The Grip of Infamy. Episode 9. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 9 (Go to the Literary Section and scroll down to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian story)

Thana approached Thivya’s desk and hovered over the plastic container from which the now nervous feeling teenager had picked out a piece of boiled white mustard leaf vegetable with her chopsticks – as if he were taking a closer look at her food.

Is this all you’re eating Thivya? Come, come! Let me take you out for lunch. We’ve a lot of work to do today and I don’t want you running out of energy Thana accosted his PA.

This was not the first time Thana was inviting Thivya for lunch and as usual, the nervous girl pooled all the strength of her inner resolve to diplomatically decline her boss’ offer.

“Don’t worry boss. You know I have never slacked in my work. This is my energy food actually. I always feel more energised after eating this.

“Other food will only make me sleepy. Anyway, thank for your kind offer boss,” she said firmly without any feeling of misgiving.

Thana had no recourse but to give up his attempt. He knew how strong willed his PA was. He proceeded to his office room.  True enough Thivya’s resolve of never slacking in her work could be seen by her boss, in the neatly filed work documents lined on his desk covering the month he had gone missing.

Thana picked up one of the files marked meeting minutes and brought it close to his nose. He could smell Thivya’s rose scented perfume permeating the grey cardboard file and he closed his eyes to let the fond thoughts of her float through his mind like a soothing balm.

At this instance of his dalliance Thana shelved all thoughts of Asha and their two children in the closet of domestic affairs that was conveniently confined within the walls of his home. He achieved this by simply switching off his mobile phones.

Besides he felt Asha becoming rather bothersome with her aspirations to constrain his ambitious plans to extend the network of the 202 gang throughout Malaysia. Sure his wife supported his plan to raise his political status to become Sanggaran Velu’s successor but she espoused the hard way.

Thana would have none of the apple polishing tactics of politicians to gradually move up the political ladder. I can’t wait that long he had told Asha, I have a much easier way up as I have proven these few years.

Although he had promised Asha to gradually step out of the underworld fold, Thana was a free malevolent spirit and no one, not even his family and children could hold him back from doing what he was best at.

Villainy was in his blood and besides his family members and recently Thivya included, he had no actual concern for the welfare of anyone else not even his gang members including Thiagu or for that matter his political boss Sanggaran Vellu.

He would not spare a thought if the need arises to sacrifice any one of them for him to move up. For now there was still a need to suppress his villainous nature most times. He had moved into the eye of the media with his rise in the political arena and forced to portray an amiable front in public.

Following the viral video on the shooting mishap Thana had to be extra cautious now. He realised one way would be to avoid meetings with the media people for a while. This included keeping his press secretary, Aloysius in the dark for a while.

The media buzz  over his video incident had died down following his disappearing stunt and his party boss using high level contacts had turned around the story.

The district police chief had recently issued a press statement indicating that investigations into the shooting incident revealed it was a revenge attack.

According to the statement, Thana’s intervention through the Urban Empowerment Department to rid the Sentul area of snatch theft menace had caused this backlash from a motorcycle gang.

Thana’s dead outrider, Guru was also named as a member of the snatch theft gang to explain away Thana’s angry outburst in the video.

Thana sat back in his large cushioned chair and closed his eyes for a while. He tried to visualise Thivya’s face.

Focussing on her marble like twinkling eyes he added the dainty nose dropping down from the high bridge between her eyes like a falling drop of water ending in a slightly drooping sharp high triangle.

As he visualised her pearly lips curling out like two rose petals, his mental picture dissipated with the sound of soft knocking on his door followed by Thivya’s chirpy voice calling “Boss, boss! Someone to see you.”


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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