The Grip Of Infamy. Episode 32. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 32

(Scroll down the Literature Section to read earlier episodes of this serialised novel)

It appeared the political coup was a God given instant for the fulfilment of Asha’s ambition.

Her husband was appointed Minister of Domestic Business & Entrepreneurship in the new Cabinet.

It was part of Parti Ketuanan president Zainal’s strategy to implement his ‘pau’ (protection) money collection scheme by giving Thana full access to the business community.

Zainal though not in the Cabinet, exerted immense power in the new government’s decision making as Parti Ketuanan commanded the biggest majority in the flimsy coalition.

Asha believed the appointment of her husband to the Cabinet was in answer to the special ‘Kula deivam’ pooja she had conducted at her mother’s village at Elamakkara locality in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India.

The ancestral deity of Muthappan, the hunter, presiding over a tiny temple in the village, appeased with fish, meat and toddy offerings by villagers, was most powerful she fervently believed. 

And she constantly reminded her husband of it though Thana knew he was ably sided by the world of demons and dark forces and that therein lay his salvation.

It was quite clear to him that this being Kaliyuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, world matters were mostly dictated by play of demonic forces and materialistic thoughts.

His close association with former boss Sanggaran Vellu brought him face to face with several black magic practitioners from Kerala, India. 

Sanggaran Vellu, ousted by new MVP president Dineswaran and Thana, his deputy,  shortly after the recent GE, played message-boy in seeking out help from such magicians for Merekasian Cabinet members, over the decades of The Alliance rule. 

He had taken Thana with him on several trips to traditional enclaves all over India that offer services to fortify powers of political and business leaders, endowment of cosmic boons and safeguard clients from enemy attacks.

These shrines in particular, those dedicated to the Keralite tribal god, Chatan were popularly sought after to work magical spells including to decimate rivals.

Seeing how beneficiaries of Sanggaran Vellu’s services had flourished in politics and their proxy held businesses despite indulging massively in negative karma intensifying deeds of deceit and wanton illicit pleasures, Thana was convinced he was on the right track to success.

And he became convinced it was certainly practical and instantly more rewarding for him to continue indulging in dastardly deeds totally in tandem with his manas’ basal demonic proddings.

But he couldn’t disappoint his wife who wished to organise a big prayer gathering at his house as thanksgiving to their Kula Deivam, Muthappan.

Asha wanted to invite all her relatives which was basically an opportunity to show off her wealth and new status.

Her community chief priest referred to as Madayan would be invited to do the pooja which was to conclude with a grand lunch spread for guests. 

Asha had efficiently made all necessary arrangements not troubling Thana with anything as the pooja arrangement was wholly to fulfill her desire.

Thana was kept busy in his ministerial duties with much to learn especially in preparing himself for appearances before the media.

He had been advised by his political masters, he could rely on the various experienced department heads under his ministry.

These officers could be effectively reined in, by a handpicked director-general he was told.

Thana soon realised handling the ministry was not much  different from his gangster activities.

However he had to assure the ‘pau’ (protection money) collections did not pass through any government machinery.

The Alliance coalition boss Zainal who was expert in the art of monetising government ministries for personal profit, had cautioned Thana about this shortly after his ministerial appointment.

The civil service must be corruption free and we should never give its officers the idea that bribery is okay. This is to enable us politicians to take, unhindered, what we need from the businesses.

We should now regard your gang as sort of a bill collection agency much like agencies that banks hire to handle bad debts.

Your gang is well situated for this scheme as Indian thugs have earned enough notoriety in Merekasian crime circles and business owners are easily intimidated by them.

I’m sure you’ll have no problems keeping afloat our ‘Pau’ scheme. Just make sure all collections are immediately deposited  into my Kebuluran Foundation account.

Your share at 10 percent will be channelled via your constituency’s Indian and Orang Asli Welfare party allocation.

Thana had solved his media relations problem by appointing his journalist friend Seema as his new media officer after Aloysius Theeban’s one year contract expired.

An overjoyed Seema had got down to work at full speed on tasks to patch up her heartthrob, Thana’s battered image.

It was however the unenviable task of informing her new boss about the looming threat to world economy posed by a superbug that was worrying Seema at the moment.

Her journalist training and professional understanding of day-to-day world affairs and their effect on Merekasia’s wellbeing, had alerted her beforehand of the possible damper to Thana and Zainal’s plans.

Most worrying was revealing this yet to break information as it would currently appear as something unsubstantiated to hot headed Thana.

Thana still tolerated Seema’s fawning over him, especially in her present appointment that required her to daily meet and interact closely with him.

The superbug was riding on the back of a critical global environmental and climatic backlash – the culmination of wanton industrial abuse of the environment and human and animal rights, almost two millennia long.

The living conditions on Earth had been compromised with the natural environment and atmosphere not only severely affected by standard pollutants but also excessive penetration of high frequency electromagnetic radiation caused by widespread smartphone usage worldwide.

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


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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