I muttered a few silenced swear words under my breath and resigned to my seat, sighing heavily “Once again me!” Only if the novel that I was reading yesterday night wasn’t so interesting, only if the mosquitoes weren’t biting till 2AM in the morning, only if I had had a decent good night’s sleep, I’d have been less weary, eyes less droopy and more cautious to have caught the burglar red-handed in the act, my wallet safe. Now, no ‘only’s would get it back for further calls to my mobile received ‘Switched off’ replies ‘only’. The pick-pocket better have a damn good reason to justify his theft. If it does turn out that he was having the time of his life in a local pub or bar at the cost of my money, I’ve cursed him to die in a hit-and-run accident. THIEVES!!!
The bus geared up its way towards Chennai while I was fancifully imagining a conversation between the thugs who stole my belongings. What else to do when you know that there isn’t much you can except to block your debit card? I had done that by then. I didn’t want to block my mobile with the ISIN number as I attributed it to killing my phone myself. Strange that stress should stimulate creativity….
Sambo: Stop yelling! How many this time?
Rambo: Just one. Jackpot!
Sambo: How much?
Rambo: One five hundred note, three hundreds and few tens.
Sambo: Hmpf! (smirking) Jackpot it seems!
Rambo: (adds hurriedly) and a mobile.
Rambo: Looks like a Classic.
Sambo: (examines) Classic? Looks cheap to me.
Rambo: The brand is ‘Classic’ – Reliance.
(The irritated Sambo gets the mobile from him and fondles when it starts singing its usual ‘Wish you a merry Christmas’ ringtone.)
Sambo: Probably the owner is giving calls to trace it. Let’s see… (pressing the call button, he gets amused at the helpless hellos being shouted into and switches it off) Ha! So it’s a pick from a lady?
Rambo: The same lady infact.
Sambo: Same lady?
Rambo: The one who left us with a thousand bucks and a costly Sony Ericsson W710i some four months ago. I stalked her this morning as she was waiting in the bus stand, boarded the bus alongside and pulled out her purse. Then descended thru the back door and was gone before she suspected. Neat and Clean!
Sambo: Hmmm… (more to himself) but she was more generous last time. So, is the ATM card there?
Rambo: Here it is, blocked! No use!
Sambo: You should have tried her tomorrow. Pay Day!
Rambo: Boss. These IT folks travel from Pondicherry to Chennai only on Monday mornings and as a rule, I find all IT wallets heavy always. Tomorrow would not have made a difference or might have been late.
Sambo: As if I didn’t know that. Abrush yourselves with some current affairs, Smarty! TCS weekends are on Sundays and Mondays until May. You can still try tomorrow for loaded purses.
Rambo: Now that’s why I need a boss. As you say…I…
Sambo: Stop ranting and listen! Our ‘friendly’ constable tipped me off. There are a number of complaints filed against us and the job is getting risky. Keep changing targets and grab healthy pockets. Less picks and more cash.
Rambo: Yes Boss. (Scratching his head in an ugly gesture and smiling sheepishly)…Err…what about celebration for today? Shall I open the Whisky?
(Sambo nodes and they open their bottles. One cannot say which of the two – the foam erupting out of the bottles or the lather from their leers was dense?)
Sambo: (toasting) To Sambo and Rambo! The thriving thugs of Pondicherry!
Rombo: (adding) To all the goosey guys and careless chicks for their wallets!
Fully drunk and singing merrily, Rambo and Sambo danced along the main road as kings of the world. The ECR bus that had geared up minutes ago, now took a U turn to keep up with the one way lane. A swift U-cut and the wheels screeched. Loud music from the audio system had deafened the passengers from the feeble screams emanating beneath the tyres. The jerk and gallop was partly attributed to “rash driving” and partly to their semi-sleepy-state and the bus unmindfully rolled on towards Chennai while the bodies of Rambo and Sambo lay mutilated, floating in their own blood.