He listened sharply for any sound in the darkness. There was nothing moving in the docks that night. There were half a dozen men after him, he was sure that they were around, and he knew that if any of them moved, he would hear it. And yet, there was no sound. He looked at the large containers around him.
Suddenly he understood their plan. He took a step back and jumped. He landed on top of a container and saw two of the men. They barely had time to register his presence, before he threw two knives, and they fell dead. He saw faint outlines on an adjoining crate. He jumped again, and landed right behind the figures. Even as his feet hit the ground, the two figures fell dead clutching their throats.
He knew there were two more of the would-be assassins around, but he could not spot them. He heard a noise behind him. He quickly took out his disk and flung it with all his strength in front of him.
Slowly he turned to face the two men, both hands in the air. As he suspected, both had guns. It didn’t bother him, he knew it was only a matter of timing. The armed assassins looked flushed. Evidently they had just climbed the crate. Even as the assassins were trying to catch their breath, he suddenly ducked. The disc that he had thrown rushed past the spot where his head had been a moment ago, and embedded itself deep into the neck of a wide eyed assassin. The other assassin leapt back in shock. He didn’t even make it back to the ground alive. He slumped, a knife wedged in his throat.
Close your eyes. Think of that guy, the righteous, but mean killing machine. Now give him a name. Whats that? No, try again. Hehe, interesting, but no, try once more. Ok, you know what, forget it. Its never going to happen. I can do this all day long, but no one is ever going to name a hero Sudharsan.
Laugh all you want, but its something that really bothers me. I mean, I’ve seen everything from the schizophrenic Ramanujam to the unusual Kalifullah Khan on screen, but Sudharsan? No, no, not even a hero’s brother or father is named that. These are usually characters that don’t even have names in most movies. They’d rather leave it that way than bother naming someone Sudharsan. Oh, and the hero’s usually a Rahul.
And its not just the movies, even ordinary life seems to mock the name. Googling it (I tried Wikipedia, but it just said there was no Sudharsan on any of its pages. Hmph..) only threw up a bunch of Sudharsans’ personal home pages, and something about an asylum I tried hard not to notice. I don’t have anything against any of these guys (one of them’s apparently written a paper on Graph Theoretic Model for Concurrent Objects, lets see a Jimmy or a Kumar beat that), but I couldn’t help compare the result with say a Rahul- ‘Rahul, a popular male name in India, has a variety of meanings. The earliest meaning found in the Upanishads is “conqueror of all miseries”….’.See what I mean?
Come to think of it, I haven’t even met someone called Sudharsan. You know how it is, when there are two guys of the same name and sooner or later, some kind of a hilarious mix-up happens, or friends come up with funny nick names for each. Yeah well, none of that for me. I know exactly who is being referred to when my name pops up. I have heard of a Sudharsan (or Sudarshan, even the odd bugger who does share the name, tends to twist it) who is a cousin of a friend, who I know by mutual acquaintance with the brother of another friend, but I don’t see myself running into or exchanging high fives with him anytime soon.
Of course the problem is probably due to the imagery. There are names that conjure images of majesty or wisdom, of power, names that remind you of a raging thunderstorm or the trembling earth. So I suppose it doesn’t help when your name reminds people of a discus. I mean, seriously, we’re talking of an age of bio or nuclear warfare here. Discus? Admittedly not too much room for awe. Unless theres a life saving application for Graph Theoretic Model for Concurrent Objects. Or higher alien life forms are found to exist with the name. Untill then I’ll have to clap for the Rahuls and Srinis on screen I suppose.
Rahul held the knife closer to the girl’s neck as the taller man stepped forward. He was desparate now. All the men he had sent – Kalifullah, Jimmy, everyone- had been killed, and the girl was his only hope of getting out alive. He saw the man staring at him, waiting for him to make the slightest mistake. Rahul stole a glance at the closest door. Suddenly he felt a searing pain in his neck. He lost his grip on the girl as the cold steel of a knife burned where it had cut into his neck.
He fell back onto the floor. As the world around him dissolved, the last thing he remembered was the face of the man who had ruined it all. Despite himself, he smiled and said “Goodbye ,Sudharsan”. Sudharsan bent down, closed the dead man’s eyelids and retrieved the knife. He knew that he would need it again.