I’m standing by the lift. It’s the ground floor, about 9 in the morning. I just got to the office.
There’s a beautiful girl standing close to the lift. She’s waiting for it like me. The green neon goes
from 3 to 2 to 1. With a cling the doors opens. We go in. Another man in a white sweater follows
us. He works in my office.
I look at her, look at the man in the white sweater, look at the neon go up from 46 to 47 to 48.
The lift stops and she steps out and is gone.
At lunch, Muktesh is belligerent about a deal his boss messed up. Harmit sits by the corner and
stares out at the grey sky. I’m thinking about the girl. Out for a smoke, I smoke downstairs
hoping for her to walk out. Five minutes down the wait, I open up my communicator and run an
image search. Picking a girl with her hair, I set up an appointment for the night. There are
skyscrapers all around us.
‘Go for Mita’s’, Muktesh says, ‘they’ve got everything. Got a light?’
With a taste for the unusual, Muktesh fucked shemales, children and hamsters. Mita’s supplied
the first two.
I pass him my lighter and we stare at the fierce concrete ahead. The streets are clean here.
There’s no public transport here, everyone’s got their own cars.
After the sex, she asks me if she can use the bathroom. I refuse for health reasons and tell her
about the public toilet at the ground floor. The sun is cold and blue through the tinted glass. I
can see all of Gurgaon behind it. Square, rectangular and triangular skyscrapers cover all of it
and disappear down the horizon.
I speed back to the office. A message appears on my car terminal. It says they’re charging me a
fine for speeding. I select OK and the window disappears. Now that I’ve paid, I have legal
authority to speed to office. Everything’s legal now, subject to payment.
At office, Rana is telling us about his latest acquisition, an arranged wife.
‘Isn’t it too retro?’, the cocky new kid asks.
‘My car’s retro too’, Rana humours him, ‘I like retro. It’s cool. Not everyone can afford P.C.’
Everyone at the table laughs, including the women.
P.C. is short for Permanent Cunt, the going slang for arranged marriage.
For a short duration, I contemplate P.C.
Middle class parents cultivate and auction cunt for pay packages. MNC six figures get you top
I’m thinking about the things I can do with her when it suddenly strikes 2 and I have to get back
I check out Mita’s hoping to find the girl I saw near the lift. I don’t find her. However, I do locate
a boy who looks like a girl in my class in school. I pick him for the night and pay the fine. He’s
He’s a nice kid, I think as I see him putting his pants back on.
‘You in school?’, I ask smartly from behind a cigarette drag.
‘Company regulations don’t allow me to answer that.’
I choose not to speed on the way to work. Gotta start saving. I plan on building up a corpus to
invest. Buy a house, sometime, plan for my retirement, etc.
They’re serving chocolate truffles with lunch. It’s from the bakery at the Trident. The chef is
French. The truffles taste exquisite. The chocolate melts in your mouth.
The rest of the day is a lot of work. I nod off twice while driving back home. I’m thankful for not
killing myself. I pass out as soon as I hit the bed.
I wake up with the cramps of a man who’s slept with his suit and shoes on. The hot shower feels
better than usual. An old tune comes back to me but I can’t remember the name. I can hum it
though. I hum it to my terminal and it finds it for me. I play it while getting dressed.
‘Believe that today is going to be a beautiful day’, I tell myself as I head to office.
‘Try two’, says Muktesh during a cigarette break, ‘then it’s more about skill.’
‘Didn’t work for me’, I tell him. It was just money wasted.
‘What do you think about marriage?’, I ask him.
He makes a face.
We laugh at Rana.
The next night, I order a special package. She arrives with a small box containing a blindfold,
handcuffs and a riding crop. She’s also wearing boots and black leather underwear.
The box has a small booklet with instructions. It’s too complicated and I keep getting them
wrong. I feel like a fool the next morning.
I hear Muktesh saying Mita’s is passé. He’s right. There’s only so much of that you can take.
Lunch is some Italian shit. Despite the five star tag, it tastes like shit.
I go home early and catch a film. I switch it off and sleep halfway.
The weekend passes quickly. I meet a girl. Things really don’t get going. We get drunk and are
still unable to get a conversation started. We apologise to each other for the boredom and go
home. I drink more at home. When I wake the next day, it’s already evening. I have a horrid
hangover. I think about Mita’s but don’t feel upto it.
There’s nothing on on T.V. either. Briefly, I consider suicide. I take more alcohol and I sleep. I
wake up late and have to speed to work. Bad news for savings.
The lift door opens with a cling. There’s no one in the lift today. I travel to my floor alone.
Muktesh is checking out some equipment on the internet.
He notices me notice and beckons me over.
‘Check this out.’
It’s a steel dildo which he can strap on to the top of his penis.
‘Interesting.’, I say.
‘Hold on’, he says, ‘see what happens when I twist this.’
He clicks on a section on the middle of the thing. And the top of the thing snaps open, turning
into a huge and hard metallic claw.
‘That can kill’, I say.
I realize he’s looking at me, his mouth drawn to a manic smile.
Muktesh’s house is like a giant device built to the sole end of a fuck. His bedroom closet opens
up into a small room with red walls, hooks on the ceiling, a chair with straps, a love seat the
shape of a horizontal s, an operation table, a wall with a variety of interesting dildos, gags,
masks, pipes, chains, belts and the customary handcuffs, a large plasma screen and a naked
Ukranian woman in a cage by the side.
‘Nice mask’, I say, pointing to her face.
‘Yeah’, he says, ‘keeps her mouth open all the time. So she can’t shut it even when she’s
The girl seems to be in her twenties. She’s blonde and malnourished, lying listless by the side.
Her hair is matted and she stinks. He doesn’t let her out to use the loo.
‘Isn’t she dirty?’
His jaw arches backwards, stretching the botoxed face over his skull like a plastic balloon. The
eyes remain as wide as ever. It’s the same smile he gave me in office that day.
He was checking out equipment on the internet when I happened to be passing by. The metallic
dildo was one of them. He showed me more and invited me over to his place on the coming
Muktesh is into snuff. For the unacquainted, it means killing the person you’re having sex with
before, in the midst of or after intercourse. It includes slitting his/her stomach before
intercourse, strangling him/her while you’re at it, hanging him/her on top of your bathtub and
slitting him/her like a halal and, of course, using devices like the one he was purchasing over the
This is the Friday and I’m happy I came.
Upstairs, the guests have started to arrive. Men and women dressed in suits in Audis and BMWs
and S Classes. Some bring bottles of wine, some bring their beautiful young wives.
‘You should have asked me to dress up’, I whisper to Muktesh as he goes around, receiving his
guests, ‘this is like a black tie affair.’
‘Wait till they get to the hall’, he whispers, ‘they’re like animals.’
A small boy in a mini tuxedo walks in with a couple. The gentleman is wearing a traditional India
silk kurta with pajamas and a shawl. His wife, thin, tan and chiseled is wearing a revealing saree.
‘They’ve brought their son?’ I ask Muktesh.
‘That’s not their son.’
And then there’s that smile again.
Two months later, I’m done with Muktesh.
He does it all to see the expression on your face. If he was into it for the experience, he’d be as
bored as I am.
I had a chat with Prince Anwar, one of his other guests, and he was as bored as me.
‘It’s more of a social get together’, he said, ‘nobody gives a fuck about the fuck.’
Prince Anwar is graduating from Columbia and therefore discourses on the polemics of the
Apparently, I had noticed one of the older gentlemen do something gruesome with the boy and
had said, ‘how did we get like this?’
Prince Anwar informs me it had started with the youporn revolution. Sometime around 2007,
amateurs around the world had started putting their videos on the internet. The literati, led
mostly by the libertarians, had celebrated what they thought a milestone in the freedom of
expression. The revolution would herald the collapse of the porn industry and a new age of
greater social freedom.
The industry, however, had protected itself. Pornstars got themselves forked tongues, bipenes,
rectal implants and a dozen other biological upgrades, becoming living, breathing sex toys for
money. Pornstars were the new rockstars.
As a corollary, prostitution had been legalized. The sex industry was now out in the open.
Instead of reforming itself, as the legislators had said it would, it reformed society.
Free market capitalism went well with the new social dynamic. Tele-marketing was now the
worst crime and a fine the worst punishment.
Prince Anwar rounds up his monologue by asking me to consider saving for a fuck with a
‘It’s something else’, he said.
That was my last afternoon at Muktesh’s place.
Realizing that sexual excesses weren’t helping I went to 32/4 Sector C, Patparganj, New Delhi to
meet Nalini’s parents.
Nalini’s profile had been put up on a marriage website.
To get to it, I had to choose between fair, not fair, had to put in my preferences for height,
ethnicity, caste, age, education and had to put in my salary package. I got 209,000,000
responses. She was the third. Her picture looked good.
Her profile had said
Fair, good looking, tall, English speaking, M.A. educated girl, 23, looking for well to do Hindu
boy, working in MNC, executive position with high salary, benefits.
The parents, an old man in a white kurta pyjama and heavy plastic frames and his wife, as old,
saree clad, with a smile pasted on her face, asked me to sit in the living room. There was a
wooden sculpture of Krishna playing the flute in a corner. On the wall were some framed
certificates. In another corner, in a vase, were some plastic flowers that kept changing colour
from blue to green to red. There was a wooden table between us which had a scale model of the
Cutty Sark (‘My nephew, in U.K.’, she had explained). There was a sofa in the room, at different
ends of which the couple sat. There were two other chairs (of the same make as the sofa set),
one of which I sat on.
I had talked to them earlier, setting up this appointment.
Here, I repeated what I had said on the phone, quoting my salary, my age and lying about my
They asked me to repeat my salary.
They laughed after for no apparent reason.
‘Nalini’, they called out then.
Nalini appeared, carrying a tray with tea and expensive biscuits. She was non descript and
pretty. She didn’t make eye contact. I could discern a smile on her face.
On the wedding night, I pulled out a bottle of scotch and asked her if she wanted some.
She said no.
I held by her hair and forced her to drink it. Then I hit her until she started crying.
I pulled a chair and watched her cry. As soon as she stopped, I hit her again. I kept taking shots,
neat, while I was at it. I don’t know when I passed out. She was still there in the morning.
It’s been two years since we’ve been married.
Over time, her crying has grown quieter.
She doesn’t resist when I rape her. Often, I think she’s been bred for submission.
I feel nothing for her.
Her parents haven’t been in touch since we got married.
One evening, I pay four men to burgle my flat, gang rape my wife and kill her.
I watch it in slo-mo on my security tapes.
It does nothing for me.
Her parents come for her cremation. They offer me their condolences.
In Babylon, Celia smoked on the balcony. A pot bellied Belgian businessman lay, cock subsided,
on her hotel bed. He had come thrice last night. At his age, that was a miracle. She’d get her five
star rating. The surgery had worked.
Her phone bleeped to life. The reminder would always come on, even if you switched your
phone off. She was required to be gone. The client had paid for a wet dream. Girls from these
dreams aren’t smoking on your balcony when you wake up.
Her Alfa Romeo, parked downstairs, took her and its chauffeur down the cobbled streets to
what she called home.
Stopping out at the canal, where an old man walked his dog after a night of pissing down a 12
year old’s throat and slitting it later, she made her way to the second floor where the security
system would scan her retina and let her in.
‘What if someone took my eye and passed it through’, she thought, past her living room and
panties as she made her way through the living room.
Later, as her shower breathed medicated steam, not water (after the implant water was
dangerous) her answering machine read messages to her.
Murli said, ‘Celia, later in the afternoon you have to fuck him. The formalities are done. He’s
paid up. He’s from home and stuff.’
In the steam she cursed Murli for the tight schedules. But she’d been doing that for thirty years
and she had known him longer than anyone. And she knew that. A couple of more jobs, and
they could pack funding for her latest film.
Later in the afternoon, after the medics had said that her blood was still clean. She made her
way through the town square to the basement at the Café Voltaire. The staff was there. They
stripped her and strapped her onto the wheel, leaving as they always did in a cold professional
Around fifteen extremely long minutes later the door creaked.
He was alone.
He got around to it, using her on the wheel then letting her loose and taking her to the
Finally, when he was done, he lit a cigarette.
She could see tears streaming down his face.
‘You know’, she said, ignoring the black irony that was the blood and semen on the bed, ‘I’m
from India too.’
‘I know’, he said, ‘mother.’