It was a Sunday afternoon when I visited the mall with my mother. The mall was about to close soon, therefore, if we wanted to do some shopping, we had to hurry. We sat in the car and listened to rock and roll music at full volume until we reached our destination. “Take the next right turn, and your destination will be on the left” announced the speaker on Google Maps while interrupting the chorus of the song. When we reached, I had a slightly unorthodox experience with the security guard stationed outside the mall. When I tried getting through the security equipment, the equipment started beeping rapidly and at an unbearable volume. The chit-chat had suddenly stopped, and everyone’s attention and eyes rolled towards me, as though I was a convicted felon who escaped from prison.
At that moment, my heart started beating at the same pace as the beeping machine attached to the equipment. My lower body felt paralysed for a couple of seconds before the security guard started to approach me. He was tall, buff, and had an extremely long moustache which was hilarious and creepy at the same time. He looked at me with a certain amount of suspicion which I could not bear for long. After pure silence for a couple of seconds, he smiled and asked me to walk through the equipment once more in a gentle tone, one I did not anticipate. I walked through the machine again and to my dismay, the alarm went off again. This time, everyone’s silence was replaced by a gasp, and suddenly, everyone started to isolate themselves from me, as if I posed a threat to them.
After much convincing, the people present outside the mall felt a little more comfortable standing next to me. I was contemplating what should I explain to the security guard to ensure my safety. By that time, my mother took the lead to talk to the guard and about the mall’s faulty security equipment. After a lot of argument, the guard insisted upon using a different approach and asked me to step on the scanning machine to determine where the metallic object was located on my body.
We conducted multiple scans, nevertheless, the object was too small to be reflected by the machine. The guard still refused to let me through, even though I was a minor, claiming it was the question of the customers’ safety. I finally asked the guard to conduct a physical test whether I possessed any kind of harmful object on me, and to my surprise, he agreed. When he completed the physical scan, he concluded that it was safe for me to enter the mall. I finally felt as though I had succeeded; all that persuading finally came to use. But when the mall hung up a sign, it immediately changed my mood and frustrated me. The mall had shut down, and people started exiting the building.
My mother assured me that we would come back the next day and purchase whichever clothes I would prefer acquiring. With a neutral face, I approached my car, and just before I stepped into the vehicle, something metallic dropped from of my track pants. I was appalled and enraged as I was held-back for possessing my house keys! I handed the keys to my mother, and told her with a grunt, “Let’s skip tomorrow. This place is overrated anyway,” while riding away back home.
Contributor: Zahaan Sabuwala
About our Writing Program Student
Zahaan Sabuwala (15) is a Xth Grader studying at Oberoi International School in Mumbai. He’s fond of playing the guitar and is a national-level lawn tennis player. During his spare time, he loves spending time with pets!