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Thread: The Perfect Thief

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    The Perfect Thief

    The story has been removed.
    Last edited by Gaurav Joshi; 03-24-2014 at 01:20 AM.

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    Hello everyone. This was my first short story,which I had written long back. Please do reply, even if you feel it's terrible.

  3. #3
    outstanding short Gau. Well written.

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    Thanks a lot Lonesome Cowboy, it means a lot to me

  5. #5
    no prbs Gau. Be sure to read my stories and leave comments. Thanks.

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Would you go to a job interview looking like this story does? You need a line of whitespace between paragraphs and proper paragraph breaks (for example, between dialogue from different speakers). You also have spaces in front of punctuation, and other punctuation with no spaces on either side ("lobby!Soon"). Clean it up and people will be more likely to look at it instead of away from it.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Thanks for the reply. I will take care of it next time. But I would like to know how you felt about the story.

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurav Joshi View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I will take care of it next time. But I would like to know how you felt about the story.
    I was unable to read it at the time; honest typos and grammar hiccups are one thing (we do have numerous non-native English speakers posting here), but that mess was more than I could force myself through. I see now that you've cleaned it up considerably (still lots of extra and missing spaces around punctuation, though--you might give it another going over), so I'll have a look tomorrow, as it's pretty late now.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    I have tried hard to avoid any more punctuation errors. And the story is set in India, so there may be some confusion for you at first. Hope you read the story and like it.
    Last edited by Gaurav Joshi; 02-11-2014 at 06:47 AM.

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    Translator Mohammad Ahmad's Avatar
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    I find it enjoyable!
    My country is the Home of Honour And
    Without honour I haven't Home
    MMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Ahmad View Post
    I find it enjoyable!
    Thank you very much. I am glad you liked it.

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    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Reminds me a lot of 1001 Nights, including the way you have framed the narrative as being told by a non-participant who heard it from someone else.
    There are a few minor things that can be attributed to English being your second language, so I’ll pass over those. For the story itself, I like the concept. You’ve challenged yourself to bring together details from several incidents to form a kind of mosaic of a story where all the pieces need to fit together in place. I like that and applaud you for the effort. It works for the most part, but I do think you need to work a little more – there are some missing pieces and they need to fit together better.

    For example, in the first robbery, you say “the owner had planned the robbery of his own house… and Sushant unknowingly became the part of it.” I think you need to explain that a little more. If the owner had planned a robbery for the same night, then presumably there should have been another thief on the premises collaborating with the owner, but none of that, and none of the repercussions of that, were explained.

    After detailing his first two robberies, you mention he did three more, but give no details. To me this detracts from the story, and I would leave that out and just make the stolen car his third robbery. If the stolen car was involved in a murder, I think you need to explain how that car was involved so the reader can understand why the police thought the driver of the car was the murderer. You also, I think, need to explain more about what the car has to do with the bribe that you mention.

    Finally, in the end, it turns out that the police conclude that the car was not stolen, a bribe had not taken place, and no theft had taken place in the bungalow. That’s all very nice, and makes for a happy ending, but you really need to explain how/why the police came to those conclusions. You’ll need to think hard to come up with plausible explanations for these questions, but it can be done and your story will be much better with those questions answered.

    There is a tale in 1001 nights, The Little Hunchback (it’s available on this site under Authors/ Anonymous/Arabian Nights volume 2), that has many parallels with your story. The Little Hunchback is a dinner guest at a tailor’s house and chokes on a fishbone and dies. The tailor calls a doctor. In the meantime, afraid he will be blamed for his guest’s death, the tailor sets up a plan that will make the doctor think that he, the doctor, killed the hunchback. Believing that he killed the hunchback, the doctor then takes the corpse and sneaks him into his neighbor’s house at night, propping the corpse up to look like it is standing. When the neighbor sees the standing corpse in hois house in the middle of the night, he thinks it is a thief and hits it with a club and now the neighbor thinks that he has killed the hunchback. The story continues, and in the end all end up before the chief justice and then the sultan. A series of other stories intervenes, but at the end of The Story of the Barber (5 chapters later), an old man removes the fishbone from the hunchback’s throat, and the hunchback immediately sneezes, opens his eyes, and shows other signs of life. I’ll recommend you read The Little Hunchback and the ending of The Story of the Barber. It might inspire you to come up with better explanations for the incidents that occur in your story.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

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    I am really glad you took so much interest in this story.

    For the first robbery, I thought it was needless for me to explain about the other thief as for the bungalow owner the job was done. And as this story is a narration in a narration it was getting very difficult for me to give any role to the bungalow owner or to the unmentioned thief.

    Secondly, I had actually written about his stolen car theft but I edited it out, because it was stagnating the pace of the story. As mentioned this story is set in India. So to answer the question about police thinking that the driver is a murderer, you need to understand a bit about Indian Judiciary and law. India has perhaps one of the most lethargic and useless law and order in the world. Police here are not bothered about justice. Sushant being caught as a murderer depicts how lethargically the system is working. The thief has to explain his own thefts to escape death penalty. And the car and bribe were actually separate thefts but were edited as I thought I was stretching the story unneccessarily.

    And the climax was perhaps a bitter-sweet one. Without mentioning, I wanted to convey that the police including the so called 'honest friend' were bribed, to prove no robbery ever took place. Again rampant corruption is seen in every department in India.

    Anyway I thank you very much for looking at this story so minutely and I had no idea about that tale and I am looking forward to read it.
    Last edited by Gaurav Joshi; 02-11-2014 at 02:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Nice to engage with you, Gaurav. Actually, I lived in Mumbai form 1992-94, and had quite a bit of interaction with the Indian police during my stay. (The interaction was both good and bad. One officer, Mr. Manicham Sekar, in particular was a real jewell, and I've often wondered what happened to him and if he was ever promoted). So anyway, I know what you are talking about there.

    I don't think your story is all that long and do think it would benefit by replacing those sections that you deleted. For the ending, even though I am familiar with Indian police, the thought never occurred to me that Sushant bribed them (although I guess I should have thought so), so you might want to just come out and say much more directly that because bribes were paid, all charges were dropped, and that is what made Sushant the perfect thief.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

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    I am afraid you got it wrong again.The climax is much deeper. It was the bungalow owner, men involved in corruption who bribed the police. Sarcastically I wanted to convey that they were forced to prove nothing happened because if Sushant is the thief even they are criminals. The owner has income tax department after him while the men would have to explain how that money which Sushant stole is their's (as it was black money). Thus it ends quite darkly as every criminal escapes his punishment.

    And Sushant who never planned any theft properly escaped once again, with all the loot as no one claimed it (again the black money) made him a perfect thief.

    Also, this is my first short story. So I had very little idea how long it should be. I just wanted to make it a story of funny escapes of a thief but ultimately to conclude it I had to change the plot itself. I am happy if you think there should have been some more thefts included which means you enjoyed the pace of the story.

    And I think you are rightly saying that I am expecting too many assumptions from the reader. But if I had directly written police were bribed I would have lost the essence of the story. But I will make it a point to write clearly next time.
    Last edited by Gaurav Joshi; 02-11-2014 at 09:58 PM.

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