Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Presence of mind

Rohini always keeps the front door locked and used the peephole whenever the bell rang. Today after the grocery was delivered by the boy from the local store, she forgot to close the door as she smelt the milk boiling and rushed to the kitchen. She checked the coffee in the filter and found it had not filtered. When she went back to close the door, she saw a well built man standing in the hall with the door behind him slightly closed. It was an apartment complex with the opposite one remaining locked as they had gone on vacation. Her husband was on tour and expected in the evening.Rohini in her early 30s mostly worked from home on odd consultancy jobs but went out almost daily meeting friends and socializing
She knew she had made a mistake. But he looked decent in his well pressed clothes and the smug smile in his face made him look attractive. The initial irritability softened as she asked him gently ”You could have rung the bell. What is it you want?”
“Sorry madam, I should have done it and stood outside waiting for you” he said politely
“Never mind, tell me the purpose of your visit” she asked
“I heard that you wanted a driver for your car. I am now on the lookout for a job as my previous employer got transferred” he replied even as he surveyed the rich furniture in the hall and the well kept showcase with some finest curios. Affluence was strikingly seen everywhere. If only he had a bit of luck, he was thinking, when her voice brought him to attention
“Who told you we were looking for a driver and how did you get the address?”she asked with some suspicion as she had talked to Ravi only a couple of days back that she needed a driver.
“The drivers meet once a while at a tourist operator’s office. Someone told me though I do not know how he got the information. I can give some good references. I have an aged mother to look after and a younger sister to be married off” he replied
She liked his appearance and the soft way he spoke. She felt he would make a good driver for her and be the envy of her friends who came with aged drivers with thick glasses and bent figures. She started wondering why husbands prefer old men while choosing drivers for spouses.
“Madam, please help me get this job. You will have no room for complaint” he pleaded even as he glanced around. For the first time she didn’t like his roving eyes.
The aroma of coffee from the filter filled the room. She had not yet taken. She did not want to miss a good driver and wanted to question him further
“Please wait. I will be back soon from the kitchen” she said
She prepared a cup of coffee and went to the adjoining room wherefrom she could see him through an opening in the well curtained window.
The young man thought what an easy target she was and how easily she fell for his talk. She also looked very good. He was thanking his stars for his good luck. There were none in the floor. He must handle this tactfully and help himself, he thought.
As he neared the show case, he saw on the mantle a Rado watch. He quickly pocketed it and looked around. He heard her talking to someone on phone. He filched an iPhone that was tempting to ignore besides some silver pieces. Meanwhile he heard a rustle and he quickly moved to the place where he was standing.
She came with a cup of coffee and a large smile in her face. She looked very fascinating. He felt his heart pounding faster and adrenaline rushing through his veins as she handed him the cup and her fingers brushed his.
“Please sit down and drink the coffee first. You can tell me later about yourself, how much you expect and whether you would come out of station if need be” she said.
He now sincerely felt how nice it would have been if he had known driving really and started fantasizing taking her on long trips. He felt sorry for her now and how she would be hurt very soon. But compassion has never been his virtue and he turned into a wild animal when hapless women came under his control.
As he was drinking his coffee, she said “Just a minute. I will be back very soon” and left the room. He went to the front door and locked it. He felt very happy that the job is rendered so easy. No one would hear. He sat waiting for her. Five minutes went by and she wasn’t seen. He stood up to go inside but felt he could not stand. Something amiss, he thought. He sat down
Ten minutes later Rohini came into the hall and saw the crumpled figure on the sofa. She smiled and rang up for the security at the gate. Thanks to her foresight in watching him steal the things through the curtained window, she could save herself. But she had to beat him in his own game without arousing any suspicion and she did it with aplomb. The coffee helped her accomplish it.


  1. now that's a bad driver. ha.ha.. I wonder whether ppl can be as vigilant as Rohini and take quick decisions..intelligent women are an asset to their home..

  2. That's an absolute presence of mind...

    But one shall take care before doing such, because most of the times such visitors are too intelligent..)

  3. Presence of mind is very important .. the first things we are taught is that while walking make sure to read all the signs and know exactly where we are at the given point ...

    big problems can be solved by just presence of mind .. its is really a good gift to have ...


  4. no room for complaint anyway haha... let him wake up maybe then :P

    Presence of mind brings some tricky tricks to react ha?

    thats nice story...

  5. Good Story. Presence of mind is important more so when talking to strangers. Good move by Rohini, imagine if he too had a presence of mind. Perhaps greed overtook presence of mind!

  6. Great story and showcases a wonderful presence of mind.

  7. "But compassion has never been his virtue and he turned into a wild animal when hapless women came under his control".. well penned and a good story as ever.

  8. Nicely written! Good lesson for a woman like myself who lack presence of mind and who trusts people too much:-)

  9. good one..I love the women like Rohini..

  10. moral of the story...remember to keep some 'nasheele padaarth' in your kitchen??:)