The Shoplifter

10/10/2016 5:18:15 PM
written By : Jyoti Verma Print

Beep!  Beep! The sensor screamed loudly, as if yelling, “Thief!!Thief!!” 

Rozy tried to step out hurriedly, pretending to be busy on her smartphone, covered by an expensive Swarovski phone case.  Just a few minutes ago she had casually walked into this shop filled with cheap decorative items, gifts, noodles, slippers, and all kinds of small stuff.  

She had already stepped out when Mr. Tan, the shop’s owner, called her from behind: “Excuse me, miss, my sensor is beeping. Maybe you are taking something by mistake without paying for it”.  

Mr. Tan, clad in a simple blue shirt and brown trousers, had opened this shop just last year after getting retrenched from his job at the age of 58.  He had tried finding another job but employers had no interest in him anymore. After all, who would want to hire an old man when plenty of young blood was available at a cheaper price? He wanted to keep earning for as long as he could, so as to support himself and his wife in their twilight years. He had worked as a technician all his life. This job was stable and not too hectic, but he could not save much after feeding seven mouths, including his parents, with his meagre pay.  

His elder daughter-in-law had recently given birth to a baby girl and his son was busy trying to make ends meet with his wages as a taxi driver. His younger son had just finished ITE and started working as a plumber with some contactor. He would come home late at night after drinking sessions with friends. Mr. Tan had been encouraging him to study further and save some of his salary, but he could barely cover his expenses.

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