Brush with a Thief

Today, I went shopping. It was only meant to use the birthday money my Dad had given me months ago. I ended up using that and Rs2000 more. But that’s fine, all the money in the world is useless if I don’t spend it on myself. So I was at this place – Brand Factory, they call it. I bought what my friends would be surprised to see me in – traditional Indian clothes. They are sort of used to seeing me in leaves, you see. :-).

The salwar I bought required some alteration. So having left my Dad and nephew downstairs, I made the tedious way up again. Fought with the security guard who insisted that he would not let me inside with my Coke, directing that I throw it in the dustbin. Now, I am fairly reasonable most of the time, but asking me to throw an almost full can of Coke is sacrilege! So, I protested, and finally ordered one of the employees inside to fetch my dress instead. Which task accomplished, I took my bag, and sauntered out. I usually take the steps, but in a fit of absentmindedness I took the descalator (my word). I turn the corner. Pai Electronics showroom is all glass, I am captivated by the rows of televisions. I don’t know why, I am captivated by multiple screens like that on the wall. Still in a stupor of sorts, one feet over another. And then, I suddenly was pushed. Hard. To the right. I almost stumbled on the smooth flooring. A young guy. In blue jeans and a lighter blue T-shirt ran past me. Without a glance. Cursing the rudeness of such people, I walked ahead. But no. This time, another light push. “Sorry Ma’am” said a heavily panting guy in brown trousers, and a store identification card dangling by his side. He chased the extremely fleet-footed blue jeans guy down the steps. Curious, the jab in my side forgotten, I followed. The action spilled over on to the streets.

People too were looking at the scene in the distance, which I could not see. (too short-sighted I am). I don’t know if they caught the thief or pickpocket or whatever he was. It aroused excitement all around. A woman watching asked the security guard if someone had planted a bomb. The man laughed, no no, I don’t think so. I went back inside, thoughts in a whirl. And somehow, I don’t know who is worse. Those who physically harm us or those who emotionally damage us? Somehow, I think the latter is worse.

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