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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

01 September, 2005


If you were to ask me about my life now, I would say what Danny Ocean said to the parole committee in Ocean's Eleven - "I fell into a self-destructive pattern."

It feels funny as I stand here on this island and my feet are being washed by the waves of water. It feels funny talking to myself as I stare at the sunset. I guess I had read enough of Robinson Crusoe and seen Cast Away at least ten times to know that I could not lose my speech as a vestigeal activity if I kept talking like this.

I know one thing for sure, there isn't going to be any Man Friday for me here. Forget about losing my speech, sometimes I feel, I need the Man Friday just to have sex. I need him to have sex like rabbits do before I get bored of it.

I don't know what was worse - me graduating to be a successful manager, me marrying a rich business tycoon, me being born beautiful, my face being burnt in an accident, or my husband losing his love for me. It feels funny comparing the worse things of my life to find out which was the worst. Still, what else could you do standing alone watching the sunset?

I have read enough books and seen enough movies to keep telling this story using quotes by various characters. Shannon McFarlane, the protagonist of Invisible Monsters said, "Hysteria needs an audience." This is all I've been doing, getting my goddamned audience. The day I crashed onto this island, I never wanted to go back to the unheeding audience back home. I broke every bit of my boat into these shapely pieces, which I use for domestic purposes now. Didn't I tell you what Daniel Ocean said?

Rewind. In case you haven't figured out yet, then what you're hearing right now should be a high-bass-low-treble voice over like the ones they have in the movies. Ellis Redding said a story in 'Shawshank', Seth said it in 'Boiler Room', Adam Meeks said it in 'Frailty' and now Mrs. Ridhima Kapoor is telling you a story in 'Hysteria'.

We rewind to what I want to show you and where I want you to see it from. Stop thinking of my silhouette stepping into the water at this island. Think High School. Think College. Think Beautiful. Think Genius. Think Intelligent. Think Smart. Think Greedy. Think Envied. Think Desired. Think Loved.

Didn't I tell you what Madeline said in Amelie? You haven't seen Amelie? She said, "The bitch liked to spread her legs on satin." It was in French, but here it still makes sense.

Oh, I guess the tape skipped a few years. Rewind. While the tape rewinds you can see everything in reverse - me getting married, falling in love, earning big bucks and getting my degree in management studies. You can actually see the dean take that gold medal away from me.

I worked as a senior manager in his company. We were discussing extra dividends and liquidity one day. On the next day we were discussing our love for carnatic music. On the next day it was Robert Ludlum and Stephen King. The next month we were discussing our love for each other. I resigned and we got married. Then I got promoted. From that day on, I was his senior personal manager. You can laugh at this.

Think happy marriage. Think accident. Think fire. Think me losing my face. Think burnt skin. Think scar. To tell you the truth, it hurt when it burnt but it burnt a lot more after it could no longer hurt.

Didn't I tell you what Danny Ocean said?

Madeline said, "The bitch liked to spread her legs on satin."

The bitch was a television actress he met at one of those page 3 parties. The rumors go that he screwed her the first night he met her. She was just another snooty bitch who acted extra nice and extra virtuous on the small screen. About the party, I should mention the fake breasts and the low neckline.

I fell back into my room, my corner. My books and my movies to my rescue. Didn't I scream what Brad Pitt screamed when he first entered Cool World - "Moooooooooom!"?

It took me three months, nine to five working hours, six days a week to dismantle my boat completely. For those three months, I was busy. Earlier it took me four full-length movies with ad commercials to get rid of one day. It could also be one thirty-five thousand word novel. That was how days were timed in my corner of the room.

Didn't I tell you what Danny Ocean said?

Didn't I tell you what Shannon McFarlane said?

I needed an audience. You're even more hysteric when all your life you've had an audience and then suddenly you wake up in the hospital bed to see that the theatre is completely empty.

Right now, I am knee-deep into red water. The water has been reflecting the evening light from the sky. The sun's still hanging around, impatiently waiting for me to complete my story impatient to leave. I could walk ten minutes to the other side of the island and sleep there waiting for the sun to rise again. This is how small my world has become.

The day, twenty-first of August in the year two thousand four. I remember how I had convinced my husband to buy the classic 007 weapon - a Walther PPK as a show piece. He gave in to my persuasion. I also asked him to buy six rounds to display along with it for effect. I never let him know that I needed an audience. I never let him realise that I had changed and I knew everything.

That night when he was 'attending a conference' I went into the room and shot two rounds at his crotch, two in his heart and one into the head of the bitch.

In the morning at 5:30 AM near the dock, I bought the newspaper. I didn't stay home the whole night knowing that the police would call and I was a bad actor. I looked at the beautiful blood smothered suite 901 at the splendid Taj. The creamy pink satin smothered like someone had slobbered it with blood.

I'm no criminal. Don't look at my face like it's burnt! It was hysteria then. That moment I had the biggest audience ever - one billion people of India!

I drove off before I was tracked down - my boat and I, to this island that I had found out on one of my lonely cruises. They wouldn't imagine that I could be here. All they would report is 'Tycoon and Mistress found dead in hotel room, Wife Absconding'.

By now people must have read and known the life stories of Mr. Kapoor, Mrs. Kapoor and the actress as presented by the media. After two months the actress would be forgotten, her role given to someone else. Vinod Kapoor Charitable Trust School will be built with all this money that he and I left behind with no legal heir. Various top psychologists will analyse Mrs. Kapoor’s life from all angles. The crime will be talked about through the years. Some may call me psychotic, some may call me the black widow and some may just call me a depressed soul.

The silhouette that you can now see is waist deep in water. The sun disappeared as soon as he heard about the blood smothered room. I could still walk ten minutes to wait for the sunrise. But didn't I tell you what Danny Ocean said?

My torso gets wet as my torn top floats around the water and sticks to my skin again. My neck feels the ripples of water touching it. The gleam of the evening sun on the water is gone. It's just dark now.

I still could walk ten minutes to the sunrise. A wave of water chokes me for a second, as I taste the salt. I still have one round left in the last gift my dear husband bought me.

But didn't I tell you what Danny Ocean said?

I don't really need an audience any more.


Blogger livinghigh said...

aha. nice. sad, but nice.

01 September, 2005 18:37  
Blogger bikkuri-bako said...

welcome, jugal.
this is outstanding.
what next?

02 September, 2005 14:48  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Jugal, I see you kept your side of the deal... this is adult stuff for caferati. Good beginning, well-written, racy and sounding more Hollywood than Bollywood. Small cribs apart [ what btw is a 'personal' manager, u mean personnel manager, isn't it], this is a good start to posting raunchy stuff. Do that at the board plz, this blog business gets suffocating after a while.

02 September, 2005 17:12  
Blogger Asmita said...

You were right. I do like it. Love the way I could feel the hysteria. And yes, do post it on board too.

05 September, 2005 11:47  
Blogger John said...

Hi Jugal,

you make your story come alive. Good attempt. Do write what you know about and can describe with authority.

(:Keep writing:)


05 September, 2005 12:21  
Anonymous pawan said...

Jugal, I see the beginnings of a unique voice here. Way to go, bro.

15 September, 2005 00:15  

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