Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Latest Malayalam word: Kallan-- thief.

It was the weekend. I slept in, did a small amount of laundry, made myself some chai, read a little, took a shower and then decided where I wanted to get some lunch from: Shalimar (one of the usual spots). I enjoyed my masala dosa and second or third cup of chai for the day. Began walking back to the college and decided to run by the small store and pick up some supplies. It was a truly spectacular day and, when in the shade it was an enjoyable temperature. As I entered the campus I remember thinking to myself how lovely the weather was outside. Campus was busy because of a two day job fair for students from many surrounding colleges and universities. I stopped briefly to chat with some of the CMS students I saw there and was introduced to several students from nearby colleges. After talking for a while I continued on the final short distance to my room. I walked in, placed my padlock down on the table and instantly noticed it was missing.

My laptop. My laptop is gone. What the hell?!? I searched around the room just to make sure I didn’t leave it anywhere before heading out. No, I’m sure I had left it on my table. Yep… proof. All of the items on my desk are messed up and the wiring has all been pulled towards the window. It’s gone.

I called my supervisor and he told me to go and tell the campus security. Because of the job fair though there were uniformed Kerala Police Officers on campus. So I explain to them what has happened. Or, rather, I explain to one of the CMS students who then translated for me.
The police then came down to investigate and decided that I should write a letter of enquiry to the Circle Inspector of Police and he will conduct the further investigation. That investigation has come and gone and, seeing as it entailed two questions (what day did it happen? What time?), I am not hopeful for the return of my laptop.

Losing the laptop is one thing. But it wasn’t losing the replaceable plastic skeleton that bothered me. It’s losing everything that was in it-- including all of my documentation of India. At times like this only one thing comes to mind. And, it just so happens that these words came from a man who’s life experience was also shaped by this country and who lured many an adventurous Westerner out to the land of the Jungle Book.  In his poem If--, Rudyard Kipling says of losing everything you have, “And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;”

So, that’s it. I shall say no more on the subject.