Annual Hold Up – The Hindu

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Are you hungry yet? This is the intention. Feeling faint? How many fingers can you see? 11? Best

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Do exactly what you are told. don’t shout Or we’ll have to sit on you. be quiet. We really don’t like to hurt you. We do this to survive. We have families to feed. I also have relatives who came last month and are showing no signs of leaving. We have orders for you to do so. We are not bad people.

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It won’t hurt if you don’t struggle. Once again you will find peace. close your eyes. Now relax, think of someone you love. your wife. Your neighbor’s wife.

Feeling light-headed already? Steady, now, steady. Stand up and follow us. Do not try to escape. We will find you. Our people are everywhere. Enter here. Hand over your clothes, underwear, shoes. You can’t run away now.

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We can see you’re shaking. It’s cold, yes. Don’t fall asleep. We have received orders to keep you awake and conscious. Count the sheep!

Answer our questions truthfully. We know you’re lying about him—and her—and your age. We have ways of approaching the truth. We don’t like to lie. My relatives promised to go on Sunday but they have not come yet.

Hand over your wallet and your jewelry. Protest is futile. to leave. It looks like fake gold. Hey R – doesn’t that sound like fake gold to you? Sorry! No, not your silver tooth. We have ways to get it out if we need to. But not yet.

Go this way. Down the last, long corridor. Stop counting sheep. This is getting on my nerves.

That door at the end? Go inside. In the room that says. keep out. Danger, skull and crossbones. Early. It will be over in a flash. You will not feel any pain. Let us strap you on this cold steel machine. shut up No one will hear your screams. stop yelling And stop counting sheep. This room is soundproof, we made sure of that.

Now, hold your breath. While we escape. Just think of something happy: blue skies, floating, happily ever after. Your neighbor’s wife. Hold your breath. You’re turning blue. It is expected. Do not breathe. All you will see is a bright light. Take care of yourself. Be brave. We are leaving now. Remember, you don’t know our names.

‘Hello,’ I heard him say again. ‘Please pay attention. This is an annual checkup, not a holdup. We really need to start. Now your name please.’

As if I ever told them the truth.

Where Jane D’Souza, author of Happily Never After, talks about the week’s quirks, quacks and hacks

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