Chapter 2: The Hit!

Friday, 1145pm.

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Two shadowy figures walk furtively along Bangalore’s fabled  Mahatma Gandhi Road – the pubs are closing, the autorickshaw drivers are haggling with late night customers, the night shift call centre employees are going in to work, as the heart of the city of 9 million people is winding down after a busy Friday night. They rush past the popular 13th Floor lounge bar (where they earlier had dinner and plotted the night’s ‘hit’), past the paanwala and KFC outlet, and pause briefly.  A 5-floor building looms above them – it houses the offices of the Times of India, the world’s largest-selling English newspaper, in a landmark building on MG Road. On the very top floor is the first office of Wipro (where some say Silicon Valley, Bangalore was seeded), a marquee technology company that has just clocked $5bn in sales, and is a symbol of hi-tech India.

These facts don’t interest our duo – they have other things on their mind and have come fully armed, with several blunt instruments, gloves, bags to carry away evidence, a hood to mask their identity, and – a macabre twist – a camera to record the crime.  They know that the last police beat ends at 1145pm, the building’s private security guards are on their chai break, and this is a short window of time when they can make their move.

They approach their target silently. They slip on gloves, don masks, take out their weapons.

It’s over in minutes. There is no resistance. The target of their attention lies chopped and piled up in the corner, right opposite fast-food outlet Kaati Zone – whose last customers are straggling out oblivious to the gruesome scene unfolding barely fifty feet away. They stuff the evidence in big black bags, quickly clean the corner, taking care to leave no trace of their action. They heave the bags onto their shoulders and dart across the road, swerving to avoid some college kids smoking furtively on the footpath outside Coco’s Beer Bar, slip in through the gate of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and find a place to hide. They know they need to spend the night here, in hiding – it would be too dangerous to be seen, especially with four bagfuls of incriminating evidence.

Agents V & X are on a crazy mission. Tonight is a delicate operation, and secrecy is paramount.  They are ugly Indians, and they are out on a hit– part of a larger mission to prove that the Ugly Indian can change.