Enigma- Dear Robber, Let me tell you how to rob my home!
What happens when a series of burglary in your community leads you helpless and hapless? What happens when the apartment management does little and then moves on with life and rent? What happens when all you can now do is WAIT FOR YOUR TURN, knowing very well that one day it could be your home, hoping the day never comes.
Now that you have created the right amount of fear and panic in the community I live, the apartment I inhabit, I thought it was a good time to talk to you face to face. Oh! But where is the face? Huh! Who cares. I know you way too well. Robbers don’t have a face, they have deeds. What they rob is not as important as what they leave behind. So, what if I do not know the length of your nose, the light brown Mongolian spot on your neck, the color of your eyes but let me tell you, all robbers look the same and everything you did in my neighbor’s home when she off to Costco to buy milk and grocery for her family was callous and spiteful. So, when actions are abominable, the face cannot be that of an angel. Cruel looks cruel and acts cruel. But then, you must be having your reasons. Point taken. Democracy you see.
So, after three burglaries in the homes of my neighbor and car break-ins at wee hours of the morning when people are in slumberland( BTW, don’t you feel sleepy?), all within four months, I have something to admit- I lose, you win. Along with my community people, the first time it happened, just after the day of Christmas, on a very regular safe time, 5 pm, we thought we could alter things for our community and we tried. We formed a union, kind of a union and went to the leasing office under the illusion of ‘power of democracy’. We fought hard and got light bulbs installed in badly illuminated areas. But you got very brave. Next time, you broke in under the afternoon sun. Whoa! Awesome. We went again to the management, looking for strong and concrete solutions but later realized, they are on your side. When money comes before safety, what else is left to conclude? So, we decided (well that is what the management suggested to us) to install our own cameras, security systems, and then WAIT FOR OUR TURN(this we told to ourselves). Btw, what do you use to break the big glass window that it doesn’t make a sound? Such sophisticated equipment must be costing a fortune. Use that money for better things. Why break in a home?
My home looks like a house to you to loot but for me, it is my SACRED SPACE and the trauma of seeing some stranger, a cruel one, entering my temple, my scared space, going about ransacking just everything, is painful, agonizing and heart breaking. You will not understand. So, forget it. Let’s come to the point.
I am waiting for my turn and you are most welcome. I know you are stalking me and my movements. We all know it here. But before you enter my home, let me tell you, right outside my house, in my blue fenced patio, towards the extreme right is an Amazon box kept for you in the black cart. It has all that you need, it has all that you will try to rob. Why take the pain of breaking in? I am an immigrant from a developing country. I am still on a VISA so that should be good enough to make you understand, I do not have, lots to offer and Irvine is expensive. The Amazon box, let’s call it AB, has a white Chromebook, trust it doesn’t really work, has very poor battery life but I have come to understand that you are obsessed with laptops, so, I have kept it for you. Once my son, when he was three, he peed on it, after that it died of repulse. I have also put a DSLR camera worth 650 dollars. No one takes photographs in my home; my husband is the last person to click on this planet earth. He succumbed to some peer pressure and bought it. Also, he was a new Daddy then and it is expected from new daddies to go click click each time the baby breathes. He did it for some time and then gave up. Yes, it has monetary worth, but not useful. It has been lying in the closet for way too long. If you have a baby, try clicking with it. DSLR is known for awesomeness. So, take it. Btw, do you have a baby? If yes, you would have understood that in the last month robbery, you shouldn’t have picked up the silver bowl and spoon from the kitchen. My friend informed it belonged to her 5-month-old baby. You see, it is not about the worth of silver, it is about the sentiments, feelings, emotions. They were her baby’s first set of spoon and bowl used for the ceremony when the baby tastes solids for the first time. You really should have left that.
Coming from silver, I have a gold Mangalsutra, a necklace with black and golden beads worn as a symbol of marital dignity and chastity. I take it off every night and sometimes forget to wear it in the morning. I am not keeping it in the AB. In case you get greedy and break in my house, let me tell you, it is kept on the side table next to the master’s bedroom. Try not to take it. It has my wedding vows engraved in every bead, a promise my husband made to me that we will always be together and a love…( Ummm, btw are you married? Do you watch movies? The Karan Johar’s kind. You don’t know who is Karan Johar? Phew! Anyways, I better get back to work, love is not your thing, I am sure).
I have kept ten watches in the box too, one of them in a Tissot, royal blue dial and with golden straps. Going by memory, my husband’s ex-girlfriend had gifted him much before we met. Not that he is fond of it or wears it, but I want you to take it. I seriously do. Good riddance. We fell in love at the right time. We don’t need the Tissot. Rest are Titan watches from my bachelor days and they don’t fetch much. Back in my country, nobody would take it. But then, I have heard you love the act of cleaning up everything and anything your eyes fall upon. Apart from this, if I am not at home, in all possibility, 100%, my wallet is with me…sorry. Inside the poppin white stow 2-drawer, where I keep my books and my son’s clothes, there is a purple tin box where I keep money earned from selling DIY crafts. On any given day, you can find 100 -120 dollars in it, so rather than breaking in my space, I am putting 120 dollars in an envelope and putting it in the box outside. Trust, there is nothing else of any value to you unless you are interested in my new(actually refurbished) grey sofa bed, my 22 inches Samsung TV, my Jhumpa Lahiri collection and lots of Durex condoms. We are kind of high on …you understand. If you want it, we don’t mind sharing. Should I keep some in the Amazon box? So expensive they are. Must be difficult for you too. That’s pretty much from what I can offer…
PLEASE DO NOT BREAK IN. It is extremely traumatic to return from a grocery trip, appreciating the sunny weather, planning to cook salmon for dinner, dangling the car keys or a vacation trip and to see the patio door wide open, the living room glass window shattered to pieces and your house beyond recognition. It looks as if you not only rob valuables but also the soul of the family that resides there. In hurry to plunder, you ruthlessly throw belongings on the floor, even the Ganesha idol, every nook and corner of the home stands looted, bruised, besmirched with your presence in the owner’s absence. Pls, don’t do that. I beg you.
Btw, do you know Pokémon? My little one, very brave, overheard neighbors’ anxious conversation, just after you had left without a trail that day. He thinks his Golem can kill you. Beware.
And ya…the family will be visiting San Diego this weekend. Welcome.
Enigma is an anthology of five stories, inspired from real life, gathered from the conversations that happen with souls walking back after dropping their kids to school; wondering about their kitchen sink cluttered with morning mess, the half-eaten toast on the breakfast plate, crumpled blankets in the bedrooms that need to be folded and a mug of coffee gone cold after being warmed thrice. These stories are not about making 'absolute sense' because 'life happens' and how it happens is an enigma in itself. You may wonder and come up with questions such as- "Really? It actually happened?". That is the confuzzling part of life and I hope you will enjoy the sirimiri of these stories. Dear Robber is the first story. I hope you will enjoy the sirimiri of these stories. Dear Robber is the first story.
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