Sunday, November 30, 2008

Missing My Laptop

Just over a week ago, my laptop got stolen right out of my car in the middle of a busy market. I was at Nehru Place for my television interview which took place in a coffee shop. Afterwards I had another meeting there, but an hour to spare and so decided to go walking through the market looking at laptops and other assorted electronic items. I decided I did not want to risk losing my bag or having anything stolen, so I phoned my driver who met me in front of the cinema and I put my backpack in the back seat and went on my merry little way. A little while later I get a frantic call from my driver that my bag was not in the car. He mentioned something about lunch and my bag being missing. I pictured all sorts of scenarios from him forgetting to lock the car as well as forgetting to put my bag in the boot, but also I had imagines of smashed windows and glass all over the backseat going through my mind.

After my second meeting my driver picked me up and we went to the little police kiosk where I had to write out an official statement on a absolutely blank piece of paper. I don't know why I had to write it as I was nowhere around when it happened, but this is India and logic often does not play a role. So, there I sat in the little police kiosk of Nehru Place dictating the story from my driver and then I got the actual story. It seems that after I put my bag in the back seat and left, someone approached my driver's window, banging aggressively and telling him he had a punctured tire. My driver got out to examine the situation and we assume that during that moment, someone else on the other side of the car opened the door, grabbed the bag and ran off.

Fortunately it was only my laptop. I had been at the bank earlier and had my passport and bank cards with me, but on me. That would have been a disaster. I did, however lose a beautiful story from the trip to Rajasthan which I have not yet finished putting online and the first three chapters of the soon to be international bestseller I had finally started writing. Anyway, my statement was stamped by the police and then I had to take that to the real police station. It was to be my first interaction with the Indian police.

I had imagined it to be crammed, noisy and more like the New Delhi train station, but it was empty save for the swarms of mosquitoes. Of course not a person spoke English so I left my driver to deal with it while I waited in the reception area. It was there that I made mental note to self to never, under any circumstances get sent to an Indian jail. About an hour later I was brought into the office of what I understand is the chief of that particular station. There was a lot of Hindi being thrown around after five minutes of being completely excluded he asked me "what do you want?!" and so I told him I need an official statement for the insurance company. He looked at me without speaking for about a minute and then said "DONE!"

I was then taken back to the reception room and told to change my story and say I had misplaced the laptop in the coffee shop. Misplaced?? What about being robbed at near gunpoint? I found it absurd and made a couple of phone calls to my company who told me it was alright and that the insurance would still cover it. So officially, I am the kind of person who goes into an empty coffee shop and, oops, misplaces my laptop in a moment of true blondeness.

So now, I have no laptop and have been given an old desktop at the office. My blogs will be fewer and farther (or is it further?) between… I can't write in the office. I can't write on a – gasp! – desktop! I am only one degree removed from my mom's old Smith Corona typewriter I used to compose on when I was younger, but that, at least was cool. This is just torture. And to make matters worse, I can't copy/paste my text into Blogger… Is the world is plotting against me?

1 comment:

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