I was in a bus when I felt a hand on my trouser pocket. It was a young chap trying to slide his hand into my pocket for the five rupee note which lay crumpled in its furthest corner.
I decided to stay calm and have fun. I twitched my thigh muscles loosening my trouser so that the pickpocket could dig his hand in and fish out the note easily. The pickpocket slid his hand gently, but just when he was at the half way mark I released my muscles and gently moved the leg in his direction. He hastily withdrew his hand.
I pulled my thigh muscles again loosening the trouser inviting another attempt. The same sequence followed. We replayed the cat and mouse game three times. Finally, I decided to let go the money. It was just five rupees, I felt. I repeated the act the fourth time. He dug his hand and fished the note out.
He was slight of built – half my height, straw-thin with a narrow frame. The difference of our heights meant our eyes wouldn’t meet denying him the knowledge that I knew what he was up to. I was standing next to the exit door, he in front of me.
The bus drew up at a stop. My attention was drawn to people boarding and unboarding it. I suddenly felt something thrown at my chest. Something light. I looked down. It was my five rupee note. I looked up – the pickpocket was getting down the bus. He turned back; our eyes met. He smiled at me disdainfully and melted into the crowd.