It was February. I was just settling and adjusting to my new routine and life and work in Mumbai.
It was then that something rather shocking took place in my life.
It was a Saturday and I had gone out with a friend. When I came back to my PG, my roommate Richa Singh and I found a girl called Aarti Yadav in our PG.
The first sight of her was err.. not so pleasant for me. She didn't seem to be the normal village belle. She wore crazy clothes and told us she had come to Mumbai to make a career in Acting and Bollywood and said she needed to stay with us for a week or so. She said she hailed from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
She claimed to be a friend of my roomie's and that's how she had supposedly gotten the address of our PG. Now Remember our "Crazy old Aunty" the owner of our PG who acted in films? She agreed to keep Miss Aarti for a week in a jiffy.
Me and Richa disapproved because we thought she wasn't a pleasant girl to stay with, but we didn't say much because we felt it was a question of just a week or so.
On Monday, while I was at work, I got a call from Richa. She and Aarti Yadav had landed themselves into quite a fight, the reason being Aarti's clumsiness and uncleaniless which Richa had pointed out.
Now Aarti Yadav showed her true colours during the fight and swore a lot and mouthed a lot of filthy bad words at Richa which no right woman in her senses can speak, no matter how angry she is. Richa ended up slapping her which made Aarti twisted Richa's fingers and scratch her arms with her nails. My, my what a catfight it was! The entire show was watched upon and enjoyed sadistically by Aunty who did not intervene even once but laughed as they fought. Seriously!
That evening, when all three of us were in the same room, I did my level best to keep Aarti and Richa away from each other. I needed peace for God's Sake. They threw each other's belongings around the house in the evening and yelled a bit at each other in front of me too.
The key to the cupboard where me and Richa kept our clothes and belongings was also missing and we searched a lot, but couldn't find it. Richa was sure Aarti had taken the keys just to trouble us, but I wasn't so sure of accusing her of something like this.
Aarti was sweet to me and tried to gossip about Richa to me. I listened politely to her, just nodding in agreement so that I could sleep in peace after a hectic day at work. Richa was fuming in anger and paced around the house like a wounded cat. Personally, I knew Richa was right and Aarti was wrong but I just decided to speak to both of them the next day. I was just too tired.
The next morning, both of them were sleeping peacefully as I left the house for work. I kept some of my important belongings in the wooden shelves since the key to the cupboard was missing.
Around noon, I got a call from Richa, who told me that Aunty had asked Aarti to leave because she was disturbing the house environment and she had suddenly disappeared in the blue without informing anyone.
I smelled something fishy. As soon as I finished my work and returned home, I hurriedly climbed the stairs to reach my PG. Outside the door of the flat, I found my clothes askew and thrown everywhere. Shocked, I picked my clothes and headed towards our room,
Something in me told me that there was something which wasn't right. Aarti and her belongings were no where to be seen.
Immediately, I checked the wooden shelves in the room. The shelf where I kept my laptop and charger was empty!
My stomach churned. My laptop was gone! Vanished into thin air?!! Probably not! I was now sure that Aarti Yadav had stolen it! Phew! Richa was right. The girl must've stolen the cupboard keys too. So much for trusting the goodness in people!
I was burning with rage! I just didn't know what to do. It wasn't just a laptop. It had all the important data and videos I had stored related to my work and study. It was much much precious than any money for me.
I was trembling with shock and rage and fear. Tears welled up in my eyes. Trust me it was one of the worst moments in my life. I called Aarti who didn't pick my phone. I messaged her asking her to return my laptop. I called Richa and told her what had happened. She urged me to go to the police . She was stuck at work and said she would join me later. She urged me not to delay. I called my mother and narrated everything to her. She was immediately worried and asked me to calm down and report to the police if possible. She asked for Aarti Yadav's number and said she would try calling her in the meanwhile.
I gulped down some water and decided to not be emotional about the entire thing. I had never been to a police station in my life to file a complaint, that too alone .
I thought for 10-15 mins, debated what to do. I remembered the people who told me going to the police is a no no in our society. Finally, I mustered some courage and decided that come what may, I will not let the woman run off with my laptop and not do anything about it. I "had to" do something. I had done nothing wrong and I couldn't let the culprit go away so easily. I remembered that my parents had always taught me to fight for the right cause.
I set off alone to the Vile Parle East police station to file a complaint. I was nervous, hesitant, afraid, still in shock but still determined to go there and so I went.
P.S. The owner of the house- 'Aunty' who should have accompanied me to the police station feigned ignorance and didn't come along with me.
That's all for now folks. Will let you all know what happened next in the next part of the series.
Dream. Imagine. Be Crazy. Be You.
Read Part 1 of the series in case you missed it- http://www.manasiwrites.com/2015/08/mumbai-diaries-part-1.html