My day started today by a frantic search for an auto, and due to the rains, the one I finally found charged me extra. It was a pretty uneventful journey until we reached the flyover, where the marvel of a 21st century machine broke down and I had to step out and wait for about thirty minutes for the driver to repair it.
After a rather long thirty minutes we were moving again and I finally reached college, only to figure out that the class was so unimportant that we ended up watching a movie in it.
Oh well, and the rest of college went pretty uneventful. Who knew, what was in store for me that day. And finally with a resigned thought Me and my friend V, got into the first bus we saw, a rather crowded one at that. No place to find we stood on the isle and started talking about the trivial things in life (not so trivial after all).
Suddenly after the nice long conversation we had, we realised we had missed our stop almost ten minutes ago and had to get off two stops later. Almost getting into a panic situation we crossed the road (which involved us lunging on a two-sided barbed fence on a road divider), and to our good fortune, found the same bus going towards the opposite direction (that is, back to our stop).
We had our bouts of laughter, and little mental jigs, when our stop came and we went our separate ways. V’s house is a walk away from the stop, whereas mine needs an auto. But to my horror I found absolutely no auto around and decided I would walk till I find one. I did find one, but by then I was panting and nearly collapsing with shortness of breath.
Somehow I did reach home. It was nearly 5:00pm then. And when I shuffled through my bag, to pay the auto driver, what did I see? My wallet was MISSING! I didn’t notice it before, because V had paid for both the bus journeys due to my lack of available change. I reached into my pocket and by the Lords grace found the exact amount and paid him. I rushed upstairs and dashed into my room, emptied all the contents of my bag including the little candies.
My wallet contained EVERYTHING! Including my credit, debit and ATM cards and most of my identity cards (thankfully not my driving license and college ID card, which I keep together separately). I guess it was the crowded bus which ‘magically’ made my wallet disappear (no, I don’t mean real magic, I mean PICK-POCKET). I am amazed at how pick-pockets work with such perfection. I couldn’t even feel any movement and I’m dead sure I had it before I stepped into the bus. I’m not sure whether it was anger or sadness, but I gradually got that unwanted sinking feeling. I figured it was both. Both at different levels at different times.
Panic-stricken that I was I first got my cards blocked and then talked to my dad about what to do about the army dependent cards, and he told me that I needed to lodge an FIR in the police station immediately. It was already 7:00pm by then, and sure about not finding an auto I took the car keys and made my aunt sit with me (you may ask why I don’t drive to college. Well let’s just say, my family suffers from paranoia).
We somehow reached the police station, for which I even skipped a signal in between. And still in a bit of an imbalanced mental state, when I was about to park, I banged into a police officer’s car (no, I’m not writing this sitting in jail). I started on an apologising tangent and it took me my most sad puppy face to soften the officer to an extent that he reversed my car himself for me (humanity is not dead) and told me to that it was okay and to be careful from now on.
The rest went smoothly, everything in place. And my aunt and me headed back home with the FIR in hand and a satisfaction on the face.
It wasn’t too far from home after that, already 9:00pm now, there was an unruly man on a bike who came in from my right side (read, nowhere), and almost rammed into my car. Luckily he pressed the brakes just in time for no damage to happen. Just as I was about to move on, this obnoxious hooligan of a 20 something starts to abuse left right and centre. I stayed patient for sometime, kept my cool and tried to explain to him that he needed to be more careful, since he could see me better than I could.
No, it didn’t work. Politeness never really does. Finally I had to switch on my parking lights and my aunt and me had to get off the car. He abused like crazy (still trying to figure out why) and well after a point I abused back (it’s below my dignity to use abuses in Hindi, whatever he said, I gave back an almost exact English translation). But after a point it got even more ugly, when he started to roll up his sleeves and tried to advance towards me, threatening me that he would show me ‘my place’. What did I do after that? Oh.. I had a pepper spray clipped on to my pocket. And yes, I used it! Right onto his filthy abusive face! (In no time at all I had turned into a true hardened Delhi-ite)
I heard a loud squeal. My aunt had a proud expression. And I felt a sense of victory. Maybe it was the pent up aggression that was getting nurtured in me by the highly skilled pick-pocket and added up by this creep. I did not sit back in the car immediately as my aunt instructed me to. I did not flee or react to the wordless protest (involving a lot of baritone shrieking). But I just stood there and stared. Stared at the helplessness, this man wanted to subject me to, a few minutes ago. Started at the likes of all the culprits of crimes in Delhi. Stared at the irony, that he wanted to show me ‘my place’.
After those glorious five minutes, I sat back in my car (probed more by the honking at the back). As I put on my seat belt, I brought down my power window, and with a plain, unmoved and nonchalant expression on my face, I said (in Hindi, of course), “bhaia, now could you please move, We have to get somewhere you know.” and whizzed past…