Archu From The Archive, Fictional


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When I woke up this morning, I never guessed that I was going to lose my wallet once again in the same Pondicherry bus-stand to, (God knows) the same pick pocket at 6 AM in less than four months. Like hell, how could I guess? I had a leather shoulder bag, tightly zipped and pressed close to my body and I kept occasionally feeling for the bulk of my wallet. I checked it when I started from home, it was there. I checked it when I waited for the bus, it was there. I checked it when I got into the bus and Viola; the purse was gone, taking along some money, my mobile and the debit card. I shouted to the fellow passengers and we did a quick search below our feet. A lady asked for the number and called my mobile several times. Someone picked up the call and remained silent. She tried again but heard no ring tone this time. Instead, the default Reliance call rejection message was returned, clearly confirming pick-pocket!

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.

Sambo: Model?

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!

Together: CHEERS!

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.

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8 thoughts on “Punishment

  1. adi paavi! adi paavi!

    rendu varungala “budding politicians” of this statea aniyayama National Highwayle pora bus yetthi konnutiye!!!

    I feel a lot for Rambo and his twin sister Sambo 😛

    Adhu irukattum …adhenna…Just 800 rupees and one basic mobile model thirudittu…Scotch Whisky ellama kudipaanunga?

    I think for that range only Kaachina Sarayam and Uppu kadalai thaan patthum!

  2. I think u r lucky!!!!
    U just lost a mobile and 800 Rs.
    Two weeks back at the same time a lady lost 40,000 Rs in the same place.
    so you hv to be careful on ur things…

  3. @ab van kenabi: Twin sister Sambo? parava illa..adu kooda nalla thaan iruku. Intha local pick-pocketsku ‘National Highway’ ellam ketkutha? Summa yen pondy main roadlayeh konutain. Thirudunathu Rambo and Sambo…Scotch Whiskyoo or Kalla Saaraayamoo…avunga ishtam…unnakena?….hmm…slighta oru doubt…nee feel panratha paartha nee thaan all setup panni pickpocket adika solli irukura maathiri theriyuda…gotto be careful with u buddy 😉

    @shahed: what to do shahed? bad luck!

    @balachander: rs.800 or rs.40,000. Theft is theft. Yeah…gotta be very very careful. I never dreamed that our dear old Pondicherry could get so bad. 🙁

  4. @archu: Enjoyed your imaginative story(except for the end, bcz of the gory image. Of course, what else could you expect if you cross someone again and again, ah?), that I now really feel that the thugs who stole your mobile are really Rambo and Smabo. Nice names, btw 🙂 It’s terrible to keep losing your mobile to the pick-pocketers.. and to top it all, the friendly constables, as u’ve pointed out, who make things worse!

  5. @meens: yeah…a gory ending. that was intended to quence my full fledged anger on an unknown thief and to some extent it has helped. perhaps, i wud not have been so angry if the theft had happened in chennai. come on, thats a metro. but losing wallets twice toto pick pockets of our own hometown makes me fume. rambo and sambo – just names that sprang into my mind when i thought of the incident later and hence i’ve named my theives so 🙂 and friendly constablle, hmmm…theres a line in the police station – ‘police is your friend’. whether we’ve read it or not, the thugs certainly did 🙂

  6. Wow – that was nicely written.
    Not sure if I should be sad reading about the theft or should I be smiling seeing the story.

    But 800 bucks and they opened 2 bottles of whisky – isnt that some miscalculation on their part – beer should have been more economical. upar se Reliance Classic? hehehe!

  7. @prasoon: mayb they were celebrating in advance for the next day’s loot as well 😉

    well well…so many people are upset about the “whiskey” stuff. i never knew it was costlier than beer. so lets change it like this. rambo and sambo rejoiced with two bottles of “cough syrup” hee hee 🙂

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