

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

dude what happened 2 neha n ishika??

amsko 11:35 AM  

Hey,
I came to ur blog from Yamini's blogroll.

I really loved the way you have taken this story forward. It’s almost like a movie, and I can easily sketch out the characters in my mind.
Waiting for the next part.... :)

Keep writing

Amrita

Yamini 7:07 PM  

Sudip...

When is the next post coming up???

don't test our patience!! :P

Caught Offside! 10:04 PM  

@Rucha: I know... I don't know how it has come about... And you just said it was interesting. You didn't say whether the style was good or bad! :)

@Saha: I am really sorry yaar... Haven't even had the decent to reply to all the comments :(

@anon: I hope my future posts answer your question. I sincerely do! And thanks for commenting on many of the posts!

@amrita: Thanks a lot. That's a big compliment! I will try hard to live up to it...

@Yamini: This is the comment which triggered me to finally sit down and write the next one. Frankly, I got scared!

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