The night sky had conformed and the Ganesh festival was still lively in the dark streets of Colaba. Fearful of meeting the gang I avoided Marina drive where the main processions were situated and swept through the quiet back streets at a considerable pace. In some kind of Orwellian manner, like they had been expecting me down that back alley, the three men appeared from nowhere and surrounded me. Within no time I was pinned up against the wall out of sight from anyone and being forced to give them the 700 Rupees that they had to pay the cops the previous night and a further 800 Rupees for the cocaine we had allegedly taken. I was terrified but continued to say no, until I was threatened with a knife and the words "I will kill you". I pushed the men away and gave them everything I had in my wallet. The 400 Rupees wasn't enough but I started panicking and making my way to marina drive on the adjacent road.
I managed to get in a busier area and I realised only the cocaine addict and the ex-convict were following me. I knew something was up. The next thing I knew 'the boss' had driven up alongside me and the two guys tried to force me in the car. The boss had a menacing look, a huge scar on his arm and a large scar across his face. The worst thing I could do was to get in the car.
I was really panicking by this point and my adrenaline had taken over, I was no longer in control of my actions. Just as I forced my way out of the car door I caught a glimpse of three tall white people strolling down the marina. I ran towards them and started explaining as clearly as I could that they had to help me. With the two guys' opposing argument, the three English people looked surprised and thought I was another ignorant tourist who had drug debts. I eventually managed to convince them of the real circumstances and pleaded with them not to leave me. We came up with a plan. The taller Englishman started to lose his temper and convinced the muggers that they had a cash machine in their hotel (the Taj Mahal Palace) and I could pay them however much they needed.
Considering my flight was in four hours I called William at my hotel and told him to grab the backpacks, call a taxi and pick me up from the Taj palace immediately. That ten minute wait felt like a lifetime but I had the reassurance of the three lovely English people who were on business in India. When William got there he told me how nervous I looked and said he hadn't seen the muggers. That made me relax a little but I wasn't completely relaxed until we had got through customs in the airport and were finally safe.
Even when I got home my parents said I looked anxious and like I had a lot of adrenaline. I had never felt as lonely as I was being mugged by those three Indian men, not knowing what they would do next and being defenceless against the corruption I had so often heard about and dismissed. I don't like to think about what would have happened had I got in that car and I am forever grateful of the English people that helped me out.