Did you ever steal something? How old were you when you did that? How it felt afterward, guilt? Fear?
I stole the first time when I was 7 years old. I felt really bad after I did that but it meant something and it shaped my life. It made me what I am today.
So let me tell you the story of how I stole my uncle’s phone.
I remember it was Sunday, and I was in my room. My father was sitting next to me. He had something in his hands. I look closely and it was a phone.
This was the pre-smartphone era and it was the Nokia phone(Nokia 3310 to be exact). He gave it to me and showed me a game in it. It was a game called space impact. You have a spaceship and you are driving(who don’t want to be a pilot) and lots of monsters will come from the other side and you have to shoot bullets at them. As you will progress in the game, it will get harder, and bigger and bigger monsters will come with more speed.
I played it for just 10 minutes or so and OH BOY, that was the best 10 minutes of life. I was hooked and I wanted to play that thing the whole day.
But the bad thing about the good things is that they don’t last long(I just made that up, thank you, thank you 😁).
Now it was 10 minutes according to me but according to watch it was 30 minutes and my father took that phone and put it in his pocket. I didn’t know I was happy or sad. On one hand, I got to play this awesome game and on other hand, I was not playing it anymore. The one thing I was really sure about was that I wanted it more.
I tried to play with the phone a few more times that day but I failed. The next day, I went to school and my father went to the office.
I was in school only thinking about the phone. Then I came home and I found out that the phone was not there, my father put it somewhere safely (where I couldn’t find it).
So this was the first time I saw the phone. I didn’t know back then, that my obsession with it will grow so much that I will ever steal something but I did. I did it when I saw it for the second time.
The Terrible First Date
It was around 8 pm. This is the time when all the people are at home. Back then, I used to live in a joint family. My grandfather, grandmother, my uncle, aunt, and my parents. I had a young brother who was around 2 years old.
I don’t know about other counties but there is a tradition in India. Whenever your uncle or some male relative sees a small kid they will have to give them some love. Now don’t confuse this love with a simple kind of love, it’s very specific to India. I call it the “Uncle Theory”.
They will kiss the child, rub their beard on the face, tickle them and all of this goes on until two things happen.
- Your uncle is tired from all tickling and beard rubbing and he will give back the child(low probability case)
- The children will cry so loud that his mommy will come and take him back.
Now I was watching my brother suffer from those tickles and beard rubbing. I was a little concerned for him at first but then I saw something and I forget all of that.
Something slips out of my uncle’s pocket and landed on the bed. It was the phone. YESS, I was screaming in my mind, I wanted to stand up and jump but I stayed quiet.
My uncle put my brother on the bed. Yes, I am not kidding, he put the child on the bed with his own free will, I was witnessing the rare first case of the “uncle theory”. If it wasn’t for the phone I would have noticed more and could tell you all about it but my mind was only focused on the phone that was lying on my bed with all its glory.
I touch the phone, to know if it’s really happening. It was real. I clicked on that red button and the screen lit up. I wanted to dance.
Then my mother came into the room, I put that phone on the desk near me. She saw it and told me.
“It was your uncle’s right?”
“ok. give it back to him in the morning.”
I said, “Yes, I will”. Then I tried to sleep but it was really difficult with the amount of adrenaline rushing through my veins. I didn’t know when but eventually I fell asleep.
The next morning, I wake up and the first thing I did was to search the phone. I look at the table and, it was there. Then my mother told me to get ready for school. I wear school uniform, took my tiffin and went to see the phone for the last time.
I was standing beside the desk and watching the phone. It felt like the emotional ending scene of a movie. Then an idea came into my mind. I thought what if I take it? What if take this phone right now and put it in my pocket? I thought for a few seconds then I hear my mother’s voice, “school..”.
I took the phone and put it in my pocket. This was it, I did it, I took the phone. The guilt lasted for exactly 5 minutes until I reached the bus stop. I was waiting for the bus, then I put my hand in the pocket and take it out.
I clicked on the one button and woooah! it turned on the light of the phone, then I was trying to turn it off I clicked few more buttons and finally and turned it off.
Finally, the bus arrived and I reached the school, I was excited, happy and had all the happy emotions you can imagine. Then our whole class went for prayer, I thought should I put this phone in my bag? but I don’t want to leave it even for a second so I kept it in my pocket and went for the prayer.
All the children were standing in the queue and praying. It was a big open ground and our school has around 1500 students. I was in the 3 or 4 queues and my hand was in the praying pose and my eyes were closed.
My teacher was walking beside me from the front of the row to the end. Then something happens that made me the star of the school(not in a good way, of course).
The phone started buzzing in my pocket. Suddenly I was in shock, my hand started trembling. It buzzed for few seconds and then it stopped. The students were praying so maybe nobody noticed.
Then it buzzed again and now the teacher was very close to me and maybe she heard that. She came near me and asked, “what is that sound?”
The phone was buzzing still in my pocket I didn’t know what to say?
I said, “I have a phone.” I don’t know why I said it but it just came out my mouth and she took out that phone and went away.
I was still praying but now one eye was opened. she was going to the principal office. I was scared, shocked and my whole body was trembling.
Then the prayer finished we return to the class and then my principal called me to his office. I was walking on the stairs with fear and then I reached the principal office. I was shocked because my dad was already there.
The principal asked me” why you bring this to school?”
I just stand there and said nothing. Then my father and principal had some conversation. Then the principal told me to leave. Then I started walking back to class and was constantly thinking this is it?. Is it over? Will, I not be punished for this?
I reached home and I saw my mother. She was very angry with me. She scolds me for some time and I was listening to all of it with one ear.
Then she said that she is going to the farm and if I stayed in the room I would maybe sell all the stuff of the house. Then she decided to lock the door and I was sitting outside in the hall.
She went to the farm and I went outside and was sitting on the main gate of the house because all of my stuff was in the room(because it was joint family).
After some time my father came home. He put his scooter outside and asked me what happened?
I told him the full story of how I became homeless. Fortunately, his situation was also similar to mine. So just after a few seconds, he also joined me. We both were sitting outside the home, looking at all the people that were going to their homes.
I was looking at my father and he was thinking something. I understood what he was thinking, If I put it in a poetic way, it would be.
“If I had not given him the phone, I would still have a home.”
And Finally, She Said “Yes”
It has been almost 18 years since this incident happens and I am 23 years old now. Do you know what I do for a living? guess?
I am a software engineer(aka I make mobile apps). It seems obvious that I like mobile and technology and I choose it but it isn’t what it seems like.
I lost my father after 2 years of that incident that happened in 2006 and my mother raised me. If you like something it doesn’t guarantee that you will get that thing.
I wanted to go to college at 19 but I couldn’t. I wanted to learn how to code but I didn’t have the money for the internet back then.
But let me tell you what I have learned from all of this.
If you really love something you do it in spite of all the hardship and difficulties. When I could’t go to college I decided to learn on my own. When I didn’t have internet I went to malls and used their free wifi.
In today’s time, we measure everything. We expect a lot, we desire a lot and we want a lot.
We don’t do anything for just the sake of doing it, we do it for the results. We do it for money, status, or fame. I am not saying that this is wrong but the thing is when we do things for just the results then there is no fun in the process.
What if we bring back that curiosity of children and do all the things that interest us? Do you always loved music, try making a music video. Do you always want to start a business? make anything(painting, food art) and try selling it. Do you always wanted to become a writer, try writing a blog.
Don’t worry about what will happen and all the things that will go wrong and all the things that you don’t have right now, just give it a try.
The things that are worth pursing will always have challenges. The best course of action is we accept those challenges and do it anyway.
In this article, I tell you about my story and how powerful curiosity is. I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you so for taking some time to read my work, I really appreciate it.
Until next time, Take Care!