An awful-smelling and oddly large parcel rested in the centre of the wedding canopy. The mandapa was illuminated in golden fairy lights, the canopy was dressed in golden curtains, the bride was decked in a golden embroidered lehanga, the golden jewellery hung on her, “golden” which blessed fortune upon everyone. Yet the sacred tent reeked of rotten flesh.
The crowd stood agape until Katyayani’s uncle took up the courage to unbox the parcel. As the parcel was undone, a foul stench erupted and was followed by a deafening shriek. In the rough scraps and filthy wrapper was the body of her groom dripping with blood.
A low chime was heard as the door swayed open, a brunette man with a black mask entered the illegal gambling den. The rustic, stale-aired and rogue-filled bar fell silent at his presence. He stood right in the centre, fixing his watch then his suit then his hair, shoving back the curvy strands and fiddling in impatience.
Another chime was heard and all eyes shot right at the door, the door swung as Katyayani stepped in. An angelic smile and a demonic aura, a soft expression and an evil intention, a lady wrapped in rage and fuelled by vengeance, a lady in red.
Whilst the dealer shuffled the cards, the two sat on the opposite sides of table, the woman tapping her nails on the table, the man polishing up his gun with a napkin.
The two smiled in the anticipation of the deadly game.
Poker? Ya like poker.
“Indian poker,” The man suggested and smirked.
Y’know how to play that.
The voice in her head continued to chat. She’s not crazy, she swore.
“Ever played before?” the man questioned.
“Alright, no harming vital organs and no cheating,” Vir explained sternly.
Cards were dealt and the game begun. A “K” splayed on Vir’s forehead.
That’s a 1/13th of probability that you might win.
A bullet pierced in her left thigh, blood trickling down her leg as she whimpered.
“Another round?” He inquired with a grin.
You don’t need it.
A minute into a second round and she felt light headed, a card of “3” was stuck on his forehead.
“Call,” the man stated.
Ya’re bleeding! Go home.
A show of cards unravelled a “4” and a “3”.
The voice gasped.
“Guess it’s my time to use the gun,” she stated as she slowly picked up the gun, her breath hitching and her lips trembling. In a swift movement she aimed the gun at the man’s throat, shooting right above his tattoo as he fell on the floor.
In return, the dealer shot a bullet right through her chest in an instant as she was knocked down clutching her chest. Bleeding and content, she smiled wickedly as her one true love spoke in her ear — we all die in the end.
Credits for image : Jirzo Nez.
INDIAN POKER – Blind man’s bluff (also called Indian poker, squaw poker, Oklahoma forehead, and Indian head) is a version of poker that is unconventional in that each person sees the cards of all players except their own.
MANDAPA – A Mandapa serves as the altar for Indian weddings, specifically for Hindu and Jain ceremonies. Adorned with floral decorations and bells, this wooden structure serves as the stage for which guests and family witness the couple wed.
MEMENTO MORI – Memento mori (Latin for ‘remember that you [have to] die’) is an artistic or symbolic trope acting as a reminder of the inevitability of death.