A Killer

A Killer

8 mins 18K 8 mins 18K

Saraansh is crossing a busy Gurgaon road from the mid while eating an apple. The traffic is slow but moving. Saraansh is walking across nonetheless when a car strikes his leg. The car almost halts. Saraansh thumps on the car’s window. The driver, Ritesh, pulls down the glass.

Ritesh says to Saraansh, ‘What the fuck, a-hole?’

Saraansh replies, ‘You piece of crap. Can’t you stop?’

Ritesh counters, ‘Why the fuck should I?’

Saraansh says, ‘Shut the fuck up. I will fucking kill you!’

Meanwhile, the traffic behind is honking incessantly.

Ritesh replies, ‘You try you shithole!’

Saraansh throws the apple at Ritesh’s face. It hits right the intended spot. Ritesh turns off his lavish car and gets out. Saraansh meanwhile has fled.

---

Saraansh and five of his colleagues are in a conference room. One of them, Darpan is presenting on the board while else are listening.

Saraansh is scribbling cartoons in his notebook when Geetika asks him, ‘Saraansh, will you complete it by tomorrow?’

Saraansh is about to reply when Darpan intervenes, ‘I am not sure he is even listening, Geetika.’

Darpan then asks Saraansh, ‘Dude, how many are we going to do in-house?’

Saraansh and Darpan have a stare-match and then Saraansh answers, ‘250’.

Darpan chuckles while looking at the rest of the team, ‘See!’

Saraansh speaks up, ‘Sir, I was just kidding. It is 300 in-house, 450 consultancy. And earlier, I was just looking down. It’s not like I wasn’t listening!’

Darpan says, ‘OK, chill’ and begins again to write.

Although Saraansh isn’t done, ‘You shouldn’t have presumed I wasn’t listening.’

Darpan takes a pause and replies, ‘You shouldn’t be buried in your notebook in a meeting, Saraansh. You should be making eye contact!’

Saraansh counters, ‘Thanks for letting me know putting your head down here is a crime.’

Darpan stares at Saraansh for a couple of seconds and then returns to his presentation.

---

Saraansh rings the doorbell. His wife, Aarti, answers. Saraansh enters the drawing room.

Aarti asks him, ‘Water?’

Saraansh doesn’t reply and heads straight into his room. Aarti follows.

Aarti finds Saraansh shedding his clothes and asks, ‘Shall I get the food?’

Saraansh answers, ‘No’.

Aarti asks, ‘What’s wrong?’

Saraansh replies, ‘I am just tired’ and goes to the washbasin.

Aarti follows him, ‘At least eat something!’

Saraansh says, ‘Ok, just give me whatever’, while soaking his face with water.

Aarti inquires, ‘What? Did something happen at office?’

Saraansh stays quiet. Aarti watches him for a couple seconds and then goes to Saraansh’s wardrobe and takes out a fresh t-shirt.

When Saraansh is done washing his face, Aarti hands him the t-shirt. Saraansh stares at Aarti with furious eyes, grabs the t-shirt and throws it on the floor. He then sputters, ‘Are you are fucking dumb? Hand me the towel!’

Aarti says, ‘Can’t you be polite?’

Saraansh announces, ‘I don’t have the time or the energy for your drama. I was fucking standing for 2 hours in the metro. I don’t have the time to be polite. If you don’t like it then get the fuck out!’

---

Saraansh enters the meeting room at his office. Geetika and Darpan are already there. Saraansh seats himself.

Geetika starts, ‘Saraansh, I will get straight to the point here.’

Saraansh says, ‘OK.’

Geetika continues, ‘We are not happy with your performance.’

Saraansh says, ‘OK’, takes a pause and then counters, ‘That’s odd. It’s been only what, a month and a half. You guys should wait for a while more before judging.’

Darpan speaks up, ‘It’s not only work. Your attitude’s not right, Saraansh. You are either always annoyed or always having fun. You are behind your deadlines. Always! There are a lot of things you will have to work on, brother.’

Saraansh counters, ‘I am not your brother, Darpan and see I don’t mean any disrespect but I have been doing freelance writing for the past 7 years. I know I am good and my attitude is alright. I just haven’t done ‘this’ type of work before; at least not at this speed. You knew about this when you hired me. You will have to give me time.’

Darpan replies ‘See...’

However Saraansh interrupts him, ‘Or fire me. You don’t like me, fire me!’

Darpan says, ‘We have not set up this meet to fire you. We just wanted to review your performance. To let you know what we think.’

Geetika adds, ‘We just want you to concentrate more.’

Saraansh replies, ‘I am not that slow. Why am I the only one being embarrassed like this? Are all the other team members faster or better than me?’

Geetika says, ‘It’s not about that. There’s no comparison…’

Saraansh counters, ‘Sure, there is. I am slower with respect to someone, right?’

Darpan and Geetika remain quiet.

Saraansh announces, ‘I have 8 bands out of 9 in an International English test. I have studied writing from Canada. I have studied from great teachers.’

Geetika says, ‘We know your profile.’

Darpan adds, ‘We hired you. We know that.’

Saraansh asks, ‘What then? See, I won’t ask for time from you guys. I know I am doing OK. I am going to work at my pace only, with this attitude only; nobody had a problem with me before.’

Darpan counters, ‘You will have to increase your pace, Saraansh. We can help you, train you.’

Saraansh replies, ‘I don’t want your help. Just a sec! Who do you think you are? You are not a superstar. I was earning 10 times in Canada of what you are earning here. I can get a job in the film industry which will pay me the same money in a month which you get here in a year.’

Darpan asks, ‘What’s stopping you then?’

Saraansh says, ‘You are right! I am going to fucking leave.’

Geetika speaks up, ‘Saraansh, please! Mind…’

Saraansh interjects Geetika, ‘I am not talking to you.’

Darpan orders, ‘Behave!’

Saraansh replies, ‘I fucking won’t!’

Darpan says, ‘You just broke a big-time protocol and now I am going to terminate you and you won’t even get your severance. You are done here!’

Geetika is steaming. Darpan’s face has gone red. Saraansh’s body is shaking.

Saraansh stands up and says, ‘Fuck you man! I will see you outside!’

Darpan spurts, ‘Yeah. Sure. Why not!’

---

Saraansh is in his room, watching a video on his laptop.

Aarti comes in and says, ‘Write!’

Saraansh replies, ‘Can’t. Mind’s blocked… Nothing’s working… Will write in a while…’

Aarti says, ‘See please look for a job too. It can’t work like this. I can’t do this alone.’

Saraansh replies, ‘I was working but they fired me, didn’t they?’

Aarti counters, ‘So now look for a new one.’

Saraansh replies, ‘And get fired again?’

Aarti says, ‘Work, right! Every company’s not the same.’

‘But I am the same. I will build my career from here. I can’t work for anyone,’ Saraansh says.

Aarti replies, ‘I can’t pay the bills alone.’

Saraansh counters, ‘I don’t have any expenses! I have no hobbies. I just eat. We can get by.’

Aarti says, ‘Saraansh, we both know it’s not going to work that way. Let me be clear. You will have to take a job otherwise I am leaving.’

Saraansh pauses for a couple seconds, then says, ‘Go then. You aren’t needed here.’

Aarti replies, ‘OK’ and leaves the room.

Saraansh continues, ‘And don’t ever come back, you bitch.’

Aarti returns to the room and says, ‘Watch your tongue.’

Saraansh gets up and bangs her head with the wall.

---

Darpan is travelling in the metro. Saraansh too is there. The metro stops at a station. Darpan gets out. Saraansh follows him. Darpan is descending the stairs. Saraansh is just behind him.

Darpan is walking down a dusty and dark alley when he hears a click. Darpan turns to check who’s there. Saraansh hits the back of Darpan’s head with a rod. Darpan goes down.

---

Darpan wakes up bound to a chair with his mouth tied up. In front of him is Saraansh. They are in an abandoned shop. Darpan tries to free himself but is unsuccessful.

Darpan then watches Saraansh with pleading eyes. Saraansh says to Darpan, ‘Hey, man! You know why you are alive till now?’

Darpan lets out a huge cry. Saraansh goes on, ‘I want you to be conscious when I start this.’

Darpan screams for help but to no avail. His screams are dampened by the cloth in his mouth. As Saraansh gets up, Darpan shakes himself and tries to relieve himself of the ropes but is unable to.

Darpan again screams with all the strength he can muster but they hardly breach the shop’s walls. Saraansh reaches Darpan and then cuts his thigh with a knife.

Darpan lets out another scream. Darpan pleads for mercy with a bound mouth while Saraansh continues making cuts on Darpan’s thighs, calves, elbows and underarms.

After cutting Darpan numerous times, Saraansh undoes Darpan’s ropes and asks him to leave. Darpan attempts to stand but falls. He tries again and this time is able to walk a few steps when Saraansh inserts the knife in Darpan’s spine. Darpan lets out a huge scream and falls on the ground.

Saraansh then murmurs in Darpan’s ear, ‘Die, you spineless fuck-hole. Die a spineless death you fucking privileged sellout. Dieeeee!’ and then Saraansh cuts Darpan’s jugular vein.

---

It is early morning. Saraansh is outside his apartment’s door. He unlocks it. Saraansh enters and steps over Aarti’s dead body. He heads straight into his room.

He quickly switches on his laptop and mutter, ‘All distractions are gone now. Writing’s gonna happen now.’

He opens a word document and as Saraansh readies his finger to type, a bullet enters his skull.

Ritesh, the man on whose face Saraansh had thrown an apple; the man whose lavish car’s window Saraansh had hit, is standing behind Saraansh’s dead body with a gun in his hand.

Ritesh proclaims to a dead Saraansh, ‘You are not the only one crazy in this town, dude.’


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