Grip of Infamy. Episode 15. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 15. (Scroll down the Literature section to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian story)

Thana was pondering on Seema’s advise to drop Thiagu as his personal secretary. He recalled that in fact his wife Asha had from day one suggested this very thing.

It was Thana’s hasty decision-making style and of course sheer stubbornness not to take others’ advice that resulted in Thiagu’s appointment.

He was aware that Thiagu had also been hesitant to take up the post as he preferred to keep away from the public eye and wished to just focus on what he was best at, operating within Thana’s gang.

Thana was sitting alone in his office after seeing off Seema who had surprised him by giving him a passionate hug on the guise of comforting and reassuring him that all his problems will wash away soon.

And he realised carrying out Seema’s advice for him to seek Sanggaran Velu’s help in sorting out his present dilemma should be the main priority now.

He was aware that the position of community leader accorded Sanggaran Velu in his capacity as MVP president, by the ruling coalition party, The Bigger Alliance,  gave him immense powers among Merekasian Indians.

Especially in a coalition, grown omnipotent – having enjoyed uninterrupted power since the country’s independence from British colonial rule, six decades ago.

Talk of snap general elections was hotly circulating in the coalition grapevine and Sanggaran Velu needed to consolidate his power base.

The Prime Minister from the Bigger Alliance’s leading coalition partner, Parti Ketuanan, was reeling under a cascade of corruption scandals.

The ruling party was in a desperate position and under severe pressure from the people who were calling for Prime Minister Tan Sri Bakar Adam  to step down.

A snap election would allow the Parti Ketuanan Supreme Council, a chance to give its party president a smooth exit from active politics and the minds of his critics.

Thana knew Sanggaran Velu would be axing deadwoods and pumping new blood into MVP in preparation for the polls.

And he was well aware that despite his gangster background or indeed due to it, he had gained recognition as Sanggaran Velu’s most valued new leader.

Sanggaran Velu, he felt confident would go to any level to keep his prodigy and chief enforcer by his side at all times.

And Thana knew that corruption scandals, violent behaviour including murder, law breaking and notorious actions were a common feature among Sanggaran Velu’s inner ring of party leaders.

An hour later as Thana was ready to leave the office, he called in Thivya who walked in looking unusually cheery.

Immediately, Thana’s anger shot up as his manas speculated that Thivya was most definitely thinking of Thiagu hence the smile on her face.

Especially since his own thoughts were full with his misfortunes including his suspicion of Thiagu’s flirting with Thivya or was it the other way around he now reasoned?

He was not an emotional person being hardened by the life of a streetwise and hardcore criminal since very young.

But directed towards Thivya his harsh thoughts and villainous resolution melted, into tender emotions – of one smitten by Cupid’s arrow of love – like butter exposed to the sun.

Infected by the sheer beauty of Thivya’s smiley face Thana couldn’t help smiling back at her despite his suspicion and immense jealousy that it was Thiagu’s visit that had cheered her up.

At least there is one person who is happy in this office Thivya. I am glad for that. Whatever happens I want to see you smiling all the time to brighten up the office atmosphere.

Thivya just blushed. An image of a cheeky looking Thiagu teasing her, flashed before her mind’s eye and her heart filled with joy showing beautifully in the darkening shade of the dimple on her right cheek.

Looking up at Thana she tried putting on an innocent face before blurting out. Sorry boss, I understand you having some problem now. But boss when I am here I try to show a happy face always.

The poor people coming here to ask for help. I keep them calm and make them forget their worries being nice to them, smiling a lot.

Thana couldn’t help smiling on hearing Thivya’s childish tone of voice. Yes, your smiling face will make anyone forget their worries. Isn’t that why you are here.

Your lovely smile also gives me great relief from worries. Like now. What will I do without you Thivya, my dear he crooned.

O Thivya, my darling secretary what will I do without you Thana continued, suddenly giving Thivya’s left cheek a gentle tap with his forefinger.

Thivya instinctively stepped back with a feeling of disgust though hiding it with a forced smile saying no boss …

Quickly recovering her composure, Thivya adopted an easy official look before speaking. Are you coming in tomorrow boss?

A man from MVP Bahau called earlier saying he will drop by the office tomorrow afternoon. Said he is bringing a Form Five school leaver and her father about getting a Government job.

All the events and characters portrayed in this serialised novel are fictional and any parallel with real life events or persons is purely conincidental.

Sittam Param

Writer, poet, dramatist and former journalist. I have passion for art in all its forms hence my involvement in this portal.

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