Life has much unpredictability and incertitude. I think God has willed it that way. He’s incorporated infinite possibilities, few ups and more downs to make us strong and resilient to take on life’s journey in our stride. Actually, He tried to provide a level playing field to all without giving a vantage position to anybody. But things do get messed up.
He springs surprises here and there, good ones to make us ride on cloud nine and despondent ones to plunge us down to deflate our pride and self importance and to keep us grounded. None is immune to the shifting sands of time. This duality of our existence makes our short sojourn in this universe both exclusive and inimitable. After reflecting on these philosophical highs, I climb down to experience the real world.
In fact while negotiating our way in the world as individuals or as members of the family, we face myriad situations which attest our vulnerability to events around us. For example, snatching of chains or purses, day light daring robberies and other such incidents are common occurrences these days. We sincerely sympathize with the victims in silence and feel alarmed; especially the way things stand today.
One day reality comes crashing like a sudden flash of lightening, and we find ourselves at the receiving end of one such incident. Stunned, jolted and feeling insecure, we try to reconcile and placate our ego with platitudes and self survival arguments. But you’re what you’re!
An unexpected shocker overtook me last summer. We had gone to Solan (from our summer dwelling unit in Kumarhatti) for some shopping on a sunny afternoon. Knowing that the bazaar is always congested, we decided to park our car at a safe place and walked to the shops. Walking in the shopping streets is like participating in a boxing bout. Jostling crowds, milling about, (as if there is no tomorrow) on potholed narrow roads are daunting to say the least. (I keep trying to save my elbows and shoulders from being hit by vehicles or other shoppers because all the time one is brushing past others.)Walking there is an art and only permanent residents are conversant with it.
Our purchases done we decided to take an auto rickshaw to reach the car park. But as soon as we sat inside the auto, two women came rushing (from their bearing they looked to be from lower strata of society) and packed beside me as there was space only for one. Generally I am a person who’d have objected to being sardined, but I don’t know what went wrong with me that day, I just resigned myself, thinking it was public transport. The women I think at once gauged that I was an outsider and a fair target for being conned.
The ride was most uncomfortable and noise decibel deafening. I kept my purse in my lap tilted towards the woman to create a barrier between the two of us. In the maddening commotion on the road, I felt dazed; my sole concern was to reach our destination as soon as possible. The woman next to me with a sleight of hand must have opened the zipper of my purse and removed about 10 k (in two packets) successfully. This possibility would never have occurred to me. They got down on the way.
Within minutes we reached the parking lot. I opened my purse to pay the auto driver and found it empty. I felt alarmed but still I had no inkling of the impending realization. My hubby paid the fare and jokingly remarked, “Ladies stuff their purses and can’t find anything.” When we sat in the car, I impatiently searched my purse again and in a flash, truth dawned on me that the woman indeed, had made a clean sweep of the currency notes. I remained shaken for days, with confidence getting a severe drubbing. Of course I learnt a lesson in hind sight.