It’s been a while since I gave the thought of the series a serious look. I have still neither finalised nor decided on the story line. The inspiration is lying some place waiting for me to pluck it! I am letting it take it’s own time. However, I am also sceptical about it. I have received no feedback for the earlier series. Either it was really that bad or may be no one read it really. This has put me off guard. I know it was my first series but then… I hope you understand.
Going ahead, I shall be focusing my personal experiences once again, probably document them in more detail; but then it all depends. For now, it’s going to be back to having a nice large peg of Black Dog tonight after my wife and daughters left to their granny’s house. I am a free bird tonight. I love the thought of savouring the world’s finest Scotch but then it has to be done responsibly. I have always advocated this. Drink Responsibly and drink in style!
So if you are planning on having fun outside the confines of your home at a bar or a restaurant, do not drink and drive. It is not safe. There are a lot other ways to get back home. It is not expensive to hire a cab. It is cheaper than your life. Life is the most expensive thing that we own. Yet we do not own our life. It is owned by the people who love us, whom we love and those who wait back for us at home. If you are going out as a group, ask a friend who is not planning to drink to accompany you. He can drive the car a lot more responsibly.
It is said that with alcohol in your blood, you are more susceptible to commit mistakes. Why, even the hot looking woman you just saw waving at you from across your table, she may not be that great when you wake up the next morning!
Until the next series, it is Ciao from me. Be safe, drink responsibly, drive safe and always wear your seat belts!
One thing led to another and the two had a steamy sex session. Suman had never been with a man like this before. It was her first time. She had always maintained that she would lose herself to only the one man who she would marry. But she hardly knew Rishi; and after her run in with the goons and the kidnapping, it had set her thinking all the more.
She walked out of the room and decided to pour herself a drink. She looked at the collection that Rishi had accumulated over a while and chose Black Dog Quintessential. His collection of glasses and other accessories was always a source of his pride. She chose the best one. She had just finished pouring out one for herself when Rishi called out from behind, “Pour one out for me as well.” “How will you have it? Neat or…” “You know fairly well I always like my Scotch neat, no water.” “Yeah of course. But I still wonder if I know you at all” Along silence ensued.
Suman continued, “You know, I always wanted to lose my virginity to the man I would choose to marry. Till the last week, I thought I knew you really well. But now, now I have serious doubts.” “What do you want to know?” “Everything.””Would you be able to digest it?””I want to get married to you. If I have to decide, I need to know all about you! In fact I am not even sure if your real name is Rishi.” Suman screamed.
Rishi started off right from the part when he worked as a software engineer, how he was laid off, how he met Sunny and how Sunny offered him his first case. Suman was not convinced. She felt Rishi was making it all up. He was faking it. Rishi took her to his secret chamber under his bar. Here he showed her all his collection of guns, and all his certificates. They looked authentic. Suman and Rishi came back into the living room.
Suman looked pensive. Rishi was now getting worried. He did not know what was going on in her mind. He prodded her. Suman did not answer. Rishi went back to his room and came back with a box in his hand. He bent down on his knees and “Suman, will you marry me?”
Suman needed a lot of convincing, in the end she agreed at the only condition that she would leave if she was getting bored! All agreed! They knew Suman would not ditch them so easily. Once there the event started off with little known facts about Elvis. People were amazed at how very unknown the celebrity had been to them!
Within minutes into the event, the singer started off with the best romantic singles of Elvis to set the mood. Women everywhere were clinging to the men they had come with. Every lady was emotional. Elvis’ songs brought out the emotions! Songs starting right from “Are you lonesome tonight”, “You don’t have to say you love me” to “I can’t help falling in love” had every one swaying to his tunes. With the evening getting a little too sombre and people just listening to the songs, the singer suddenly changed track and started with Elvis’ rock songs! The very first being “Jailhouse Rock”!
People suddenly found a magical thing pulling at their legs! One after the other almost everyone was on the floor dancing away to the tunes! So much so that even Suman who was cribbing until then started tapping her feet. Danny and Sneha were enjoying the songs the best! During romantic slow songs the two danced slow and when Rock came around, the two were literally throwing and spinning each other around! The singer virtually took them through every song that Elvis had sung!
Around 10 in the morning Suman’s phone started ringing with a loud shriek. Suman woke up with a start and instantly knew who it was without looking at her screen. It was none other than Sneha. She had set a shriek as the ringtone for her contact number. So every time she called, Suman knew it was her mad friend calling. Suman answered the phone. What Sneha told next was enough to send her scurrying first for her clothes and next for the door. She had to reach her place ASAP and that was difficult if she did it on her own. She did not own a vehicle yet! She decided to wake Rishi up.
Sneha had asked her to come to the golf club. Suman was not sure why but did not question. There was no point. She wouldn’t say anyways. When she reached there, the first thing that caught Suman’s eyes was the endless greenery that she saw around her. She wondered since when Sneha started taking interest in these sports. Her answer was not too far away. She obviously could not get onto the golf course without any member escort. She decided to call Sneha up again.
Sneha was seated in the bar that was attached to the golf club so it was relatively easier accessing her rather than the golf greens! Thank goodness for that. Suman was worried for a minute! When she made it to the bar, for a change Sneha was not drinking her favourite scotch but was rather sipping a breezer! One welcome change since her return from the Maldives! Sitting next to her was a man sipping Black Dog scotch who looked to be around his mid thirties. This man sat at the corner of the table next to Sneha smoking a fat Cuban cigar. Sneha introduced Suman and Rishi to Danny. He was not what Suman had imagined him to be. She hadn’t met him earlier, but then she had heard a lot about him.
Rishi had met Sneha just once at the pub weeks back. He hadn’t seen her but heard a lot about her from Suman after that. And more so after the two girls had discussed him at length when Sneha was in Maldives! There was something about this man that was unsettling Rishi and making him uncomfortable. He was not sure what that was. He decided to take care of that later.
My older daughter Jisha was born a few days after I turned 28 on the 28th day in the 3rd Month of the year. She turns 2 in less than 3 days now. I would be having a few friends and lots of kids from the street over for it. However, later that evening, I am planning on a nice large peg of Black Dog and some spicy Paneer Chilly. It’s not that scotch can only be paired with non-veg food. I am a pure vegetarian. We don’t even have eggs at home.
This time I would not be alone. My in-laws are going to be here. So that would mean my brother and I don’t drink alone. I would have my Dad, Dad-in-Law and my brother along! The more the merrier! Any ways, not much to write but I am leaving you with a recipe of Paneer Chilly that I intend to cook myself and serve it with style!
This is a recipe by the master chef Sanjeev Kapoor! You can find it here as well.
|Cottage cheese (paneer)
|2 tablespoons + to deep fry
|Corn flour/ corn starch
|Onion ,halved and thickly sliced
|Green capsicums,cut into thick strips
|6 to 8
- Cut the cottage cheese into medium sized diamonds.
- Heat sufficient oil in a wok, roll the cheese diamonds in one tablespoon of corn flour and deep fry on medium heat until the edges start to turn brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
- Mix the remaining corn flour in half a cup of water.
- Heat two-tablespoon oil in a wok, add the garlic and stir-fry for half a minute.
- Add the onion, capsicums and green chillies and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the fried cheese and stir in the vegetable stock. Add the salt, soy sauce and MSG and mix well.
- Add the corn flour mixture and cook on high heat stirring and tossing until the sauce thickens to coat the cheese and the vegetables.
- Serve hot immediately.
Rishi’s Bobcat was still hidden away within his palm. Just when the Mask was within his range, he pulled the trigger with one hand and threw the knife from his belt towards the Dragon. The gun shot created the diversion that Rishi wanted. The dragon pulled his gun out to shoot at Rishi, but it was too late, the knife hit the target. The Dragon was down and out. The Mask was not however. Rishi had missed his mark fair and square.
The Mask quickly got to his feet and ran for cover. The gun shot had brought a lot of their men out into the open. The Mask called all his men to shoot at Rishi and also stop him from getting out of there alive. Rishi pulled Suman and dived behind a wall of Black Dog cartons. He asked her to be right there and not come out until he asked her to. He gave his Bobcat to her and asked her to use it for her safety. Suman’s hands shivered taking the gun.
Rishi pulled his Beretta and quickly checked the bullets. The gun was still loaded. He slowly looked out to see where the Mask was. He was hidden behind the table. Just then a bullet whizzed past his head lightly grazing his hair. He could smell his burnt hair. Rishi quickly dived back. He knew he could not stay hidden for long and would be caught if he stayed hidden there for long. He decided to risk it. Rishi got out pointing his gun at the nearest shooter and fired. The Shooter was dead. But the problem he was faced with was not just that one shooter. The Mask and all his men posed a big problem. A bigger problem was he did not know who was where and how many were there.
Rishi was back behind the wall. He pulled his flask of Black Dog and took a large swig out of it. He had to be prepared for any result now. He got out and started walking towards where the Mask was hiding. Men tumbled out in front of him like drums on a slope. Each man was dead before his bullet hit Rishi. Rishi was close to the Mask when he ran out of bullets. All the men and the Mask now came out of hiding. He had a clear view of who was where and how many were there.
The Mask gave a roaring laughter. He was sure Rishi was as good as dead now. Rishi shouted for Suman and asked her to run towards the door. The Mask laughed even louder. Rishi charged towards the Mask and pinned him down. The two got into a fist fight. The Mask still had the gun in his hand. The two wrestled to get a control over it. Suman was standing a little away from them. She was frozen! A gun shot rang in the air. There was blood on the floor. Both Rishi and Mask were stained. The two parted and lay motionless. The men were stunned as well. No one knew who of the two men were hurt. After what seemed like ages, both got up, Rishi had the gun. He fired two more rounds. The Mask was finally dead.
The ordeal was far from over yet. They still had to get back to the car. The two made a dash. They finally knew they would now be free. The sun was breaking into a dawn. A new day had just begun.
Suman fell on her back and was writhing in pain. They had not inflicted any injury to her but then she was hurt due to their being slightly rough with her. Rishi had always shied away from relationships because he never liked being in the sticky situations like the one he was in today. No point crying over spilt milk now. He had to face it come what may now.
He had known the masked man and the other together as the Dragon team. The two had worked together since time immemorial. It was said that the Mask did not take his mask off even when he slept. Rumours were that his face was so horrendously damaged by his father that it was not possible even for his mother to recognise him. He had run away from home that day wearing a paper bag as his first mask. He never took it off after that day. He had met the Dragon Boss as a co-traveller on a trawler on his way while running away from home. This is when he had been introduced to the world of crime. He had taken to it like a fish takes to water.
The Mask came around and gave a heavy blow on Rishi’s face. The two were here to exact their revenge. Revenge for being sent to jail. They had been invincible and unstoppable in the world of crime until Rishi came along. After that Rishi had successfully tailed the two and had ensured that the two were behind bars. They had been tried in the court of law where they had both been awarded life sentences. They had both been moved to separate jails in different locations. They had vowed their revenge in full public view.
Dragon asked Rishi, “Wondering how we got out?” and roared with a resounding laughter. “There never were jails built that were strong enough to hold us in for more than a few weeks! So what if there were thousands of police personnel deployed.”
Unknown to them while they were raining blows on Rishi, Suman had eyed a broken bottle of Black Dog thrown a little behind her. She quietly slid behind and started cutting her ropes apart. She wanted to get out of this hell hole fast. Rishi was the key to take her out, she somehow knew this.
The Dragon received a phone call and went out to answer it. He indicated the Mask to leave Rishi alone and follow him a little far away from ear shot. This was Suman’s chance. She quickly untied hers as well as Rishi’s ropes. The two managed to free themself successfully before the Dragon team got back. Rishi had pulled out one of his Beretta 21A Bobcat and had hidden it safely within his palm.
The Team got back. Rishi was not sure how many were with them but he had been left with no choice. The Mask came closer to him with the knife. Rishi had no wonder in what awaited him next. He wanted to catch the Mask by surprise. When he was close enough to Rishi, he got a heavy blow in his groin and collapsed on the ground in pain.
Rishi wondered what to do. He could either follow the bread crumb trail that he got off the phone or he could go to the location he found at the spot. He checked his glove box for the gun. It was there. His trusted Taurus PT709 Slim was safely tucked inside. So were a few spare bullets. Two spare Beretta 21A Bobcat were hidden away safely within his shoes. One Beretta 93R was strapped to his chest. He set it to fire at burst mode for dire consequences. He also had a classic scout’s knife hidden within his belt.
The car started like the purr of a cat and he was fast on his way to reaching the last known location of the phone. He was not sure what to expect. But he had to take that risk. The warehouse was a good 10 kms away. He set up his smartphone to navigate him to that location through the fastest known route. Since it was past midnight he expected the roads to be empty and empty they were. He was racing away with the navigation system on full blast at a high speed. He was there in no time.
When Rishi reached the warehouse he found it to be an abandoned old warehouse that may have been used to stock liquor. Several broken bottles and used cartons lay strewn around. He quickly read the name off one of the cartons. It read Black Dog. He was careful not to ruffle so much as a leaf just in case the people inside got alerted. He could hear a few muffled voices coming from inside. They were mostly sounds of women and a few children. He still could not risk it. He moved with the agility and swiftness of a lion to catch the people inside by surprise. Instead he was caught surprised. He was hit on the head by something hard.
When Rishi gained his senses a few moments later, he found himself tied to a chair with the spotlight on him. He could feel that his Beretta 93R was no longer with him. He did not know about the Bobcat though. His face was soaked wet and there was a man standing right there before him with a knife in hand. Next to him on a table lay his gun. He could feel his temple pulse with pain and trickles of blood around his eyes clouded his vision. He knew this man. He was the same person whom he had had jailed from one of his earlier cases. He had been wanted for murder, assault and felony. Suman was nowhere around.
Rohan told Rishi that Suman took the metro to get home. Even today she had left on time with Rekha to go home. Rekha and Suman always left work together and lived nearby. He offered to take Rishi to the metro by the route that Suman took everyday. Once there, he left the place without a trace or a goodbye. This astonished Rishi. He was not used to such disappearances from the folks who helped him or offered help.
At the station, Rishi could do nothing but look around. He found Suman’s bag lying thrown on one side of the road. It was lying strewn and the contents of the bag emptied. Nothing in it seemed to be in order. The money was missing. Nothing that remained was valuable. It was clear that someone had taken all the valuables from it. Was it still possible in that case that the phone really was with Suman and not with this person who had emptied the bag. He rummaged through the bag once again. He found the bracelet that he had gifted her hidden in a corner.
He was now not sure if what he had was a bread crumb trail or a real one. He was not sure what to be done now. He started looking around at the surroundings once again. May be some clues may have been left behind. He found pieces of paper that looked like they had been torn only a while ago. Next to it lay a bottle of Black Dog and two broken glasses. He picked up the pieces of paper. They were pieces of a torn photograph. He quickly got around to placing them together. A few pieces had flown away with the wind, but the face could be reconstructed partially. Only the upper half of the face remained. The face was known. It was Suman. He quickly pulled out his smartphone and clicked a photograph of all the evidences.
He flipped the pieces. It had random numbers scribbled. It did not look like a phone number. But then he was not able to understand what it could be. He pulled his phone out and tried to see if it was a location co-ordinate. He quickly punched the numbers on his screen. It was a location.