What Happened After The Bicycle Had Burst Its Tyre?

What would you say if I tell you it led to the arrest of some burglars having nothing to do with the bicycle later in the day at a place a thousand miles away? Read on before you charge me of going soft in the head.

It all started here in Chembur with my caterer.


It was meant to be a temporary arrangement for the time the lady of the house was away in US to attend to a sick daughter. The caterer prepared ‘saathvik’(kosher) vegetarian food without onions, garlic or garam masala – just the stuff we wanted – and delivered it every day by 10-00 in the morning. The dishes did have a certain variety not tried hitherto at home, conceded to even by my wife when we had tried it out initially. Above all, it was the surprise element – what would it be today? The service was quite regular without holidays and the delivery was reasonably punctual.

On this day I had an important meeting with my customer to review a prestigious project seeming to spin out of control. The client had handed out threats to my customer of cancelling the project unless it was brought back on track quickly. We were to assess the situation and figure out ways to bail out.

I don’t know if the gentleman Murphy had a law to cover a situation like this. So it had to be this day the delivery man was delayed as his cycle tyre suffered a puncture on the way. There was no option for me but to wait – I have a 80+ year old mom who has to be fed before I leave for work.

To cut the story short I was a full half-hour behind time for the meeting. Of course I had texted him of the unfortunate delay. Just as I was signing up at the front-desk as was normal for visitors, I saw the Project Manager stepping out in a coat-tails-caught-by-the-closing-doors hurry.

He saw me and apologized on the run: ’I’m sorry. couldn’t wait longer. Have to join the sales team waiting down-stairs. We’re going out on a call to close a deal with a big-ticket prospect. Wish we had discussed today and found some ways to handle our mess. There’s no one here I can steer you to when I’m away. I can’t even think straighthope it doesn’t get messier.’

And he was gone.

What followed on that day – I pieced together the account given here from unimpeachable sources in the know.

The team went over their approach with the prospect once again polishing a point here and a point there as they made it to downtown. It was a smooth uneventful drive until they reached the secretariat, only a quarter mile from the prospect’s office. Unfolding suddenly before them, the scene looked like a mini kumba-mela, only more tumultuous. It was a section of auto (3-wheeler) drivers/owners pushing for a 15% hike in the fare.


While on the subject of auto fares, I must tell you this:

I have had a procession of maushi’s (female attendants) engaged through an agency to take care of my mom running thru my house. For some reason or the other they never last for more than three months at a stretch. It has become a routine for me to be training a new maushi all over again – modesty prevents me from telling you I’m about to fill a crucial void in the health-care literature by authoring an experience-backed authentic ‘Kit for Rapid Induction of Maushi’s into Households’ with an attention-grabbing blurb ‘it is guaranteed to reduce your Maushi’s ‘get-up and go’ time by 28%’. Only the mean-minded would take the blurb to mean a 28% reduction in the tenure of a maushi at a client site.


Getting to the point, the incumbent maushi has her husband driving his self-owned auto. Often she pulled out domestic strife with her wife-beating and drunkard husband as the reason for reporting late for work. Frankly I don’t regard her as a girl who’ll take things lying down – a view I kept to myself. In an unguarded moment, she lamented ingenuously how their take-home has dropped by 15% ever since the government recently mandated use of tamper-proof electronic meters in the autos.

I’m not the one linking this to the equal hike of 15% demanded by the drivers/owners so soon on the heels of their loss. You must agree, whatever may be attributed to them, greed certainly cannot be.

Coming back to the team under siege, they finally found at some distance a safe place away from the mob to leave their car and walked up.

When they reached the prospect’s office, a full hour behind, they were informed the Big Chief had very much wanted to meet them to iron out the wrinkles with regard to the deal before proceeding on his vacation. Only a few minutes ago he was compelled by pressure of time to leave for the airport to catch a flight home.

One thing to be said about these civic disturbances. They’re very secularly discommodious to the King and the peasant folks alike. And, they’ve their own laws of mechanics and motion. In under a minute out there, a moving object met with an unmoving object and became unmoving under the Equalizing Law of Motion. When the Big Chief finally untangled himself and proceeded to the airport without any further impediments and presented himself at the counter, it was regrettably a few minutes after the aircraft’s door had swung shut. The aircraft doors, you all know, has a certain air of finality – when it is shut it stays shut no matter what.

It was not for no reason he was the Big Chief. He impersonated some Bigger Chief and railroaded the poor agent woman’ing the counter into giving him a seat on the next flight out in an hour.

It was close to midnight when the cab dropped him in front of his house. He pulled out the keys to let himself in without waking up his family. As he looked up, his face was in a frown. It was very unusual -he could see the hall lighted up behind the curtains drawn and on getting closer to the door could hear voices that did not sound like his family.

The incident received wide coverage in the city-crime section of the media. They all agreed the family was in great luck for the man of the house to come in the nick of time and interrupt the proceedings. The robbers, flat-footed without a Plan B, ended up in the arms of the law and the family untrussed without any harm. The lawmen proudly posed for the media for having cracked several other unsolved robberies at one go terming them as prior exploits of this gang.

burglar tzunghaor

These days if you ever see a policeman on the streets stealthily eying a bicycle or poking at a bicycle tyre with a sharp object for no apparent reason, you may safely assume the man in uniform has read this account and is out in the field trying in earnest to boost crime detection rate elsewhere and in his city.

End .
Credits: thehindu.com, en.wikipedia.org, openclipart (tzunghaor, nfroidure)


9 Responses to What Happened After The Bicycle Had Burst Its Tyre?

  1. Really? Honestly true?


  2. theotheri says:

    Wonderful story with a happy ending at the most unexpected place.
    Would it be asking for too much of a fairy-tale ending to ask if your own project was satisfactorily resolved? I hope so.


  3. S R Kannan says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed. Slightly disappointed not to find a firm linkage between the tyre burst and catching later flight. But your writing style kept me riveted. For me you are a potential Kalki in English


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