By Neel Anil Panicker


At 38 years old, Rajender did not find life charming anymore.

He was still young, gangly at an impressive six feet, his body all meat and virile, and a face__ angular and angelic__all too easy on the eyes.


But the affair had pushed him into a deathly manic depressive mode.

The resultant effect of this misplaced adventure on his part was that it not only had wrecked his life and was fast turning him into a misogynist but also that things had deteriorated to such a sorry and unfortunate extent, he was now very seriously contemplating deliverance from all his self-inflicted miseries.


Seated in a lone corner bench in the heavily vegetated lush green municipal park that Monday morning, he looked around. All he could see all around the rectangular shaped tree-lined park that was hedged somewhat discreetly between a row of government flats in what was essentially a typical middle class Delhi suburb were a lone couple sliding into the bushes far out in the distance and an elderly woman seated in another corner rickety bench, her hands shaking and shivering in rhythmic motion___ from either longstanding arthritis or the chilly weather___ he couldn’t make out exactly what.  Probably both, he thought.


He flicked his wrist and for the umpteenth time in the last one hour since his arrival he checked his watch. The clock registered ten past eight.

Too early for even the die hard jogger to hit the track. With time the sun will peep out from the clouds and envelop all in its warmth. It would be the signal for them to come and surely they would follow suit; slowly and steadily, like ants crawling out of their hills, one by one, in a straight line, and make a beeline to the two dozen odd benches, to sit and  chat and crib and bitch about their sons and daughters and their dear in-laws, of all colours, shapes, sizes and denominations.


They had time on their hands, these old men and women, all in te autumn of their lives. And they loved to wait, or was it because they had nothing else to do but wait, wait for the sun to rise and then wait for the sun to fall.  They had all lived their lives and now their lives were lived on auto wait mode.

It was a luxury they could enjoy as they were all old and waiting for the verdict from Father Time but oblivious to them, the man seated and watching the snail paced nature of life unfurl before him was not blessed with such largesse.


Sub-inspector Rajender Verma of the Delhi Police loved women. He didn’t love them to the extent that he could be categorised as a womaniser or any such derogatory sexual term. But he wasn’t so anti-women to be slotted as a woman hater or worse as one who holds the grandiose view that a woman is meant only to produce babies and rear children or to warm the kitchen either.

“I love women, dammit. What’s the hell’s wrong with that?” he would lash out in exasperation at his colleagues at Uttam Nagar Police Station where he was posted for the past seven months; colleagues who ribbed and made fun of him and pulled his legs in friendly banter using the politest of euphemisms  in a veiled reference to his ‘fleshy’ tastes.


One look at him and even a blind man would know that here was one blessed with a face that was easy on the eyes. That sharply angular face was framed to shape with a strikingly carved jawline and was cringed with a slight smile, or rather the hint of a smile, as marked by the slight curving of thick lips above  which rested in all its majesty a penciled moustache not dissimilar to the one  that adorned the equally angelic face of his idol and silver screen lookalike Salman Khan.

And when the man with the killer looks and deadly pistol stepped out of his crammed and dusty one roomed Police flat and kickstarted his massive  Bullet to hit the streets; his thick wavy hair neatly tucked under a smart DP cap and his muscular physique hidden behind the rough and tough ubiquitous police issue uniform, it was more than enough to send many a female heart into orgasmic tizzy.

SI Verma knew very well he was blessed with movie star looks, and that’s how he carried himself.


Until the fateful day he met Ankita.

He checked his watch. The hour needle stood at nine. Damnit, where is Ankita?, Raj cursed under his breath.


…to be continued…


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