• anjali mohapatra

Perplexity.

Updated: May 21

‘Hello, Amrita! It's me.’


‘Yeah, Tanya! Did you really think that I can't recognise my own sisters' voice?! What's up? Are you in your office or you are on a store visit?’


‘No, no, today I had a store visit, but it was cancelled. Listen, mom is all alone at home, and she was feeling a little under the weather when I left. Can you come back early tonight?’


‘I will try to, did you arrange for some mo-’

‘Stop, Amrita. I don't have the time to discuss everything on the phone. I will talk to you later, bye.’

***********

‘Mom, open the door. Sorry! I had an urgent piece of work, so I am a little late. How do you feel now? Better? Where is Amrita? I told her to come early today.’


‘Yes Tanya, only a little head reeling, nothing big. I feel better. Amrita has already come home early. She is in her bedroom.’

‘Ok, mom. You take a rest. I'll go talk to her.’

‘Hey, Amrita? I'm sorry about cutting you off earlier…what's that dazzling thing on your table?’

‘Oh! That- that's a necklace!’

‘Necklace?! What necklace?’

‘It's nothing!’


‘Ammu? Where did you get that necklace?’

‘Oh, my friend gave it to me last night, she didn't have any, uh, she didn't have any space for it! So she gave it to me.’

‘What kind of friend gives away such an expensive necklace?! That’s impossible stop lying to me Amrita, where did you get it?’

‘Uh, haha, yeah surprise, I actually bought i-‘.

‘BOUGHT IT?! What in the world, where did you get the money for this?!’

‘From my new job! I didn’t tell you, cause I wanted it to be a surprise. Are you, are you surprised?’

‘You're lying.’

‘W-what?! Tanya, please why would I l-lie?!’

‘You're lying.’

‘Tanya-’

‘Amrita. Please just tell me where you got the necklace from.’

‘I, uh, might have stolen.’

‘What?’

‘I said that I might have stolen-‘

‘No, I heard you the first time. Ammu what- why would you do that? You have to go and put it back before anyone notices!’

‘Why? I stole it from bigger thieves. We need the money urgently. Who will help us in this disastrous time? Our salaries are not sufficient for mom’s operation. What did you think I would do, we don't have any other options, Tanya!’

‘But, you know that mom would never appreciate it. You’ll make her sad. Does she deserve a thief as a daughter?’

‘Of course not! But, I didn't do anything wrong.’

‘How is this, in any way, the right thing to do?’

‘The hotel owner is a multimillionaire. We don’t know where he got that money from, no one visits this town. Do you think, it’s white money? Please, Tanya, multimillionaires forge their money. What do you think, they are saints? Why are you acting like I killed someone?

‘That’s not true, we are not supposed to bother about others business and to compare it as good or bad, or how they obtain it. We have to see our own problem and focus on how to solve it. I thought you knew better. I am so disappointed, what would mom say? You're going to break her heart’


‘I didn't do it for myself! We need this money more than anyone else, especially the owners of the hotel, they’re not going to miss this necklace. And if I would ask him to lend some money, do you think he would agree, never! I know those people!’


‘You sound like any common thief, Amrita. This is how it starts and without knowing it, you’ll be stealing bigger, more expensive things under the guise of ‘needing it’. We can manage with what we have. Please, put it back.’

‘How could I put it back? I would be caught. I don't want to lose my job.’


‘How can you make such a foolish decision?! I’m sure you would be able to figure this out the same way you figured out how to steal this.’

‘It was not a foolish decision! Mom needs her operation urgently, and I know that we can't make enough money quickly. So, I fixed our problem!’


‘Amrita…please, you didn't solve our problem just brought another one to this house. By tomorrow morning, it has to be back in its place, ok?’


‘Um, ok, I will do that.’


‘Don't try any mess, Ammu. Don't be caught in perplexity.’


‘By the way, how did you steal it when so many guards and the CCTV were there? Do you think your picture is not captured in the camera? Why are you chuckling? How did you do that?’

‘Oops! This is what I call ‘seizing the opportunity’!’

‘Stop your childish behaviour and tell me exactly what you did, ok.’

‘Ok, relax! Two days back, there was some technical problem with the CCTV. One side of the wall is fixed in the corridor with glass cabinets where these antique jewellery made of diamonds and other costly stones are kept. The necklace I stole from the cabinet, that glass had a very little gap from its attachment. And fortunately, that particular CCTV camera was not functioning that day. As I am an employee, nobody had any doubt about me. I thought enough before stealing, but I couldn't tolerate mom’s painful face. Without any second thought, I stole it although my heart was throbbing like hell. I took the necklace and slowly went to the bathroom. There I threw it outside through the exhaust fan. Then I collected it a few minutes later. Nobody came to know!’

‘Oh, lady James Bond! Excellent attempt! Now kindly figure out a master plan to put this necklace back without arousing suspicion. Don't lose your self-respect.’


‘Well, let me attend my duty today, see the situation then tomorrow I will replace it.’

************

‘Hello, Tanya!’

‘Yes, Amrita?’

‘When did I come to the hotel today?’


‘Why? Just two hours before. Are you ok?!’


‘Yeah, Tanya! I am fine. Can you believe what has happened?’


‘What?? Tell me, be quick.’


‘Tanya, I can't believe my eyes! When I came today, knowingly I was passing through that corridor and what I saw is unbelievable!!!’


‘Ok, tell me. What you saw?’


‘The replica of the necklace that I have stolen! How is it possible? I didn't bring it with me today, you know that. But identically the same necklace is displayed on the box. How is it possible?’


‘What??? Same necklace?! Ha, ha, ha, Ammu!’


‘What for you are bursting into loud laughter, Tanya? What does it mean? I can't get it.’

‘Ammu, guess what.’


‘What?’


‘It’s nothing but a cheap false necklace which is valueless! When the owner found that the necklace is stolen, he didn't bother. He might have asked his attendant to put a copy of the necklace the next day. That’s it. Anyhow, you are saved, Ammu! Thank God that you are not in danger and promise me that you would never do this mistake again in future. Be an honest and good girl, fortune will turn in our favour soon.’

‘I promise you! Never again….’

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