The Grip of Infamy. Episode 10. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 10 (Go to the Literary Section and scroll down to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian story)

“Come in. Come in first Thivya!” Thana shouted as the door was only about a metre in front of his table in the small 5m by 3m office room. He was keen to materialise his visual image of his dream girl before he saw anyone else.

Opening the door, Thivya stepped inside and closed the door behind her. “It’s your journalist friend, Seema. She wants to see you awhile. Says it’s urgent.”

“Oh, Seema is it. Let her in. Let her in.”

Thivya noted the sudden gush of enthusiasm in Thana’s face at the mention of the name Seema. Who would not be happy to meet a pretty face and a friendly journalist at that she thought.

Thivya quickly went up to the early thirties-something journalist clad in tight jeans and short cotton kurti who she had left sitting at the lobby area of the department floor. She found her absentmindedly twisting a strand of her shoulder length brownish hair with her left fore finger.

Must be an interesting job going around interviewing celebrities, government leaders, politicians and corporate bigwigs Thivya thought standing for a few seconds observing the light brown complexioned slightly plump woman who seemed lost in her thoughts.

“Ms Seema, Mr Thana will see you now. Please follow me.”

As Seema followed her, Thivya listened to the tok, tok, tok sound of the former’s high heel shoes. The journalist’s steps sounded rhythmic as if she was doing a slow tap dance or simply walking hesitantly.

When Thivya opened the door of her boss’ room to let in the journalist she threw a quick glance at Thana who was smiling broadly, the full row of his upper teeth bared exposing his pinkish gums.

As she closed the door she casually noted Seema’s face as she bent forward to shake hands with Thana who had risen from his chair – his right hand eagerly extended out.

“Helloo, been a long time ….” she heard Seema’s crooning husky voice before the door clicked close behind her.

Thivya’s visual image which Thana wished to consolidate with the person herself as she opened his door and peered in, had dissipated at the mention of Seema’s name.

It was instantly replaced by an image of the broad mature face of Seema with its inquisitive streak manifested in the two furrows – curving out from the inner edge of her thin lined eyebrows – almost converging over the tiny dot of her black pottu.

It was obvious to him that Seema found him attractive. He could tell by the shyness that came over her on meeting him despite the restrained journalistic resolve to probe newsmakers like him for a story.

Also her eagerness to meet him personally for interviews when she could easily get the story out of him over the telephone like other journalists.

She was also the first to like and comment on his Facebook posts especially when he changed his profile picture.

Seema had missed Thana during his disappearance and feared for his wellbeing while at the same time overcome with sadness at the misfortune that had befallen him. If his political career were to crash she would be deprived of the chance to meet and associate with him.

What would her life be without Thana in the horizon of her emotional aspirations to flirt with the vast unknown world of the masses she was constantly exposed to via the Tamil cinema medium.

He was a living symbol of the rustic hero of the escapist Tamil  masala movie world she had been addicted to in the last decade living in Kuala Lumpur away from her family home in Teluk Intan, Perak.

Seema found Thana very macho – not only his rugged face complete with the scars but also the way he unashamedly pursued and wooed her on FB piling praises on her in chat sessions.

She also liked the way Thana despite being married still kept himself open to other women and boldly eyed the pretty and sexy ones. The conquest of women was a mark of virility in a man and added romanticism and colour to the violent disposition of his gangster background she thought.

Raised in an academic and professional setting both in family life and social circumstances, Seema found Thana’s world rather exotic and exciting. And the men of her world appeared as predictable sissies compared to Thana.

“So glad to meet you, Ms Seema,” came Thana’s reply. He indeed was glad to see Seema who was his strongest link in the media fraternity and no thanks to his inefficient press secretary.


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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