‘It was fun! Ladies night at Shalimar is always fun’ The girl gushed as she swept the hair away from her face.
‘You are cute… I like you’ her speech slurred with girly giggles as she leaned forward with pouted lips and closed eyes.
‘You are drunk!’ The man pushed her to the side, careful enough to not push her out of the moving autorickshaw. The autorickshaw driver looked in the mirror over hanging over his forehead and grinned lecherously at the girl.
‘Madam fullu tight-ah?’ The driver chuckled as he mustered all the English he knew into a comprehensible sentence. It was more a statement than a question. The man ignored the driver and lit up a cigarette. He should have left the girl alone. He should have gone back to the hotel. But the girl was drunk, and people had seen him with her. He had considered his options. Leaving her behind would ensure that people would remember the two of them long enough to discuss them the next day over brunch. Taking her along meant that people would remember the girl and not him.
The auto driver continued alternating his gaze between the dimly lit roads and the rearview mirror. With the wind blowing through the side of the auto, the driver could see the side of the girl’s exposed breast as she leaned against the foreigner’s shoulder. She was wearing one of those plastic bras, the kinds which women wore under skimpy clothes when they visited discos. The man was a foreigner, cropped hair along the sides, with the first traces of stubble showing on his chin. All foreigners looked the same to him. They all wanted the same things, women, booze and weed. They were all the same, paying triple the amount of fare and never bargaining.
‘Turn left! Turn left!’ The girl directed, suddenly waking up from her alcohol induced haze. The auto driver followed as instructed.
‘Stop! Stop!’ The girl tapped the driver’s shoulder. The auto stopped in front of a big gated community.
‘You want to come in?’ The girl invited the man, a leery smutty smile pasted across her face as she stumbled out of the auto as she pulled her skirt down. The watchman got off his chair and smiled as he watched the girl stumble and saunter out of the auto.
The man ignored the girl and tapped the auto driver to move. The driver promptly followed the man’s directions.
‘Ladies, drinking firstuh then wanting sexuh. Bad no?’ The auto driver commented. The man closed his eyes and leaned his head back, ignoring the social commentary.
‘Saar?’ The driver spoke in hushed tones. The auto had stopped in the middle of nowhere. The man opened his eyes and looked around, it was no place that the man recognized. The auto driver held a pen knife in his hands and a humble smile on his face.
‘Give money!’ The driver requested. The man raised his left ass cheek off the seat.
‘Slow… Knife sharpuh’ The driver informed. The man pulled out his wallet and handed it to the driver. The driver pulled open the sleeves of the wallet and pulled out the cash and the cards.
‘4523’ The man replied.
‘Phone? Watch? Chain?’ The driver motioned with the pen knife. The man handed over the phone and removed his watch.
‘Now drop me home’ the man calmly replied.
‘The chain!’ The driver demanded, his voice rising.
‘No!’ The man responded, his eyebrows converged over his green eyes underlining the monosyllable.
‘Out!’ the driver directed with the knife. The man followed. Right before the driver drove off, he gave a loud shrill whistle. As the man mentally noted down the number plate, he heard rustling noises from behind him and felt a sharp pain at the back of his head. The man fell down as a heap. He felt the chain from around his neck being yanked hard. The man tried opening his eyes, clouded by tears of pain, he saw another man hurriedly get inside the auto before it sped away.