As Meghna Sequeira entered Kapadia supermarket, her heart started beating heavily. For a moment she surveyed the racks packed neatly with items. Rows and rows of detergents, biscuits, plastic plates, cutlery, fruits, vegetables, stationery and lingerie. You name it, they had it. The store was fairly crowded as it was a Saturday evening. Just as all other shops in that sprawling suburb of Andheri East. Meghna had selected the right place and the right time.
She walked casually towards the biscuits. Picking up a box of Crackjacks, she surveyed the people around her. Bori’s and Gujratis with kids, teenagers in designer clothes, young ladies and bachelors. All in a hurry. Good she thought.
She picked up a packet of Ariel and let her sunglasses slide down a bit to look at the check-out counter. The counters were buried under bags of items and shoppers eager to get out. There were three middle aged check out clerks and they were not in uniform. She looked up and slowly scanned the ceiling. No cameras. Perfect she thought.
All set, she stopped at the jewellery counter. There were just a few customers there and sales lady was writing down bills. There was no gold but expensive imitation items. She saw the silvery chains, blue stones, tiaras and sapphires. The chains were thin but the stones looked magnificent. Then her eyes stopped at Le regale, an imported chain with a small ruby. The ruby looked real and the price tag was Rs. 4000, the most expensive item in that counter. She had seen it a couple of times before. Every time it made her heart miss a beat. It came in her
dreams and when she woke up she was sweating. She wanted to do what she had been yearning to do for a long time. And there she was just a glass away from treasure. She was already sweating and her heart was thumping heavily as she turned to the sales lady.
“Excuse me, can I have a look at those rings?”
..her heart beat became uncontrollable and she started trembling. She hesitated for a moment….
As she said it, she took care not to make eye contact with the sales lady. The lady gave her the rings she had shown, a set of fake ear rings. Meghna studied them for a while and placed them back herself.
“Can I see that other set please ?”
Meghna pointed to another set of similar rings. The lady obliged and gave her the set and got down to writing the bills. Meghna studied the set for a long time and placed it back herself. Before she removed her hand, she moved it a little bit, rolled her fingers around the La regale, cupped her hand and took it out, keeping one eye on the lady. With the precision of a magician, she lifted her top, slid her fingers though the skirt, through the elastic of her underwear and dropped the chain in. It must have taken a mere 6 seconds for the whole operation but Meghna’s face was so expressionless and her movements so swift, it would be hard for anyone to know what was going on.
She uttered a ‘thank you’ and without looking at the lady walked away. She picked up a can of Frutti and studied the check-out counter again. Oh no ! The crowd had thinned. She hastened. It wouldn’t be wise to hang around for long. She selected the queue with just 3 people in it and waited. As the first 2 people were cleared, her heart beat became uncontrollable and she started trembling. She hesitated for a moment, then moved to the next line with 5 people.
She adjusted her sunglasses and waited for her turn. And then for a second, she turned back to see what the sales lady was doing….
To be continued …
Author: Remy DSouza- Kuwait