A Tarantino Picture

 

INT. UNCLE’S POINT, MANIPAL – SUNDAY

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. After a heavy downpour in the previous night, the air is resonating with the pitter-patter of the raindrops on the worn-down road. The first customers of the day are nine people seated around two rickety tables joined together. Let’s call them NUMBER ONE, NUMBER TWO, NUMBER THREE, NUMBER FOUR, NUMBER FIVE, NUMBER SIX, NUMBER SEVEN, NUMBER EIGHT and NUMBER NINE. ONE and TWO are wearing suits, THREE with a blue sports blazer over her white shirt, the twins FOUR and FIVE wearing matching yellow and black dresses, SIX with his silver-coloured leather jacket, SEVEN with his brown shirt and jeans, EIGHT with his spaghetti western-styled vest, and NINE with (one hell of a jerkin??) due to his cold. The ‘uncle’ of Uncle’s point is serving everyone chocolate milkshakes to go along with their cheese omelettes. EIGHT is resting with a cap over his eyes, FOUR and FIVE are focused on their omelettes, and the rest are leisurely having their breakfast while listening to TWO’s story about his Saturday night out.

TWO
I had to argue so much with the rickshaw guy, it was unbelievable. (loosens the shirt collar of his suit) I was short only by 70 rupees! I kept telling him, ‘Bhaiya, Google Pay ya Paytm se paise de doonga’, but he wasn’t budging at all, he just kept-

SEVEN
Wait a minute. So you’re saying that he asked for more than 70 bucks from Emerald to Zeal?

TWO
Dude, it was raining a fucking storm out there, and it was close to 11 PM when we left.

SIX
Yeah, Seven. What do you know about rickshaw rates outside anyway? You still live on campus don’t ya?

SEVEN
What does that have to-

TWO
Just listen! Okay, so both of my mates were so sloshed they had forgotten to bring their wallets. Not another soul in sight and all I had left on me was a bit of currency from Amsterdam when I had gone there this summer.

THREE
(slurps carefully to not spill any on her blue blazer) Mm-hmm?

TWO
Keeping in mind that even I was fairly tipsy then, I knew I had a five euro note inside. And at that point I was like I just have to get in there ASAP. So I reached into my wallet to pay him off, even though-

SEVEN
Five euros? That’s easily……400 rupees, give or take!

TWO
Yeah, 400 rupees.

EIGHT
 Please don’t tell me you paid 400 bucks for that auto ride.

TWO
(sighs) I wish, man. Even that would have been fine. But then… (pulls out his wallet) I checked my wallet this morning and – (he shows the five euro note)

THREE
So……you have five more euros?

TWO
No, I HAD twenty-five.

ONE
Oh, fuck.

SEVEN
(rubbing his Swastika tattoo) So let me get this straight. You telling me that instead of paying the 100 bucks which you were supposed to, you were about to pay fucking 400 bucks, and instead of that, you paid twenty euros, which is equivalent to-?

ONE
1600, give or take.

FOUR
Wow.

SEVEN
-for going from Mandavi Emerald to Zeal-

FIVE
Wow.

SEVEN
-in a fucking rickshaw?

TWO
(leans back dejectedly) Yeah.

NINE
Goddamn, bro.

EIGHT
Agreed.

SIX
He didn’t even have to scam you on this, that lucky son of a bitch.

ONE
Hey, hey. Why all that hate, huh? My dude here has done some accidental charity, that’s all!

TWO
(profoundly) Wow, I never thought of it that way.

SEVEN
How is ‘accidental charity’ even possible? The very concept of charity lies in the fact that it’s voluntary.

THREE
That’s why he added the ‘accidental’, na.

SEVEN
It negates the voluntary part, na.

THREE
And that’s fine too!

SEVEN
How is that even-

THREE
Because now we know that the charity wasn’t voluntary!

ONE
Alright alright, let’s not digress!
(sets aside his milk and calls out) Uncle! One coffee!
(turns to NINE) By the way, when will he……uh, grace us with his presence?

NINE
(busy lighting up his cigarette) Any moment now.

UNCLE
(brings the cup, exasperated) Please, call me Anna man. I’m really not that old!

ONE
(graciously accepts the coffee and turns to TWO) So you tipped the guy way more than you should have, you meet your girl at Zeal. Then what?

TWO
Okay picture this; ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ playing in the background, the crowd at Zeal going crazy with the vocals and their feet, she was laughing and staring into my eyes the whole time. I was having such a good time with her, man. I had a feeling the time had come and I was just about to make my move.

THREE
(slurps) And?

TWO
The song ended and the next track was ‘Stayin Alive’ and……

SIX
(his interest piqued) Go on.

TWO
She just fucking stopped in her tracks and said ‘Urgh’.

Everyone disliked that.

FOUR
Not cool.

ONE
What planet is she from??

FIVE
Not cool at all.

TWO
Exactly man, you can’t disrespect the 70’s and just get away with it.

EIGHT
(gets a cigarette from NINE) So what’d you do then?

TWO
Well, I didn’t wanna have any trouble with her, so I just excused myself and left the place without paying for her drinks.

SIX
What, that’s it? Whatever happened to your ‘great vengeance and furious anger’ and all that eh?

TWO
Nah, I’m through with all that.

SEVEN
Ah yes, ever since the ‘miracle’.

EIGHT
(lifts his cap) Oh, I can never be through with that.

FOUR
Agreed.

FIVE
Agreed indeed.

SIX
You know what, I might have actually killed her if I was you.

THREE
What?? Just for this?

SIX
I’ve got the perfect excuse right here too; I was drunk and since I was a completely different person, you can only imprison drunk me and not sober me.

ONE
Boy, you’d kill everybody if you had a good excuse, wouldn’t ya?

SIX
I prefer the women, cause before all the fun starts,
(snatches the cigarette away from EIGHT’s mouth) I’d give them a ride to remember
(takes a long puff and blows it out) for the rest of their lives.

Everybody winces.

THREE
Urgh, the punch hurts more than the intention.

ONE
(in a matter-of-fact way) Oh, looks like we got ourselves a psycho here.

SEVEN
You know, there are wars out there that don’t stop, blood floods that don’t run out; and here you are, talking about fucking ending women for your amusement! Well, I know a few of them at this very table that won’t sit too well with that.

All eyes turn towards the ladies at the table.

FOUR
(finishes her drink) So what is it then? You target us because you think we’re just these helpless, sensuous beasts, huh?

FIVE
No. (chewing slowly and deliberately)
He’s just afraid (lands her fork on the omelette)
that we’ll kick his ass (slices with such ferocity)
so fucking hard (takes the piece close to her mouth),
he won’t be able to handle (and swallows it in one go).
another speedbump.

THREE
Well, well(lights her own cigarette).
How about that? (blows out the smoke on SIX’s face)

The air gets tense.

EIGHT
You know, I’m no expert on moral compasses here. But the way I see it, the violence is almost……cathartic to me. Like, if someone crosses his path with me, you better be sure I’m gonna make him pay and I’m gonna enjoy that process.

Everybody stays silent.

EIGHT
What, don’t tell me you don’t feel the same way? (turns to SEVEN)

SEVEN
Yeah……I guess.

TWO
Oh, you guess huh? You’re the one who gave a seminar that necessary violence can be practised like an art form!

SEVEN
But only (raises his finger)
for the right side.

TWO
(laughs) It’s okay man. You don’t need to justify art.

THREE
Funny how your definition of art is so different from everyone else.

ONE
That’s the whole point man, imagine how boring it’d be if everyone perceived art in the exact same way. There’d be nothing new to learn!

Everyone agrees with mutual silence.

TWO
(whispers to EIGHT) Dude, I’ve been meaning to tell you. Um…I’m attracted to your feet.

EIGHT
(whispers back) So does everyone else here, dude. Act accordingly.

ONE
Alright everybody, cough up. and-

Enter NUMBER TEN. He’s wearing denim on denim with retro shades to complete the look.

TEN
And I’ll take care of the bill. Just take care of the tip, y’all (winks at ONE)

 

 A Tarantino Picture

NUMBER 10 has released in cinemas across Indian theatres as of 15th August, our very own Independence Day. I’d say that’s quite a fucking coincidence, ain’t it?

 

Written by Sanjay Kumar

Artwork by Goutham Manoharan

 

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