7: A dark room

>> Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sid slowly came to his senses. He got up and looked around. His head was pounding. He put his hand to the back of his head. It hurt like hell. He tried to see if there was any blood. Atleast, his fingers couldn't feel any. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he looked around. It was a small room, about 6 ft by 8 ft. He had been lying on a creaky old bed with a smelly torn mattress. There were no windows. The only light came from the gap formed by the door's hinges. He tried the door. It was locked.

A slight feeling of claustrophobia came over him. He brushed it aside. Focus, Sid, focus. How did I land up here? He tried to remember. The cobwebs in his mind slowly cleared as he remembered the last hour before he lost his consciousness. And then it all suddenly dawned upon him.

'Big Mac! The French bastard!' he thought. It had to be his doing. Nobody else knew where he was staying in Pune. It had to be his men who must have knocked him over. And then Sid suddenly smiled. He now realised where he was. This had to be one of Big Mac's new places just on the outskirts of Pune. Big Mac had told Sid about it. In fact, boasted about it. It was a huge villa on one of the hills near Paud, a small town some 30 kms from Pune. To an onlooker, it looked like a typical weekend getaway place for one of the rich businessmen of Pune. Well, weekend getaways did happen here. But not the kind rich businessmen would want to take part in.

Judging from the artificial light coming from the door's hinges, Sid could make out that it was still night. So, it had not been long after being hit on the head. And then Sid smiled again. This was typical Big Mac strategy. You want information from somebody, knock him over his head from behind. Leave him in such a dark room and wait for him to wake up. The fellow, however hardened he maybe, slowly starts panicking. Wait for about 6 to 7 hours and then bring him out and do some tough interrogation. "Being in the dark with a girl, my dear fellow, can bring out the devil inside you. But being in the dark alone, young man, can also easily set the Devil on you!" Most often than not, it worked.

Sid relaxed. He could play along with Big Mac's game. He still had an ace up his sleeve that Big Mac didn't know about. Sid reclined back on the bed, propping himself up with his elbows. He took a deep breath. And his mind wandered to the happenings of the evening.

The moment he had laid his eyes on the contents of the DVD, he knew what it was. And a plethora of emotions had broken out in Sid's mind. His whole life had flashed past his eyes. His parents' fatal car crash when he was just 17, his completing his college education with whatever insurance money his parents' death had given him, and then his slow and steady involvement with Big Mac. Sid's was not a typical story of a street urchin rising through the ranks of the underworld. Sid was an educated, English speaking graduate about to join the boring routine life of thousands of engineers passing out from mushrooming colleges across the country. But Sid never was interested in that life. Even in college, he was the daredevil. He had trained himself in martial arts. His Royal Enfield was a prized possession. With no parents to hold him back, he had enjoyed his college life to the hilt. With his parents' insurance money slowly dwindling, he knew he was not going to be happy with a typical fresher's salary in IT world.

Through a friend who knew of Sid's other talents, he had a chance meeting with Big Mac. Big Mac had immediately realised Sid's potential. Sid, being Sid, had immediately realised the opportunity that existed for a educated, polished, English speaking conman in Big Mac's world. And the rest, as they say, is history. Sid had led a good life. He knew he was good at what he did. And he knew Big Mac knew he knew. So, they both had an understanding. It would be only the classy jobs that would come Sid's way. In sheer professional terms, Sid would have to agree that this DVD job had been the classiest one of them all.

Which brought him to the DVD. Sid knew that he was not particularly patriotic. Hell, he was a conman. He also knew, he was no Robin Hood. What he did, he did just for himself. But one thing Sid knew and Sid knew well, was that he was not a terrorist. Neither did he want to be associated with one. Big Mac had, for once, bitten off more than he could chew. Doing this would be taking them into a completely different league. And with that would come the additional attention of not just India's intelligence agencies, but also those around the world. He didn't mind dealing with the Bombay police, but Sid knew that there was no point getting all this attention just for money. Screw Big Mac, he had thought.

And then he had decided exactly what he would do with the DVD. He set about doing it. It had been a roller coaster ride of emotions and thoughts. And in all this, he hadn't realized that it was half an hour past the meeting time with the two gentlemen. In a moment of weakness, he had switched on his old mobile phone. And just as luck would have it, Neha had called at that time. Somewhere inside, he really liked this girl. When he got to know she was involved in this as well, in another moment of weakness, Sid had uttered probably the corniest line that he had ever uttered to a girl in his life.

As Sid sat on the old bed thinking about it, he almost laughed out loud. Two moments of weakness in one day. Not good. Who did he think he was, a Hindi film hero? After doing a world of bad-doing, the hero realizes in the end that he has found his true love and gives up his crimes! Sid laughed again. What Sid had said to Neha on the phone had been true. But the way he had said it, Sid couldn't stop laughing at himself.

The he remembered what he had in mind for the DVD, Big Mac and the two gentlemen - whoever they might be. As the door to his room was suddenly thrown open, blinding him with light, Sid's laugh slowly turned into a sardonic smile...


SiD 10:17 PM  

ok i liked the name...'SiD'...feels personal...:P
following ur story now on...

Rucha 10:24 PM  

Next?? :)
I guess this is the first one i have read on time. First day first show :)

Marie 1:25 PM  

What did he say to Neha?
Hey whatever you do... don't kill Neha in the process! Poor girl.. :(

Yamini 5:59 PM  

You have mentioned Sid's expressions so beautifully that i could actually visualize this dark room and his flow of thougts, and the look on his face.
The transition of a smile to a silly one to a sardonic one is exceptionally well thought of...

and that is where my curiosity crops up even more... what next sirjeee????
fatafat likho!!!

Caught Offside! 2:31 PM  

@SiD: Thanks mate :)

@Rucha: Thanks. Better late than never :P

@Marie: Lol... You have started giving me ideas!!! :D

@Yamini: You have a gift. Of finding positives in somebody else, when none existed!

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