Towed by a Tiger
It was the day before Rakshabandhan. I had been to market with my brother to buy him a Rakhi of his choice. I had thought of buying one from the shop near home but he didn’t like any of those and demanded that I tie something very good. He even threatened me with ‘You won’t get a gift’. So, at 8:30 in the night, we set out to hunt for the perfect Rakhi.
There is a market within 1 km from home which is one stop destination for shopping. We usually walk to the place but as it was late, we decided to take the scooty. We also had to stop by the medical store to buy medicines for Mom, who wasn’t keeping well. Off we went to the medical store, bought the medicines and then arrived near the market. I guess there was some festival the next day because the market was very busy. The parking lot was almost full. With difficulty, I found a place near the Parking sign board. Parking my scooty there, we entered the market. Shopping was very quick. He found the Rakhi he loved in the first store we entered. Happy, we returned to the scooty only to find the scooty missing!
I walked the length of the parking lot, to make sure I hadn’t parked elsewhere and forgot about it. Nope. No luck. With each passing second, panic rose inside me. I tried asking few people but they didn’t know anything about it. “What if my scooty is stolen?” was the first thought. I was sure Dad wouldn’t be happy to hear about it. I could picture him taking my licence and tearing it apart. I didn’t want to call him but I had no other option. I crossed my fingers and dialled his number. “The person you are trying to call is out of coverage area” Never had I hated that voice so much! Dad must be travelling back home. I couldn’t call Mom. She was sick and I didn’t want to worry her. I was sure she was worried already, given it was 9 pm.
Luckily, we spotted a policeman nearby. I ran like the person who had found water in a desert. “Sir, my scooty is stolen” I said, still breathing heavily. He looked like I was crazy. “The black Pleasure parked over there?” He pointed at the place I had parked it. “Yes, yes” I replied, still confused how he knew about it. Did he just watch as someone stole it. Before I could draw any conclusions, he spoke. “The Tiger took it” he said. Was head? What was he speaking. In my confused state, his words didn’t register. I am sure he thought I had lost my mind. “Your vehicle has been towed!” He elaborated for my benefit.
I felt the ground under my feet sinking. “Towed?” I mouthed but no words came out. He, however, understood what I was saying. “That pole you see, that is the boundary. To the right is the parking area and to the left, it’s no parking area. You had parked wrong” saying that he gave me the address of the station where my scooty was and left. I am sure he was scared to stand with me, lest I pester him more!
Parked wrong? I remember parking right in front of the pole. Not to the right or the left. If right was parking area and left was no parking zone, then wasn’t the middle ground supposed to be no-man’s area? How could they tow the vehicle parked there? I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to go home without scooty. I couldn’t imagine what would follow. I also didn’t want to leave my scooty to spend the night at the station. I am sure it was waiting for me, tensed and worried. I couldn’t disappoint it. Plus, I had my brother with me and it was the perfect time for him to complete the vow he does on every Rakshabandhan. So with him, I took the first bus I got and headed towards the area mentioned by the police.
I had called my uncle, who stays near that station. He came as soon as I reached there. Sure enough, my scooty was anxiously looking for me. Poor thing. Speak about kidnapping legally!! My uncle spoke with the inspector for a few minutes and they let go my scooty finally. That was one crazy experience. Even today, I double check the area before parking. I wouldn’t want my scooty towed again!
Have you had any such experience? Share it with me in the comments below.