Friday, August 19, 2016

The best part of my eight-year stint in The Times of India was the crime stories I got to edit. Most of it was regular crime – rape, chain stanching, allegations of rape, occasional incest, occasional crimes of passion, stray murders. It was all lower and middle class crime. If there was a high profile crime, it would go on Page 1 and I would not be allowed to edit it. So I edited crime stories of the margin and tried my best to make them human. And one day, working in the Gurgaon Desk, this story came to me. Two persons, accused of a murder, made a daring escape by killing two cops who were escorting them to the police station. They were arrested two years later. This was a follow-up story, and did not deserve more than a single column. I dredged the ugly past and made it a two-column item. But the story would not leave me, especially when the reporter could not give us a proper motivation for the men’s actions. So I invented a motivation; what better motivation there is than love.

My indebtedness to Divya Dubey for her courage to accept to publish the story, for it is not just a murder story or a queer love story; it contains some graphic sex descriptions banned under the Indian law. This should be motivation enough for readers. Happy reading, if you would.

No Regrets

Being locked up in Bhondsi jail is not really a bad thing. The inmates largely leave me alone. They are terrified of me. They are terrified of my reputation. I am a cop killer. Killing a civilian is different. It is normal. Killing a cop, on the other hand, can make you look dangerous in the eyes of other criminals. I killed two cops, and injured two others. I do not remember what happened exactly. All I remember is Jaswant’s terrified face, and panic rushing through my veins. I remember firing the gun until all the bullets were exhausted. I remember pulling Jaswant from his stupor and making a dash for the car.

I do not remember the incident, yet the guards on duty will not let me forget. They despise me. I am the cop killer. I killed two of their brothers and they will not forgive me. They call me names. Earlier, I would get angry. I would yell back. I would threaten to kill them in their sleep. Now, I am used to the routine. Their words do not mean anything to me anymore.

Read the complete story, published in Earthen Lamp Journal, August 2016, here,

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