This was the 1st attempt of robbery in the Alaknanda Housing complex. This had never happened in the 3 year history of the complex.
“It is so horrifying, we live in such dangerous times” pipped Chopra ji…the 70 year old bulky RWA president. His was the first family to arrive here and in many ways, that gave him the right to become the self-appointed RWA chief. That, plus other people who thought it was wise not to meddle in the messy RWA business. Who wants extra burdens?
“Somebody must call 100. Lets call the police” said Shobha Madam…the retired school teacher.
“Its too early, the police must be sleeping” – Atul Singh walked in…It was only 7am and this high flying executive was just back from his 10km daily walk, a routine he said he had been doing for 5yrs now. “I did not see the patrol car standing nearby, they must have gone to their ablutions”
“Whose house was it?” someone asked..
“I think it was Sharma ji’s house” quipped another..it was right around the corner of the complex near the 2nd gate. It was the most vulnerable.
No one actually knew whose it was…and yet they knew there was a robbery….the guard had blown a series of shreaks on the whistle right up before dawn and shouted “Chor, Chor“! Only a few heard it, the early risers.
The Guard…”Arrey…where is the new Guard…what was his name…yes…Bahadur”
Bahadur, a Nepali, demure, 50 years old, was hired only 3 months back without much fanfare and with only the consent of Chopra ji. Yes, where was he? Nowhere to be seen since morning.
A murmur started among the risen residents of Alaknanda complex….
“Bahadur must have run away…”
“He surely must have been involved in this robbery….”
“Oh my God, we hired a thief?”
“I had never seen him also…don’t even know how he looked like”
“Where was he from?”
“What a crook, first he must have let the thieves in and then once the robbery was over, let them go and made up the shout just to show off”
“Who hired him?”
“Chopra ji hired him…”
Whoa…Chopra ji felt his neck coming under the sword..announced…”Lets call the police and file an FIR against him..He is certainly involved, bloody crooks. He was in need and hence we hired him. These people…we should never believe in them. We will work on a tender for hiring a professional security company.”
A police siren made them turn towards gate no. 1. The police patrol car, which usually stood near the complex was rumbling in. ASI Chaturvedi was on the night run and his eyes were bloodshot…
“There was a robbery attempt last evening in the complex,” he said, “The Gurkha was involved” with an obvious reference to Bahadur.
A murmur yet again..this time louder…
“See, I told you so”
“Chopra ji is gone now”
“We should demand an inquiry”
“Bahadur. Chor Sala“
“Quiet”, Chaturvedi demanded,”Bahadur was involved in a fist fight with two robbers. One of them fled, the other is caught. Bahadur did not let him go and was seriously injured with four knife hits in his abdomen. Us haalat mein, he dragged the thief to the police outpost nearby. We took him to the hospital but unfortunately, he had bled too much and has succumbed to his injuries a while back. Is there an address of his near and dear ones, where we can contact them?”
There was a quiet even the morning could not beat. There was no information anyone had, not even Chopra ji. His post would surely be up for grabs now.
No house was ransacked. Bahadur had left the record of the Alaknanda complex, unblemished.
- Ji: A word of respect for someone elderly or senior
- Arrey: “Hey” as a word to express surprise
- Chor: Thief
- Sala: A Slang
- Us haalat mein: In that condition