He looked at the bruises covering his body and sighed, a slight moan escaping his dry lips, as he limped his way along the deserted sidewalk. He would never have imagined that such a simple activity like walking could feel so tiresome if it weren’t for today. He carried on, albeit slowly, dragging his right leg as he stepped on with his left, grunting every now and then when it got too tedious
Wiping the perspiration on his forehead with his right sleeve, he noticed how grimy and torn it was, and shook his downcast head thinking about the days’ proceedings. He couldn’t believe how bad his luck had been today starting from the very moment he had seen the morning sun. “I should have heeded the warning and stayed inside”, he chastised himself as he thought of the black cat that had crossed his path.
He stumbled a little, grabbed a lamp post for support, and then carried on. Head still downcast he remembered how all his efforts had gone in vain today starting with the lady at the bus stop. He had followed her for a long distance and waited with her at the bus stop for the next bus, when he would snatch her purse and be gone. But as he saw the bus approaching, and hence his chance, a man came on his bike and she went with him, laughing it seemed on his lady luck.
Disappointed a little at the wasted time he ventured towards the temple where he was sure to get some careless victim. Soon enough he saw a college girl absorbed in her mobile phone unaware of the surroundings. What appealed to him most, however, was the thick gold chain she was wearing. He casually walked closer towards her waiting for the right moment and when he saw that the coast was clear he grabbed at her chain and sprinted away. She shouted for help and even followed him some distance but he was quick enough on his feet and easily eluded her. Turning a corner he stopped in a dark alleyway, panting for breath and took a look at the chain in his grip. Lo! It was fake and he flung it away in anger, cursing the girl for wearing it when she looked as if she could afford real gold.
After catching his breath he decided to go to the market in search for his next victim. He saw a man buying roses on the sidewalk, most probably for a female aquaintance, and putting his wallet in the back pocket of his jeans. It didn’t go in all the way though and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. He took a deep breath and then applied his skills to take the wallet out. As soon as he laid his hands on the wallet the man got wind of it and grabbed his hand. He acted quickly and jerked the hand away and started running at full speed. The man followed as he shouted for help from the passers by and soon there was a crowd following him. As luck would have it he stumbled on a brick unable to keep his balance. As he fell on the street he felt the first fist land on his back and then another followed. Soon he was being beaten black and blue and somebody snatched the wallet from his hands. He begged for pardon, crying helplessly and finally they took mercy upon him and let him go after a warning.
And so here he was now, at this hour of the night, full of bruises but without any money. He cursed his luck under his breath and prodded on, puffing on his recently lit bidi. Seeing a glint in the middle of the road, he went to explore what looked like a wallet from the distance. Overjoyed to see it he exclaimed, “Finally my lady luck is happy with me! “,and walked over to pick it up and felt its weight in his hands. It felt nice and heavy and curious to see the contents he opened it up and was elated to find a wad of hundred rupee notes inside. Before he could count how many there were the photograph in the side pocket caught his eye and to his dismay he saw that it was of the local Thanedar. At that moment he saw a man coming this way searching the grounds as if looking for something. His heart skipped a beat when he recognized the Thanedar, obviously looking for his wallet. Frightened, he dropped the wallet back on the ground and hopped to the nearby tree hiding behind its back, eager to be out of the way as quickly as possible. He thanked God for the narrow escape as the policeman picked up his wallet, and satisfied of its contents, went his way. If the policeman had seen him with his wallet he would surely have been arrested, not to mention, beaten badly.
“Well, looks like today is my day after all”, muttered the guy as he hobbled on, thinking about his narrow escape from the Thanedar, “but tomorrow is another day, a fresh beginning”. Resolving to do better tomorrow, a smile came to his lips for the first time as he thought of retiring to the comfort of his bed early today.