Sunday, December 10, 2006

Shikandi - Return

Gupta, led Shelu into a spacious cabin. Two hulks of men, armed with carbines guarded the doorway. They made a motion to search Shelu, but were waved away by Gupta. Hosseni trooped behind the two of them like an obedient stooge. From the time, Shelu was declared the student leader, Hosseni beamed the victorious smile of the man who has crafted a diamond out of obscurity. Hosseni knew that this was the beginning of an illustrious career for himself. And to achieve this, he only had to stick close to Shailendra Mahendran.

Shelu dug his hands into his pockets, as Gupta motioned him to a seat in front of a large glass desk. Shelu’s eyes moved to each of the portraits of the illustrious Gupta family as faces stared out from behind glass and silver frames. Shelu’s eyes glazed. He reached into his pocket. His fingers closed around a 6 inch round canister. He drew his hand out holding the Crimson Egg.

He twisted it clockwise and laid the egg on the table with the crescent facing Gupta. A soft tune of Beethovens 22nd symphony wafted from the egg as it glinted its lustrous silver as it moved on its axis slowly.

“I wanted to show you my finest invention, Mr. Gupta.”

The egg slowly moved, the red spot on its silver head moved closer to the red crescent on the base.

“What is it?”, asked Gupta, slightly amused but his eyes riveted to the tiny silver egg that
began to shriek Beethovens 22nd symphony to almost a cacophony. The sound was getting louder, as the red dot touched the outer edges of the crescent.

“ I call it rebirth, Shantu”.

Gupta looked up with a start. “What did you call me. Who are…”, he started.
He looked up at Shelu who stood before him, a half smile playing on his lips.

Hosseni stood behind Shelu, his eyes transfixed on the little egg.

The red dot stopped right in the centre of the crescent. Beethoven was silenced with a high pitched whine. The front exploded spraying Gupta with hundreds of needles. The needles pierced the skin of his face and neck as he moved back into his seat instinctively.

His leather upholstered armchair swiveled backwards on its wheels causing him to slide the chair to the back of the wall. He attempted to get up…his eyes livid with anger and fear.

‘Who are…”, he began. He couldn’t complete his words. His throat seemed parched. His face was beetroot red
Hosseni, stood transfixed. He did not seem to believe what he was seeing. He stood gaping at the proceedings.

“You have ten seconds to live, Shantu, use it wisely”.

“You cannot be….”, said Gupta in a hoarse voice.

He was dead before Shelu left the room and strode out of Gupta enterprises, onto the street.


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