Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mind your Umbrella!

The Mumbai Monsoons hit really hard today, announcing their final arrival in their full splendour and glory.  An umbrella is a must, and you should have it with you at all times!  By "at all times" I mean - never let it out of your sight!  Yes, there are umbrella whackers out there!

I went to the Medical Centre to pick up my reports today.  I should have gone much earlier, but got kind of lazy about it.  Anyway, the rain was pouring hard, so hard that I needed my umbrella from the autorickshaw to the entrance which was literally a few steps away.  Outside the entrance was a green plastic bucket, housing inverted wet umbrellas in various stages of wear and tear.  As you know, in most establishments, you are expected to leave your wet umbrella outside in such a container.  However, there is no provisions of specific security to safeguard your umbrella.

Once I collected my reports, I stepped back outside and retrieved my umbrella.  There was a family of three looking searchingly in all directions.  I figured that something was wrong and asked if I could be of any assistance.  Apparently, their umbrella got whacked.

The man told me that they had stepped in for a few minutes, and when they returned their umbrella was gone.  I asked him if it was a fancy umbrella and he replied in the negative.  He went on to describe his umbrella - it was one of those plain sturdy black ones that offer protection to three people and never threaten to overturn in gusty winds.  I then saw why his umbrella was 'the chosen one.'

I offered my sympathies and prepared to set out in the heavy rain.  Of course, I did offer him a lift to an auto rickshaw.  But he politely declined saying that he, and his family, would prefer to remain there in wait in the event that someone had borrowed their umbrella for a short trip and returned soon.

As I walked away, I realized the sad state of affairs.  People don't seem to think twice about inconveniencing others, as long as it meets their own benefit.  How can a person whack someone else's umbrella?  I mean, if the person somehow got there without an umbrella in the heavy rain, can't he/she find his/her way back the same way?  Why should someone else suffer?  Besides, what if the person really really needed the umbrella for some other purpose (like in the clip below)?

It got me thinking - is whacking umbrellas worse than stealing shoes outside a temple?

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