He hates going to work. He hates the lousy transport systems. If he goes by rail, he'd have to compromise on comfort. If he goes by road, the traffic would kill him. He hates the fact that life is full of compromises. He'd compromise on life, were there an option. He has to do his work. After all, the bills have to be paid. He gets down from the local train and walks the rotten street to his office. The neighbourhood's definitely seen better days, he thinks. He pulls out his wallet and looks at a photograph of a woman. Tears well up in his eye. His mind takes him back to a day in the distant past. Another day. not unlike this one, but still so different. Might have been a different universe altogether.
"What do you think about when you're busting a criminal's jaw?"
"I think about how much I like it."
"Do you do it because you like it, or do you do it because you think it should be done?"
"Aren't they one and the same?"
"No, they aren't. Liking violence makes you as bad as the ones you inflict violence upon."
"Heh. We make war so that we may live in peace."
"Who said that?"
"Who else do you see around?"
"Lame jokes. Now I know it's you. For a moment there I thought you were lost."
"It was some Greek. Aristotle or Plato."
"If you do it because it should be done, you do it with hope for the future. That does make you different from them, you know."
"I do it for you. I do it so that the terror these scum inflict on innocents doesn't find it's way into our home. I do it for a better world which I want you and our child to inhabit."
He puts away the photograph, kicks open the door that says, "Suresh Verma, Private Investigator", enters. A young man stands up.
"What'd I do now?"
"You could have called."
"What good would that have been?"
"I could have hitched a ride with you. Been years since I sat in a beat vehicle."
"Almost two years now."
"God, has it been that long? It seems like it was yesterday."
"You know, one of these days you should come out for a night on the town. You know, you haven't let yourself live ever since...."
"I know since when."
"Listen, you can't hold it in like forever...."
"I'm not coming to whatever goddamn shit you planned this evening, Vikas. Get to the goddamn point."
"Okay. Be all business. No skin off my fucking nose."
"I don't know what came over me. I'm sorry."
"Don't need to apologize. It's okay."
"Fucking anger management doesn't work anymore. What you got?"
"A cute chick comes round the station today saying she saw a skeleton walking on a main street last night."