A little bit of excitement in my life :)
Sometime back I wrote a post about how crowded the trains in Mumbai are and how funny Train-ing can be. Well, here's something totally unexpected that happened yesterday, something which most of us think cannot happen to us...well, it was fun though... so read on!
Coming home from work is usually quite boring, standing in the overheated, overcrowded compartment of the second class local. And heaven help you if you're travelling at peak hours. After all, in those forty long minutes, you're drenched in the sweat and perspiration, most of which may not be your own!(yuck!)
So, for that and that reason alone, I'm usually at the door, hanging from the grill and enjoying the cool evening air. (yea, yea, now go all responsible mommy and scold me for being reckless. See if I care :P )
Ah, so where was I? Oh yeah, the door. Well, there I was, right at the front, with a freakishly tall half-mawali guy behind me trying all sorts of acrobatics at the door, and two more office-goers behind him. With the sun just setting, the air was cool and it was a pleasant ride; until the train pulled into GTB Nagar station. People alighted the train, more boarded, the usual routine. The train had just started pulling away from the platform when a man came rushing through all of us, almost pushing us off the slowly moving train, jumped off the train and started running. At the same instant, we heard a loud shout from within.
"STOP HIM! THIEF! HE'S STOLEN MY WALLET!"
Now, in such a crowded train, there's no time or space to pull the chain. Also, the train was slowly picking up speed. The pickpocket was getting away. With my mind racing through all these thoughts, I jumped off the running train. The same instant, I saw the other three guys at the door jump off too. And we raced. We raced after the thief who was already gaining so much distance by now. Everything happened so fast, I could barely register them. The only thing I knew was the thief was running away and we had to catch up.
Shouts rang across the platform, "STOP HIM!", " THIEF", "CATCH HIM". People looked at him. No one moved.
Suddenly, the freakishly tall guy, remember him? He picked up speed, and how! It was as if he was possessed. One second, he was running with us, the next he had caught up to the pickpocket who was at least a hundred feet away! A running tackle and both were down on the ground. We're still running.
The thief gets up. I catch up, punch him, he goes down.
By then the others are onto him as well. And then what ensued was nothing less than what can be called a "public dhulai" The poor pickpocket got thoroughly bashed up. After a few seconds, we really had to stop, more out of humane pity than anything else. By then, the railway cops came up, with their pot bellies and lathis. The man whose pocket was picked had also managed to hop off the train and showed up, hoping to get a few punches in. We handed him his wallet. Confirming that everything was intact, he was all smiles again, even offered us a reward which we refused.(i know i know...damn conscience) The confusion having died down and the thief handed over to the cops(who looked nothing like them, but wtf right?) we stood at the platform, arms folded and wide grins across our faces like the Avengers in all our glory, waiting for the next train, noticing the looks of curiosity, of impressed awe and of confusion. Having exchanged names and small talk, we boarded the train, again at the door, with the wind in our hair and sword at hand, awaiting the next station in case our services are needed again.
After all, for your average hero next door, it's all in a day's work.