Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2015 12pm

#RubyIyer: BOMBAY SHORTS 24 - 'Playing with the grown ups'

Previously: Ruby Iyer is pushed in the path of a Bombay local train and wakes up with superpowers. As Bombay Vigilante she now protects its citizens from criminals… sometimes from themselves too. Yet, on coming face to face with her nemesis The Hand her superpowers are no match. Can she save herself? Now read on:

- Playing with the grown ups -

Bombay Vigilante, clad in her trademark skinny jeans, checked plaid shirt, sneakers and a sleek streamlined helmet, borrowed from Martin, the bartender at Toto’s garage pub, stood on platform 2 of Bandra station.

That young man, chained to the front of the local train, rigged with a bomb, was the closest she had to family.

Ruby Iyer, had been Bombay Gym’s darling who’s coming-of-age party had been the talk of Cuffe Parade; the girl who’s asset portfolio had made her the most sought-after bride by every big industrial family of Altamount Road; who’s unique genetic dividends had every middle class South Indian mami in Matunga salivating in anticipation of a match for their son; had run away from it all.

It was fitting that the ex-princess of SoBo, had chosen the Queen of Bombay’s suburbs as her new home. 

But, her choice of a knight in shining armour had been a surprise. Yet, it had been this young, effeminate, fashion blogger who had opened his home, and his heart to her.

Panky was the closest she had to a real sibling. Now, she was going to lose him? No way!

“For once, his make up is rather fetching isn’t it?” She looked up to see the Hand hobble slowly over to her.

To her immense satisfaction he was holding his left jaw, blood dripping through his fingers. She raised an eyebrow in surprise. “What? You are still walking… and TALKING? Apparently I was too easy on you.”

“Perhaps I was too easy on HIM—” She followed the Hand as he tilted his head towards the helpless Panky.

Ruby took a step towards him, only to stop when he raised his palm: “think before you jump little girl, you are playing in the grownups’ league now.”

Thud thud thud, the blood jerked through her veins, pelting her eardrums. She had just beaten him up at the bar, and yet every time she saw the Hand afresh, there it was: that primitive jerk in her gut making her relive those few terrified moments before she had hit the train tracks.

She looked around seeing her surroundings for the first time, and felt the heat from the platform rush up to meet her.

Bringing her palm up— WHAM! — She slapped herself sharply the shock of the jolt through her helmet making her shudder. Focus! Focus! There, on the pale cream underside of his palm: she saw a small white remote control like device.

The significance of his actions rained over her. She froze in her tracks, the noise around her dying in a snowstorm of realisation.  He nodded: “yes, exactly. See what I mean? It’s not your soap opera style, super hero adventures anymore.”

“How unoriginal” Ruby cleared her throat, her voice coming out muffled through the helmet “so, you press that button and he dies?”

The Hand burst into laughter.

Throwing back his head, he held his side, as if unable to control himself.  He wiped the tears from his cheek “damn, you are funny. A redeeming factor, no doubt,” he straightened, his face suddenly poker straight, “but its not enough to help you right now. No, you see he is just the tip of the iceberg. There are quite a few young boys and girls rigged up with bombs all over the city. So many, you will never find them, not till they becoming living torches and even then,” he hobbled to within a few feet of her: “perhaps their remains will never speak to you, to tell you who they were.”


From across the platform Vikram watched the two figures facing each other.

What were they doing?  Taking a friggin’ walk in the park while bombs rained down around them? F—g Hell, she just always had to be just where the action was, couldn’t keep away could she? Barely had he recovered from her last escapade, and here she was, waltzing right into the next.

He could see the man’s lips move, and when he raised his palm, the sunlight glinted off a rectangular patch of white; he didn’t need a bomb expert to tell him what he was looking at.

F— F— F— This was not good, not good at all. He took off at a run towards the far side of the platform intending to cross, only to be tackled from behind and he fell nose down: “wha—“

Then, he was being turned over to face his assailant: “I told you not to interfere, punk!”

“Look,” Vikram coughed up dirt grimacing at its, pungent taste. Damn! Even the dust in this city had spices mixed in with it.

“Scarface!” He addressed the older cop, with whom he had words with earlier. “I know the victim; plus I am QRT and like it or not this is exactly the kind of situation I have been trained for. Bhenc— now get your f— hands off me, or face the higher ups later for obstruction of justice.”

Seeing him hesitate at the mention of authorities up the chain of command, Vikram pushed home his advantage  “I have a hotline to the commissioner,” he continued swiftly: “I am not joking, I promise. Let me up now so I can go do my job, else those deaths will be on your head too.”

He jerked his head towards the hostage and held up his hands to underline his intention. Feeling the other cop’s grasp loosen momentarily, Vikram shoved him aside. Then, grabbing his wireless, he was up and running again.

Relieved to see that neither Ruby nor the man had moved from their earlier position, he moved out of their sight before leaping down onto the track. Crossing it, he leaped back onto platform 2, a full yard behind the man with the detonator.

Fastening the wireless to his belt, Vikram pulled out his Beretta, releasing the safety before training it on the man towards whom he walked carefully; only to jerk to a stop when a white salwar-kameez clad figure darted onto the deserted platform in front of him, walking briskly towards the man.

Her jet black hair shimmered down her back swayed hypnotically, bounced from one fleshy buttock to the next. She was not slim, not large, just quite curvaceous in that typical, trying-to-curb calories-but not gym-toned, homely sexy-housewifely way.

Vikram shook his head to clear it of unwelcome Savita Bhabhi (Indian porn star) thoughts, his mouth falling open in surprise, when on reaching the man she stopped, then casually took the detonator from him.

Who was she?

- to be continued...



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