Tuesday, October 26

The Weird Thief

It’s a pretty old story from my good-old hostel days and still brings a smile on my face.

It was a rainy night and was near the start of our summer vacations. Almost, whole of the dormitory was empty and of the seventy girls in the dorm, only nine of us were remaining. That’s why our teachers allowed us to watch a late night movie, Nagin, on Doordarshan television. We came in late from our TV hall and were planning to spend some time talking to each other as we would again meet after good-long two months. Apparently spending time could not happen as we were too tired after the long day, so we all went in to sleep. One of our dorm-mates went in other hall to sleep, hence only eight of us were remaining.

Probably the thief knew about this before venturing into our hostel. We assumed him to be from the surrounding areas, as he was well acquainted with the hostel premises. We also assumed that he might have entered before we had returned from our movie as he had planned everything well in advance. I describe the “our assumed” way the thief might have entered our dorm.

The thief took advantage of the rain and broke in through the bamboo fence surrounding the girl’s hostel. Since, we all had gone to sleep, the hostel was eerily silent and the cherry on top was that there was no electricity in the area due to heavy rains. He broke the glass pan of the dorm window and removed one loose rod from it. To his luck, bed near the window was empty, which made it all the more easy for him to crawl inside.

Our dorm had double-decker beds and since we were only eight of us left so we planned to sleep in pairs close by. The rolled bedrolls on these beds were giving all the more eerie look in the dark. The thief moved about in the hall looking out for things he could lay his hands on. Apparently what he was seeking was food. He came across a bed where there was a half-eaten packet of biscuit kept over a packed trunk along with a half-eaten packet of snacks. The thief settled himself down there and started savoring the leftover food. He then left a Rs.10 note near the empty packets as the bill perhaps.

He started to survey the room in darkness after finishing his so-called meal. He opened the door and kept it ajar so that it facilitates in his running away, if that’s the case. He started to have a feel of the girls sleeping. All of a sudden a sharp female voice rang in the long near-empty hall, shouting in assamese, “Nigoni dhorilu, nigoni dhorilu, muk kunubae mesh diya candel zolaboloe (I caught a rat, I caught a rat, give me a matchbox to light a candle)”.

I looked down as mine was the bed immediately above Plabita’s, the girls who shouted for match, and saw the thief caught somewhere in the mosquito net struggling to free his hands. In the meanwhile, Plabita got out of her delirium and in shock, she let go of his hands. She yelled again, “Thief, thief…” The thief got alarmed and ran away from the same route he had come from and we could not do anything except making a huge hue and cry.