We remember the clothes they wore, the way they styled their hair and made up their faces. We remember the good guys and the bad guys who made the good guys look good. This was before grey became trendy. It was all black and white. The black bow-tie, the white shoes, the white jacket. Or the velvet gown that reminded of last night’s sins.
It was a world of sin. The flesh beneath the flounces of voluptuous molls. The dark lips chomping on cigars or blowing smoke rings into other eyes. And in this world, somewhere behind the curling smoke was Sudhir. I do not know his real name. It is there somewhere, but I don’t care.
He was the leering presence in neon-lit rooms, the one with the lighter, the guffaw, the fake laugher. And the sneer. He was the sidekick with so much attitude that you could not forget him. He spoke as though he was biting right into his gums or chewing or sarcasm had lodged itself on his tongue. You knew what he would do and how he would do it. No surprises. It was just like the formula you expected from a hero.
It set me thinking about those who stand and stare who we rarely notice. Each time a Sudhir dies, a satellite that circles the centre disappears.