A cozy yet not-so-lazy Sat morning. My maid arrived at her usual 8 am time and asked me in her Hubli-accented Kannada if i have, for some reason, decided to keep the clothesline clips elsewhere instead of its regular place near the washing stone outside my room. On hearing my ‘No’ she retorted:
“It is that guy staying downstairs- he once used your clips. And ever since they haven’t come back”.
“Did you ask him about it?”, I inquired.
“Yes i did. He said he has already returned it. So i wanted to confirm it with you.”
I went over to the place where i had kept the clips. The cover which i had preserved in tact, was found discarded nearby. I picked it up and noticed that the number on the pack read 12 . I checked the clip case and saw only 3 in them. I then checked out the price – Rs 20.
So my esteemed neighbor’s loot was 9 clips costing Rs 15 – a paltry amount.
I was outraged – for his impudence at picking my things without my consent and then having the temerity to lie about it. I resisted the immediate temptation to go and ask him about it and instead, decided to figure out why a decently paid, software sector employed, father-of-one would want to adopt such a severe method of ‘economizing’. I drew a blank there. Beats me. If i knew, i would have probably been practicing it myself. So i thought better not to know it.
Then i thought of the best possible reaction i could display to this non-event. Knock on his door and ask him about it? Ignore it? Gift wrap a similar set of clips and leave it at his doorstep? I am still wondering – and open to more options – as i am typing away this blog.
It just occurred to me that he can never use his prized possession ever again as we have the same maid. The moment he hands it over to her, his game is over. His wife might perhaps use it to hang her bras and panties in the bathroom – but 9 clips?!!!
It is not the value of the stolen item that is vexing me – it is the practice; the practice of unhesitatingly demanding and taking what is rightfully someone else’s.
I feel the same ire when the auto driver asks for an extra on the metered fare. What normally takes Rs 12, the minimum fare in Bangalore city, is almost always Rs 20.
“20 rupees saar, it is already 9:15 PM…after all i am asking wonly 8 rupees extra”.
Nothing irritates me more than improper justification of what i deem wrongful. At this point i am tempted to write on the auto drivers of Electronics City and their ‘Union’ that entitles them to charge a full 250% on the minimum metered fare but i think i should ‘honor’ them with a full blog entry. After all, people who expect 250% extra will not be satisfied with anything lesser, i assume.
Coming back to the clothesline incident, i am still figuring out what to do. Mom says forget it.
I dont intend to commit any malicious acts myself but looking him in the eye with that ‘i -know-u-did-it’ look sounds exciting to me.
What do you guys think i should do?? Please comment.