A weird thing happened last Thursday night.
Actually, it happened on Friday morning, but I didn’t know then because it was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by….ah, well, got carried away again. Anyways, I fell asleep at my usual bedtime on Thursday night, at about one AM or thereabouts, and suddenly, I awoke to a strange whishing sound. It was dark in the room, and the first thought that came to my mind was – my Creative speakers had blown. This odd reaction was because I generally leave my computer on at night – with some music playing, and once the playlist is done, it pipes down and goes into standby. A couple of nights ago, there was some kind of a power fluctuation at night, and I had woken up to the sound of my speakers blipping rather irritatingly because the computer was rebooting at about 2 boots per second. That had scared me a lot, and I actually shut my computer down before falling asleep for the next two days.
So with this scary speaker-blowy situation paramount in my sleep-addled mind, I jumped to the wall and switched off the power. And crawled back to bed.
Except the sound was still there, and it was definitely from outside my window. There were also people whispering, quite a few of them. None of these looked too good – it’s never good when your sleepiness disappears at an unholy time of the night.
There were six men outside the window. My apartment is on the ground floor, with a slight elevation, and I could see two of them busy sawing a tree that grew directly opposite apartment, and the rest looking hassled and obviously keeping a lookout. The tree happened to be a Sandalwood tree, and two months ago, a gang of men, armed with guns and knives, had driven inside the apartment complex, cut the telephone wires, held the guard ( an old guy who looks more harmless than my grandpa ) at knife-point and tried to saw off that very tree. Since that time, the gate to the complex would be properly locked at 11 in the night and reopened at 6 the next morning. Obviously, that hadn’t worked. The guard was nowhere to be seen.
Note the point about guns and knives. While I couldn’t really see anything being carried by these guys, it was obviously a bad idea for me to shout out and say – “What on earth is going on?” At the same time, someone on the top floor was yelling something in Kannada – these guys obviously paid no attention, and the sawing continued. I did the logical thing, switched on my light, banged the bedroom door open and went to the living room, which ALSO faced the same tree. The idea was to go and wake my roomies up, and create a ruckus and scare the guys off.
Well, by the time I am in the living room, I look outside, the guys have vanished! Criminals are indeed a cowardly and superstitious lot, it seems, because the lit-up room scared them so much that they dropped everything, including the saw and ran off. Couple of minutes later, the folks from upstairs came down with a torch, I joined them – sadly enough, the tree had been chopped off all the way through. The police came in after about twenty minutes, made a fuss, and were around until at about 10 in the morning, some folks from the Forest Department came and carted the tree away. The guard had been held down by two men, or so he claims. Seems he was asking around for money from the owner for the past few days, and the buzz is that he might be involved in this.
So – my superpower of choice? I drive criminals away by lighting up rooms. Beat that!