The Grip of Infamy. Episode 11. By R. Sittamparam
Episode 11. (Scroll down this section to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian story)
Thana held Seema’s long dainty fingers nestled in his rough hewn palm for a few long seconds as if savouring the softness and warmth of their touch. Seema’s fingers felt numb with pleasure and she felt inclined to let them rest longer within Thana’s firm grip.
Sorry, I had to even keep away from you, not answering your calls or replying to your messages during that most difficult of times for me, Thana continued. Actually I didn’t want to get you into trouble as well.
Besides I knew information about my whereabouts then would cause you much burden and unnecessary scrutiny. I didn’t want that for you.
Touched by Thana’s apparent concern for her, Seema blushed. I understand, Thana. I would have done the same in your situation she muttered. But I was worried for you. Not knowing how you were.
Thana could see the tears welling up in Seema’s large reddening eyes that were exquisitely bordered by thick khol lining. Though such displays of emotion rarely moved him he responded with a rhetoric, I am truly touched, placing his left hand on his chest with his head lowered slightly.
The effect of this on Seema was as Thana anticipated. A sudden burst of emotions reduced the self composure she held so long, causing her to sob quietly, tears streaming down her cheeks and splattering on the stout fingers on Thana’s outstretched hand.
Thana was well aware of Seema’s shaky emotional makeup and knew exactly how to stir it to his advantage.Unlike other women he handled Thana knew Seema to be severely deprived of emotional support although he was unwilling to probe into the cause of this inadequacy.
Over the course of the year or so that he had known her, Thana had on several occasions taken Seema out for lunch or dinner. Although he kept these meetings professional he had realised that Seema derived great pleasure in dressing up in her finest on these occasions during which she always was a picture of great fulfilment and pleasure.
Thana did not care if Seema had become emotionally attached to him as he knew exactly what he wanted from her and would have no reservations dumping her when she ceased to be useful to him.
With a preference for fresh young women the likes of Thivya on top of the good care and attention of his attractive 31-year-old wife, he held no real feelings for the older Seema. His interest was only in maintaining a friendly and supportive link within the media fraternity through her.
Seema however was prepared to go any length to get close to Thana and win his love. There was no sensibility in her desire, she only knew that for her he was most irresistible. What other consideration was there for her?
Wiping her tears with a tissue after Thana released her hand, Seema sat down her head hung in shame. I’m sorry, I became a bit emotional Mr Thana was all she could say.
It’s okay. I don’t mind it a bit. Just shows your concern for me and I’m touched by it, cooed Thana nonchalantly in a measured tone of voice. He knew of Seema’s well placed family background and felt elated that someone from such high society was playing into his hands so easily.
As if trying to change the subject he inquired, what are your people talking about me. Are they still pursuing my video episode?
Drying her eyes, Seema composed herself, forcibly suppressing her emotions before giving her reply. Other bigger news items have surfaced in the past month and it is safe to say the media has forgotten that episode came her reply. Unless some of the online media people want to blow it up again.
That is if you give them a reason to do so. For a while longer, it will be best if you keep a low profile Mr Thana.
I thought so too, Seema but now that you have given me a clear picture of the situation, I will take your advice and keep out of the limelight for a while, Thana admitted.
Thana’s party had organised a big meet-the-people unity festival for its leaders in Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Square on the occasion of the joint Hevilambi Tamil New Year, Vishu Malayalee New Year and Vaisakhi Sikh New Year celebrations.
The evening festival was aired live on national and cable television channels and Thana as one of the party’s vice presidents was in the midst of the festivities including appearing on the open air stage together with his fellow party leaders and coalition party leaders.
However on his request and party president Sanggaran Velu’s intervention, Thana was kept free from leading in any of the activities including making a speech.
Wearing a creamy white vesti, kurta and thundu (scarf) Thana only opened his mouth to say Putthaandu Vaazhthukal, Happy Vishu and Vaisakhi to members of the crowd gathered at the square whom he met together with other leaders after the official opening of the festival.