A responsible thief


After ten months of it being stolen, I got my passport back! I lost it in October 2005 along with my pouch and an assortment of materials in it. There was some cash in it but not much. It’s ten months since I lost it, it has miraculously returned. Minus the pouch, a mobile and the cash all else has been returned – and in good condition.

The returned items include a few post-it notes I maintained in the pouch, few scrap papers with notes scribbled in them, a pocketbook, a telephone book, old photos, et al. My packet was found in the department of homeland security office – ostensibly dropped by someone there. I am thankful for it, for it saves me much hassle of getting the US visa again, among other thigns. Interestingly, this is not the first time stolen things have been returned to me.

While in Delhi, a cycle was stolen from me and was returned after three months. By the time, I had one more cycle on me. So, I decided to give this to a friend, and lo – it was stolen again from a different location – and it looks like, by a different person. But it was returned again in three months! My passport story is not as bizzare as the cycle. Some ‘responsible person’ had atleast decided to keep it safely and had taken the pains it drop it off where I’d surely get it.

Somehow these remind me of two impressive plays in Delhi: Charandas Chor and Virtuous Thief (an adaptation from it’s Italian version). They were a couple of wonderful plays that were at the same time sharp political satires. The thought of Indian theatre wants me to go home. My passport is finally in hand and it’s nothing short of freedom. Dear home, await me, I am on my way.


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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