I suspect most of you already know about this, but it is still something that happened only yesterday, and it is still something that makes quite a dent in my world, and so I have to tell you about it.
My office is in a building with two entrances, and people keep walking in and out of everywhere. We get all sorts of characters knocking at our door – from salesmen and vendors and chaiwallahs to old and disabled people seeking aid and corporate do-gooders wanting us to participate in saving the world. Sometimes, we buy tea or dosa or peace of mind or whatever it is that they’re selling. Sometimes we chip in or somebody redirects them and helps them get closer to whatever it is that they’re seeking. And sometimes, we just tell them to go away.
So yesterday, a scruffy looking man walked in with a bunch of papers that said he was ‘deaf and dump’ and that he had children studying in various schools or brothers dying of various diseases or something of the sort that I don’t really remember anymore. He wanted donations, and nobody wanted to give him anything. So I thought I ought to, just in case he actually was deaf and dumb and had sons or brothers in trouble of any sort. So I pulled out my wallet and he put his papers on my desk and gave me a list of names of people who had given him money and the amount that they’d given. One or two people had given him a 100 bucks or more, but most had given 10 or 20. I was going to do a 20 myself, but then I thought about the rickshaw price hikes and how much it costs to get to anywhere now, and I thought that 20 bucks wouldn’t get him a decent rick ride. I thought 30 would take him slightly further, so I put my name down for 30 bucks and gave him the money. My reasoning is vague, but that is not the point of this story.
The guy took the money, made a huge show of taking all his papers, and left. Five minutes later, I looked down at my desk and realized that he’d taken my phone, too.
We tried calling it but it rang once and then got switched off. We ran out and checked in the other offices and asked the watchman and the landlord and the drunkards who play cards by the back entrance, but nobody else had seen him, and my phone was really and truly and irretrievably gone.
The things is, Zonk, this was no regular phone. This was my iPhone. And I loved it. I’ve owned a series of shitphones since I was 16, and I’d only last month upgraded to a smart, and it really did change my life a little. I had a torch app on it that used to let me take a shortcut out of the building on my way home everyday, because it lit up the alley and scared away rats and I didn’t have to be jumpy enough to have to take the long way instead. It had a violin tuner that I’d not even gotten around to using yet, and it measured the amount of exercise I got on the one day that Ila and I went running. We’d planned to do more days, too. I’d read an entire book on it on my bus rides home, and it let me make Evernotes about any idea I had for a drawing or any string of words that could maybe go in a song someday. It had so much to read from all over the internet and all in one place on my Flipboard and in my Pocket and it had my first ever game that I got addicted to, and I must only have played it 20 times before it got stolen. And it had Whatsapp! And it’s only been one day since I lost my phone and I already miss Whatsapp so fucking much!
I can’t believe someone would actually steal my phone from right under my nose, from inside my own office. You can tell by looking at it that it must be expensive, and you can tell from looking inside my wallet that I cannot comfortably afford it. My wallet, which you get a good look at when I take it out to give you money that you haven’t earned and don’t even fucking deserve. All because I think that maybe, just maybe, you actually are disabled and helpless in trouble and the rickshaw rates have gone up.
I mean, fuck you. Even I’m not naive enough to believe that all the guys who claim to be deaf and dumb are actually deaf and dumb. It was just the combination of the fact that he could be handicapped, and his brother could actually be sick, and nobody gave him over 20 bucks, and the rickshaw rates have gone up. In retrospect, I don’t know what I was thinking. The poor don’t take ricks in this city. Not anymore. They take buses. I ought to know because I will have to be joining their ranks soon myself.
So, I got conned. By a man who might or might not be deaf and dumb, and who is a fucking prick regardless. I cannot believe somebody would actually do that. And I wish I’d believed it before it happened, because then maybe I’d have activated my Find Your iPhone app more carefully while I still had my iPhone, and maybe I’d have managed to trace it by now. Because I don’t think the cops really care about tracing it. And I went to the cop station and saw all the stuff they had to deal with, and honestly, I can’t even blame them.
I really miss my phone, Zonk. It was my first ever smartphone and it was clearly the best that a phone could be, and it’s ruined me. I know now that I’d rather have a regular phone with Whatsapp and a qwerty than some other touch device. I guess I’ll just keep paying for this iPhone, and once I’m done with all the installments, I’ll figure out another second hand one as nice as the one that I lost.
I woke up today morning feeling quite bereaved and honestly, I am in mourning. I will wear giant tshirts for the rest of the week and listen to sad songs on my way to and from work.
The giant tshirts may confuse you, but secretly, they comfort me when I’m sad and they are my own private way of protest. Protest that makes no dent in the Universe at all, I know, but for whatever it’s worth, I’ll wear my large tshirts anyway.
And I will not talk to strangers or give them any money. And neither should you. Ever again. Because the Universe is an unfair place and the world is full of cunts.
PS: I hate you, iPhone thief.