The Thing Called: Bloody Ending
December 31, 2013: The day that changed my life. The memory of that night will remain etched in my mind forever. We decided to celebrate in a pub. Ganu was not very enthusiastic about being in a pub on 31st night, but we somehow convinced him.
When we entered the pub, we saw Yosha dancing with a few friends. JT immediately turned to me.
JT: Sammy, it’s Yosha. Let’s get out of here; I don’t want to bump into her.
Me: Why? What’s wrong?
Rider heard us and signalled that we should leave.
Ganu: Guys, we can go to Club Indy. It’s also a nice pub.
Me: Ok, let’s go.
Club Indy was one of those clubs where the latest Bollywood songs kept many busy dancing.
JT: Yeah, this is a great pub. Ganu, you are awesome for bringing us here.
Me: JT, let’s dance.
JT: Yup, but let’s get drunk first.
He waved at a waitress who was serving tequila shots. All of us took one shot each.
JT: Now, let’s dance.
After dancing for almost two hours, we were exhausted, but exhilarated. We sat on a couch to catch our breaths. Just as we were getting comfortable, JT saw a boy who he thought was trying to act smart with a girl.
JT: Look at that boy. What do you think, can he get that girl?
The boy was standing close to her, they both looked at each other and the girl smiled at him. They started dancing together.
Me: JT, they are together.
JT: Nope, I don’t think so.
The boy then started touching the girl. She didn’t seem to mind initially, but after a while she resisted his advances. She began telling him to stop. JT got angry watching this whole episode.
JT: Look at him. Now he is crossing the line.
Me: Easy JT, they both know what they are doing.
The girl warned him again.
JT: He is definitely out of line. Let’s beat up that punk.
Me: Relax JT. It’s none of our business; you have not taken an oath to protect all the girls. Besides, she is his girlfriend.
JT: How can you be so sure?
Me: Trust me.
As I was about to explain how I knew, when we watched her warning him again to back off.
JT: You moron!
JT marched towards the boy and punched him in the face.
Rider was about to leave the couch, but I pulled him back.
Me: Wait, let’s see how many guys he has.
JT landed another punch on the boy’s face.
Four guys rushed towards the boy, while three more got up from their seats to enter the fight.
Me: Now it’s time to help JT.
JT: Hey dude, if a girl says no, then a man doesn’t force her. Don’t you understand it, or did your mommy not teach you any manners?
Girl: Who the hell are you to interfere between us? Leave before he beats the hell out of you.
Before she could finish, JT was smacked in the middle of his face. His nose and lower lip began bleeding.
Boy: Didn’t you hear what she said? Now get the hell out of here before I kill you.
Me: Sorry man, we are just leaving. JT, I told you they were together.
As we were leaving, two bouncers literally lifted JT and threw him out of club. In the melee, I couldn’t pick up my phone which was constantly buzzing. I was shocked and surprised that she was calling me. Before I could speak, she started talking.
Her: Are you following me?
Me: Me? No.
Her: What’s the matter with you? Wherever you go, you create a scene. Why have you been acting so weird lately?
Me: Trust me, it wasn’t me.
Her: Then it must be your friend. I know how you boys are. Whatever you can’t do, you get your friends to do it. Just tell your friend to stop interfering in others’ lives, otherwise I will tell Surya. Once he gets to know this, nobody will be able to save you.
Me: What did you just say? We get things done, do we? Ok then, now I will show you how we really get things done. And by the way, who the hell is Surya?
As the bouncers bundled us downstairs, I grabbed JT’s hand and called out to Rider and told him that we would return in five minutes and asked him to get the bikes ready. I threw my bike keys to him. Doors closed and the lift started moving.
Me: I have some unfinished business upstairs.
JT: Whatever you say bro. Shall we beat them up?
Me: Just follow my lead.
We rushed inside the club.
Me: Just stay with me.
JT just nodded, while nursing his bleeding lower lip, as blood oozed out from it incessantly.
We approached the DJ and asked him to give us the mike. He refused, which made JT punch him so hard that he fell down. He switched off the music and gave me the mike.
I pointed to the boy.
Me: Hey you! It takes balls to fight with a man one on one. If you are man enough, I am waiting outside. You little punk!!! This is how we do things.
I saw him coming towards us. JT and I rushed out of the club from the back door. The bouncer at the door didn’t know what had happened earlier, so we decided to take him for a ride.
Me: That boy in the red T-shirt is acting like a hooligan. Please don’t allow such guys in the club again.
As soon as we got out of the building, JT and I hopped onto our bikes. We saw the boy and his gang come towards us even as we revved up our engines.
Me: You dogs!! Tell your mommy, Samrat insulted you!
And we exited from there.
That boy I guess, was Surya. They followed us in a Jeep and three bikes.
Me: JT, let’s go faster.
In 10 minutes we were near the university. Then we saw four guys on bikes talking to a passer-by. When they saw us, one of the guys pointed at JT. When JT saw the guys I could see that he looked troubled.
Me: What happened?
JT: It’s politics, stay out of it.
Me: JT, listen. Let’s deal with one problem at a time. I will lose the boy and his gang. We will meet you at college. Can you handle these guys till then?
JT: Sammy, stay out of this. It’s my mess.
Me: JT listen to me. We can get out of this as well. Just meet me at the college in 30 minutes.
Me: Rider, stay with him.
I rode down to Hotel Sadhana and rushed to the reception.
Me: Where is Chota Bhai? Tell him it’s time to return the favour. Samrat Shirke is waiting outside.
I then called Nitin.
Me: Hello, Nitin?
N: Hi, Sammy sir.
Me: Where are you?
N: At JT Sir’s flat.
Me: How fast can you reach the college?
N: Sir, I don’t have a bike with me. It will take 15 minutes. What happened? Is it anything serious?
Me: Yes, kind of. Can you bring the bottle and one pack of cigarettes from Adi’s, and meet me at college in 30 minutes?
N: Ok sir. Your jacket is here. Shall I bring that too?
Me: Yes please. It’s my lucky jacket.
By then, Chota bhai had arrived.
CB: Shirke sahib kaisenba? Aaj itne ratike kaise yaadki ha? (How are you Mr. Shirke? What made you remember me at this time of night. What happened?)
Me: Bas aisa samazlo aaj tumhari, aur tumhare logo ki jarurat he. Tumhare logo ko le kar mere college me chalo abhi turant. (I need you and your men. Meet me at college immediately.)
C B: Jaisen tohar marzi. (As you say.)
And I took off from there ... When I reached the main road, I saw the boy and his gang on the main road. They took a U-turn and followed me.
Boy: Pakado haramiko. (Catch that bastard.)
They caught up with us quickly. Somebody from the jeep hit me with an iron bar. I lost my balance and fell off the bike. I got up immediately and took a U-turn. I had almost reached Hotel Sadhana when I spotted Chota Bhai and his gang.
Me: Ruko, woh log yahan aa rahehe. (Wait. They are coming here.)
I thought Chota Bhai and his gang would scare them away, but the fight went beyond a couple of punches and kicks. I even heard gun shots. Then I realized I entered into pretty serious shit. Only after three of the boy’s gang got seriously hurt, did they take off.
Me: Chalo abhi college me bhi jana he. (Let’s go to college now.)
C B: Sahab, tohar khun behta, gadi me bethja. (You are bleeding. You will ride with us.)
Me: Nahi, main thik huhoon. Jaldi chalo der ho rahi he. (I am ok. Let’s go, it’s getting late.)
On our way to college, I picked up Nitin from Adi’s. Soon, I got a call from JT.
JT: I am about to reach college. Where are you?
Me: I am reaching too.
When we reached college, I saw JT was being followed by two bikes. I signalled Chota Bhai to ride towards them. His gang took care of the bikers.
C B: Sahab aavathai. Kuch jarurat lage toh bataye. (It’s all been taken care of. Just give me a call if you need any help.)
I smiled at him and said, “Zaroor”. (Sure, I will)
Chota Bhai and his gang took off.
Me: Are you Ok JT? Oh shit, you are bleeding. it will now swell up like anything.
JT: So are you.
We both looked at each other and laughed.
Me: Thank you Ganu and Rider for sticking together.
JT: Nitin, how come you are here?
Me: I called him here.
N: Here Sir, take your jacket and get rid of that torn shirt.
Me: You leave for Gujarat tonight. I will send your stuff there as it’s not safe here.
JT: Yes, you are right. But tell me one thing. How did you manage to bring the gang?
Me: Have you heard of the Shirke Group of Industries? It turns out that I share my name with one of their heirs. Chota Bhai's gang is indebted to their family and I knew they wouldn't refuse me any favours if they thought it was my namesake calling. Luckily they have never met him and hence do not know what he looks like. All I had to do was make a call and here they were.
I was left marvelling at Sammy's resourcefulness and bravado. 'Here is a man of rare ingenuity and presence of mind,' i thought. There was no situation he couldn't think his way out of. He had been through a lot after all. The daily grunge of college life, as well as his girlfriend’s heartless choice to separate from him had resulted in transforming him entirely. Gone were the times of his innocent and gullible ways. This was a man who lived by his own rules.
By now, all of you are probably wondering who I am. I am Nitin, Sammy's best friend, and your humble narrator.
Rider and Ganu eventually left for their flat and it was just me and Sammy in the parking lot. That was where Sammy proceeded to narrate the entire story to me. I was now the only person besides Sammy and his girlfriend, who knew this story. This was where I had my first thoughts of penning the whole thing down one day.
It was close to 5:30 in the morning when two black Mercedes’ drove in. Yosha stepped out from one of them.
Y: How is he?
Me: Pretty damaged.
Sammy was leaning against his bike, one hand was busy with a bottle, the other held a cigarette.
She walked towards him and kissed him.
Me: Yosha, please leave him alone. He is pretty damaged.
Y: I only like damaged boys.
As she was saying this, Sammy took off his jacket, put it on the bike and walked towards the car. It was then that I noticed a tattoo on his back: a big “A”. He was holding a red handkerchief, which he dropped. I rushed towards him,
Me: Sammy, wait. Just tell me who she is. She is Alicia, isn’t she?
He looked at me and smiled.
Me: I knew it. She is Alicia Sethi!
He didn’t look at me but went straight to the car. A girl in a red dress stood near the car, holding a blazer. He went to her, took the blazer and wore it. I asked Yosha where she was taking him.
Y: Far away from this nonsense. He doesn’t belong here. Will you do one thing, please?
Me: What is it?
Y: Please repair Sammy’s bike and return it to his brother.
She handed me a bundle of cash.
Y: His number is inside.
Me: Anything for Sammy.
Sammy and Yosha stepped into the car and drove away.
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