Originally Posted On: 22 November 2012
Last weekend, I was back in Bangalore, back at the Write Club attending a Story #Hack competition organized by Campus Dairies. The theme was “Impulse”. Here is my try:
Kleptomania is the inability to refrain from the urge to steal items for reasons other than personal use or financial gain.
It was the beginning of the day like any other. Ramu was up early and attending to the task of offloading the supply truck. Hundreds of boxes of all shapes and sizes containing computers and its accessories were delivered to the Saukar Babu’s store everyday. Ramu’s job was to carry all the boxes to the godown, go through the inventory and sign off the shipment. It was a job with responsibility and Ramu had earned it. Ramu was about to lock up and move on to his next task when he felt searing pain in his head and heard his inner voice whisper..
“Go on steal one of the boxes… No one will notice…”.
— — —
Ramu was manning the front desk of the store. The business was thin. The headache was gone. It had been happening to Ramu for a while now. He could clearly remember the day it first happened. Ramu, as usual, had gone to pick up ten boxes of brand new Sandisk Flash Drives from neighboring Hameed Bhai’s store. Hammed Bhai had place the ten boxes in front of him. Hammed Bhai had not counted it yet. He was busy making a huge profit with an unwary customer. He suddenly tensed and he could hear his inner voice turn malicious
“No. I can’t. I had enough trouble the last at the other shop”, Ramu replied.
“Hameed or Saukar do not know about that. There is no risk”
“But, Saukar has warned not to steal from Hammed Bhai”
He had come back with twelve Sandisk Flash Drives even though Saukar had gifted him one just last week.
— — —
Saukar Babu could see the distant look in Ramu’s eyes. He had seen it many times. But Babu didn’t care. The kid was a good investment. The kid’s meals and the room he paid for had made him a millionare. He had the biggest and busiest computer shop in all of SP Road and maybe in Bangalore. Babu had noticed the kid had a knack for stealing. All street kids do. But Ramu was exceptional. Babu had used this to his advantage. He had hatched a plan to eliminate two of his competitors. The items from one of his competitor’s shop started showing up in the other. Soon they were down each other’s throats and had ended nastily. It was all fun for the kid.
Recently Babu had given the kid a computer and a flash drive. The kid had teared up, confirming kid’s loyalty to himself.
— — —
Ramu opened the latch of his old, battered trunk. He removed all his clothes revealing stacks of dust covered, unopened boxes of various brands of flash drives. Not all that Ramu stole for Saukar made it to the places they were meant to go. Ramu added one more to his collection and sighed. He didn’t know what to do with them. He could not return it back to their owner. He didn’t even know who were the owners as they were many. Infact, he might have stolen from almost every shop in the street.
“You are pathetic!”, said his inner voice.
“Shut Up! You are the reason for all this. I can’t stop the urge, the impulse to steal when you are around. I want to steal from myself now!”, Ramu shouted out load.
“You didn’t seem to complain my presence a few years ago”, sneered the voice.
“It was fun back then. I could not comprehend the consequences. Now, I realize it resulted in two deaths!”, Ramu shuddered.
The voice was silent.
— — —
It was a hot afternoon. Babu was standing in the middle of godown sweating profusely. The place was completely ransacked. Ramu was standing beside him in disbelief. Babu, in his head, was narrowing down the list of people who could have done this. He knew all the big players in the computer Mafia. He was one of them. Only a few dared to pull off something like this. He stormed off in a rage — to act on impulse.
— — —
Ramu was sitting in a truck. His long time friend, the delivery guy, was behind the wheel. Ramu knew Saukar would be in his favorite drink hole or will be dead. Ramu didn’t care. Saukar had used him and made him do things which had given raise to his voice. He was off to a new place to start a new life. The trunk contained half of the boxes from Saukar’s godown which the delivery guy and himself had taken before they ransacked the place. This was his ticket to success. He will soon do big things, will have his own store…
“And, steal more”, smiled the voice.