This World. Loathed in hatred, in greed. They all want what they want. They don’t give a shit about anyone. They will kill, they will rape, they will torture and yet they put up a fake smile.

You pick up any damn newspaper, you surf any news channel, any bloody social media and you will get the same result. Crime, dirty politics, rat race and money.

It has become all about that. This world has gone mad. It is all over. Soon we will just be freaking robots, emotionless, programmed. A destruction machine.

“Indraan, come fast or we will leave you!!” called my brother. “Coming, just wait a second.”

Mom, Dad me and my little brother were going to Madraga Restaurant, a very famous food joint in the suburbs of Mumbai.

“You are always late!” my brother complaint again. “Now get in the car, will you two?” My dad said.

And we zoomed. We talked a lot on the way. Dad cracked some jokes on Mom but then made it up to her by complementing her. I found this thing between them very sweet. Vasu, my elder brother was pulling my leg, as usual, about the incident that happened in school today. And everyone laughed. I made a face and to make me feel good, my mom hugged me and Vasu had to apologize too. It made me smile.

I loved my family a lot.

We reached the restaurant. I guess ours was the only family that made so much noise there. Hahaha…We were having our dessert and Dad was saying something when suddenly there was a loud noise. And then we looked near the entrance.

Two tall men holding guns. The others men of that gang were near holding the manager by his collar. “We will kill you all” the guy with a scar on his face shouted while entering into the restaurant. “Get down on your knees or get killed this very moment!” the guy said in a very scary tone. There was fear on everyone’s face. Some had closed their eyes for the instant prayers of safety. “What do you want from us? What have we done?” My dad couldn’t control himself. My Mom, at that moment, grabbed his hand. One of the two guys came and kicked my dad. We begged those men to not hit Dad. Mom tried to stop the man but instead got hit hard on her head. I was scared and still. My eyes watered. Vasu, tears in his eyes, went rushing near mom. “Mom, open your eyes, mom. Please mom. Mommmmm!!” Dad rose back and pushed the man and there it was, the loud sound again. But this time the gunshot was on my father’s chest. It was like a nightmare. Vasu and I couldn’t even move. Just tears flowing from our eyes. We were shattered at that moment.

“Anyone who tries any sort of shit here, will be killed. You understand that!” Said the man with the scar. They threw my mom and dad outside the restaurant. I jumped but Vasu grabbed me. “How could you do this to us?” I shouted. “Hahahaha… we can do many things you little piece of shit. Now sit there silently or you will be sent out the same way as your bloody parents were. You understand?”

Vasu and I had lost everything in those few minutes. I couldn’t stop crying. Vasu couldn’t either. He held me in his arms. He would have done anything to protect me. We couldn’t even call the police. They had taken us as hostage. I was afraid. Completely cold. “Indraan! Look at me. Nothing will happen to you. Mom and Dad will be okay. I will not let anything happen to you guys!” He assured me but he couldn’t to himself.

It was almost five hours now. Many police force which tried to get into the restaurant were killed. These people were very dangerous. These terrorists were attacking not just here but few other places too!

I opened my eyes. Vasu had held me very closely to himself. I could see everyone. They held their close one together under the tables. The fear around was like a mountain. Nothing could take it away. Few of the men went out with their guns. There was only one guy with the gun to watch all the hostages. Vasu set up straight. “This is our chance” he said to me.

He looked around. He waived his hand around and luckily one of the hostages saw us. Vasu suggested them to sneak in their way from behind through gestures. The restaurant was big and that made it difficult for us but then, that was the only way out. From behind via the kitchen. While the guy who was watching us walked near the entrance, Vasu crawled to the other table where there were two men. He talked with them something in a hushed manner. They listened to him carefully. One of the two got up with his hands raised high. “Why are you here? Stay where you are or die!” “I want to use the loo. It is urgent!” He held the gun to his chest. “Do your loo in your pants! Now fucking sit down” In an instant, he tried to grab the gun, fighting with the terrorist guy, while Vasu and the other man with him asked everyone to go in the direction of the kitchen. There was another gun shot. “Shit!” said Vasu. There was one of the terrorist outside the restaurant that he missed out.

The two guys started firing and grabbing people. Vasu asked me to run as fast as I could. And as he turned to stop the guys, he was hit by another of that nasty bullet. My heart almost stopped.

I ran. I ran. I kept running. Gunshots from behind didn’t stop. Tears flowing through my eyes. My heart beating my chest as fast as it could. I ran away.

I was left blank. Scattered. Broken.

“And it gives me a pleasure to announce the name of our valedictorian for academic year 2025-26 Mr. Indraan Singhania” The principal, teachers, students and everyone else were waiting in anticipation to see him, one of the most intelligent guy in the history of MIT, Cambridge. They never saw him again.

“Indraan, I know this is your last day in the States. Do you want to say something to me before going?” asked the counsellor. “Nothing.” I said. “Well then, all the best for your future!” She replied.

My counsellor was the only social element of my life in the States. “Indraan, I think you should stay here for a bit longer. Some of the counselling is still left.”

“No ma’am. I got what I wanted from here. I should leave now.”

She just smiled. I knew she wanted me to stay as I was her only patient who was associated with her for 5 years and she somewhat felt that bonding, which I never could.

Since the day my family was taken away from me I have been to myself. No friends. No social media. No parties. No adventures. No business .No almost everything. My interactions and happy moments have faded. My relations had become soured. Even now, they are.

Frankly, I didn’t like any of this. I hated most of the casual things that people do. Everything fake. Everything 2 faceted.  I wanted to change this fucked up society. This bull shit politics that people play amongst themselves. These Wars and terrorism ideology. These mind games they aim to win!

And I was now on to my mission. The machine that will help me change it all. INFLUENZER.

Thank You for reading the first chapter of Influencer. I will be uploading the next chapter soon 🙂

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