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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ocean's Five.

Heist movies. One of my favorite kinds. The suave,sophisticated conman/thief with all those small gadgets that get him the expensive diamond, while hanging through laser beams on a tiny pulley the size of a coin. Then there is the genius eccentric anti social who is an expert on everything from math to physics and sits back in his couch to dreams up the wildest way to steal a million bucks with a computer. Well I was a kid and very impressed. Even now,when education and maturity requires me to abhor thieves and con men I think they are really cool. Thanks to all those movies.
Being one of them was my long time ambitions. To get rich was an obvious motive and to be frank I wouldn't think about distributing it to the poor. Then maybe the actual purpose of this unique interest is just to stick up to the 'man'.
Well when I was younger all these intense self analysis never happened. And when the right( or wrong) friends got together. We planned a heist. It didn't take much of time to plan just convincing everyone was a little tedious. No one had any moral dilemmas. No one ever thought stealing is wrong. The problem was getting caught. Fear. I was with the guys who thought we could do it without getting caught. It took time to convince the gang and we were ready. Our target was a cassette. A tape. It was some Punjabi pop album. I wasn't much interested in the content. For me it was the idea that it can be done. And holy F**K !!! we are actually gonna do it. We were big revolutionists. Showing someone who is boss? 

There where issues. It was not going to be easy. The cassette was available only in one supermarket. Where the entrance was guarded by two security office. It was a crowded day. The plans included hiding the cassette in a cigarette packet. WE even got one and coughed a way through few when finally we realized that they might get us for the cigarettes underage smoking etc. Different versions of the cigarette packet idea went around which finally we canceled that direction of planning..After few curses and clever ideas, we came up with a brilliant confusing plan. Lets call him 'X'. X said that he will be th leading guy and the rest will cause enough distraction . 'Z 'and 'W “will get some soft drinks and we all will get out together while 'Y' pay for it. Z and W will also fight on whether to get some chocolate which Y will end by telling we don't have enough money. We will talk and laugh just loud enough and say silly jokes which everyone will like. X had to grab the cassette and push it in this crotch. I had to give him an 'all clear' signal for him to do this. For the plan every ones actions and timing had to be synchronized. We added some buffer time for unknown problems and glitches. Getting caught wasn't an option or part of the plan. We were ready. I would also like to point out that all this happened more than ten years ago. Long before Oceans eleven taught us how to run a large crew. We were pioneers then. Our plan Glorified our immoral intentions. We were the Oceans five. 

The mission started. We ran around walked around for sometime in the blazing sun. We had to look sweaty, tired and thirsty. Everything was in the looks. The uneducated smoking session really killed our throats and head. We were really thirsty and dried. With a casual air of carelessness we went in.We left our football with the security. With a moment spent in front of the magazine rack, talking about the pictures of cricketers we did a quick survey of the crowd. The music section was empty. X whistled an uninspiring tune and strolled towards it. Z and W went to the coolers. I slowly followed X. Y stayed abck at the magazine rack. My heart was uncomfortably fast. I played the theme for Mission impossible in the back of my head. Within a few minutes X spotted the cassette and gave me the signal, he was ready. I picked up another cassette and with the sway of a professional, scanned the surroundings. There was a lady standing in the opposite aisle. She couldn't see anything. A little improvisation would work. I walked towards her aisle angling myself in the clear zone,so that she could see me and X wont miss the signal. I gave another quick scan of the surroundings and “ WHOOPS!!!” I dropped the cassette I was holding. I emphasized the distraction with a louder “OH F**K!!” The lady looked at me. Any other bystander had his attention momentarily directed at me and in the corner of my eyes I saw X slip the cassette in the front of his pants. I noticed a grown and a frown on his face. His jeans where too tight. I think he must have damaged his equipment. Anyway I picked up the cassette looked at it for any damage and gave a sigh of relief and kept it back. X again whistled a carefree tine and walked towards the counter. Y, Z and W also played their parts well. The final statement declaring the shortage of money hinted at the success and nearing end of our operation.

We payed for the drinks but as soon X crossed to the counter towards the exit both the security guards tensed. Their relaxed eyebrows strained and curled. They looked at X, their gaze burnt a hole in him. If I wasn't dehydrated from the sun and the cigarettes I would have peed in my pants. Y fumbled with his wallet. I could see tears form in the corner of Z. W's legs were shaking. We are doomed. My life flashed in front of me. Now I saw the immoral side of the whole affair. The wrong I was going. Guilt. I could see the cops, my parents disappointed and disowning me,My teachers warning the other students not to be like me. I realized it was a good thing that I didn't have any female friends. Otherwise this would be the reason I would die a virgin. My life was over. I could say that my other accomplices felt the same.

One of the security guards stopped X and he pointed towards a corner. Oh no! They going to search him. Strip search!! We were right behind him. The money was paid the bill was printed. Now no chance of going back. I saw X walk cautiously towards the corner. The doomed corner, where my dignity and future would be taken away.X walked towards the corner and before the guards could say anything her tried to bend down. Something was wrong Why is he bending now.Are they going to search there too.What is this the airport? They didn't even ask. Was it common protocol, Do we have to bend down in a supermarket body search. The horror!!!!
X couldn't bent down. Something was stopping him.  Instead he did a small hop and passed our football lying in the corner towards W and said “Pick it up, I don't want to dirty my hands!”

I watched as the ball rolled towards W's hands, as the automatic door slowly revealed to us our freedom. I watch as X walked out in style and watched his sweaty fingers pull out a cigarette and light it. I watch as the rest of the gang pull out a cigarette each . I watched as my hands pull out a cigarette,felt my dry mouth trying suck enough smoke to blow it out as any cool thief would do. I realized we were free. I realized we were successful.Jackpot!

Pepsi was our champagne that day , we drank enough of it and sprayed the rest out in style. Z revealed that he couldn't bend down with the cassette in his balls. He was worried for a moment he will be caught while trying to get the ball. But his presence of mind saved the day etc. But let me tell you it was my brilliant plan. If that asshole didn't wear tight jeans, it would have been the smoother that a warm knife though butter.

I never listened to that cassette anyway. But it was a day. The day that we lived like true thieves. The risk fear and the guilt later on hindered any future plans. The guilt had seeped in during the small security guard confusion, but most of it reappeared and stayed when we thought of our actions. It was a bold day something no one we knew would do. It was a dangerous stunt. We actually stole something. We were dirty. Innocent and foolish but still dirty. We would have been slapped around by the guards, ashamed embarrassed in front of family and teachers. The pain. I was a criminal. Our culture, our education and even Gandhi would never let us do it again. But there was elation too. A sense of freedom, accomplishment. Something. I just cant put it in words. It was awesome. The elation of acquiring a whole music album for free. The joy of success , youth and freedom. I miss that day, however bad or immoral that was. Half a day spent memorably, stealing eight songs that I never listened to. It was awesome.

As all stories of good men and heroes go, the guilt and remorse over the act of stealing, committing a crime and declaring oneself a criminal made us better people. We decided we will be a good citizen. Our crew disbanded. The Oceans's Five was no more. Young minds changed, now recognizing good from bad.. The god given goodness in our hearts triumphed over the bitter temptations advertised by the devil. It was going to be a perfect world as in every story of good men and heroes go.

Reality Check! This is no perfect world this is not a story about goodness and heroes. This is a story about the real world. The Ocean's five laid low for few years. Then they started again,stole thousands of songs, movies, books, comics and of course porn. Welcome to the real world. Welcome to a society where petty crimes are socially acceptable. Welcome to the internet. Half a day's work, filled with excitement, tension and fear now replaced by a few minutes and a few clicks. There is no guilt, no remorse. The gigabytes of downloads replaced the uncomfortable plastic corners of the cassette poking in your genitals. The shame and taboo related with thieves now replaced with the a casual coolness of clicks and keyboards taps. This very second millions of thieves are downloading without a second thought. Congrats! We have morally legalized Petty crime!!


exwhyzed said...

remind me never to borrow cassettes from you again!!!!!!

videv said...

yeah.... will mail u the mp3....

juno-can't-talk said...

Is Z the same guy who used be the sidekick of a legendary hero with rocket-exhausts?

videv said...

hihii.... how did u guess..