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  • Anika Punjabi

The Thief in the Train

Kattu was a little child who had lost his parents at a very young age, he had learned to live on the streets with what little he got. He was always looked at with empathy by the entire neighbourhood of this little parish in Southern India, where our story sets foot. He had grown up to be called Mr. Venkat and had earned a position of respect by once accidentally bumping into a little child, saving the toddler Trisha from being run over by a bus when her mother's attention was diverted in bargaining over the exorbitant price of the vegetables being sold in the stall by the road.

Ever since the mother of Trisha had been obliged to Mr.Venkat for his kind act. Once, Trisha, Madhu, and Vivek were going to Bombay by train to meet their grandmother. The train had been robbed seven times in the last month and the children were travelling all alone. Mom and dad were very concerned about their children. But thankfully Mr. Venkat, the ticket-checker, had promised to keep an eye on the children.

When it was time for the train to board, all goodbyes were said. Mr. Venkat helped them settle down. Madhu, the middle child, noticed that the fourth seat in the compartment was being occupied by a suspicious-looking man. He was tall and buff with a cap that covered his eyes. She whispered that he almost looked like a gangster straight out of a cowboy movie! She wondered if he had been committing all the recent robberies on the train and if he was probably here to rob them too. She cautioned her siblings to stay away from him.

Vivek being the oldest was given a small bag of money from their parents as an allowance. Looking at the man Vivek felt very uneasy so, he carefully secured the bag. Later that night, He felt someone coming towards him. Somebody was snatching the bag from under his head! Vivek tried grabbing it but the robber shoved him. Suddenly a deep voice said, “Don’t be afraid children, switch on the light” With all this commotion the two girls woke up and turned the lights on.

What a shocking sight it was! Venkat uncle had the bag in his hands while the other mysterious stranger in the compartment caught him tightly. “He has been posing as a ticket checker and robbing people on this train for a month now”, explained the stranger. He further introduced himself to the kids, he was inspector Sinha, the famous intelligence officer. He was assigned to this case and had been waiting to catch this robber red-handed.

Immediately the kids grinned at each other. How silly they had been to think of him as the thief! In the end, they learned not to judge a book by its cover.

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