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.......And Why is It So?

by Geetashree Chatterjee
(New Delhi)

The Metro was jam packed as usual. It was the evening rush hour. Wasn’t it more exciting to get back home after a day’s hard work! The doors slid open. I inched my way in and balanced myself between rows and rows of human bodies. A surge of bodily warmth enveloped me. The interiors were cosy in winter and equally uncomfortable in summer. The doors closed. The tube spurred into action. Smoothly skating on the metallic tracks it steadily gained speed.


It was the same every day. The scene hardly changed at the Metro. The jostling crowd, the drone of voices interlaced with strains of laughter, subdued chatter, a sudden surprised exclamation, sometime a high pitched giggle or a loud, angry retort breaking the monotony. Nothing more and nothing less to make the journey different than the usual. Nonetheless the ordinariness, the anonymity, the daily affirmation that I was one of the countless, nameless labouring million lumbering home after a day’s exhausting toil were an intrinsic part of my comfort zone.

A slight tug at my bag! I turned back. A dark, plain faced girl right behind me quickly looked away. I dismissed her as harmless.

I change the Metro twice – once at Central Secretariat and next at Kashmere Gate. While de-boarding at Kashmere Gate junction, as aroutine practice, I checked my bag.My mobile was not there.

I was very sure that I had kept it in the front pocket of my bag. Oh! That soft pull! That must be it! The girl with the shifty eyes! That was why she must have quickly turned her face away. But the pocket was well zipped. Well, the pickpockets were known for a neat job. Weren’t they? If only I had checked my bag that very moment. I would have known, raised an alarm, cornered her and got back my mobile.

Re-boarding again at the overhead station, I remembered another incident when I had forgotten my mobile in office. A helpful co-passenger had lent me hers to make a call to my peon. Next day I had retrieved it from his custody. Was there a remote chance that today also I had left the mobile on my table? The thought made me uneasy. I was so sure that I had carried it in my bag.

Nevertheless, there was no harm in checking. I scanned the crowd for a friendly face. There were none. Hesitantly I asked the young girl beside me to let me make a call from her mobile. To my relief, she agreed.

Was it panic or over-dependence on machine? I could not remember a single number which could prove useful. It took a few moments to collect myself and dial the Security. Soon, I was shooting instructions to them to go search my room.

On returning home, the first message that I received was of my mobile.

It was safe with the Guard.

But something still bothered me.

A plump girl with poke marks and unsure gaze…
And the shameful burden of an unreasonable distrust of an innocent co-commuter.

The end

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Feb 01, 2012
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Your article
by: Sneha

How easily we trust and mistrust in life. A sensitive piece.

Feb 01, 2012
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why is it so?
by: vimala ramu

A well narrated episode.It does happen to all of us,Geeta.The first suspects are the socially lower rung.Your tight style of narration makes it very gripping.

Feb 07, 2012
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Lucky...
by: Lakshmi

Such pickpocketing is quite common in busy cities. Here, you're however, lucky not to lose your mobile. But in my case, somewhat similar situation, I had lost my mobile in an unpredicted way.

Feb 08, 2012
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Yes Sneha...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Mistrust is a bothersome emotion. It raises many a question. Are we drifting away from our fellow human beings? Is one such question. Have we stopped having the intrinsic faith that we ought to have for each other? Is the second one.

Hope to find the answer soon...

Feb 08, 2012
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Thank you Vimala...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

She did not belong to the lower rung. She was an ordinary traveller just like me. Suspicion always finds its way irrespective of class, creed, colour...I think its a social disease of this generation.

Feb 08, 2012
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Great to find you here Lakshmi..
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Yes, I was lucky I suppose. Incidents of pickpocketing in crowded places is very common. Sorry to hear about your loss. We have something to learn from each experience that we go through.

Feb 09, 2012
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We've grown-up that way
by: Anonymous

Geeta Ji,

Namaskar and Suprabhat.

The thing written by you is a harsh truth of our lives. Unfortunately we've grown-up that way. An innocent child trusts anybody and everybody but when he is betrayed time and again, he loses his innocence and become distrustful while growing-up with time. It's painful and leads to such shameful things in day-to-day life.

What you realized at the end is quite true but now please think of yourself as an innocent child that existed decades back and the pain that she might have suffered due to be being betrayed for the countless number of times. It's that pain Geeta Ji that has gone into that momentary distrust.

I empathize with the protagonist (yourself) because the same happens with me time and again with the several betrayals done to me lying in deep in my subconscious as the foundation of such mindset.

Regards.

Jitendra Mathur

Feb 10, 2012
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Mathur Sahab! Namaskar!
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thank you for the incisive analysis of the psychological aspect. I have never thought it that way so thanks again for giving me a new angle to think over. However, when the incident happened the first thought that came to my mind was erosion of faith in fellow human beings. I had read somewhere that it is better to repose trust and be betrayed than not to have trust at all.

Thanks for taking out time and reading this piece.

Regards

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