Sabir Bey wasn’t a quiet man. He was brilliant, quick-witted (second only to Rakh Bihari, our local poet and comedian) but terrible when it came to luck. In my opinion his luck wasn’t as bad as he believed and led us to believe. Like Rakh, he was short but a little chubby in comparison. His passion was computers but his parents sent him to study business away from home. His retaliation was simple, effective and, from the perspectives of his parents, brutal: He never returned to the Kingdom of the Nile. He had opened a string of computer repairing outlets, the returns were meager but kept him happy. He lost the Arabic tinge in his speech a long time ago. He was handsome, charming and quite the business man. He was the smartest one among us, at least when it came to money and worldly matters. He understood most of the ramblings of the full-time philosophers came up with even if he never had an inclination for philosophy himself.
Oh! and I forgot to mention. He was handicapped. I always tend to forget this bit about him because he does such a fine job not making much fuss out of it.
He was the third man in our rag-tag group of comrades. The first one of the triplets.
The second one was Arfanov. Iskandar Arfanov. He went about with many names. “The Mad Russian”, “The Fat Russion”, “The Drunk Russian” and “The Vodkanator” were among them. He never admitted to drinking though. His fluffy white cheeks, tinged with a dash of red and the swollen parotids beneath his stubble did make a strong argument other wise.
He dealt in instruments of death; weapons. It was famed that he sold to both sides of the conflict for a double margin and had even bribed against diplomatic efforts in such cases.
“That isn’t me.” he laughed when I told him what the press said about him, “ I trade in arms, period. No questions asked. People come to me with NOC’s from their governments and I get them what they want. I have a simple rule: THE BUYER MUST HAVE AN NOC FROM A UNITED NATIONS RECOGNIZED GOVERNMENT. If it turns out they are warring parties, that is not my problem.”
“What about the bribes to diplomats?” I asked. We were opposites at that. I administered medicine, he administered death.
“I bribed diplomats, only to get my arms into some embargo struck countries. It’s that simple.”
I didn’t believe him. Not for a long time.
His relations with Bey were friendly but artificially strained. He’d occasionally get physical with Bey. He was the only guy Bey was in some way intimidated with. We’d occasionally use him to clamp down Bey.
He was the second one of The Triplets.
The last one was Aamir Mehdi, better known as The Preacher, because that was the only thing he did. He was silent, sweet, intelligent and pious. When he was pushed to the extreme (mostly by Bey) he would retaliate with vengeance. His docility was the source of all the jokes against him.
These were the triplets. They lived, laughed and worried together. They had the strangest bonds which I will never understand and I will always be happy to have an association with them.