Konkan Connections – 13


Xavier was a happy-go-lucky man. He was getting messages from Venu and Marshal, every now and then. Also the phone calls from Venu’s friend Sanjeeva. Xavier was always found calling Mani  during the  gang’s day to day activities. Report on Rilsy and his wife Lolly was relayed to him by his private channels on a regular basis. If he were not as old as he was, he would have taken the next flight and rushed to Mangalore to compliment all the guys on a great job they had done. Santu, especially (as his nick name was itchy Santu), had this habit of pulling out his pistol even on a minor provocation and was not hesitating to use it. He was also found to fire shots to scare people. He knew that he will create lot of trouble to himself with those kinds of acts. But, still Abdul and Yashwant trusted  him to a great extent. If Santu is assigned a job, He will get it done by hook or crook. The trouble lay in the factor that, once Santu is assigned with too many of them, he will just go berserk and will get into fisticuffs with people and will shoot them. He will realize only later when he gains consciousness!! This kind of personality trait is a dangerous factor for Xavier and his brigade. But, Santu this time did the job without using his pistol and also was instrumental in Rilsy Vaz getting sharp cuts on his body! This time his itchiness was moderated by Abdul in a systematic way!!
Kasargod Mani and Venu, both were providing information on the gang’s stay at Batkal and also the problems they were facing from the daily fights and troubles with other natives around town. They started their evening ride in their Omni (which has a Karwar number plate).  Everything was planned in a systematic way. Santu and Raaghu, also Kaalia Vishu and Moidu Kutty will get irritated and aggressive if not allowed to go out. Venu says Abdul had to plead with them to not to roam around the town. As it is difficult to secure bail, in case they are arrested. And, in today’s circumstances, it is next to impossible to any top notch politician or business man to show solidarity to criminals as they used to do it earlier!! Yashwant, Kudwa, Abraham were very happy with the proceedings so far. They were very much pleased with Xavier?s human resource management and in handling the aftermath of the situation, similarly as that of after sales service among consumer electronics sellers. Xavier was arranging whatever requirement there was over the phone. In every possible way, the gang needed to escape from the clutches of police. Their criminal records will guarantee that they will be behind bars without bail for a long time!
Santu and brigade seldom paid heed to Abdul’s advice as it happened today. The day was a Saturday, around seven pm, itchy Santu and Raaghu, Moidi all pressurized Abdul to let them go to the ‘Kiran Bar & Restaurant’ near the bus station. Santu knew the owner, Pradeep Alva very well. Pradeep’s brother, ‘Sandeep’ and Santu  had spent two  years in Arthur Road prison at Saat Raasta in Mumbai some years back. They had become great buddies. So itchy Santu was desperate to spend today’s evening there. Abdul called Kasragod Mani and asked to speak to Xavier saab and get permission from him as Santu and others were desperate to visit Pradeep?s bar. Xavier, after lot  of deliberation okayed the request. Kasargod Mani was unhappy though. He asked his Bhatkal friends Ibrahim and Kabeer to visit the same bar and be there for all eventualities and inform them about the happenings there. Santu and others, thrilled to bits and jumped in ecstacy on getting Xavier saab?s permission.
It was about 9:13 in the evening. ‘Kiran Bar’ was house full. All the three halls were choc-a- bloc. The VIP lounge was occupied by Santu, Abdul and others.  Moidu Kutty was enjoying his Bacardi with coke. Santu and Abdul were already high on ‘Black Dog’. Raaghu had hit his favorite Old Monk rum. Kaalia Vishu stuck to his choice ‘Knock Out’ beer. He never intended to drink liquor. But had a voracious appetite. Already they had gobbled down a plate of Chicken Tikka, one full Tandoori chicken and a Tandoori Pomphret. Pradeep Alva was personally attending to the guys. He will be rewarded later on, which he knew very well. Santu was in his elements. Singing songs and enthralling others. He even visited the ladies dance section next door and distributed wads of crisp bank notes in 100 and 500 denominations and came back pleased as punch. Abdul was cool as cucumber and was keeping an eye on all of them. Sandeep had called Santu and they discussed various things over the phone. Moidu Kutty was getting baptized with ‘Bacardi’ again and again.
The interiors were done in a very tasteful and up-market manner which had attracted the gang. They were in a chivalrous mood. After a week they were out and were enjoying themselves. Otherwise, the parcel food and the booze at their hideout flat nearby was monotonous. They had to watch channels on the old 21" BPL TV.  And on the Internet, the Mangalorean web portals which were highlighting the attack on ?Rilsy Vaz? and continuously getting people interested in the gone by incidents. They were all smiles, when they read the attackers are at large and police were still unable to trace them. Today, they were like Tigers let loose from their cages,  who had managed to escape to the jungle.
" Santu, I believe it is enough, lets have food and then retreat to our flat" said Abdul the ring leader.
" No man, the night is still young, after a week we are out in the open. Last Saturday we were in the bar at Valencia.  And, today we are enjoying to the hilt, so let us stay for some time".  He had just finished saying this……three guys entered the VIP lounge and said " C?mon, guys, get out,, we are Kuppe Swami?s gang members. It?s our special place on Saturdays.  Please vacate.  Pradeep knows this."
 Pradeep, got tongue tied. "Gentlemen, please relax, I will find a suitable place for you upstairs".   He sounded very apologetic.
" Who the hell is Kuppe Swamy?" Santu got up and charged towards the first man. He caught him by the collar.

To be continued…

Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai