My father had bought a new cycle for me on my 15th birthday. It was a shade better looking than all the cycles many friends had. I loved my cycle and wiped it clean every morning.

One day I, as usual, went out to give my record work for spiral binding. I locked the cycle before I stepped inside the shop. But I forgot to take the key with me because I was in a hurry. I must present my work to my teacher the next day. This took about 40 minutes.

But when I came back, I was shocked to see that my cycle was no longer there! The key was not in my pocket! Only then I recollected my blunder.

I got panicky. I searched frantically, in vain. From a PCO, I called home and informed my father. “Hang on there. I will come. Together let us go to the police station and lodge a complaint,” he spoke matter-of-fact and asked me where I had kept the purchase bill. I told him.

Minutes later, I saw his car approach. It pulled up beside me. He took me to the area police station. A cop at the entrance, with an age-old modeled 303 rifle asked us what the matter was. Then a young woman cop at the front office, acting as a receptionist, spoke to us and took us to the inspector attached to the crime branch.

At every police station in the city, there are two inspectors, one pertaining to Law & Order (L&O), another attached to Crime branch. The latter (crime) dealt only with crimes like, theft, robbery, dacoity, house breaking, chain snatching, cheating and so on. The former maintained law and order, traffic snarl, quelling the agitated mob, granting permission to political meeting and procession, providing security to VIPs who traverse that way and the like.

We met the crime inspector and as directed by him, lodged a written complaint with a head constable-cum-writer. There was a VHF set behind him through which the voice of the cop at the control room kept talking like the FM radio. After that, we left. Weeks and months passed. But my beloved cycle could not be traced! It was a bitter lesson I learned never to be haste.