Thangam lived with her son and his family in a small town in south India. The old lady lived a quiet life, minding her own business and not ruffling any feathers. But unknown to her, she had become the cynosure of two pairs of eyes. Actually it was not she, but the heavy chain that adorned her neck that was attracting their attention. Two unsavory characters were stealthily eyeing the jewel, waiting for an opportune moment to snatch it.
One hot afternoon, Thangam was alone at home. The son and his family were were away. There was the usual power failure. It was very hot indoors and after her lunch she sat in the verandah fanning herself with a newspaper. Slowly she began to doze. As she sat nodding, leaning against the wall, she got the shock of her life.
She saw as in a dream two men approach her. Suddenly they threw a blanket over her and she found herself bundled in it and being carried into the house.
The thieves had chosen that lonely afternoon to make a strike. They could not remove her chain in broad daylight and in the open streets even though it was deserted at that time. She would have screamed and attracted notice. And she should not ‘see’ them to describe them or identify them to the police later.
Thangam was borne into the kitchen swaddled in the thick sheet, unable to escape or even note who her assailants were. In the confines of the house, the scoundrels removed the chain from her person and took to their heels, making sure to lock the house from the outside.
The shaken woman freed herself from the confines of the blanket but had to wait for her son to return to release her from the locked house.
But the robbers had not made a haul that day.
They went to the ‘fence’ who usually evaluated and bought their stolen goods. There they were in for an ugly surprise.
The chain that the woman had worn proudly around her neck was a gilded trinket known as ‘covering gold.’ It was worth about a hundred rupees and not any astronomical sum that the thieves had envisaged.
All this planning and work, for nothing!
No wonder her son’s family had left the old woman alone at home primped like this.
PS: The muggers did not know that the real gold that day in the house was the old lady herself. Because Thangam in Tamil literally means GOLD!
Story By: T – Written By : Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo