I'm a successful writer, with a few short story collections and one novel published. I'm well networked among the who's who of Mumbai, live in a cosy apartment in the town-side. Still a bachelor at thirty-eight, and wiser on account of it. I have business interests in a cocktail bar in Goa, where I mix great cocktails for the tourists and my international friends every holiday season. I go horse-back mountain trekking in Mongolia and deep-water-diving in crocodile infested waters of Amazon, for recreation.
If I crank up the imagination a bit, I possibly host a satiric talk show like Jon Stewart on a TV channel, deriding the politicians in particular and Karan Johar in general. May be my show would specialize in inviting the famous and beatutiful women of India, and me flirting with them outrageously on camera. I like to play to my strengths, you see!
A short balding man, with a disproportionate shape slips silently out of a creaking lift of a 40 year-old apartment building in the suburbs of Mumbai. He comes out of his apartment only once in a week. No one knows much about him in the building. People who have been inside his flat spread rumours of dusty stacked up pirated DVDs, video games and some moth-eaten books.
He is known to have been a normal guy when he moved in seven years ago, but after just a year, he became a recluse, a cranky old man. May be because he is single and miserable, the housewives whisper to each other. He had a good job once, but no one knows what he does now. He writes letters to newspapers and drafts spam messages, says Guptaji, who was inside the flat once for a Ganpati contribution that was never given.
The cranky guy's paunch stares out prominently, what little hair left is dirty and grey, eye-sight weak on account of all the late-night porn he watches on an old computer. He looks fifty five, but his real age is about forty, says Mr.Rathi on the second floor. They worked together in bank once, he claims but no one believes Mr.Rathi anyway!
What is it going to be?