Manipal’s Umbrella Man

The umbrella man is just like your average Joe.

For all you may know he may be a she. He walks like you, talks like you and who knows, he may be standing beside you and sharing a joke. But what sets him apart is his expertise in the field of umbrella swiping. He is smart, quick and decisive. He carefully selects his target and disappears before you can say tally ho. the_umbrella_man_by_lilreaper

A rainy day is his day. He walks by, smiles at a friend or an acquaintance and continues towards the rack of umbrellas, so generously put up for donation outside buildings. He inspects the merchandise and selects a big, black umbrella in good condition, picks it up and casually walks away. His motives? They maybe need, sport, revenge or just absent-mindedness. He is faithful to his umbrellas. He will only take the umbrella even if you throw in an iPhone.

He belongs to a species that is not so rare in Manipal. Many of you might belong to that species. Okay, here’s a question to those smart and generous people who religiously leave their umbrellas at the stands. What goes through your head when you return and find that your umbrella is missing? Let me guess. Knives, poison and the dark side of your vocabulary. Well most of you would probably pick up the nicest umbrella you find because it is your right.

Now for those who don’t belong to that species and those who don’t encourage their activities, here are some tips to save your umbrellas.

A Don’t buy a beautiful, black umbrella. Try to find something unique.

B If you can’t do that, deform it. Cripples are not preferred and they are easier to identify.

C Keep it with you at all times.

D NEVER EVER leave it outside on the stand. If you do, consider it lost.

E Finally, if all else fails, you know where to go. There are many generous donors at Edu.