The Hungry Thief


The Hungry Thief

By Vidya Lakshmi

It was December, the Christmas lights were up. The boy tightened the hood around his head, checked on the zipper of his jacked again.

Through the window his hand went in, he pushed it in, extended it more than he could.

The loaf of bread sat there looking plump and happy, waiting to be bitten into.

A spasm in his arm, muscle contractions, his hand had been hurting for a while, he couldn’t extend it anymore.

Suddenly there was a shadow by the gate, someone was opening it, and quickly he pulled back his arm, hoping it wasn’t too late.

An older man approached the house, opened the door and walked in.

By the window was the box red and gold, diamonds encrusted in the Rolex it held within.

Further away was the bread, plump and happy, waiting to be bitten into.

Image from-Raising our



Years ago, I participated in a pageant competition with my mother. Before the prelim round we had to fill up a questionnaire, a lot of details about ourselves.
Apart from the usual address, telephone number, birth date questions, there was one particular question towards the end that stood out. It read
What is your Motto in life? I immediately looked at my mother. ‘Do we have a motto?’ i said. ‘Write whatever you want,’ she said. I could see other mothers and daughters beside me discussing about this particular question as well. One girl looked at me, smiled and said, you can just write ‘live and let live’ if you don’t have any.
No one usually caries around a motto to write down when asked do they? At least I dint and i was 16 at that time.
‘So shall I just write that and hand this paper in,’ I asked my mother.
‘No! There is no hurry. You must have some motto, find out what it is and write it, she said.
Finally when I submitted the questionnaire back to the organizers, we had decided on ‘Live don’t just exist’

Over the years, there are many things I think have become my motto in life, here are 3.

  1. Be happy with what you have, but have some hopes about what you want.

Never compare yourself with those who seem to have more than you, they probably don’t. Look at those who are not as fortunate, you will realize how blessed you are.
When you work hard for the things you have, you will value it a lot more than if it was handed out to you. Don’t look at the glass as half empty, be happy that you have a glass and it has some water, you can fill it up sometime.

  1. Don’t fret unnecessarily

If there is a problem, there will be a solution. Find it out. If that doesnt work, then think of another one. Being stressed out about it is not going to get you anywhere.
Say, for example, you realize you are going to be stuck in traffic for the next half an hour, being irritated throughout is not going to give you any happiness. Instead, vent your frustration in the first five minutes, after that pop some good music and relax, talk to whoever is with you, make jokes, have fun, try to find happiness.

That brings me to the third one,

  1. Find happiness

I am of the belief that finding happiness is a constant endeavor, you have to work hard at it. It does not come easily; don’t wait for it to come to you. Don’t pity yourself, instead use that time to find a way of bringing happiness to you and others.

I know some people say happiness should come automatically to you if you do the right things, but i believe in going and searching out my happiness and bringing it back.

Do you have a motto? Do write it in the comments section.


Judging a book by its cover

One of the recent books I read was ‘Half Girlfriend’.

This book deals with elitism, rural life, education scenario in India, child labor, Firangis coming down to help Indian villages, domestic  violence, attitude towards divorced women and many such issues.

Yet, any simple English reading Indian can enjoy it. Unless you can’t.

It was when i reached the middle of the book and put it down for a minute when it suddenly hit me. I knew why the so called ‘intellectuals’ dint like Bhagat’s books.  It wasn’t because of the Indian English, it wasn’t the simple dialogues, and it wasn’t even because he opened up a new demographic (in his own words, ‘I’m competing with candy crush’).

No, it was because the only characters the pseudo intellectuals could relate to in his books were the bad ones, the villains you could call them, or the people in his book whose shade of grey was not the best.

If I watched a movie and the only character I had something common with was the bad guy, I would hate it too, no one, really, no one wants to be the bad guy.

It is almost cool to dislike Chetan Bhagat, you are automatically in a different league when you do that. Where you discuss policies usually left liberal, without knowing what most of them are, while drinking overpriced coffee.  A place, where, you complain about the poverty and deprivation in India, but bargain with a gypsy selling trinkets.

My maid, a 21 year old  with English reading skills,  can enjoy ‘One night in a call center’ or  ‘two states’ and that is something that I think most people find difficult to take in. They don’t want to read with their staff is reading.  I think the elitism that Bhagat talks about in his book, is pretty much the reason that makes our fancy-college educated intellectuals find faults with him. They don’t want to read something that the masses enjoy, they dont want to be defined a ‘commoner’.

The only Indian authors you want to read are the ones educated abroad?  Well doesn’t that tell you something about yourself?

Dont be a Macaulay putra/putri

Just like you need different types of food to make a balanced diet, you need to open up your mind and read different types of writing for balanced thinking.