Monday, May 11, 2009

Brokerages

(The piece below is a work of fiction, any resemblance is purely coincidental.)

It was almost two hours since he was seated in a chair at the corner of the room. The cushioned settees, four in number were vacant, however on seeing his visiting card the office boy stood up and offered him his plastic chair. Except for him and the office boy no one else was around. The door to the cabin was closed. He was used to waiting alone. A map of the state and pictures of leaders of yester years hung from the wall. The office boy stood like a statue facing the entrance door. A robust guy, probably a bailed out charge-sheeter, he thought to himself.

Inside the cabin he sat in an authoritative poise. Two half finished tea cups and a dish of biscuits lay on the table. Three mobile phones and an intercom left enough space for a bust of a King who once had changed the flow of history with his sword. The industrialist was sitting with sunken shoulders in front of him. “But sir we have already committed to our overseas client trusting the words of your high command. Fifty million rupees were delivered at your party’s office in Mumbai.” said the industrialist from across the table. He snapped the biscuit and dipped it in the tea, left it there and rubbed his hands. “For the final time, its thirty million here or the deal is off .That piece of land is agricultural and from my constituency. Those are the people whom I promised a safeguard from the highway widening project and yours is a MNC, that too with skilled labor. I am ready to give you the plot at the outskirts without a penny.” he said with a pitch few decibels over the normal. Then he mellowed down and in a soft tone said “It’s not much sir. You will recover it within 15 months. I will take care of the union at a special price only for you, the times arent good these days.” The industrialist let out a sigh, gulped some tea and said “Ok, will have it delivered by next week. Keep the papers ready.”

The cabin door opened, the industrialist sped to the main door and left. He observed from his plastic chair. He was summoned. The office boy accompanied him, cleaned the table and closed the door behind him while leaving.He clumsily sat on the chair. “Tonight, same place, a floor above” he said playing with the wire of his intercom. “Sir, double the payment this time. After what happened last time they are afraid to come” he said meekly sitting upright in the chair. He let go the intercom's wire, affixed his eyes on him and yelled “Motherfucker, from when have you started quoting rates” .His face turned pale, he gathered all the courage and said “They come at my word. No one travels this long, that too for two days; I can get you Lolitas at this rate but not local girls. Moreover the vigilance is high these days.” Then he pretended to look around as if to see if noone is hearing, rested his elbows on the table, stooped forward and whispered “Some samples of stuff have arrived, that too at very low rates, the quality is supreme,its unadulterated and powdered, just check them out sir. You work so hard you shouldn’t think so much while relaxing, you are the king sir. The results will be out soon and for you they are just a formality.” He being referred to as the king pleased him. He smiled, “Fuck- off you son of a bitch, be punctual or else will throw you down from the third floor” He got up and bowed down with his hand held to his chest and sped towards the main door and left.
The office boy went in the cabin. “Settle the payment” he said.

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