One night…5 min read
Comprehending fear is rare for me. The rarity can be understood by the importance it has achieved to deserve a blog post for its last happening.
Walking in Manipal is a wonderful experience. Long walks late at night although tiring, somehow manages to amuse me. For the first time in two years it did not.
I shall reiterate an incident that took place two nights back.
After seeing my friend off at KC, around what was like 11.30pm, I started walking to my residence. Walks as late as 4am have taken place before over stretched distances and this one was just another one or so it seemed. After crossing MIC, I noticed a bike with three men on it, one of whom gave me the ‘stares’. I wondered if he were a homosexual and didn’t think they would be of any harm. I continued walking and after a short distance the bike takes a pause and once again I failed to notice any trouble and set foot again. As I walked down the road leading to the police station, near the Department of Commerce, I suddenly heard the bike speeding and it stopped with a jolt in front of me. Even then, I thought they probably lost their way and wanted to ask directions. Alas! The world is not that peaceful after all.
One man steps off the vehicle, and I figure out after a fraction of a second that I was slapped!
Finally I realized the existence of TROUBLE.
He spoke softly but firmly and ordered me to give him all the money I was carrying. I told him, “No I am not carrying any money. I have nothing on me.” They did not understand that I wasn’t lying and he searched my pockets all over.
Then, “the knife-man” as I’d prefer to call him makes his grand entry. He unveils a big, gleaming piece of weaponry hidden within a newspaper, which took me by shock. He sticks the knife into my stomach and speaks in hindi, “Better give whatever money you have or else you will be in trouble”
I had to tell them once again that I was carrying absolutely no cash. Even a beggar would have been a better option for them at that point of time.
They noticed the cell phone in my hand and snatched it. What raced through my mind where a lot of weird and unrelated questions. All I could do at that point of time was to beg them to return my sim.
The bike races away and I was left there feeling disastrous as it was torturous to think that my contacts which are in plenty and way too precious for me were all lost in a second.
What followed was slightly comical. Just after taking a couple of steps, I hear the bike returning. Once again, they stopped in front of me. Déjà vu I thought but this time I wasn’t slapped. The knife was still playing a major role in the scene as I was confronted once again with it and asked to submit all money I have.
‘We know you are carrying money, better give it to us”, Knife man said.
I kind of felt they were amateurs in their profession and thought they were stupid.
I replied, “Well, I still don’t have any money you know. You can search me again if you want.”
So they did and once again failed to extract what they wanted. Regretfully, to my surprise, they gave back my phone. I didn’t know what to say as the act seemed a little weird and humorous. All I could spill out of my mouth was a “Thank You”!
Gratified, I received my phone back. Why they did that still remains out of my understanding but I felt a tinge of pity for them as they chose the worst possible person that night to mug. A man with a slight limp, who is completely broke and carries a phone that probably looks and works like a (here I’d like to quote a friend) “pregnant woman”. The model would not fetch more than 400 bucks in the market and they possibly figured that it is more of a burden to them than a good steal.
I started walking back home amidst rampant calls by my roommate and friend who heard the commotion over phone.
Standing on the opposite side of the Police Station, I looked at it a few times and only after a while did I make up my mind that I must alert them.
I was immediately taken on the bike of a policeman, and was followed by another bike with two cops. We went around the whole of Manipal searching for them, but in vain. I clearly described the three men to the police but could not tell them the registration number of the bike as I did not clearly capture it.
To think that this incident happened a few meters away from the house of the town’s guardians (The Police Station) is terribly vexing.
Manipal maybe a small place, but one with plenty of dark patches where such untoward incidents can take place with the ease of cutting a cake. Lack of street lights in such areas have already been addressed through reports on TMJ but the fact remains that our society and ruling officials always need to wait for a victim to exist before any action may be taken. All who read this post, make sure to to have the number of the police Station on your phone and also never be of that attitude that informing the police of such situations will be of no good cause.
If anyone is willing to be mugged for this cause please reply to the post.
P.S. Last night I took an Auto rickshaw to cover the same distance!