God of small things

Four policemen on two motorcycles. They cruised (dominantly roamed) in front of an apartment where their civilian bikes were parked earlier. One has a pointy moustache. His passenger a completely bald man. The other two are normal. Civilian like. Background extras in commercials in heavily starched navy blue suits. Four pangkat tags shimmered under the 2.33 p.m. sun

The taxi pakcik snorted.

'Depa tu nak kutip duit.'
'Boleh nampak gaya depa, baru dapat duit latu...'

The taxi driver supposedly resigned from the force because he couldn't stand the corruption. He had tried four times to resigned but failed so he seeked council from a successfully resigned ex-policeman.

'Senang saja nak berhenti.. Bila cuti, bawak balik pistol senyap-senyap nanti balik depa tanya, mana pistol? Haa... apa lagi, pakcik cakap Tuan, dulu saya nak berhenti Tuan tak bagi.'

The taxi driver supposedly did the right thing. Supposedly. You see, taxi drivers are storytellers, always neutral. A victim or an audience. Never the Orang Jahat. Gazes are met on the taxi back mirror. His animated eyes unfolds regret of many kind. One kind detected was: 'Kalaula aku tukaq keja pi tempat lain.'

Conversations about past glories, past mistakes, the Past. And their stories of Life are repeatedly told to thousands. Makciks, Yuppies, Mamachis but never sturdy buggers in heavily starched navy blue suit. As though they are ghost of the past. As though they had lived and died and reincarnated to tell stories.

'Haa.. dek. Dah sampai dah nih.'

I sneeked at his meter charger: 5.10. Five ringgit and ten cents. The driver turned his head to the back seats and smiled warily. Like he was supposed to smile.

'Enam ringgit dek.'

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