In life’s crosshairs

How lucky you were can only be understood by rewinding and reviewing those times you felt were fml-ish.

So an another Indian student working as a grocery store attendant was shot to death while being robbed at gun point. He was shot though he offered no resistance.

Circa July 2009. Ryan and I were co-clerks at a gas station cum convenience store in one of the toughest neighborhoods of Baton Rouge, LA. We had all kinds of customers the good ones, the bad ones, the mad ones, the crazy ones,the drug peddlers, the ex con’s, the pimps, the whores, the penny pinchers, the shop lifters, the goons, the senile ones so on and so forth.

Many a times we flirted with live danger; like shouting at a bad customer, threatening to call the cops on the shop lifter etc. All we had to save our asses was our common sense and the weakly bullet proofed teller cabin. Ryan likes to play bad ass. While I manned the counter he would go outside the store, lean on the glass exterior and smoke. And we wore these dark store clerk uniforms which made us stand out from every person that walked in through those doors. Any one could put a gun on Ryan’s temples and make me unlock the bullet proof door of the cabin. All the pleas to Ryan to quit smoking or go smoke in the loo, fell on deaf ears.

Many times when a customer used to piss us off we used to flip our middle finger and the dude would go all crazy like a gorilla and bang on the bullet proof windows; we half feared it would break some day. At times some dude would get pissed of for no apparent reason (like the fact that we were Indian and all) and threaten to beat us to pulp in the driveway when we left at the end of our shift. And many such encounters can keep you regaled to the end of eternity.

(I must write a full fledged blog post on the  gas station stint some time soon)

Today when I look back at those times I am amazed at how incredibly foolish I was to flirt with danger and still manage to type this entry, an year latter. Thank You Sai Baba.