Friday 17 August 2012

Two Gun Shanmugam

(Note: This is liable to be funny and/or comprehensible only to Indians)

Two Gun Shanmugam rode down to the pond on his trusty water-buffalo, Silver. Leaving the loyal steed to wallow in the scummy green muck, he strode up the lane to the Muthuswamy Whisky Dosa Saloon.

Slamming open the batwing doors, he tossed his Stetson back on its genuine fake leather chin cord and slapped his fist down on the bar. The diamond he had bought from the great astropalmist and jewel therapist Karuppuswamy glittered on his finger.

“Gimme one whisky,” he called to the bartender and then turned round to watch the patrons in the saloon. In the corner were a young couple, clearly in love and clearly blind to the world around them. The boy was very thin, the girl even thinner. A set of toughs swaggered in and went over to them.

“Let’s go,” said the leader to the girl, licking his lips in approved film-villain fashion. “We want to rape you.”

Two Gun Shanmugam picked up his whisky and walked over.

“Yenna maan, you are doing bad things here?”

“You stay out of this, fatso,” the chief hoodlum said.

So Two Gun Shanmugam took out his trusty home-made six-guns and after the fusillade of bullets the boy and girl both lay bleeding to death, six bullets in each of them. The hoodlums had fled.

“Now look what you are doing,” Two Gun Shanmugam said angrily. “Yenna dai coming in between me and the target when I am being shooting?” Taking a swallow of whisky, he went back to the bar.

“I am looking for the bandit Teerappan,” Two Gun Shanmugam said to the bartender, blowing gunsmoke from the barrels and reloading. “You are knowing where he is, Chinanna?”

“No,” said the bartender brusquely. “He is in forest, and is not coming here to shoot customers. You pay for whisky.”

So Two Gun Shanmugam shot the bartender too. You know how it is when people make unreasonable demands when you’re trying to do great things.

Then he went out and whistled to Silver. After wiping the water and mud from the noble animal, he rode it off to the forest where he wanted to find the bandit Teerappan.

Ten minutes later, Two Gun Shanmugam met the girl. The latter was oiling her hair with coconut grease and smiled wonderfully at Two Gun Shanmugam as he rode towards her. Two Gun pulled up his reins and drew his trusty steed to a halt.

“Ayyo,” she said, as he removed his Stetson, “what a wonderful figure of a man you are being.” She smiled at him and began working her hair into long plaits. Two Gun Shanmugam fell completely in love.

“And what is the name you are having, my dear?” he asked.

“I am being called Kamakshigomathibhavani,” she simpered. “I am being daughter of bandit Teerappan.”

“That is very bad,” Two Gun Shanmugam said. “Because I am feeling that I am being in love with you, but I am coming to the forest to kill your father.”

“Lots of people are wanting to kill my father,” she said indifferently, sticking a lotus flower in her coconut-greasy hair. “But he is still alive, no?”

“Well, he will not be living after I shoot him,” said Two Gun Shanmugam, taking out his six-shooters and firing in the air. Silver, startled by the shooting, bolted, throwing Two Gun off and into the ditch by the side of the path.

Kamakshigomathibhavani helped Two Gun Shanmugam, or rather No Gun Shanmugam (he had dropped both as he fell), up and cleaned him with a piece of cloth. “Ayyo,” she said. “I am hoping you are not hurt.”

No Gun Shanmugam picked up his guns. “I am going to the forest and kill bandit Teerappan,” he said bravely. “Then I am coming back to marry you.” Without a backward glance he stalked towards the forest.

“Teerappan!” he shouted. “If you have drunk your mother’s milk, come out!”

“Sorry,” said Teerappan, from behind the shelter of a tree. “I wasn’t breast-fed.” He took careful aim with his muzzle-loading musket and shot one of Two Gun Shanmugam’s guns out of his hand. Then he began to load the muzzle loader. He measured the powder and poured it into the barrel, tamped it down, put in the wad, put in the ball, tamped that down, sprinkled powder in the firing pan, and then when he was through he pointed it at One Gun Shanmugam. The latter had spent the last few minutes pressing the trigger of his one remaining homemade six-shooter but he had fired all six homemade bullets, first into the bartender and then in the air, so nothing had happened. And as everyone knows, Shanmugam, however many guns he packs or does not pack, never runs away. He is too fat to run.

“Now eat bullets,” Teerappan said, and fired. Bang! The ball went right into One Gun Shanmugam’s revolver barrel. He happily pointed it back at Teerappan and fired. Crack! The ball went back into Teerappan’s barrel. For the next few minutes they shot at each other back and forth until the bullet fell to pieces, and the guns too.

“What are you wanting?” Teerappan asked, sticking his face out from behind a tree and twisting his dumbbell moustache.

“To marry Kamakshigomathibhavani,” Half Gun Shanmugam replied defiantly.

“If you are wanting to marry her you must be bringing me...” Teerappan thought, and then continued, “...a mining licence, a free pardon, and at least a hundred million rupees.”

“That I cannot be doing.” Half Gun Shanmugam began to walk away. “I am coming back with new gun,” he said.

“All right then, you must be making film with me as hero.”

“That I can be doing,” said Half Gun Shanmugam.

And that explains the new film everyone will be talking about as soon as they get around to making it.

For no reason whatsoever, it will be called Aiyyaiyyo Guruvayoorappan.

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