JP Uncle and the Aunt are on their after-dinner walk around the neighborhood.
The Uncle is swinging his arms vigorously left and right and up and down. He has read somewhere that it is good for blood circulation.
The Aunt, walking a little ahead, suddenly stops and The Uncle bangs into her. “Oho” he admonishes. “don’t do that.”
“Ssh,” she says pointing to 3 houses ahead, “isn’t that Joshi’s house? Look …. 2 men are climbing up the wall. Do you think they are robbers?”
JP Uncle squints ahead. “Hmm, it doesn’t look like Mrs Joshi. And Mr Joshi is too fat to even climb up the stairs let alone climb the garden wall! They must be robbers”, he concludes.
“What to do now?” asks the Aunt looking expectantly at him.
As if I am James Bond, thinks the Uncle. Aloud he says, “What can we do? It is that man’s own fault – roaming around in 3 or 4 fancy cars and his wife wearing ornaments from head to toe everyday. As if it is daily Diwali!”
The Aunt shakes her head. “Come come. We must do something. We cannot simply stand here.”
“Then, we will simply continue walking and….. okay okay but am I to do? You have fed me so much sambhar and curd rice. It is gurgling from my stomach all the way to the brain. Now I can hardly think or move fast.”
“Just imagine.” says the Aunt. “Tomorrow your photo might come in the newspaper – alert and quick-thinking citizen foils burglary attempt….”
Thus encouraged the Uncle hitched up his track pants and said “Let us call the police. No wait ….I have left my mobile phone at home. Come let us go back home fast.”
“Meanwhile, please remember all the details. When the police ask us what time and where we were when we saw the robbers we have to tell them exact second along with latitude and longitude.”
The Aunt nods and they both hurry homewards. Back home, the Aunt gets busy mobilising the neighbors while The Uncle tracks down his phone.
“Now let’s see….. what is the number for the police control room?”
“911.” promptly says Raghu. The Uncle wags his finger at him. “Too much Netflix and all uh! That number is not for India.”
Mr Deshpande from next door says, “112.”
Mishraji from the apartment in front says, “100.”
JP Uncle punches in the number and everyone waits.
“Ah hello. Police Station? I want to report a robbery in our area. Yes yes. It is happening now. What? Oh is it? But …. Ooookay.” He rings off and informs the waiting crowd.
“Constable on duty is waiting for Swiggy boy. He will come as soon as he finishes his dinner it seems.”
Mishraji says, “In the meanwhile, let us all proceed to the scene of crime and apprehend the bandits before they hotfoot it. We can then hand the police with a fait accompli.”
JP Uncle explains to the others “He means we should ourselves go and catch the thieves and hand them over to the police.”
“Good idea,” says Mr Deshpande. “I will bring my cricket bat.”
JP Uncle looks around and asks the aunt, “Bring me that stick with which you dry the clothes up on the line.”
“And I,” announces Mishraji, ‘will procure the chapathi roller from my better half.”
Thus armed the group hurries towards the Joshi residence. Lights are ablaze in the house and several interested neighbors are milling around outside.
“Have the robbers been caught? What is the situation?” asks The Uncle.
“Robbers? What robbers?” says one man in striped pajamas. ” Some income tax or CBI raid is going on here it seems.”
“Raid?” splutters The Uncle ” But I distinctly saw some men climbing up the garden wall – with my own eyes!”
“Correct correct” agrees the man. “It seems the gate was locked and the gatekeeper had gone to do 1 number. So the officers climbed up the wall!”
The Uncle looks at his wife and says, “Now surely there will be photo in the newspaper – of me climbing up the steps of the jail for calling the police unnecessarily!”
pic courtesy – Sudarshan Rao