THE UNDERTAKER  (word count: 2o8)

By Neel Anil Panicker

In this hot as human breath June madness that’s Delhi, the Rolls Royce wheels out of the billion dollar villa the man the world fears as The Undertaker.

“Nigambodh Ghat,” a voice barks, the decibel, an octave higher than usual.

But even before the last of the syllables crash against the bullet proof glass windows, his armpits dampen, the stomach muscles constrict, the eyelids twitch__actions, all synchronous and as if by mutual consent.

The Devil’s come calling. The six foot muscular frame melts into the car’s interiors. Its owner a slave to the nightmares.

To one, precicesly.

It’s a tin shed abutting the railway yard. His mother’s inside…strange men come and go…Outside it’s cold and dark. He waits. Hears a maddening shriek…his mother’s…scurries inside…she’s on the floor, swathed in blood…he bends down and touches her…she’s dead…hears raucous laughter around him…he lifts the blood smeared axe and smashes it into the man’s skull. A passing goods train mutes the horrendous shrieks.

Sharat Bajirao Amberdkar shares a love-hate relationship with funerals. It’s a plague he best tries to avoid, but falls victim to every now and then.

For such is the nature of his job.

In the night, he hunts out his enemies. In the day, he attends their funerals.






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