Midnight Trials: The Streets of Bengaluru!

Midnight Trials: The Streets of Bengaluru!

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5 min read

The weekends in Bengaluru hold special attention for its bustling ambiance. But, for Chitra and her friend Rajat, that particular Saturday was far from ordinary.

Amidst the continuing toothache, she attempted to schedule a dentist appointment for the following day. The dentist, well known for his craft, had contemplated taking the day off. Consequently, Chitra had to visit him that very day.

The Dental Consultation

Even though the appointment was initially scheduled for the afternoon, it was continuously delayed until 10:30 PM, eventually securing the slot. After half an hour at the dentist’s chamber, the consultation was over.

She preferred walking back home with Rajat instead of picking up a cab for the relatively shorter distance to the home. As the clock ticked towards 11 PM, the streets remained lively, a testament to Bengaluru's vibrant nightlife.

A Moment of Disbelief

Meanwhile, Rajat was engrossed in a conversation on his mobile with his friend to let go of his leisure time during the walk.

Suddenly from nowhere, a man in a sharp suit, accompanied by a quirky partner, moved past them, seizing his phone in a flash. The abruptness of the snatch jolted them both.

Under the sudden shock of the moment, Chitra had a tough time for the initial few seconds to fathom the graveness of the situation.

Rajat’s instinct kicked in and he pursued the thief without further ado, while the girl’s painful voice echoed through the emptying street, but unfortunately, the passersby remained frozen.

It wasn't until a stranger on a motorcycle stopped to help did a spark of hope appeared before Chitra. Somehow, under the stranger's reluctance to join hands, the thief’s pace was unmatched.

The Battle Continues…

With a heavy heart, they turned to the nearby police station, hoping for a quick resolution. The exhausted officers, drowning in a sea of cases, were unwilling even to hear mobile snatching as a matter of precedence.

On top of it, ironically, they were accused of being non-native residents of the state, citing the rapid increase in outsider footfalls as a significant factor contributing to the rise in incidents such as snatching and other criminal activities.

Anyone with a sane mind could hardly register this utter nuisance just passed on by a serving on-duty officer. The indifference of the officers was disheartening but not entirely surprising keeping in mind the declining trust in the cops.

Chitra, adamant to put her guards down, went further to push the officials to have a look at the CCTV footage of that area. Just to be surprised at their lethargic attitude, they offered the excuse to wait till the morning shift, as the IT person was away from the station at that point.

Like, what was the point of all the expensive setup with the exchequer’s money for public surveillance!

Upon raising the concerns of the potential mishandling of the highly sensitive data present inside the smartphone by the miscreants, the cops had a rough attitude with an underlying shallow assumption that none of that sort would happen, rather just a few bucks the thieves were interested in the exchange of the item! Ignorance at its peak!

Somehow, after multiple requests, a formal FIR was registered & a police van was summoned to the incident spot ferrying the duo.

The gathering crowd admitted they had witnessed the incident but chose not to intervene & not even the cops had the willpower to alert their patrolling parties to take relevant actions to block the biker at the check posts before it was too late.

A random scrolling across Twitter would throw you similar experiences from other residents of the city:

Just imagine a similar incident happening to a person sitting at a certain upper pedestal in a political or administrative corridor.

The same excuses from the cops would have magically turned into a scope to win the likes of their boss by resolving a ‘pertinent’ issue in his/her life. That’s what, society is in a few lines!

And, regarding the passersby, ideally, they are the people with hardly any spine to rise to the complex situations happening right before them, so nothing much to be surprised about that.

Way Ahead…

The evening that had begun with a simple appointment at the dentist had its fate in battling with the thief, handling the judging eyes of the cops and the public.

The efforts landed both at frustrations without any useful results and kept them away from the home till around 4 AM, late in the night or early in the morning, whichever was correct to say.

In the days that followed, Chitra took every conceivable measure to safeguard her identity. SIM cards were blocked financial cards were canceled & many more technical steps.

She even attempted to trace the phone using online tools, but the thief remained elusive, never surfacing in the digital realm.

A Self Reflection!

The incident left an indelible mark on both. It was a stark reminder of the complexities of urban life, where indifference often overshadowed compassion, and where the line between victim and bystander blurred in the chaos of the city.

Possibly, the citizens could only practice being aware, so that they didn’t need to cling to the hope that perhaps, with some twist of fate, the stolen phone might find its way back to them.

In the weeks following, the life moved on, but the memory lingered. The city's once-familiar streets now felt like a maze of potential dangers. They became keenly aware of the stark contrast between the city's glossy exterior and the harsh reality beneath.

It was a reminder that in the urban jungle of nearly a crore people, we're often on our own!

P.S

This is based on a real-life incident & all identities used are fictitious.