Sid Talks

The Gentleman Burglar

Young Adults


That night Sid told mummy and dad he’d forgotten about a project he had to submit and was taking the night bus to Pune. Now it was solely my responsibility to counsel the distraught Uma. She was terror-stricken”. Just imagine, Shalu, if that wretch really sends the photos to my parents! What will they think? What explanation will I give? They’ve always cherished me and protected me from bad influences – and the first time I leave home I get entangled with a rogue. Their greatest sorrow will be that all their care and counselling has not resulted in my becoming a responsible adult. I’ve gone against all their cherished values and now I’m about to break their hearts.”

“Don’t be negative,” I said, “That guy can be stopped. Just psyche yourself that he won’t have the guts to send those pictures to your parents or imagine that a fire destroys his flat and the pictures too. You mustn’t give in to distress – your parents will become suspicious. Now go home, listen to your favourite music and have a good sleep. Make the dark rings around your eyes disappear.”

The next day Uma looked fresh and spoke about our coming graduation and our future plans. She wanted to do journalism and also become an author. Animatedly, she said, “Plots for novels keep occurring to me every night. I’ve kept a notebook under my pillow – otherwise by next morning I’ve forgotten what went through my mind!” Two days later Sid returned, Uma and I were under the trees and he was, as usual, flying from one tree to another. When Uma said, “I must go in for lunch”, a fairly heavy packet dropped onto her lap. She almost jumped out of her skin! We found no address or name on the packet but I saw a bold U in one corner. "where did this come from?" she asked, bewildered. we looked up - but there was no one there,"well, it dropped from heaven!" I laughed."And when that happens, it's best to open the gift at once". with trembling fingers she openend the packet and out all fell a whole bunch of photographs! Uma couldn't believe her eyes. "Oh, Shalu!" she cried, " there are the horrible pictures that rogue Manoj wanted to blackmail me with." She shamefacedly offered them to me but I shook my head, Wait here Uma," I said. Entering the kitchen by the back enterance, I returned with a box of matches. Our mali burnt the dry leaves that fell from the trees every day in a deep hit. I told Uma,"drop those pictures in this pit and we'll celebrate our own Holi - we'll burn and destroy evil." Only after the last photo turned to ashes did we leave. Uma was speechess - and puzzled as to her mysterious saviour. #come back tommorrow


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