Skitter of light and blitz. Of color canvas. A bevy of partygoers swirling and scrumming in line like diligent kids at the Opera House. Drizzle of light caressing the foam in the sky and white line hiding the line of copulating stars in the vast sky. Night fall exudes a mysterious look. Silent owls tottering for the kill.
Men and women. Young boys and girls swooning as if hunting for a prey. Decked in short skirts, spunky jeans, hippie hair and twisted locks holding each other tightly as if it’s doomsday. Fleeting voices, warble, and footsteps scampering in the moat and hopping in the narrow alley to heckle the plump and bald security guarding the fortress, intricate wooden door. Some could have caressed his twirling mustache to sneak inside.
The linoleum floor shone brightly in a speckled bright wood colors and tiny dots of spangle blended with muddy footprints. The singer wore a backless black sleeve that grabbed eyeballs of male ogling at her and women spouting fireball of jealousy. The voice screeched at decibel level to charm pigeons off the branches. Alcohol and beer guzzle at every table and Lonavla chikki popped inside mouths. The Mumbai skyline paled in comparison to the jarring voice and hushed tones among revelers, stealing silly pecks, long smooch and sensual caress.
The Queen’s necklace spread and skated its might to witness party life in the city, petty thieves planning the next move, silent lovers sky gazing to untie the lace and innocent hands flitting past loose skirts and blouse witnessed by the naked sea, iconic black-and-yellow cabs swirled in the traffic and underworld planning the killing. Cops were bored and pretended to look the other side by chasing flies in the hot South Mumbai summer.
Drunken souls traipsed their might inside the pub to and fro, waiters wore a bedazzled look at the sight of skimpy but adorable women flirting nonchalantly with them for their favorite drink. The night was a drudgery for some single men like me bored and gulping alcohol to curse their luck for not landing hot women and cuddle raging like a storm in the head. Something was brewing and boiling, not just the sizzler served piping hot on plate.
Cards shuffled and flickered on the table to change hands within span of seconds. Women paraded on stage in transparent lingerie and gyrating their seductive curvy moves to the latest pop songs as urn of money slung on stage. Discreet heads lolled at the tables, dance floor and guests wriggling their way among the crowd. Pack of notes sifled on row of tables flicked expertly and swiftly greasing palms of greedy waiters, bouncers and single men and women game for a night of swing in rooms upstairs. No soul could decode business traveling like light in the Opera House. No business is unfettered by the shady world, black turned into white, pink became crimson and the world wouldn’t get a stench of flesh trade flourishing freely like the alcohol on the rocks.
The noise reached decibel level stomping wildly on the ground, barman expertly flicking the vodka shots and Scotch to make everyone high while cocaine, hashish, coke, and LSD smacked its way inside where control was on the loose. Strangers turned into momentary lovers, waltzing discreetly in open corners for rumpy-pumpy acts, changing partners and drenching in a trance. The mood was exuberantly set. The perfect ambiance glittered. Wicked smile on chaffed lips. Routine business. Let the kids swap to the tunes and not deny pleasure. Worship the phallus. The trade thrives for money never lies. Deceit is just another name.
Deal done inside and outside. Holy baba feared and loathed by many but still worshipped by millions where ingenuity sealed the lid to sprinkle blessing on followers, Jai Mata Di, he thundered. Caressing his grey beard and flipping a coin on million followers in his darbar, he made a sign with his eyes, pressed the left one. War will be declared in the city. Politics got the signal. Riot will be their treat. Statue of the revered leader’s wife was blackened in the crowded center as thick stench and odor wafted in the atmosphere. Buses and cars smeared into holy fire as offering to appease the Gods. Humans and vehicles splattered into fire resembling ghee to perform ablutions. The holy sacrifice for the mother, the unsung Goddess of her devotees worshiping humans. Blind love and the lust for bloodshed wreathed on the tarred roads.
A night of reckoning. The luminous night, sparkling moon and raucous noise made by music, lovers, and rave wore thin at the next fall of darkness. Deal went horribly wrong. Hands of devils wore its shadow like a veil. The huge bag and money parcels pocked with crores landed in the wrong hand who fled the country, bribing airport officials and hid inside an invisible cave with filthy riches. War was declared. After all, the kingdom has to be saved. Factionalism, underworld, rich babas, bureaucrats and politicians slug it out on roads and streets. Riot spread like wildfire in the city. Intelligentsia blamed it on the blackened face of the dead Goddess to her millions of children. She was a sensitive soul and sentiments hurt, they languished.
The night club-cum-shady hub was razed by the BMC and the place scanned to uncover the crime. Revellers were harassed, slapped and assaulted but the treasure has long disappeared. Powertoni decided to wreak havoc. Sins to be atoned. Sour revenge. No party anymore, drugs were taken on the roads and rave banned. A sly game splayed. The pub and ecstasy have gone sanskari (religious) with men and women, party animals and sexualized souls wearing orange robe, chanting hymns and selling agarbatis, sacred noodles blessed by the Lord himself, shuddh Makhni condom, shuddh Makhni noodles, shuddh Makhni honey, shuddh Makhni garments and shuddh Makhni concocted with ghee, going back to the days of purity. Doomsday was yet to strike. A matter of crores lost and buried.