Thefeelgoodfactor's Blog

Random thoughts

The Robbery Attempt

I had posted earlier how everyone had warned me to be careful in Noida – many of my North Indian friends had mentioned that it is not a safe place. I had almost forgotten those advice since nothing untoward had happened in the first 18 months. All that changed on 11/12/13, no, actually 12th Dec.

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I moved to a new house sometime in July – shifted to an apartment from a kothi as it was economical, and as I believed at that time, safer. There seemed to be only one problem with the new house – the landlord. The landlord was a retired engineer and used to talk a lot on a variety of topic. During our first interaction he mentioned that he thought B.Tech degree was better than MBA – and he trusts us because of our engineering degree. (We found out only later that he ranked the courses based on the number of years it took to obtain the degree – MBBS, B.Tech and then MBA.)

He mentioned that we should test our cook (sic) – on further enquiry this is what he had to say : Pahle din ghar mei 5 rupye rakh kar jaao, agle din 10, phir 20, 50,100 aur aakhri din 500. Shaam ko ghar aakar dekho ki tumhe vaapas rupye milte hai ki nahi.Agar kisi din rupye vaapas na mile toh cook ko naukri se hata dena.

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It was 11/12/13 – all the forwards had been exchanged on whatsapp groups regarding the significance of this date. At around 10 pm, I realized it was going to be a long night ahead – was one of those days when anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. At 2 am, my roommate and I decided to leave office and finish the remaining work at home. When we reached our apartment, my roommate (UD) asked me to be quiet. Initially I thought because he was worried that we may wake up our neighbours, but soon enough he said that there was a pair of shoe near the staircase leading to our house. (Only later did I understand its significance). UD said that he can hear some noise and repeatedly asked me to be quiet. I heard the noise as we were climbing the staircase. However, when we reached our house, we saw nothing. I told UD that we shouldn’t unnecessarily worry – both of us were tired and had to work for at least couple of hours before going to sleep.

After 5 min, UD showed me the lock – it had been tampered with. UD went on to explain how he believed the thief had removed his shoes so as to not make any noise. Everything we saw and heard suddenly seemed to make sense. UD remarked how lucky we were that day. I, however, knew the true reason why the thief’s plan failed. It was 12th Dec – Rajnikanth’s birthday. One cannot rob a Tamilian on Rajni’s birthday.

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Since neither of us had been victims of a robbery attempt before, it was decided that we will call our landlord for discussing the next steps (Not that we believed he would have a first hand experience, but we did not seem to have any other choice).

Me: Uncle, kal humaare ghar mei chori ka attempt hua tha.

LL: Oh! Aisa kya. Cook kya kar rahi thi us time par.

Me: Uncle, I am sure wo apne ghar mei so rahi hogi. Mei raat ke 2:30 am ki baat kar raha hoon. <went on to narrate the entire incident>

LL: Waise tumhaare ghar mei cash toh hoga nahi – aajkal toh ATM ka zamaana hai. Chor ko shayad wahan sirf kapde milte – vaise aajkal kapde bhi bade mehenge aate hai, 300-400 ke.

Me: Uncle, sahi kahan aapne. Sabse mehenge toh appki cheezien hi hai – furnitures, clocks etc.

LL: Beta ek kaam karo, Mishra ji ko complaint likhva do. Wo main security guard hai, gate par mil jaayenge.

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I went to register a formal complaint with the security personnel. By the end of my interaction, I was laughing – it was that kind of feeling when you realize that you are so helpless that you decide to have a good laugh.

(The actual conversation happened in Hindi)

Me: I am coming from House No.fde. I believe that there was a robbery attempt at my house. The lock has been tampered with.

Security Guard 1 (SG1): I know about that.

I was confused initially. Almost immediately, I hoped that they had actually caught the thief and that the thief would have spoken the truth. And I, on Rajnikanth’s birthday, would do what Thalaivar would have done himself – forgive the thief and not register any formal complaint.

SG2 to SG1: Dude listen carefully. He is referring to house no. fde. We have information only about house no. fcf. 

Me: What happened there?

SG 1: A thief broke one of the locks. But thankfully, he couldn’t break the second lock.

SG2: I have a gut feeling that it must have been the same thief.

Me : (Thinking – You must be in intelligence dept. Who could have connected the dots here – same day, two adjacent buildings.)

SG1: We should appreciate the thief’s courage – he is trying to steal despite knowing that guards are present.

SG2 (to me): You know, the number of thefts in this apartment has been on a rise. Two such incidents happened during Diwali. But you know what, all the incidents are taking place during the night. I work in Morning shift – no such incident has been reported.

Me: You are surely doing your job well! Btw, what’re the next steps. Where do I file a complaint?

SG2: Let’s meet mukhiya. He will be standing near the gate.

Me: But, I thought we are also standing near the gate!

SG2: Not this one, the next one. Oh! wait, here he comes.

I went on to narrate the incident again.

Me:  You must be Mishraji.

Mukhiya(Mu): Arre, who is this Mishra fellow! I am the caretaker and look after everything.

I went on to narrate the incident.

Mu: The thief is smart. He does not come out when any guards patrol a street. Only when the guards go to patrol the parallel street does he come out in street.

Me:(Thinking – I am sure I would have done the same if I were a thief.)

Me: What should I do now?

Mu: Change the lock beta. It will be risky to use the same lock.

Me: That I will. But what about the attempt. Will you be able to catch the thief? Will you increase the number of guards?

Mu: We have a shortage of people. Can’t help. But beta, change the lock definitely.

I made a note that if we ever decide to source security personnel, we should include our apartment in a list of probable projects.

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On 13th, I went to landlord’s house to pay him electricity bill. Landlord wasn’t present, Landlady was.

LL: I heard the news. Uncle told me that Madrasi tenant had informed him about someone trying to break into the house. Similar things have happened at Pankaj’s place since Diwali, couple of times.

Me: (You are really helping me)

LL: He stays near where you guys live.

I must have looked confused, since she soon added that Pankaj was her younger son. I actually was more worried than confused, as any sane person would have been.

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