The Story of Latpat Desi Friday, 31 December, 2010Posted by ~uh~™ in Stories.
Tags: 10th Anniversary, Alcohol, Anniversary, Driving, Latpat Desi, life, Romance, Short Story, Urban, Wife
This is the story of Latpat Desi.#
Those who have met Latpat Desi could never remember him as he doesn’t have anything special to remember. Latpat is one of the million common men in the crowd with no unique quality, no special talent. He was one of those daily commuters who owned a car but could not afford to use it. He took local train to work everyday. He was working on the same company for the last 16 years where he joined before his marriage. But because he was neither smart not good in office politics, he was left behind as a manager while his colleagues climbed the ladder of growth much faster. Latpat was afraid of change. After leading a mundane life for years he was afraid to break his routine. The only adventure he has is when he takes his daughters to the suburban shopping mall’s gaming arcade and collide each other’s cars. He was afraid of spiders, beautiful women, smart colleagues and new technologies. He used a primitive mobile phone. He has not changed his Maruti Zen since last thirteen years though he could easily afford a bigger car. He did not drink or smoke regularly, but kept a bottle of Johny Walker Black label received as gift, waiting to open it for want of a suitable opportunity like a promotion at job or India’s qualification in the football world cup.
Being the only earning member of family, he always wanted to limit his expenditure on unnecessary luxuries and save for his daughters’ education, marriage etc. While planning for the future he forgot to live in the present and always waited for something good to happen to feel happier. His wife on the contrary was a very outgoing and jovial personality. She used to dance before marriage and was fond of movies and music. Now her only entertainment is plateful of assorted food in the food court of the suburban shopping mall and a movie or two. They had two daughters, aged 8 and 14 who studied in the neighborhood school. When they completed 10 years of marriage Latpat wanted to gift her something of her choice. She asked for a DVD player. Latpat did gift her one with two DVDs, namely Titanic and Hum Apke Hai Kaun. Her wife gifted him a set of aroma therapy candles with aphrodisiac oil.
On the eve of their tenth marriage anniversary, Latpat’s wife wanted to have a good time eating out and spending time together. She found out from her friends about a lounge bar in downtown and convinced Latpat to take her there. In exchange she offered to keep the lights on, wear the translucent negligee at night, which Latpat gifted her on their 5th anniversary. So, after they make arrangements to keep their daughters with a relative for the night, Latpat took his vintage Zen out. He felt little distracted and he could not decide if it was because of the squeaking noise from the car or the thought of night with his wife in that negligee.
Being a weekday, they reached the seaside lounge bar quite fast and chose to settle on an open air table for two by the beach overlooking the sea. The food on the menu card was mostly unknown to Latpat, so his wife took the responsibility to order. She ordered two exotic cocktails and some finger foods to start with. It was only nine in the evening. The lounge played nice contemporary music which Latpat never heard, but with the fusion of fine alcoholic taste and relaxed senses, he enjoyed it. Her wife was looking beautiful with the dark tinted lips and a hint of dusky eye shadow. They made small conversations, mainly about what they did in their earlier anniversaries and how they have forgotten to spend time with each other, over the years with responsibilities of children taking the top priorities. Latpat kept looking at his wife for ten years, and pondered how their love gradually transformed into a series commitments and responsibilities. Tonight he will rekindle the long lost passion, he thought.
By the time the sizzlers arrived, Latpat downed two more drinks. After long time he was feeling relaxed and happy. For once, he was relieved of all his anxieties of life, savings for his daughters and office politics. The music changed to a soothing saxophone, the stars above the open deck was shining bright. Latpat was never so happy.
At that point someone called her wife’s name, a female voice. It was an old friend of Latpat’s wife from school, they saw each other after ages. As it happens, the two women started talking relentlessly, trying to catch up with all that have happened in their lives. With nothing much to do Latpat sipped his last drink for the road, while gazing at the stars, enjoying his high. After all, this was a special night.
He could not remember how long it was, but his wife woke him up from his state of trance. It was little past midnight and only few patrons were left in the lounge. Latpat settled the bill and waited for the valet to bring his car. Looking at his wife’s sparkling eyes, he just couldn’t wait for the excitement awaited for the rest of the night. As soon as he hit the road, he pressed the accelerator hard, took a screeching turn. His wife cautioned him’, what’s the hurry dear, drive carefully”. With his blurred vision and the dimly lit road he saw some silhouette figures on the road, a hundred meters ahead. When he realized it was a group of cops with a ‘naka-bandi’, it didn’t take him long to realize what he is driving into. There’s a group of cops on their routine drink and drive check-post and there he is behind the wheel, alcohol filled up to his neck. The next thing would be a breath analyzer on his mouth which will ensure suspension of his license, a quick trial and atleast three days inside a jail, the least being the fine of couple of thousand rupees. He read in the newspapers how stringent cops have become these days, especially after few fatal accidents by drunken drivers. He trembled inside, by the thought of him being inside jail with all those rapists and criminals, while his wife facing humiliation from the neighbours, colleagues and relatives. How will he face his daughters? He will be degraded in front of everyone known to him. Forever.
He looked at his wife, who had turned pale, probably from the same thought. Latpat slowed down. There was no way to get out of this. The cops have already noticed him and one constable on the bike started approaching him. There was not a single moment to lose. He looked at his wife again, who tried to say something, but then he had already decided what to do. He took a deep breath, pressed the accelerator as hard as possible and released the clutch pedal. With a shrieking noise the Zen sprang towards the iron barricade set up by the cops. A glaring light from the standing police vehicles blinded his vision as he drove in breakneck speed. The cop on the bike shouted and waved before Latpat hit his bike, which flung on to his bonnet, shattering his windshield. His car ran over the constable, felt from the bump below the tires. Latpat tried to brake and turn towards the gap between the barricade just wide enough to let him pass through it. He could see a mosaic of blinking lights through the thousand pieces of glass of his windshield. To his horror, he found the brake is not functioning. His unused vehicle has given up at this moment of emergency. As a last try as he pulled up the hand brakes, the car turned clockwise with a screeching sound. Smell of burnt rubber engulfed his olfactory before the car hit the first barricade sideways, hit a police van and rammed the second line of barricade before coming to a halt.
Within police siren blaring, smoke and acrid smell of burnt rubber and metal, Latpat sensed a stream of hot fluid oozing out of his nose. Another stream tricked down his forehead over his eyes, making it difficult to open. He could gather a blurred image of his wife on the front passenger seat, her head bowed down while her motionless body is hold by the seat belt. He could see her lips, dark and red, gently dissolving and dripping on her arms, flowing over her fingers reaching toward her nails. As his senses plunged into putrid darkness, he tried to stretch his numb arms towards his wife. But he could taste the salty thick decomposed fluid on his mouth and a worm like creature running over his head, shaking it gently.
“It’s not even ten minutes I was away and you dozed off?” Her wife looked at him while running her fingers through his hairs, “ How are you going to last the night?” Her eyes sparkled. Her lips shimmering with a naughty smile.
Latpat looked at her, smiled and said ‘Don’t worry darling, night is still young. Let’s make love. Let’s start in the taxi that we are taking home’.
# (Law Abiding Tax Paying And Typically Disillusioned Endangered Subliminal Indian).
PS: The picture was shot by me, on Mumbai road and digitally altered.