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Barely in our first year of teenage, Dianny and I were restless for adventure. After the fiasco at the goods railway station, we decided to shift our hunting grounds closer to home. We scouted out pigeon roosting areas and we homed in on an old building in Kacheripady. Only problem was that it was the Central Excise, no less.

Prudently, we decided to leave the gun behind and ask for permission. To our delight, the policemen there were very welcoming and they actually asked us to ‘do something about the pigeon nuisance’! But no guns. For the next two evenings after school, we roamed the verandas of Central Excise, stalking the pigeons and brain storming about best methods of hunting without a weapon.

Then Diany had a brainwave. Our school shoes had large heels and were quite heavy, thanks to our ‘Madam’ Lilly Kurien who wanted her school to be well heeled 🙂 . “Let’s sneak up behind a group of pigeons and throw our shoes at them”, he said. “The heavy footwear were sure to knock a few of them dead.” Thereby, we started our shoe-throwing operation, much to the cops’ amusement. But  results were poor. Dozens of shoes thrown about, but no dead pigeons to boot!

Then, there was this final throw that ended it all. It was my turn. I tip-toed to a group of pigeons and flung my shoe with all my strength. The shoe completely missed the pigeons, and to my shock sailed straight out of the wall of the Central Excise compound, and flew straight into the interior of a crowded bus at the busy Kacheripady bus stand!!! Back in those days, busses had very wide windows with no glass. I am sure, my shoe wold have smacked at least 2 to 3 people in the bus before settling down inside it.

Aghast, I hid behind a pillar as I heard the expected ruckus from the bus passengers. I’d rather go home missing a shoe and subject myself to Mummy’s smacking, than face the people I had smacked in the face with my well-used footwear. Fortunately, my good friend Diany could be trusted to use his English skills to retrieve my runaway shoe. In no time and with plenty of “Please Uncle, Please Uncle” he had my estranged shoe back.

The guard at the Central Excise advised us in no uncertain terms that we are never to set foot here again. They said that they can’t be liable for public injury because of us! So I walked home that day with no pigeon in hand, but gladly two shoes on my feet 🙂

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