Sunday, August 06, 2006

About A Thief, Me...

Forgive me father, for I have thieved.

Eons ago, when I was still a crazy coin collector, I did what is unthinkable for me today, I thieved.

I still remember the incident as clear as yesterday. We were in a moving school bus and there were a lot of kids around, in blue. I was all of nine while he, seven. We talked about everything under the earth and soon enough, talk turned to coins. That was when temptation struck.

It was he who threw me the bait and unashamedly I took it. He looked me in the eye and asked if I knew about the East India Company. I said I did and dramatically slowly, he took out his little black Kodak film roll case. He jingled it near my ear and sure enough, there was the rattle of coins.

I was dying with curiosity and the devil took his time to open the box. Slowly, very slowly, as if the djinn resided inside, he opened the box. There were seven copper coins in all, one huge while others varied from small to smallest. I remember the words I spoke, "May I look at them?"

He wouldn’t let me, at first. But soon he gave in to the look in his friends eyes and gave the box to me.

I took out the coins one by one and deliberately took my time in looking at each one of them carefully. I wasn’t interested in the beauty of the coins, far from it. I was deliberately timing my movements so that the stop where he had to get down was approaching fast. My friend sat lost looking at the glee on my face. I am sure he must have felt contended, at having made me happy.

Then in one sudden flash of realization, he understood that his stop was on him. He tried to snatch the coins from my hand. I deliberately stumbled and barring the view of the smallest coin behind the largest one, I slipped the little one quietly into my pocket. He just ran with the box.

I was truly unhappy that I could not steal the biggest coin. I never felt guilty; it took me many more years before that. But when it did, he was completely lost to me.

To this day, that little coin resides in a corner of my room. It is safely packed inside a little black Kodak film roll case. If I ever meet my friend again from so long ago, I shall take that box out and beg him for forgiveness.

Forgive me father, for I have thieved.
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6 comments:

shikha said...

oh well...even i did loads of things which i m not supposed to wen i was a kid..guess its all a part of growing up..

but fun reading dat ...feelin bit nostalgic now..

chandni said...

poor guy, your friend.. :(

aarshi said...

this is a funny sad story.

V N said...

have carried along a few reminiscences as those from my childhood myself. they refuse to let go, even as the mind becomes increasingly enamoured with a host of other things that lie all around.

The Inner i said...

Thieving was fun - especially when the book fair used to came to school, while in the 7th or 8th. I had fun slipping in a coupla comics into my shirt and walking away as cool as always.

But then one day, i got ambitious: why pick these comics two or five in a go; why not the entire bundle?

I knew where the book fair guys stashed their stock: right under the auditorium. I slipped right in, and brought out three big "Dennis the Menace" bundles. It was real risky, when i think of it now.

I shared the booty with a coupla partners in crime who stood guard.

But it was that night realisation struck - and that shook away my kleptomania for good.

Forgive me Father, for I too have thieved.

Sharan Sharma said...

Great spirit, CC.

You know, i have been a victim of this. Will be doing a post on this and will link to this post of yours to demonstrate what one should have within oneself.