How to Survive the Indian Pick Pocket

The inspiration for this article is a recent group from the US and UK visiting India for the first time. And guess who greeted them first at the railway station. The very swift agile and hungry Indian pick Pocket or (pocket maar in local lingo), Yes that’s right, though the loss in foreign exchange wasn’t much ;), it’s still a mood dampener. So here’s some advice on how to beat him at his own game!.

Pick pocketing is essentially teamwork; though, solo artists too exist. Pickpockets, both males and females, operate in crowded metros, city buses, railway stations, bus terminals and daily markets. Good wallet-lifters are egoists; they pride in their trade. The best have self-inflicted blade marks on their forearms: a sort of status symbol, says a cop.

Popular public places, transport hubs or local shopping areas are the breeding grounds for the pick pocket. They come in all shapes and sizes, Short, wiry and reasonably articulate, who hardly invite a second glance or may be dressed in a worn-out jeans and a beat-up eggplant colored T-shirt that screams, Rock and roll rebel.

I for one have not been pick pocketed until now, lucky I guess! So these are the few things I make sure are in place if I am entering a crowded public place.

  1. Nothing works best than being alert; in the know of who’s around you.
  2. Look out for any face trailing close to you for long.
  3. Always keep your wallet in the front pocket, makes it almost inaccessible.
  4. If lost always or asking for directions, always ask a cop or any fellow traveler or a auto rickshaw driver.
  5. When paying do not take out the entire wand of cash you might be carrying, always carry loose currency in change.
  6. Keep the important stuff in your direct line of sight.

 

The local Pickpocket slang, must you hear it you know what to do now:)

1. Machine: Main pickpocket of a gang.
2. Thekbaaz: Assistants mainly used to distract attention.
3. Paplu: Potential pickpocket’s target.
4. Phool: Meeting place.
5. Bater: Back pocket.
6. Chhati: Front pocket.

Rest , enjoy the vacation, love the people and experience the culture. Remember all that we have talked about here is out of experience and all this is ineffective if you are not alert about your surroundings. These basics will help you not get robbed.

Cheers!

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