A quick confession: Shop Lifting

I’ve made my peace with my shoplifting (when I was eight) with the random thought “Everybody shoplifts at least once in their life”.

I stole an eraser. And no I don’t feel particularly awful about it. Felt guilty for a day or two, but the eraser was flower/ bubblegum scented. I wouldn’t do it again. I don’t know why I did it then. I was with my mother and she knew that I had enough erasers to be able to give some to my grandchildren should they need it.

Plus, it was so easy. Pudgy hand of a child gliding over the counter, and picking up a blob of pink. Yes, yes I know that if every child in the 1km radius of the shop had done the same thing, the shop would close and the shopkeeper would be in trouble.

At that age though, it was a curious mix of guilt, elation and bewilderment. How do I use the eraser without letting my mother notice it? That ended my brief encounter with shoplifting. Happy to say I haven’t swiped anything else after that, and don’t ever plan on doing it.

Ever shoplifted? Items? Technique?

PS – Notice how I don’t use the word ‘steal’, when in fact it was just that.

17 Comments

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17 Responses to A quick confession: Shop Lifting

  1. meena

    I went for something a bit more useful – a fancy pencil with an eraser tip on the other side. The eraser was useless.

    I felt quite bad, but well, I was six!

  2. I ate a mars bar @ supermarket and then left for home.

  3. bd

    stole a mannequin once. She became my hostel wife. I wouldnt call it shop lifting or even stealing. It was nightime robbery when being drunk as a skunk..

  4. Sadly, I have never stolen anything yet! Such an insipid life I have.

    Oh, and I love your blog! Especially your discussion on politics/the nation-State and Up! :)

  5. I aint confessing anything. You cant make me! *runs away as fast as possible*

  6. I once kept a shiny golden ring I was trying on in a mumbai local… i must hav been abt 3 yrs old… I too was scared my mom wud find out (which she eventually did) but was so happy to hav it coz noone wud hav let me buy it I was so sure !

  7. Lots of websites seem to have shoplifted this post out of context.

  8. A girl stole my heart in a supermarket!! does that count?!

  9. Went to a store once when I was six, and walked out with a box of tic tacs. My reasoning then was that they looked colorfully appealing to the eyes, and that I just wanted to do something different, like..hmm…not pay?!!

  10. Sadly never shop-lifted. Unless you count shelling and eating peas even as I negotiate with the greengrocer or as he weighs up all other things I was buying. If he knows I am eating the peas from his cart, right in front of his eyes, is it shop-lifting?

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  12. Vikrant

    Heh.. I once stole a Stop sign during one of my drunken nights out in the cornfields outside my midwestern uni!

  13. Nondust eraser! :D

  14. I have this incredibly low memory. I recently lived in Dubai for a year (where you know the laws are strict). I shopped for the week’s grocery (with wife on phone) and happily left the place walking right royally across the counter and reached home.

    Only the next day we realized that I had not paid anything for the stuff ( when we wanted to check the price of certain items).

    Oops..I hope they dont blacklist my passport there now.

  15. Sri

    NatGeo counted illiya?! ;-)

  16. haha cute post. My friend and i once flicked this chetan bhagat book from a store… everybody was talking about it and neither of had enough money to buy it. We were so desperate to read it that we both read it the very same day and put back in it’s shelf the next day. And as if that wasn’t enough, we opened a tropican Guava nectar packet, gulped it down and put the empty packet back. LOL we did it in a spirit of fun but later when we thought abt it, we swore not to do it ever again. Thanks to u, i just remembered tht and had a great time laughing.