A Tuesday morning like any other. As I walked along the road from Khar [Bombay suburb] to where it met 14th Rd – I had not been here before - I noticed how shady it was and rejoiced in the trees.
A voice called behind me, a young man who pointed to another man further down who was beckoning. The young man said it was a police officer who was trying to get my attention. Puzzled and curious I turned and walked toward the second man who was standing beside a parked van, not a police vehicle. He took out a scruffy ID card which said "Police". Motioning me to come closer he said in a low voice that there was some trouble in the area and he was cautioning me.
They sighted a third man walking on the street and got him to come over, told him that he should not be wearing that gold chain around his neck, asked if he lived nearby and said it would be better if he took it off and put it into his briefcase. He complied readily.
I turned to carry on as I had some work on 14th Rd and the first young man stopped me and said to take off my chain and put it into my bag, repeating that the police officer was only interested in my safety, with the third man joining in to commend the police person’s concern. I said I needed to hurry and turned again to go and they said I should take off my bangles and put them also in my bag. By this time I was a bit annoyed and saying I could take care of myself I walked away briskly, with the first young man trying to protest and stop me.
I was unsettled and shaken by this and also uneasy as the man did not seem at all like a police person - suddenly I felt quite vulnerable. Just a few yards ahead I noticed a young woman who came to her scooter parked near the kerb and I stopped and asked if she was going straight on. I told her what had happened and we turned to look down the road and the three men had melted away! The young woman asked if she could drop me and I gratefully accepted her offer.
I have been puzzling over the incident which obviously was staged to trap me and relieve me of my chain and bangles.