Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Liu and his Ricksha

On the edges of the street a stream of people walked and flowed through. Some were busy buying their wares from the open wooden stalls that surrounded the street, while some stalls were in the process of being opened for the morning trade. The middle of the stone cobbled street was cramped with rickshaw carts, their drivers and their passengers. The carts seemed to move only an inch every minute due to the pedestrians who overflowed the street. Such was a congested street.

Liu pulled his rickshaw slowly in the crawling paced traffic. His wooden wheels rolled over the stone-built path which was worn out, with constant holes and tiny craters in it. His passenger was a Gweilo, a foreigner. However. unlike other foreigners, this one sat silently on his seat, dressed not in the strange clothing of a pant and a buttoned shirt, but of a purple silk robe. The lapel of his robe stretched from his left collar going to the right of his skirt, and a sash was tied around his hip. The purple robe was embroidered with a golden outline of flowers and petals. Such were the latest style of fashion which even the nobles dressed in.

Dredging his ricksha he pulled it out of the street, and Liu slowly began to change his pace from a walk to a jog, pulling the cart as the Gweilo looked on ahead with his white skin hidden under a cylindrical hat with a flat board on top from which hung beads; a Mianguan hat. So expensive was this hat that only the richest of the nobles were able to afford it.

His passenger sat with his legs outstretched and his arms resting on his laps, with his back erect. This was a posture of a patient man noted Liu. Truly this was an interesting Gweilo.

As Liu dredged forward two cycles appeared in front of him from a gully lane. The men sat on the black worn out seat and pedaled forward. Both the cyclist wore rough cotton robes and their heads were covered with a cheap tapering hat. Workmen off to work, thought Liu to himself.  Thinking back, Liu felt he should have noticed it. The cycles slowly eased back from ahead arriving at the side of Liu’s rickshaw. When the event occurred, it took Liu a whole minute to realize what had transpired.

The Gweilo sat on the ricksha waiting patiently as it proceeded through the traffic. He sat still, not moving throughout the journey, but his eyeballs kept darting about in his socket, looking about.
He noticed the cyclists, as they slowly and conveniently positioned themselves beside the ricksha he sat in. He dug his fingers in his knees. He was not sure, he would wait for them to make their move first, if they were who he thought they were. Suddenly both the cyclists lifted their hands off the handle bar. Their right hand slipped into their left sleeve. Without hesitation, the gweilo jerked his hands from his lap and pulled it up through the air. His right hand rose up to the right and his left hand rose up to the left. The springs on his wrists were already in motion as two small single barrel pistols appeared in his hands from his sleeves. Without hesitation and without wasting a second, his fingers pulled the triggers.


Both the cyclist tumbled off their seats and they were thrown to the ground. The gweilo ignored the stunned ricksha driver and the civilians who began to flee from the area at the sound of the pistols. He jumped off the ricksha and went at first to the one on the right. He ripped opened his robe. A dragon tattoo was painted across his chest. He dipped his hand into the left sleeve and from it he pulled out a small arrow head.

He then hopped on to the left to the other cyclist finding a small arrow head in his left sleeve.
The gweilo pulled out a leather pouch which gave out a clinking noise of the jingling of coins.
He dangled it in front of the stunned ricksha driver. “A hundred silver coins if you complete the journey”, offered the gweilo speaking in fluid Cantonese.

The ricksha driver fumbled and mumbled for a moment before he could give his answer. He stretched out his hand and grabbed the pouch. The gweilo sat back on his seat and Liu raised the bars of the ricksha on his shoulder and continued pulling. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Coin that Fell

Three coins lay in the palm of her right hand. Her left hand fingers counted the coins making sure she had collected the correct amount of change. Her feet were taking her across the road. Beside was her friend. Her index finger separated the coins, flipping them over and checking if they were a one rupee coin or two. Two years ago, counting coins were easy, now, the government produced one rupee and two rupee coins that looked and felt exactly the same. One coin reached the edge of her palm, a small voice in the back of her mind warned that it would fall, but she had almost finished counting the coins, so the warning was pushed aside. The last one was.... one rupee coin. Her hand tilted, the coin at the edge of her hand fell off.  

It definitely hit the ground, but it took second to discern the metal from the black tar ground. Her right hand rolled into a fist, tightly clutching the coins were still in her palm. Her left hand grabbed hold of her friend, stopping her from moving forward. She saw the coin and bent down to pick it. However before she could achieved the task, smaller fingers swooped up the coin. 

A boy now held the coin. He was off ragged clothes and a smell waved into the air that told off a lack of bath. The girl sighed; a homeless boy held her coin and with her friend pushed forward she continued to their destination. 

The boy stared at the coin, wondering who had dropped it. A lady haggled with his mother who was sitting down beside him. After much bargaining, his mother thrust some vegetables in a thin plastic bag and handed it the lady. The boy shoved the coin in the lady’s hand assuming it she may have dropped it.

The lady held the one rupee coin in her hand, wondering why the boy had handed it to her. She glanced at her watch and shrugged her shoulder. She had places to go. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash

He heaved the bat above his head, and he swung down with his might. 


More blood splattered on his face and across his body. 

His hands did not relent. The thoughts in his head did not relent. They, his two hands and the bat, were like a moment frozen in time repeating itself, the bat went up and came swing down.


No tears rolled out his eyes. No hisses and grunt of pain from his breath was heard. His eyes did not pop out, and neither were they swollen red. No beads of sweat were rolling off his face. His face was not twisted in an expression of rage. Neither was there a show of panic. Blank is the best way to describe his face. No furrows or burrows on his skin. His eye balls did not swirl around wildly in their sockets, instead it remained still and straight. His body did not shiver and jerk with emotion, it was steady as a rock.

He looked down. She was there. Not withering, not shivering, not moving, just still. She was long dead before these words were typed and this scene was told. 

Yet the thoughts in his head never stopped and just repeat in a loop.

Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash
Bat... head... smash

Her skull was caved in. Gooey brain matter dribbled and squirted out of her smashed head. Her face was pressed against the ground, and if someone were to turn it upward, they would find scraped skin, raw exposed pink-red flesh,splintered bones and a blasted nose with a crushed cartilage. Not a pretty site in entirety. A pool of blood lay spread across the ground. His brown canvas shoes were already soaked and painted in her red blood. His face, his clothes was smeared with blood and brain matter. 

“Whore!”, he screamed at her as he stopped his feet and for a second a hint of rage was exposed on his face. 

The bat slipped from his hand and he let it fall to ground. He walked away from there, from the kitchen and went to the living. Slowly, he sat on the couch. He felt his emotion try to burst out, like an overflow at a dam, he kept it in check. 

His hand grabbed the remote and his thumb jabbed the on button. Some comedy show was going on and he sat there staring at the screen. Just like he was sitting here an hour ago, waiting for her, his wife, to come back from her sex club. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gone Wrong

He clutched the Glock in his hand. He heard the thundering of the machine guns behind him. He felt the vibrations and shock that spread out through the concrete wall that was behind him as bullets impacted it. He had only a magazine left. He wanted to cry. He did not want to die. He pressed the barrel of the gun to his temple. Maybe it was better to get killed by your own bullet. He thought of his mother. His good Catholic mother, it would shatter her heart if she knew he died by killed himself. He lowered the gun. He heard a machine gun’s cock. It was out of ammo. He slowly edged out his hand from the wall cover and let out a few shots. 

It should have been an in and out job. But that bitch had to betray him. Now she was riddled with bullets and it won’t be very long that he will be too. He looked across at her. Her body was lying in her own pool of blood. He could get a glimpse of her face, which was covered with her hair, resting on the marble ground. He felt he wanted to cry. He missed her. He could have even forgiven her. She showed him to accept himself, to take risk. 

Maybe it was time he joined her. He felt the vibrations increase on the wall. It was slowly becoming thinner. He cursed the damn Russians who were shooting at him. This would not work out like the movies he saw; where the hero would jump out from cover or sprint from cover and somehow avoid a hail of machine gun fire. He saw the black bag that was near his feet, the one that Kate tried to run off with, a million pounds in cash. 

“Gosha”, he screamed. The firing did not stop. “Gosha”, he screamed once again. The firing still blared out, no signs of stopping. 

“Gosha! Gosha! Gosha!” 

“Oh, God”, he thought “I hope they hear me. Please God”. 

Then the firing stopped. He was going to pop up behind the wall, his hands raised, in surrender. That’s what he wanted to do. Until he heard a clank and roll of an object towards him. He looked at the ground. A small green ball object, he recognized it from the movies, a grenade. He did not have time to dive out of the way, like the movies, or throw it back like in the games. It just exploded. Shrapnel rip through his body. 

Exploding pain, the ringing in his ears, the blurred vision of blood everywhere. He felt his last few dying breaths as his body collapsed to the ground. “So, this is the end of Felix”, he thought about himself. 

He wanted to smile like the heroes in movies, but all he did was cough up blood.

And then the last of his breath left him.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Professor who Begs

He was dressed in a formal shirt which was tucked inside his pants. A bag was strapped on his shoulders, hanging against his back. In his arms he held a plastic box and a folder stuffed with sheets of paper. He stood on the platform, waiting for the train to arrive. The crowd jostled and pushed him from the side, but he ignored them. He focused on what he had to do.

The train slowly arrived on the platform. People got ready to jump in so they could get a seat. The minute the train arrived; there was a rush of people hopping in. He held onto his belongings tightly and jumped in once the train came to a stand still.

He looked inside the compartment. People sat on the seat, people stood at the side, all just busy with their own lives.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen”, his voice boomed from his throat, “Namaskar. My name is Professor Desai.”

A few heads turned.

He continued, “I am the professor who begs”.

He pulled out an article from the folder which was headlined, ‘The professor who begs.’ His hand stretched forward and flashed the paper piece to all those who would see.

“I collect money for my students”, he announced.

From his other hand he brought forward the transparent plastic rectangle box. There was a small pile of notes lying inside.

“I beg for education” he spoke loudly. “I need money for my students, to educate them.”

As he spoke his hands shuffled through the laminated papers from his folder, revealing news articles on him.

He walked across the compartment. From one end to the other his voice boomed out his cause.
For a beggar, he was well-dressed. For someone begging for a cause, the stack of articles he held was impressive. Times of India, DNA, Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror and many more newspapers covered him. Such coverage would be impressive to anyone. Adding to that, the articles gave credibility to this beggar that this cause was not a scam. Not a scam of beggar’s ring or not a scam of financial fund.

It is not out of pity that money was put in his plastic box, but because this professor, many would agree, managed to sell his idea through a convincing factor of trust.

The train slowed down at the next station, and the Professor jumped off. The train passed by and he waited on the platform for the next train.