One Strange Evening at Sadar Bazaar

The narrow streets of ‘Sadar Bazar’ can change any normal person’s life. Be careful! Look up, look down else the ‘jhilliwalas’ will bang your head hard. Beware from pickpockets else you will be on your last leg. From a small pin to automobile spare parts, you can find everything in this market. But I, discovered something unusual,  a breathtaking experience.

After a hectic day in the market, I made myself comfortable in my compact car; thought of switching on the air conditioner but the pleasant wind was much more relaxing. Started my car, took a long deep breath and opened my eyes. Before me, it was a long queue of cars. Everyone was desperate to accelerate as much as possible. Slowly and steadily the traffic began to move.  It seemed to me as if pedestrians were running as fast as possible and teasing the drivers  “look! We are superior today! “But my compact car was stealthily crawling on the road, a sigh of relief. A few minutes later I noticed an unpleasant sound. I placed my carry bag on the passenger seat and turned back to see what was going on. A small boy, around 9-10 years old, wearing a pale pair of shorts and a half torn shirt. He was whacking my car with a five rupee coin. I thought of bawling at him but the innocence in his eyes changed my mind.  I politely said to him “Hey! Don’t do that kid!” My car accelerated for a few seconds and two minutes later I noticed the same voice, banging at my car continuously, maybe he was a beggar and it was a new panache of begging, I guessed. I took out my wallet and gave him a ten rupee note.  A ten rupee note was like a jackpot for a beggar, but it was his innocence which forced me to give it to him. I went back to my car and drove It a few meters with the lowest possible velocity.

That boy still followed me and began to whack again. Now he was testing my patience. I pulled up the window pane of my car, went to that boy and asked him in an angry tone “What do you want?” but he gave no response. A blank expression on an innocent face, till the time a big crowd of people gathered, eager to know what was going on.  Among them, one gentleman said to me “Sir, we will handle him, he seems to be a mad boy, you can go”. Thankfully, a superman to rescue! I sat in my car and hurried off, enjoying the pleasant wind. They held that boy and hopefully would have left him but after a few minutes, the same whacking voice blasted my ear curtain. This time I took that boy a few meters away from my car and held his hand tightly and scolded him as much as possible. He caught the attention of the people passing by and a huge crowd gathered on the road. They were enjoying the drama. After a few seconds, that boy ran away as fast as possible, making me astonished and a bit relaxed. But finally, I got rid of him.  I proudly walked back to my car, like a hero who saved the heroine from the villain. But it wasn’t the end of it, in fact, the beginning of a nightmare. I found my bag missing from the passenger seat. I was fooled by the gang of few small children, one caught the attention of the people while the other was catching his hands in the cookie jar and was successful in it. I turned back to find that boy but found no trace of him. I was on the ace of losing my hard earned money. It was not an issue of a few thousand, but the small payment slips worth lacks. I was at my sixes and seven, confused what to do. A small little boy could set everyone by ears, it was surprising. “Finding the bag is hoping against hope”, someone said from the crowd. “Try to find the bag in a dustbin, they might throw them in there”, someone gave this golden advice. I called my local friends and decided to turn our hands on this advice. Every single dustbin was to be searched and I did not give a second thought to it. The foul smell of the dustbins was unnoticed and had the flavour of my stolen hard work. I strained every nerve but could not find my stolen fortune. Then came a call of an “irresponsible” citizen of Delhi thankfully! ‘Irresponsible’ , else he would have called the police when he saw an unknown bag under his car. I went to that person and in no time I was having my bag and finally, I could sleep properly that night with my heart at peace.

This incident charged up the uncanny “innocence” that officially attracts the soft hearted like me to foolishly give in to the malicious plans of these young wizards of mind.  Sweet and dazzle eyed they seem yet have proofed plans to mature their sport precariously winning through the ‘innocent’ tactic!

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