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He had no need to think that he was immoral belonging to the group of people who  believed in the same principles of being a modest average man : spending according to your earning and work hard to earn a living.He called a hundred people everyday of which most screamed and abused him and the rare few asked him to drop by their house to fill the never ending forms.

Married happily enough, he even had a son. His legacy of being a nobody would have continued flawlessly; that was the plan until he saw her. She was beautiful , fragile, nubile and yet so young. She was all of 11 and he of 40.

It was a hot summer day in Delhi when it happened. Sweat and humidity stuck to the skin like leeches. The morning had gone by with unsuccessful phone calls to potential abusers. The huge hall that was filled with men like him had a layers of scent of samosa, sweat and fart.

At 3 o’clock a young sounding guy agreed to see Anthony only if he arrived by 5 o’clock at the other end of town. Anthony had to take the chance, he picked up his dusty briefcase and crammed it with all sorts of proposals and forms for Mr. Arsh to fill. He rushed down to start his old chetak scooter that would take him all the way to Noida from Connaught place. Every evening his wife would poke and prod his wallet before going to the market and finding nothing extra to get any meat for a special meal frustrated her. She would take it out on the maid the next day by squeezing her of all her energy to have a squeaky clean house. Whether it was the lack of dirt or the lack of luxury to accumulate anything, one never knew.

Anthony skimmed through the traffic thinking of the new cycle he could buy for his son and a new saree for his wife to wear at the Sunday Mass. He promised God that he would go to the Gospel meeting everyday if he got this client.

He was dripping sweat and had stains around his armpits and in the back, he could smell his stench. Being aware of his averageness and futility of the job  that haunted him every hour he rang the bell of the house no. 34 while trying to fix his full mane of hair. His eyes darted downwards when the door opened. There she was with the whitest skin he had ever seen with perfect almond shaped eyes. She was around 4’3 he thought. Only a half inch taller from his 10 year old son. She turned to go away and get someone to the door. She didn’t say a word to him, just looked at him and went away. He was surprised to see her gait, her hips swayed like a woman’s but they were much smaller. Not ripe like his wife’s or her mother’s who was standing right infront of him.

While sitting on the sofa of the Mathur’s, explaining the pros and cons of the various policies to Mr.Arsh and his wife he could only look around for her. The little angel. He wanted her and he could feel that in his crotch. The more he looked at her mother he was reminded that she was here somewhere in the house, not allowed to come in front of him, being hidden by the parents from the eyes of the strange male. It got so painful for him that he asked to be shown to the washroom. On the way to the washroom he tried getting a glimpse into the rooms and he saw a bit of her legs; bare from her toes to her mid thigh because the skirt she was wearing had risen up while she was lying on the bed on her stomach reading a book.

Inside the washroom he felt nauseated and disgusted by himself. This child was only a year older to his son and she was driving his hormones crazy. He splashed water on his face, dried himself carefully while staring intently at himself in the mirror. He was no Catholic but these thoughts made him question the purity of his soul.

On the way back home he could only think of the fair skin with tiny dark hair on her legs that looked soft and silky, if only he could touch.

Her skin and newly shaped woman’s body haunted him. He spent more hours away from home, from his wife lest she knew what went on in the dark recesses of his mind.

The only way to be exorcised of these feelings was to go more often to their house and be immune to her, he realised. It wouldn’t be possible he knew unless there were mistakes with documentation. He created the necessity of filling more forms, of forgetting and re-forgetting those forms just to go to their house more frequently. Even with those efforts he could only go twice or thrice in a year. This gave him inspiration to make it a long term effort before he knew it, he was doing better at work because he knew that in some part of the city the little angel is growing up into a ripe woman and someday he would have her.

His colleagues were only more annoyed to see his renewed vigour at work. They had reached an age when one only does enough to get by and yet here was this man making their life miserable. The top boss would crack his whip on others making Anthony the shining example of hard work.

Some five years later one morning he was standing in front of the mirror taking particular care for dressing up because he was to visit the Mathur’s today when the blinding veil fell from his eyes and he saw what he was. He had taken care to hide his monstrosity from himself everyday of those five years since he saw her because he knew what darkness lay inside him, what feelings stirred inside him when he saw her but he did not have a single soul to share this with.

His colleagues and he did not talk about their wives but their heads turned in the same direction when they saw a beautiful young girl walk by, especially if she was on a young man’s arm. They would scan her from front to behind even judging the lingerie she wore  by the lines that would prod out from under the apparels but he never thought that he was a hideous monster then. That girl was hand in hand with a man, she was offering herself up to the world to see her as a desirable object but the little angel was hidden from the world. She wore braids to school, her body was hidden behind oversized t shirts of her father. She had not made her appearance in the public yet, she was not up for grabs yet. The fecundity of her body was only for his eyes.

Tucking his shirt into his now protruding belly, he realised, today was the day of action. Their policy had matured and he was going to give them their last document to sign. He would not get another chance to be this close to the little angel again. He was full of trepidation when he arrived. He remembered  his first visit to their place when he was full of sweat stains and the only reason he was standing at their doorstep was because he wanted their money. Today he wanted much more from the Mathur’s.

Sitting on the sofa. chatting with Mr.Arsh like it was their last conversation and having him sign the last few documents he sensed that she was not at home. He struck up a conversation with the wife about his son who was in 11th now, studying science aiming to be an engineer the wife responded just like he anticipated about the little angel studying humanities and not being the best student. She wanted to be an actress and had already joined some acting workshops, and he guessed that that is where she was now. He was disappointed to hear that, it was the last visit after all. Soon he took their leave and gloated over never  being found out by the parents for what he was. He was reviled at their lack of imagination, for thinking that everyone was like them. Dull. Not long ago he would have thought the same of himself but having found out the propensities within himself to find pleasure in being a voyeur he began to consider himself a breed apart, a connoisseur.  

With these calming thoughts he was riding his scooter back to the office until he saw her on the back of a boy’s bike. He gave chase, there was nothing else he could have done. She was not far from her home and she was sitting pressed up against a boy’s back drawing circles with her hand on his chest. She had appeared to the public to view without him tasting her. Rage seeped through him and he sped up, at 70 kmph his Chetak was coughing and churning out smoke. He kept speeding, long after they were gone, crossing a red light and finally having his skull spill out on the streets. Nobody knew him, but they crowded around him to berate his dead body for being a rash and BC driver. The car’s owner cursed him under his breath because he would now have to spend years going to and fro  from a courthouse in Delhi.

 

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