Grip of Infamy. Episode 13. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 13. (Scroll down the Literature section to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian story)

Homely, shy. The words echoed in his mind and he thought. Not to me she wasn’t. The direct opposite in fact.

Thiagu had a tough time coming up with the reply to Thana’s query. He couldn’t tell the truth. He had already developed a soft spot for Thivya despite his apprehensions and he wasn’t going to snitch on her.

She didn’t say anything about you except that you would be a bit late. I just asked her about her work here and she appeared to be very happy working for you boss. I found her very polite and concerned. You are lucky she’s working for you boss.

Thana who through his years of dealing with youths like Thiagu had developed a built-in lie detector in his mind, could very clearly see that his trusted lieutenant was openly lying to him.

He knew at once that Thiagu’s youth, good looks and suave manner had swayed Thivya’s mind and he obviously being enamoured by her as well, was now protecting her in lying to his own boss and maker.

Knowing well that Thivya could hear it if he let his billowing anger explode in stinging words to berate Thiagu, Thana swallowed his anger with great effort and resolved to attend to the matter later.

Knowing the consequences of his lie, Thiagu was only at peace when Thana spoke somewhat calm, his face though tight with jaw clenched and nervous twitching at the mandibular joint. Must be something important that you have to come see me here. What is it?

It’s Guru’s family. The Opposition alliance has taken up their case to clear Guru’s name. They are trying to show that Guru was your bodyguard and not a snatch thief. It looks quite serious boss. We already compensated the family for Guru’s death. I wonder why they are doing this now.

Thana was not ready for this and exploded with anger. What the shit is this! I gave you strict orders to keep an eye on Guru’s family. How did the Opposition bastards get to them. Shit! Shit! Shit!

Thiagu’s head dropped and then he looked up and mumbled. We had the family who live at the Mereka City Council flats in Chowlay closely monitored. Our members visited them every week. I believe someone outside is responsible for this.

Of course someone outside had got to them! But how did it happen if you were keeping them closely monitored. How did it happen! You tell me now! Thana shouted thrusting his forefinger forward almost stabbing the taller Thiagu’s left shoulder.

Thiagu stood firm not wincing even a bit as he had grown over the fear of confronting Thana and knew that as the defacto leader of gang 202 he was presently more powerful than the latter.

It was only out of respect for Thana’s age and status as mentor that Thiagu still appeared before him as a subservient and obedient subordinate.

Thiagu personally felt Thana had wronged Guru’s family. It was uncouth of him to use the loyal Guru as a scapegoat to save his political career. He was sure that if he had been in Thana’s position he would just have thrown away his political career and moved on.

He was also pretty sure that Thana could escape from the current threat by bribing Guru’s father who was a drunkard together with some of his siblings.

Just as his political boss, Datuk Sanggaran Velu had saved his son Wira Pandian from the accusation of murdering a pretty intern at his engineering firm, some years back.

Using his influence and money Sanggaran Velu had got a senior government pathologist to issue a post mortem report stating the young woman with whom his son was having an affair, had committed suicide and quickly cremated the body.

At a Government inquisition hearing later he had got the woman’s father and brother to testify that they accepted the suicide report and declare there was no foul play in the death.

Sanggaran Vellu had also arranged for the convenient disappearance during the inquisition of the woman’s sister whose letter to an Opposition leader claiming her pregnant sibling was murdered by Wira Pandian’s family, brought the matter to the public eye.

Thana was still shouting in anger but Thiagu appeared like a sounding board, nodding at everything – voicing an occasional “Yes, boss”, “I understand boss” and “We’ll do as you say boss” while putting on a face of grave concern.

As far as Thiagu was concerned over this most recent development, he saw it as the right opportunity to sideline Thana from gang matters and for him to take over the reigns.

It was his opinion that Thana goes full time into politics as his wife Asha desired. Thiagu was even prepared to resign from his personal secretary position to concentrate fully on the gang.

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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