How I was caught shoplifting


With nothing on the cards for a sunny Sunday afternoon, my mother announced a trip to the local mall. I was in the 3rd grade that year. A few Nintendo games aside, a toboggan [a long, light, narrow vehicle, typically on runners, used for sliding downhill over snow or ice] sitting beneath boxes of unused stuff in the attic, there wasn’t much I had on my to-do list.

*At the time, internet was in it’s nascent stages. Selfie, Facebook, Twitter and the term “social-media” didn’t exist. Neither did girls-gone-wild.

Within minutes, my mom had my sister and me in the backseat. Window-shopping, eating a Double Big Mac at McDonald’s or the skin-covered chicken at Swiss Chalet and loitering around between toy and sports aisles made for an adventurous evening with my sister and mother.

Post Sears, Wal-Mart and Loblaws, we’d head to Toy’r’us on pleading and begging [which my mom would try and avoid knowing I’d create a scene and embarrass her for not letting me have either Batman figurines or Nintendo games].

For your information, I had, in class one stolen my classmate’s pencil and on my mother’s knowledge of such behaviour received a massive thrashing. Earlier that evening, on interrogation, I had turned blue and come short of an alibi.

*Quick tip if you’re going to attempt and lie through your teeth- mother’s parental instincts can look into the depths of your soul. Tread carefully if you may.

I felt guilty and ashamed that night as if it was the end of me. The next day, I returned the stolen pencil, promising myself to never ever steal or lie again.

But today [the 5th grade], a few years later from the rare-pencil incident, I was at the mall, forgotten of any such behaviour, standing eye-to-eye with a pack of baseball cards. I wanted them so badly [in my defence, all the kids at school were showing off their collection and I badly needed to feel “in” or cool or accepted, I guess].

I had wiped the slate clean only to have it re-written this day. I inched closer towards the rack, eliminating any distance between my chest and the set of cards. I pulled a few packs down in each hand and made a b-line for the bathroom. Clearly, I hadn’t thought this through as I wasn’t a thief or a shoplifter by profession.

I closed the bathroom booth door behind me. As I sat there, with my pants down, staring back at the pack of cards, a trickle of sweat ran down my back.

This was it. The moment of truth. I was going to shoplift these packs of cards. My brain began to work in overdrive, shelling thoughts of getting caught or walking away from the whole episode scot free.

I made up my mind. On quickly unwrapping all the packs, I disposed of the covers in the bin and shoved a fist-full of cards down my underwear. On pulling my pants back on, I could feel the stiff cards poking up against my crotch.

No pain no gain, right.

With all the courage left in me, I walked out of the booth and then the bathroom. I could feel the sweat on my palms as well as an accelerated heart-beat between my chest.

By now, some sweat off my crotch had rubbed up against the cards making them soggy. I suppose a few cards were going to be sacrificed in the process but I didn’t let that worry me then.

On strolling around for a bit, I fixed my stride and found my mother between an aisle for cushion covers and sheers. I made my move and began to walk over towards her, thinking I had successfully gotten away with shoplifting baseball cards. Only a few strides later, two elderly men, in their mid-thirties, cut me off by the perfume section.

I looked up in utter dismay and shock. Fuck. I was caught. Now what? They told me they had been watching me from CCTV cameras. They requested for my parents, and upon seeing unidentified men crossing paths between her son, my mother walked over and listened to the entire episode patiently.

Disappointed by her son’s stupidity, my mom began to apologise and begged the undercover mall security personal to forgive me. She reiterated this was my first time.

*We all know how true that was.

As I watched the sequence of events unfold in dismay, I slowly pulled out the baseball cards from my underwear and handed them over to one of the men without ever raising my head once.

One of the men, closer towards me, got down on a knee, while the other continued to talk to my mom, and with one hand around my elbow told me of the consequences and the fact that I was in so-much trouble. But he was going to let me off this once because he could see that I had been humiliated and shattered forever.

Once the men were gone, my mom looked at me in a way I had never experienced before. It’s a look that I will never forget. It was of momentary-lost-faith and forgiveness and paternal-instincts factor [unable to describe exact emotions].

That evening, we had McDonald’s for dinner and the incident has never been brought up in the last 25 years.

Why smokers have great ideas

albert einstein

First thing first. Yes, I’ve smoked cigarettes. Benson Lights. India Kings. Classic Milds. Gudang Garam. Marlboro Lights. I wasn’t exactly loyal to any one brand or the taste [as compulsive and habitual smokers would have amateurs believe].

Labelled -to my convenience- a social smoker, I would light one after having a couple of drinks (at a party) or at work during “creative brainstorming” sessions, held between floor 16 and 17 -out on the stairs- at the agency.

This, ability to smoke at will, gave me the reassuring feeling of being in control of my sick habit, leaving little room for feelings of addiction creeping up my throat.

It’s safe to assume that almost anyone in advertising, smokes. A sweeping generalised statement would have been “everyone in advertising smokes” but that’s clearly not the case.

Don’t believe me? Go watch an episode of Mad Men. Captured between dialogues is the foreplay of cigarettes. A smoking protagonist is so much better in dialogue delivery than a non-smoker. I bet the director agrees with my angle on the matter.

Look, all I’m saying is that people smoke. You can like it or hate it but it’s happening right now, as we speak- someone out there, working in the creative department of an advertising agency- put a lighter to a cigarette and inhaled every bit of the cancer-inducing smoke.

That said, I’ve come clean now. *Takes a deep breadth. That habit is well behind me, like bell-bottoms or a head full of hair. I’ve been shaving my head for a decade now. You do the maths. It’s my way of combing with stress [pun intended]. *Exhales.

Curious to understand how ideas and smoking work together, I chartered upon a search for answers. That said, non-smokers are also idea-capable people. Sure, they get ideas [which are not as good as the ideas people have who smoke or drink] but, hey, where credit is due, we must oblige.

Hell, I believe geniuses of tremendous creative potential such as Edisson, Picasso, Bethoven, Einstein, Jobs, Ogilvy, Landor & Morisson were all possible smokers and drinkers. They’ve ruled and led the world over decades with world-changing-ideas.

Now, let’s examine this closely. The length and breadth of a cigarette is armoured with the single most powerful concept- a bridge between your inner and outer conscious.

Hear me out. On examining creative folk closely I stumbled upon this powerful idea. During the process of discovery [the constant failures/trials before the eureka] frustration levels climb on failing [before succeeding and changing the world] and can prove difficult leading to stress.

It is during these difficult times great minds would take a timeout by either smoking a cigarette or nursing a glass of hooch. During solitude, they’re not focused on the problem but shutting off. This bridging of their subconscious and conscious mind, unleashes the most powerful answers to problems that have riddled their minds forever.

Eckhart Tole suggests a similar concept. To be enlightened, one must switch off. To shut the process of thinking entirely. To harness the power of the mind. Smoking and drinking did just that for all the great thinkers of the world. It opened the doorway of possibilities and great potential.

For a moment, let’s set aside the common variables- lung cancer, heart problems, bad breadth and the “till-death-do-us-apart” brandished on every box. Draw a comparative of these with the remarkable gifts left behind because of them aiding great men and women.

By that token, I’m not championing ideas being born from smoking or drinking are better. Their noteworthy contribution is in no way palpable to the amount of damage they may have caused over the years. But at the same time, we cannot but ignore the fact that smoking or drinking have contributed, in some ironic way, to the betterment of this world.

The Potty Fountain


Besides death, hunger, poverty, depression, work-related-stress, marriage, monthly instalments and other harsh realities [add any type of ill-activity here] of being alive, everyone must go poop.

What goes in must come out someday, somehow. That said, the form, shape, size, odour and content of poop are subject to the sole proprietor’s gastronomic indulgence.

Brad Pitt poops. Nargis Fakhri poops. Obama poops. Sonam Kapoor poops. She farts too. We all poop. We all fart or have farted once [suggesting you stopped farting and pooping due to your death in which case you’re a ghost reading my blog].

Holy shit balls Batman!

If taken in great stride, pooping can easily dethrone the most pleasurable experience including acts of sex, masturbation and other possible acts of joy [add such acts of “joy” here] on any mantle.

Don’t believe me? Try and recollect memories of rushing back home after a longish journey to shoot a monster load [this means girls too]. Without flinching, it beats the high induced from any substance known to mankind. As per the doctor, nerve endings -in millions- lead to sensation of calm and relief post stages of extreme stress and pressure.

I’m sure you’re nodding, as well as making a mental note, but wondering as to where am I going with all this. Agreeing and accepting to the most natural processes of the human body openly takes guts.

Congratulations. You have aplenty, of gas.

Although, I have you thinking about poop and it’s various faucets, I wish to draw your attention towards one tiny instrument, neglected over the years, hidden beneath the seat.

The water jet

The little water-hose has been washing shit-stained assholes around the globe for over decades. As per experts and findings of various studies conducted around the world, water jets are the “hygienic” alternative to your regular tear and swipe toilet-paper model or the odd bottle and finger. I probably made up the experts and studies bit.

And nobody wants to talk about the water jet. No one. Anyone drawing out plans for a toilet pay all the attention to the seat, it’s size, shape, colour, brand and comfort but the water jet is unable to earn the badge of a supporting actor/actress.

Considering the shape, technically speaking, water jets are actors. Period.

In remote parts of India, even today, pooping means crouching on two [usually out in the open or on a desi-Indian-seat also known as “tatt-ee-yaan” or “leh-tturr-eene” ] and cleaning up involves a single hand stretched behind your back, acting as a lever, pouring water from a bottle or [smaller vessel capable of holding a litre of water] over the butt crack and swiping clean with the fingers of the other hand.

It’s the equivalent of fingering your butt-hole while pouring water over it. Probably best suited to Mexican porn flicks. Remember two girls and a cup?

Eek! Yup, THAT.

Which brings us back to the innumerable advantages of using the water-jet. Hands-fucking-free. For the sake of argument, I’ve divided water-jets in a few broad categories- using functionality, type and after-feeling as my illustrative prerogative.

The prick

On a recent trip to Delhi, I happened to sleep over at a friend’s house [considering hotels are clearly out of the budget for a penny-less blogger like myself], which is where I discovered the prick-like water jet. As I sat there, shooting-the-shit, reading tweets of my iPad [well beyond emptying my load], I realised it was time to swipe the slate clean. With one hand, I carefully placed the iPad on the bathroom sink, balancing the device between a group of toothbrushes and a soap dispenser. With the other hand, I reached for the tap [tucked away towards the back of the seat, in a cubby hole, causing me to shift my balance on one cheek]. To my shock, on loosening the tap, all hell broke lose, as piercing sharp water shot directly at my asshole. For a second, I felt as if I had punctured my asshole beyond repair. In shock and with loss of balance, I panicked and sunk half way into the pot and toppled my iPad, in hope of balancing myself. Luckily, the leather case sustained the iPad’s crash landing on the bathroom floor. By now, water had deflected off my lower back and shot up to the back of my bald head. Luckily, no causalities. Clouded by thoughts of wide-spread embarrassment, I decided to act upon my not-so-routine-pooping incident and pledged to inform my readers.

The balls washer

Commonly found hanging for life in public bathrooms. This water jet has been at the receiving end of various dumb-fucking-asses or it’s a fitting mismatch of water-jet and seat- a lot like marriage. Badly bruised and bent out of shape, and whatever has been left of the poor actor, it sprays 2 inches below your asshole. At this precise angle, only your balls get a washing causing them to shrivel up and you to sink -that wee bit further- into the seat [in hopes to align such water and shit-stained-butt-hole]. This may cause you to get stuck and humiliate yourself as office building security staff pull your ass out as others watch over from behind them with their camera phones. Selfie, anyone?

The cannon

The exact opposite of the prick. The cannon is probably anyone’s worst nightmare. You loosen the tap and there is only one adjustment- super fucking full blast. Water [approximately 6 inches thick] unleashes it’s wrath and obliterates anything in it’s track, including your asshole- eroding any uneven spots [leaving you with a Ken-Barbie-doll butt, no asshole]. Most incidents go unreported due to the sheer embarrassment any individual would be subjected to for losing one’s asshole. The cannon is best equipped to handle a violent riot across the Middle East, possible Godzilla attack or an alien outbreak.

The trickle

As the name suggests, the trickle is typically your perfectly sound water-jet gone dry. What you’re left with is traces of water invisible to the naked eye. You probably forgot to switch on the booster pump [as your parents had instructed you to while they were away on holidays to the Bahamas and didn't take you along because you failed your board exams] leaving your overhead tank dry and lo behold shit stained asshole. Your only hope for redemption is either having someone from the outside [with the help of Twitter or Facebook or WhatsApp] come to your rescue or gathering the balls to penguin out of the toilet with your pants hanging between your ankles and grab a bottle of water or toilet paper roll. Use your imagination. Amen.

The demon

It’s your average water-jet gone demonic bat-shit crazy. You’re chilling at home with the air-condition set to full blast and a load comes knocking at your rear door. You head to your throne to answer the call of nature and right after letting the tap loose, a gash of boiling water burns your asshole. Bruised, burnt and scarred for life, you are left to live the remainder of your living adult life having to apply ointments up the pooper shoot. Herpes. Fissures. FOREVER. The demon is born by connecting one end of the over-head water tank with the water supply of the jet. During Indian summers, overhead tanks, usually painted black, end up crossing boiling temperature turning God-fearing -Catholic- water jets into the devil’s dick.

The next time you’re in a toilet, lift the seat and pay respect to the water-jet because you never know what evils await your asshole. And if you’ve discovered any unique type of water-jet not mentioned above, please do share it with me and the rest of us glued to our phones while women flash us.

Merry pooping.

I'm a pilot. I fly paper airplanes.

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