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  • Writer's pictureKapil Pund

An Evening At A Police Station

“Dad, I lost my bag, it had my work laptop and some other stuff in it “, I said to my father while I almost burst into tears. My dad, disappointed but still trying to calm me down, said “Do not worry, you come home and we’ll pay your company for whatever you have lost” I also had to hear sarcastic comments about my habit of sleeping “like a dead person”. When I was 10 years old, I went to a school trip, slept in the bus and missed one of the sites the entire school saw! Yeah, that was me. Once I slept, even If a major war broke out next door or if there was an earthquake, I would not wake up. I still fall asleep very quickly but now, even if someone else is breathing heavily in the same room, that wakes me up now. Anyway, enough of my sleep habits, let me take you all to the first (and hopefully the last) time I visited a police station. I was travelling from Jaipur to Bhilwara in Rajasthan. It was 2014 and I was just out of college and you may want to say I was “Onsite”. OK please don’t! I had no work or life experiences as such. May be this was just the beginning of it. I left Jaipur in a Rajasthan state transport bus, fought with a giant man for a window seat and eventually lost because he did not care about the seat number printed on the ticket. But then I did the same with another old man and made him sit on my berth and I took his window seat! In the process I left my luggage on the overhead compartment of the opposite side of where I was sitting earlier, but it was fine, I had my eye on my luggage and the bus was moving so what was going to happen, right? Piece of advice – Never be so casual!

Diwali was some 15-20 days away; I was noting down things I was going to take home from Bhilwara and tell I brought them from Jaipur. There was nothing to look outside, plain arid lands with barely any trees and lots of dust. But for some reason I was enjoying it, I was happy. The journey went on hassle free until I was about to reach Bhilwara. The gentleman next to me told me that I had to get down on the second stop after the one we had just crossed. When that man boarded down on the next stop, I took a look at my luggage, it was still sitting there. The bus stopped at the next stop which was second last stop of the bus. The bus was heading to the depot after that. So almost everyone got down there, there was a lot of noise in the bus and when it all settled, I looked up and that was the moment I realized I was in deep shit. Both my bags were missing. More importantly, the laptop bag was missing! I jumped off my seat, looked around, looked down, found the bag in which I was carrying my clothes, looked 3-4 seats – no traces of the laptop bag. NO LAPTOP! I had just started to panic. An old woman sitting there pointed me to a backpack, I picked it up. Until then the bus driver had had enough, he asked me to get down, he had waited patiently. Not his fault though. I would have done the same. I got down. My male ego does not want me to admit this, but I was crying.

BHAGAT approached me as soon as I got down the bus. He was an auto driver. He managed to beat others in reaching me. He asked me if I wanted to take an auto a.k.a tuktuk. I, on the other hand started crying and telling him someone stole my laptop and how big a deal that was. It was Bhagat who asked me to go to the police station, so I asked him to take me there. I was absolutely hopeless at the moment and knew such things once lost are lost forever and Rajasthan Police are not going to help me find my bag at 6.30 PM. This is when I made the call to my father and told him what had happened. As we inched towards the police station, I started imagining what kind of Diwali will it be, I won’t be able to buy anything for my parents as I will now have to pay for the office belongings that I had lost. Anyway, we reached the Police station. Upon reaching there, I realized it was more of a police outpost than a proper police station. A single cabin with 2 constables and an adjoining room for them to sleep in. They were in their pyjamas when we reached and they would not have wondered there was work coming their way at 7PM on fine Friday evening.

I told them everything that had happened and with folded hands asked them to help me. Never in my life had I felt so vulnerable. It was not only because I had lost the laptop but I knew this would have disappointed my parents – I was again irresponsible for my stuff and was not able to take care of my belongings like most of the times in my childhood. The constable was very nice to me. He calmed me down, I gave him the other bag I had found in the bus. They opened it, found some clothes, some visiting cards a voter card and some other documents. The name on the voter I-card was Bhoore Lal. Among the pile of visiting cards, the policemen found one card with a Bhilwara address on it. So, they phoned the local business owner and asked them about Bhoore Lal. Maybe the man on the other side panicked too, and said he did not know any Bhoore Lal. But then, Mr. Singham there asked him “nicely” and he gave a phone number. Voila, I was seeing some hope now, and my respect for RJ police had no bounds. I mean who does that. MH police would have schooled me for being careless and sent me home. Forget about MH police helping a Rajasthani man stuck in a similar situation in a tier 3 town in Maharashtra. So, when the police called Sir Bhoore Lal, he said he is at a wedding. Police again asked him “nicely” to come report to the outpost asap. They also asked him if he wanted to be picked up from wherever he was. Again, very “nicely”. He said he will reach in 20-30 minutes. So now all we had to do was wait. I had my fingers crossed. I came out of the cabin and sat on there on the bench. Bhagat was still sitting there, I said to him “Sorry bhai, aapko wait karna pada, kitna hua?” - How much do I owe you for the auto ride? I will never forget what he said to me. He said,” Kya sir, abhi tak paise ke liye thode ruka hu… aapke liye ruka hu... Nam Bhagat hain mera kyuki hanuman ji ka Bhakt hu. bola tha aapko mil jayega bag aapko, abhi leke hi jayenge sath mein.” – Meaning he was a devotee of lord Hanuman and he was sure I will find my belongings and that he wait until this is all over. This was very overwhelming to be honest. He did not have to do this. People can be nice for no hidden reasons too, right?

His Majesty Bhoore Lal arrived in 45 minutes, a little drunk maybe, but full of confidence, so much so the first thing he did after entering the police station was to accuse me of stealing his bag. Obviously, that made more sense, right? Because a torn lungi in a dirty-ass bag must be more valuable than a laptop in 2014. By this time, the policemen had had enough. After all they were doing all this going out of their usual comfort zone. They asked Bhoore Lal to keep his mouth shut and hand over my bag to me. He did that, I validated everything, I had all my things inside. I thanked the police with all my heart. I also offered them some money which they refused. So, I left with Bhagat. It was already 9-9.30 by then, we stopped for dinner at a dhaba, that was the best dal tadka and Jeera rice I had ever tested or maybe I was just so relieved, I would have liked pineapple pizza too!

When I reached my hotel, I paid Bhagat 500 rupees more than what he asked for, which he reluctantly accepted. I had my laptop bag next to me on the bed that night and whenever I travel with a laptop now, I rarely sleep. The laptop bag is on my lap all the time and I definitely do not put the laptop bag on the overhead luggage compartments of the buses. I cannot believe I actually got the laptop back. Wish I had better phone with a front camera and we had selfie culture back then, I would have taken pictures with Bhagat, the policemen and honestly, with Bhoore Lal too. I left that job in 6 months and so many memories and experiences later. Never had an office laptop until recently (until covid kicked in).Every time my mom asks me to put my work laptop in the bag after I am done for the day, before doing that, I always and smile and say “Come on mom, I am not in bus, there is not going to be any Bhoore Lal here at our home 😊”

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4 Comments


Vinay Kale
Vinay Kale
Nov 24, 2021

How simply and beautifully you've recreated that day ... Keep It up Kapil

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Kapil Pund
Kapil Pund
Nov 24, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Vinay 😊

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vivek.skumar
Nov 23, 2021

What a memorable incident. You have written it very nicely. Keep going.

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Kapil Pund
Kapil Pund
Nov 23, 2021
Replying to

Thank you vivek :)

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