Laugh like a Dog
John Rao is of Eurasian/Anglo-Indian descent. A Catholic scholarship enables him to enrol at an expensive college where he meets Meena Rowal. John is handsome, well built and smart. Meena is short, stout and homely. But the angle that sets her apart is her enormous wealth. To John’s meagre and pedestrian social standing there could not be anything more desirable in a girl. They date – Meena introduces him to expensive clubs and restraunts; they indulge sex in hotel rooms, and the inevitable happens – Meena conceives.
Meena and John marry clandestinely in a small church attended by John’s mother and brother. The Rowal family finds out and persuades John to marry in the Hindu way as well. John now moves into the Rowals’ family Mansion. But the situation sours progressively. Meena treats John off-handedly; whilst at the same time lavishes gifts on him regularly to keep him in line. John’s demands for wealth grow and Meena’s father, Ranjit, wonders if he may have to have his son-in-law eliminated for his growing greed.
John has been homosexually involved with Tom, (another Anglo-Indian boy) whom he deserts by marrying Meena, but not before he rapes Tom’s young sister, Sally.
Tom is less hurt by his sister being raped than by John’s cruel betrayal. Tom attempts to shoot John but misses through tear blurred vision. They reconcile later when John manoeuvres and gets Tom and his sister to live in one of the rooms in the large Rowal Mansion.
John is dragged off by his wife to her mother’s farm for a few days. Tom and Sally are left behind.
Ranjit (Meena’s father) notices Sally’s impish attractiveness and is strongly drawn to her. He offers her a job in his office and to get rid of Tom, offers him a job as Manager on his wife’s farm. When John returns he hears with incredulity Tom’s account of Ranjit’s enchantment with Sally. John doesn’t know how best to use this piece of information to his advantage. In the meanwhile, Meena arrives in a huff from her mother’s farm: John had, insolently, not thanked her mother for his stay on the farm. Meena addresses him rudely and John blows a fuse, “Piss off, bitch!.” He shouts at her. His demeanour is threatening and Meena is thoroughly cowed down. In one fell stroke John has attained ascendancy in the relationship and Meena feels an ominous foreboding.
Ranjit propositions Sally; and offers her a house in the suburbs. Though Sally accepts, she does not accept his advances. And one fine day sells the house and decamps; only to surface later as a wealthy business woman, who beguiles and bewitches all.
Meanwhile, Meena is rushed to the family maternity home where she gives birth to a baby girl. John is a picture of devotion to his daughter.
Ranjit and John’s confrontation is becoming dangerous. John has learnt of Ranjit’s enchantment with Sally. Feelings are unsheathed; daggers shine in their eyes. The sharp blade of confrontation drips with blood. There can be no backing off –lines have been indelibly etched.
Meena & her mother cower in terror.
About Jeff Tikari
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Published April 17, 2011
by Jeff Tikari.
Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction.