By: Sri Ram
Contract killers Mani and David were given assignment for the month.
The assignment sheet said that they were to kill a guy named Arul, aged 35, an ex-military man. There was a photograph that clearly showed Arul in close-up. Arul looked handsome without beard much like an actor from Bollywood. Mani and David both noted his physique that was well trained.
Some quarry lords wanted him to be killed since he played as informer to the local police on their sand mafia by the quay.
“Look how handsome he is? Unfortunate that he is going to die in our hands” said Mani.
In a week’s time, they spotted Arul in a village near Dindugal town. He had come for a festival.
Mani and David tolerantly waited for the night to fall.
It was festive eve and there held folk dance at the center of the village as part of the festival and people from the village walked briskly to witness the dance. Once it became dark Mani and David walked slowly through a bevy of men in lungi and women in saree. While admiring the stout healthy lady who crossed them lastly Mani and David with sharp knifes tugged inside their lungi approached Arul’s hut.
There was no one to be found inside. Disappointed Mani and David inquired about Arul at another hut in the neighborhood. An old man in his late 80s opened up.
“He must have crossed you. Didn’t you see?” he said.
“No! Where?” Stammered David asked anxiously.
“The one at the last. He plays the role of a woman named Hidimbi of Mahabharata in today’s play. There are no better actors than Arul in the whole district to play that role you know that?” he said.