Request For A Robbery


Once upon a time being raided by the Income Tax authorities was seen as a status symbol….writes Bikram Vohra

Wives wept in frustration because their husbands failed to make the grade. You cannot get an itty bitty, teeny weeny mini-raid, why did I marry you, what will people think, that we have nothing, even our neighbours got raided and they have been insufferable since then.

I am told the new thing is to be robbed. Then you can dine out for a month and say stuff like bless the lord, the heavy jewellery was in the locker (you have heavy jewellery).

And I was thinking if a robber lost his way and fetched up at our place the dogs would wag their tails and let him in and show him around till I sort of woke up and said, who are you, what are you doing in my house?

I am a chess player and I’ve come to play a match with you, why does everyone ask stupid questions, what do you think I am, I am a robber and I have come to rob you of your money and that’s what I was looking for when you disturbed me.

Can I join you and then we can look together, I’d say, with hope bringing a spring to my voice.

Okay, he’d reply, if it’s that bad forget the money, how about the jewellery.

At which point my wife who is expert at making entrances at the wrong moment would walk in and say, what jewellery, he hasn’t bought me a thing in ten years, other husbands buy their wives gold and diamonds, he hasn’t got me even tiny dust drops…

The robber would look at me with liquid disgust.

Not just that, I had to get my set of bangles melted and remade into a ‘kara’.

No, says the robber, that’s terrible, shame on you (last observation directed at me).

We do have two Husseins, I’d say, trying to retrieve lost ground, I mean a man has to maintain his self respect.

That’s better, the robber would say, not a totally wasted evening, where are they?

He’s bluffing, my wife would answer, they are prints, not even limited editions, we got them as a gift from someone, they are worth hundred bucks each, you can get them at Art World, you know where Art World is, well if you go straight towards South Ex and then take a right after the bridge, no, no, it’s easier to go right up to Def Col, then take a U turn… what’s wrong?

The robber has by now collapsed in a chair and is sobbing wildly. I am going, he’d say, I cannot stand this anymore.

But you can’t, I’d yell, take something otherwise how will we dine out for a month?