My Salute To Sam

London, on a shoe string.

The Great Windmill Street
October 7, 2004. At about 5 PM

*T*he two giant wedges. One of The Regent Palace Hotel and the other of the corner of the famous neon sign, just across from the Piccadilly Circus.

The narrow opening of this street, between these two wedges, gradually widened until The Great Windmill Pub and you are in Soho already, as Sam, my elder brother, soon found out.

He turned right, into a narrow street, just before the famous pub. Despite the daylight of an early dusk yet, dazzling, bright neon signs, all around had already been switched on. Or maybe these were always on? He wondered.

“₤ 5 for a show” she said

He raised his eyes, questioningly, at her.

“A nude show, I’ll do it for you and…” she said and let her last word trail, into an open interpretation, from the green doorway, she seemed to be glued to.

“A nice, pleasantly plump, young and an innocent looking girl, she seemed like to me. From no way at all she looked like a whore, at all, not to me.” Sam told me

He grinned “Thank you, I’m fine” He said and began to walk along the street, thinking, that I’m sure, that there would be more.

He had walked into a wrong district of London, though dad had cautioned him over the phone, when he’d clued him to his spare Virgin, UK phone chip, in dad’s safe.

“Leicester Square, Hay Market, the Piccadilly, (the circus and the street), the Regent Street, is where you head for…anywhere, when you’re at the Piccadilly Circus…no where else, hmm…?” he’d cautioned him firmly and had let the words trail off….and they both understood each other, while Sam had grinned all along their conversation.
……

“Papa?” he’d asked over their mobile phones “How do I manage from the airport to the town, I’ve never been here before! Are you coming to the airport to pick me up?” He was almost in panic and anxious, by now, soon after he’d landed.

“Once you’re out of the tunnel at terminal 1, leave your baggage at the trolley barrier, go down on the escalator, into the basement lounge, buy a ticket for Ladbroke Grove, change your train at Hammersmith and you’ll be OK” He’d said.

For his own reasons, Pa had always let us be, to be able to manage on our own, to the best we always can.

“Leave my baggage at the barrier?” he’d almost shouted back, shocked and startling many, all around.

“Don worry bacchu (kid), no one ever steals any unattended baggage, anywhere, it’s the over guarded baggage, these thieves are always after” He’d said so confidently, that he’d believed him.

Pa! He’s always full of unbelievable propositions that mostly seemed to work and that we all, always looked back later and laughed about, anyway!….

He took the elevator instead. Along with his precious luggage, on his rickety airport trolley.

Dad, he’s always scared of lifts, we all knew.
…….

And, he’d arrived in London.

He turned around, grinned at the ‘whore’ and waved a bye to her.

She waved back with pleading eyes, beckoning him to come back. Maybe she was desperate, for a meal maybe? he thought. Reluctantly, he turned around, slowly and cautiously, he approached the green doorway.

By now she’d pressed her back over firmly into the left half panel of the green door, allowing her, plump, full breasts to jut, out, pointed almost towards his nose, as he handed her a fiver and began to turn back.

She placed her fingers gently, onto his shoulders and nudged him into a small hallway and soon ushered him into the stairwell, going down into a basement.

Sam, by now was seated with her.

Besides of the dim psychedelic lights, empty tables, a narrow aisle, he soon found himself staring into a giant. The ‘whore’ made a ‘generous’ like gesture to the giant.

“A beer for you, courtesy of this young lady here!’ the giant, so pleasantly announced.

“Would you like to offer her a drink in return, Sir? The giant asked, so very politely.

Sam made the same magnanimous gesture, the girl had earlier made at the giant.

“I’ll have my favorite?” Sam’s not sure if she’d asked or she’d said.

It was too late, Sam knew.

As she began to rise, to undress, Sam gestured her to return, to remain seated.

He knew that he was licked.

The giant arrived with a tall, chilled, green and a frosted drink which had a tall, white umbrella stirrer and placed it so very casually, in front of her as if he’d done this act, since the day he’d began to work, to earn his daily bread.

And, Sam left the place ₤ 45 poorer.

A wrinkle of understanding this world better on his young forehead, which soon added into a glow of growing wisdom, into the fine young man that he is today.

He returned to the circular steps of the Piccadilly Circus, the statue overhead smiled benignly down at him, as he pulled the string of his right shoe, took the shoe off, rolled the sock down, unwrapped a ₤ 50 note from his wad of British currency, opened his wallet and coolly, placed it along it’s width, squeezed the wallet back into the back pocket of his tight, deliberately hammer holed jeans, showing off his wallet from a mile away, he grinned and put his shoe back on and began to walk towards the famous Leicester Square….He felt a new surge of confidence within himself that he’d realized for the first time, ever and he felt ready to take-on life, just as it came, his way…

…A balmy night, had just begun…

My salute to Sam.

Continued…

My Salute To Sam

HansBellani

New Delhi, India

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Featured in That One Great Shot Group

May 29, 2010

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June 30, 2009

He returned to the circular steps of the Piccadilly Circus, the statue of Cupid smiled benignly down at him, as he pulled the string of his right shoe, took the shoe off, rolled the sock down, unwrapped a ₤ 50 note from his wad of British currency, opened his wallet and coolly, placed it along it’s width, squeezed the wallet back into the back pocket of his tight, deliberately hammer holed jeans, showing off his wallet from a mile away, he grinned and put his shoe back on and began to walk towards the famous Leicester Square….He felt a new surge of confidence within himself that he’d not known before and he felt ready to take-on life, just as it came, his way
…A balmy night, had just begun…

The corner of the famous neon sign, just across from the Piccadilly Circus.

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