Thief story

The view of the window from that night is printed in my memory…

This incident goes back to December 18, 2003 at 03:15. The picture above shows the windows of my room (my parents place in Mumbai.)

My bed is about 3 meters away from the window. I left windows open at night but there was a window grill that kept us safe (or so we thought.) I’m a light sleeper, and wake up even if a needle drops! That night, some strange sounds ruffled my sleep. There are many sounds at night and I dismissed this disturbance too. But my eyes opened for a split second, and I glanced at the window.

The sight gave me the shock of my life.

The metal grill on the window had disappeared! The window looked like a big hole in the wall.

[Now let me explain. The windows are fitted with metal grills that have 3 screws fastened into the wooden frame on two holding sides. It is easy to unscrew them, remove the grill and enter the house. I've done this myself once when I forgot the keys. ;-) And now someone had done just that!]

So, I heard some noises, woke up in the middle of the night, saw my window opened and found a stranger next to my bed. What the heck was going on?

The intruder peered over my mosquito curtain (मच्छरदाणी) to see if I was awake. I froze. I shut my eyes so hard that they almost came out from the other side of my head. Have you heard the phrase “..was so scared, could hear his heart beat” or “…was so shocked that he couldn’t speak”? Ha! I experienced it! The intruder then scanned my desk, but found only thick volumes of Coulson & Richardson’s Chemical Engineering, which were probably the most expensive items in our house, but he didn’t know. He then went to the bedroom, where mom was asleep, via living room. I heard a familiar noise of the cupboard being opened.

After I told my heart to stop pounding and stop getting scared over an intruder, I started thinking (still lying in bed.) I had seen a wooden stick lying around and I got up and grabbed it. Probably useless since I couldn’t physically challenge that guy who was armed with god knows what. …He peered over the mosquito curtain to see if I was awake. I froze. I shut my eyes so hard that they almost came out from the other side of my hea…I went to the living room and opened the door of our apartment. It’s noiseless, and I can be quiet as a cat. I rang the neighbors’ doorbell. The lady (काकू) yelled from inside – “Who the hell is at the door at this hour?” (अीतक्या रात्री-अपरात्री कोण अालंय?) If I spoke, the thief would hear. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t get help. So I said, “its Priyank.”

thudd… thump… I heard noises from the bedroom, the thief probably heard me. Now I knew he would emerge from my parent’s bedroom, enter the living room, go to my room and escape from the window. Armed with a stick, I came back into the living room too. I saw him. Something mysterious got over me then. I screamed and hit him. With a force I never experienced ever, I hit his forearm.

The stick broke into two, the thief let out a frightening painful cry, but still somehow escaped, empty handed.

By now, mom woke up, the neighbors arrived, and then the usual stuff…

: : :
Last night I casually glanced at the window and this whole incident flashed in front of my eyes. Pretty interesting, huh! ;-)

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37 thoughts on “Thief story

  1. thats quite scary …we often think we live in a secure world and see how insecure our homes are..great presence of mind, Priyank..I would have probably screamed

    • Tinkle :P All I remember from that is Suppandi comic :)
      Further we informed the police. I don’t have to tell what they did (rather did not do!). We welded safety strips on our window grills :)

  2. Priyank,

    Hope everyone at home is fine.

    For a second i thought it was in your dream. Thefts were often in our side of town, but had reduced to a great extent. Should i say were reduced to great extent.

    I think you did a right thing.

    A lesson learned a hard way. Grills are secured, you can sleep in peace.

  3. scary experience indeed! i would have screamed at the sight of a stranger lurking at night… it’s a scary world outside, not safe. happy to know no one was injured or harmed at least :)

    • I don’t know if they did! According to the police there were many ‘new’ people in the neighborhood and they were tracking their movements. But this was just one isolated case, nothing ever happened again…!

  4. OMG that is crazy, I think that would happen to my eyes too, lol. I loved your story telling stuff, glad that turn out all to be good! Anna :)

  5. @ Priyank : You know once a place has been violated and someone has entered it like you mention it becomes really difficult. I would have trouble sleeping there again. Well at least you managed to take a swipe at the guy. It is kind of sad that people have to resort to breaking in to make their ends meet. I hope you do not sleep in the nude :p

    • I agree Odzer, had there been any kind of loss, I would have hesitated to sleep in my room too. I find that most people who resort to breaking-in or robbery don’t have the balls to put in some hard work. Plus we are a society where ‘easy money’ has overwhelming acceptance. People are also lazy. Especially most beggars.

  6. scary!!!..
    i am in constant fear that some intruder might get in our house at night..and at times cant even sleep a wink due to noises!!….on top of that my hubby is so careless that forgets to lock the main door after coming quite a few times…so am like constantly checking in at night to see if everything is okay…and i get nightamers..very relistic ones that someon has got inside our house and is about to bludgen me with a club… your incident..had it happened to me would have been my worst nightmare come true…
    and u are very brave!!!

    • SS: I hear you. After this incident, I get countless dreams and I am very nervous. One night I had this hunch that the back door is open and I thought its just an idle thought, but it kept on reoccuring until I just had to go and check. The back door of our house was indeed ajar. Very scary.

  7. Captivating post. I felt violated when someone broke into my car, I can’t really imagine how I’d feel if it happened in my house.

    That strength…survival instinct. It’s amazing what becomes of us when it kicks in.

  8. ah I remember this story.
    I know u had drawn a blueprint style sketch of the whole incident… good one though.I hope the thief went online to ur blog & re-traced his steps to make a better attempt next time :P

    haa…Not everyone is poised by efficiency these days…hehe!!

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