Inora spent the first half of the day at work trying to follow-up on different leads about a vigilante making a lot of noises in Moradabad. The earliest news, from a week ago, mentioned a short dark individual with flowing long black hair and longer coarser black mustache had been going around certain neighborhoods with a bow and arrows, announcing, to anyone who would listen, and shouting, to anyone who would not listen, that he had finally arrived and the wait was over. When asked who in the bloody hell he was, and where he had arrived, from, he chose instead to inform them what he had arrived to do: eliminate all sinners, bring back piety, and save the good people. Young couples seemed to be his favorite targets, who got a pretty bad earful every time. He also targeted people talking on the phone, which he called the devil’s technology. Other crimes, such as littering and public urinations he did not seem to have any issues with and was not above partaking in them himself.
Latter articles identified him as area man Kalkishnu. It was initially assumed that Kalkishu was inspired by his reading of the comic book character, Ghost Rider, who goes around punishing wrongdoers and protecting innocents, which was, one article noted, almost verbatim Kalkishnu’s mission statement. The fact that he chose to wear a leather jacket at the height of summer added weight to the argument.
Despite carrying the weapons, however, the vigilante did not seem very keen on using them and preferred to simply stop and verbally harass anyone whose actions displeased him. He also seemed to enjoy the attention and prolonged each encounter for at least as long as the phones came out and enough footage were captured. This may have turned out to be his undoing as increased exposure bought increased scrutiny and he was fallen upon by a group of ruffians one afternoon, seconds after he had told off two men for holding hands in public, and a woman for being in public. Kalkishnu was not fast enough on the draw and his bow and arrows turned out to be of no good in the urban, close-combat scenario. Beaten and broken, the vigilante confessed from the hospital that he had done everything of the past week on the say so of his talking parrot, who he argued goaded him on. The parrot, soon brought in for questioning, was yet to break.
Inora scoured the net, trying to learn what happened to the mob that beat up Kalkishnu but found nothing. Neither did she find any news about the police trying to find who they were, which should not have been very difficult since the beat down happened at high noon, at a roadside. Local officials and the law, it seemed, were satisfied with the manner of end of the vigilante who was determined to harken in a period of 10,000 years of Golden Age.
Inora made calls, mostly international, even though she was not supposed to do that anymore, wrote emails, tried to call in favors, but found nothing more on the topic. She created a notification alert on Google and turned her attention to other matters.
There was an update on Mr. Gogue and Mr. M’Gogue’s situation. They had continued the task set to them by the voices in their head, the article informed, and continued to slurp up the muddy water from the oasis throughout the night. No one had been able to track down any asylum from which they may have escaped from and no next to kin have been found. Experts in drinking water were unable to speculate on how long the two brothers could keep it up. However, after the international publicity they received the day before, the brothers were now surrounded by a large crowd of supporters, cheering on, “Chug! Chug! Chug!”
Mr. M’Gogue said the support was, “…unexpected but welcome.”
Few locals were bothered by the ruckus this whole event was causing, but many more were hopeful that the sudden exposure would kick-start the tourist industry of the region, which, as of last census, stood at zero tourists served during the previous calendar year.
Inora made this the centerpiece of her column, focusing on how any surge in tourism encouraged by the coverage of the two brothers would end in disappointment as the town did not stock many, or any, beverages that could be chugged.