My bag is snatched late evening in Bangalore, from a rickshaw. One way street. All that I have in the bag flashes before me, passport, PAN card, credit cards, bank cards, production money, two cell-phones, production diary. I yell.
Rickshaw wala turns and enters from the wrong side. We chase the thief. He crosses the road. Rickshaw wala stops the rickshaw, and runs out. I jump over the door bar and run behind.
Both of us are yelling on top of our voices. Bag-snatcher looks back. He has empty hands. I look back to see what has happened to my bag. Rickshaw wala is closing in on bag-snatcher.
He turns back towards me, grabs the bag from where he has thrown it. I run behind, yelling. He, scared, throws the bag. We yell some more, he throws the wallet and the diary he has in his hand. He escapes.
I rummage through the bag. Everything is intact. Except I have lost my production phone. I start trembling with shock.
Police van drives up. Can't make out how they got to know. They ask me questions, write things down, ask me whether I want to report. We are too late, too tired, too shocked. Can't quite face another hour of police station routine. Decide to go off to dinner instead.
Teja and Dhanno don't quite believe my story of me chasing the thief. But I think the thought of all that I would lose, and all the days of tedious work that would follow that loss, made me something I am usually not.
In my hotel room, can't find a pair of my favourite earrings. Blue and orange. Picked up from Goa. I used to wear them all the time. Were they stolen?? I go through all my things. I wonder if I should complain. Did I drop them in the room when I came back, shaken from the bag-snatcher incident?
Make a flight booking on the internet. The travel company swipes my credit card, then sends me a message that the ticket is not available, and the money will be refunded in due course. I spend a couple of hours making a complaint. Send e-mails, follow up. Don't know when I will get the money.
I try hard not to think of ill-luck. When we were kids, and fell down, and were howling, grown-ups said, "Don't cry, you've killed an ant." Though why that was meant to make us happy, I don't know. When we lost something precious, Mummy said, "It's OK, it's only a small token for your well-being." Thus, all loss and pain was meant to be taken with a pinch of happiness.
But I can't quite let go of my lovely earrings. I make drawings of what they looked like, in my notebook. And wonder who has them now.