The sales lady looked confused and was fumbling over her items. She had missed something !
She opened the small boxes, slid open the drawers and shuffled through her papers. She lifted every cast of cardboard and looked underneath. She re-checked all her bills. Nothing. Then she looked up and looked around.
“Yes Madame” Meghna woke up with a shudder as the check-out clerk addressed her. She spread the items infront of the clerk and opened her purse. She knew the sales lady was now looking for her. The clerk punched some buttons on his machine and took out a slip. ” Hundred and sixty three rupees” Meghna quickly put the two hundred rupee notes in his hands. The lady must be coming at her now. As the clerk was groping and grumbling for change Meghnas nerves burst. “Keep the change, I am in a hurry” she told the surprised clerk and rushed out.
There was a big crowd outside the supermarket. She did not walk. She ran, so swiftly that no one could make out she was running. When she came near the bend she threw a last look at the store. The lady and a man were standing outside looking around ! She ran again taking twist and turns though the lanes of Andheri. She stopped when she felt she had covered a safe distance. She stopped an auto coming towards her. ? Santacruz? she told the driver and collapsed into the seat.
..She came from an affluent family and she was rich enough to wear a stack of diamonds. But she wanted to steal…..
She had run out of breath and her heart was still thumping. As the auto caught speed, she heaved a sigh of relief. She felt between her legs and the chain was intact. Meghna sequeira, MBA graduate from St.Cecilias and the second daughter of retired Customs official Benjamin Sequeira had achieved her heart’s desire. She came from an affluent family and she was rich enough to wear a stack of diamonds. But she wanted to steal. The excitement and pleasure she received while doing it would be unimaginable for a mortal soul like me and you. The heartbeat, the sweat, the shudder and the trembling was all worthwhile for her. It was the same excitement a mountaineer would get while on top of Mount everest or an astronaut on his first round of the earth. It was the invisible battery that super charged her life.
She was not a professional. Her father was not a thief. But the very thought of getting caught made her mind work like a computer. She planned every detail of her move. She planned what she would do if something went wrong. During the act her hands and fingers moved like a trained magician, much to her own surprise.
It was not the first time she stolen. During her first year in college she had stolen a whole bunch of keys from an attendant. She watched the fun as staff ran around trying to open the doors and the principal kept interrogating the senior students. And once during the annual parish day, she simply sneaked behind the curtains, picked up the trophy and put it in the dust bin. She watched from the audience, as all the football players were lined up on stage and the Bishop was asked to award the Trophy. The trophy was found only the next day, but the moments of confusion and embarrassment was an unforgettable experience.
When the auto stopped near ‘Rosa Maria’ in Santacruz, it was getting dark. She got down, removed her sun glasses,corrected her hair and walked slowly. She paused at the door for a moment and rang the bell. After a brief moment the door opened and her mother appeared. Red faced, she looked at Meghna up and down.
To be continued ?.
Author: Remy DSouza- Kuwait