He was twenty-four years old when they cut off his hands. Both of them. They chained his hands to two pillars in an abandoned quarry, pulled them out and slashed them off with a pair of pick-axes. Or maybe Samurai swords, I don’t really remember. The man who cut off the hands was called Gabbar. And the soon-to-be limbless man was called Thakur. No last name. At least, I don’t remember it now. This is a story of an incident that took place close to eighty years ago, when I was still a kid, living in the remote village of Ramgarh, somewhere in the hills of South India. And this story is not for the faint of heart. I call this ‘Show-Lay’.
To understand why Gabbar cut off Thakur’s hands, we need to understand the men themselves. Thakur was a man who had an unswerving belief in the pornography industry. Back in those days, when owning a television was a luxury and condoms weren’t invented, Ramgarh had a thriving adult movie industry, run by the brilliant marketing genius Thakur. At23, he was the youngest porn star in the world at the time, and perhaps the first. The only mistake he ever did was cross Gabbar’s paths. He regretted that day for as long as he lived.
Gabbar, on the other hand, was a foot model. He had the most exquisite feet in the whole of India and brands like Cows and Alli McFeet featured Gabbar in their advertisements. No one could pull off a pair of silver-studded brown leather boots like Gabbar could, and the most famous advertisement to this day, has been Gabbar sporting the latest summer line of Cows, and walking slowly on the Ramgarh rocks, with a leather belt trailing behind him. Women literally fell over themselves to worship the ground he walked on, and naturally, he had a huge female fan following. There were rumors, don’t quote me on this one, that Gabbar had insured his feet for a whopping fifty rupees from accidental damage, sexual damage and gangrene. Yeah, gangrene – he never removed his boots during the night. Or so I’ve been told. And back in those days fifty rupees could buy you a ticket around the world with spare change left over to buy an island.
Long story short, Thakur slept with Gabbar’s girl – the famous Basanthi. With a ‘B’. We had strange names back then. Basanthi was famous all over South India for her, er, horsing around. Yeah, there’s no better way to put it. She used to ride anything that moved and she loved her hooves. I mean, boots. She became so attracted to her stud Gabbar that she had a very special nickname for him – Dhanno. I don’t know what that means, but rumor has it that they liked to play rough – with whips and restraints and a lot of screaming. Her ecstatic cries of “Chal, Dhanno!” reverberated through the village at night. And we all knew that Gabbar was one lucky cowboy.
Thakur not only slept with her, but made a movie out of it and it was called “Basanthi ka Dhanno” starring Basanthi and Thakur. Gabbar lost his mind and chased down Thakur through the hills, caught up with him and cut off his hands. He was still wearing the boots. From that day on, Thakur made it his life’s ambition to take revenge on Gabbar, to put him behind bars and probably, strip him of his boots for good. He vowed never to smile until he achieved this. So, he hatched a plan – a plan so brilliant and so daring, that all of us village folk were astounded at the simplicity and the high projected success rates. We hoped he would succeed not because we liked Thakur, but because the plan was so good that it deserved to succeed.
Thakur paid for and got two of the world’s most famous adult movie stars from Italy – Veeru and Jai. I have changed their names because they are good men at heart and I don’t want to soil their memory. So, Jai and Veeru waltzed into town one fine summer afternoon and Veeru promptly fell into his assigned role – keep Basanthi “occupied” while Jai tries in vain to seduce Thakur’s widowed daughter-in-law from his third wife, while at the same time, trying to piss Gabbar off by copying his moves.
Veeru and Jai succeeded in irritating Gabbar to such an extent that he forced Basanthi to dance on broken bottles as punishment for sleeping with Veeru, and he made the two studs watch until they couldn’t take it anymore. By this time, Basanthi was getting pretty tired of Gabbar’s antics and his penchant for extracting horrendous vendattas and she agreed to help Thakur in his nefarious plan. Thakur smiled to himself – his calculations had been right, and everything was falling into place perfectly. Just when he thought he was ready for the master stroke, things began to fall apart.
He had sent his manservant to fetch vegetables from the market and it was around midday when he realized that his breakfast had been a bit too spicy for his stomach. He dared not go to the loo alone because he knew his weakness – he couldn’t, you know, er, how do I put it? Well, he had no hands, so you get the idea. He waited and waited, jumping from one foot to the other, squirming in agony, when he spotted Jai sitting outside blowing on a er… a “mouth organ”, if you know what I mean. Thakur sent the naked guy away and beckoned Jai inside and asked him the favor.
“Why can’t you do it yourself? I was busy with the mouth organ. I have a few new tunes,” said Jai.
“I can’t. I don’t have to explain it to you,” told Thakur, furious.
“The loo is right there. Why can’t you go on your own? I am not cleaning anyone else’s shit. I stopped doing that a long time ago,” said Jai.
“Try to understand!” screamed Thakur. “I can’t do it!”
Just then, there was a gust of wind and Thakur’s blanked that he had wrapped around himself blew off and Jai saw that Thakur was, well, crippled. He tried hard to keep a straight face at the sight of the old horny geezer with no hands, and helped him into the loo. Some people say that Jai slipped on a piece of soap, but others are not too certain about whether what he slipped on was a piece of soap or something else altogether. Whatever it was, he hit his head hard on the cast-iron sink and bled to death.
Veeru, in his alcohol-induced state of near-comatose stupidity, believed Thakur’s story of Gabbar sneaking in the loo and killing Jai, and went off in search of the notorious foot model. He found him hiding among the rocks, and promptly went on to beat the shit out of him. No puns intended. Thakur intervened at the last minute and ordered Veeru to stop killing the guy. He put on Gabbar’s famous boots and told him, “You took away my hands, now I take away your boots, Gabbar.”
“No!” screamed Gabbar.
“Give me those boots, Gabbar!” Thakur screamed like a rabid dog in heat.
“Give! Me! Those! Boots!”
And when both of them screamed “Aaaa!”, the whole village heard them. It took us a while to realize that it wasn’t another one of Thakur’s porn movies, but the real deal. Gabbar never dared to wear boots again. In fact, he ran away and was never heard from again. Thakur lived to the ripe old age of forty before passing away in the middle of an intense 3-day marathon. No, not the running type, if you know what I mean.
Veeru and Basanthi lived happily ever after, being ridden and riding, respectively.
I grew up, moved to the city, lived my life to the fullest and now, I can barely remember my name, but this story of Ramgarh shall remain with me forever. Vividly. Someone should make a movie out of this or something. It’s really an intriguing tale.