Just another job…
By Neel Anil Panicker
‘Will you be able to do it? Remember, this is your only chance.’
‘What a question was that?’ Raghav allowed it to pass.
He forked his tongue out and gleaned his lips, above which sat a pencil thin, almost invisible line of moustache, the colour of mahogany brown.
‘Chance. Wasn’t life itself a chance, a big one at that?’
Rags found his thoughts racing. He stepped back, just in time. He had all the time in the world to slay whatever demons remained of his past; but, all that later. Tonight he coudn’t afford to be lax.
He flicked his wrist. The Tageur answered back: 11. 54 . He knew the night was still young, he knew.
Dinner could wait. Maybe, a couple of hours later, hopefully in another city. But for now, he needed something to quench his thirst.
His eyes ran through the liqour cabinet. He caught his silhouette in its facade.
The glassed reflection stared back at him__admiringly. Close, cropped hair, jet black and slightly curly, especially near the ear lobes, served as the perfect foil for a face that many had whispered was a cross between Antonio Banderas and George Clooney. And thanks to those extra hours spent pumping iron in ten figure high gyms, the overall picture emerged of an over six foot tall Greek God. Not for nothing was he known as the ram with the rod. Some even called him a lady killer. He took that as a joke.
Split seconds later he had uncorked a Cheval Regal and helped himself to a glass.
His eyes caught the skyline outside and he stepped over to the balcony. Outside, for miles, the city lights burned bright. Around were as many highrises as the eye could see. He dropped his gaze several hundred feet below only to see a million dots racing past in maddening circles.
‘This city really never sleeps, just like him’, he thought. They were one. Two big insomniacs. Feeding on each another.
With closed eyes, he lifted his glass and slowly downed the contents; enjoying the familiar caress of crystal cubes as it slided past his throat. And, moments later, when it settled, comfortably, in his lungs, his chest swelled with pride.
The city, the apartment, the job. Ah! The perks of the high life.
A slight sharp sound broke his reverie.
He flicked the phone from the insides of his dark black Hugo Boss suit.
‘Switch on the TV, now’
Raghav stepped back to the room and switched on the monitor.
Within seconds the tiny mosquitoe-flares gave way and the 52 inch contracption sprang to life.
A sea of cameras covered the screen from end to end and all he could see was a bob of human heads and around it a thickened maze of microphones.
Suddenly the television exploded with boisterous cries and thunderous claps.
Rags__his eyes riveted__watched, as a gleaming black limousine screeched to a halt, and out of it emerged__face first, the man who the world knew as the President of the country.
As the ever cherubic, benign visage smiled on, occasionally raising his slightly arthritic hands to wave towards the by now uncontrollable crowd that was cheering on frenziedly at him, a slow, smile, barely invisible, creeped through Raghav’s lips.
It was what one of his many girlfriends lovingly called the ‘killer smile’.