Mohammad Sabbir’s short story leaves the reader on the edge with its twists and turns – a perfect rollercoaster ride with an ending that stays on your mind long after you are done reading.
The Scene Before the Scene
‘How about this? I walk in. I ask, what did you have for lunch? He says blah blah blah. I say eat this now. Bang bang bang. Works?’
There’s no answer.
‘Alright, how about this? I ask him to say Johnny Johnny Yes Papa. Right when he finishes the line Open Your Mouth, I pump in the bullets saying Ha Ha Ha. What say, Bantai? Now that’s funny, isn’t it? I know you like it. I can see it on your face.’
Bantai looks down. His eyes are closed. He takes in a deep breath, trying his best to remain calm.
‘Bacchi yaar. Please let’s not have that conversation again, man. Let’s not –’
‘But why not, Bantai? Since we are doing this regularly, we should have something that differentiates us from the others. Something that makes people specifically ask for our expertise rather than pick any random lookha from the chawl. Being a Phatka Gang member can only help you own good phones and smoke good ganja, which is good for now. But what about your future? What about your maal? Will her father agree for the nikaah? What about your family? Your children? Their future?’
Bantai was thinking. That popular Thakur’s dialogue from Sholay rang in Bacchi’s ears. He knew he had to make this moment count.