The sisterhood of shoplifters

Let’s admit it, most of us would love to get rich! I mean, just imagine - no need for a household budget, no savings account hassles, no EMIs on loans that never seem to get repaid, and absolutely no need to wait (im)patiently for half-price sales (no jostling, no mile-long queues, no smelly changing rooms!). How wonderful it must be to be able to buy anything that catches your fancy when you’re out shopping! Sigh.

What’s worrisome is that sometimes, the richest of people end up stealing things they can very easily afford. In spite of having bank balances with more zeroes than one can count on fingers, several rich folks have, over the years, been caught shoplifting. From cheap jewellery to high-end clothes, they’ve lifted all sorts of things!

And, this lifting phenomenon seems to have now arrived in India. Bengali actress Swastika Mukherjee, who’s all set to make her Bollywood debut in Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective ByomkeshBakshi, has been accused of shoplifting at a boutique in Singapore. According to reports, Swastika was in Singapore to attend a film festival along with her friend, noted theatre personality Suman Mukherjee, and she allegedly lifted earrings worth US$225.Festival organisers and members of the Bengali film industry attending the festival have been left red-faced.

I’m not sure why she did what she did. She’s worked tremendously hard to achieve all she has. From a failed marriage to broken relationships, she’s bounced back every single time and proven all her detractors wrong. Although, very recently, there were reports of her having tried to kill herself after a tiff with an alleged lover, I find it very hard to believe that a delicate state of mind can lead somebody to thieving! But, I could very well be wrong, of course.  Here’s a look at some seriously cool people who took a lift into trouble. Quite literally!

Lindsay Lohan
From the freckle-faced girl everybody loved in The Parent Trap to a notorious party girl, Lindsay Lohan has seen the entire spectrum of the Hollywood life.DUI and rehab have been part of her life since 2007. In 2011, she was accused of stealing a necklace worth $2,500 in California. Lohan denied the allegation, stating that she was simply ‘borrowing’ the item. However, the store has no record of the celebrity using their customary loan policy.

Britney Spears
From a drunken 55 hour-long marriage to shaving her head off, Britney has been controversy’s favourite child! At a gas station she stole a lighter, turned to the camera and sarcastically commented, ‘I stole something. Oh, I’m bad.’  And, oops! She did it again when she took a wig off a mannequin and ran away!

Winona Ryder
Poised for superstardom, Winona Ryder shocked fans when she was caught stealing over $5,000 worth of designer clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, California. In subsequent interviews, Ryder claimed that the scandal actually ‘saved’ her, forcing her to re-evaluate her life and undergo therapy.

Jennifer Capriati
She caught the tennis world by storm when she made the French Open semi-finals as a 13 year-old. A top-ten ranking, and an Olympic Gold later, she suffered a tough first-round loss at the US Open. Subsequently,Capriati was caught shoplifting a $15 ring at a suburban mall outside Tampa, Florida. A year later, seemingly unable to cope with the pressures of stardom, she was arrested for possession of marijuana. She eventually overcame her adolescent troubles and went on to be the world’s number one female tennis player.

 It’s difficult for us to arrive at a conclusion, really. In some cases, like Courtney Love’s , shoplifters have admitted to doing it just to increase their street credibility and let their inner rebel out. I find it extremely disturbing that a filthy rich person would steal just to appear cool. It’s sickening, honestly. But, there are cases when people are genuinely troubled, and they need proper medical attention. Perhaps, all Swastika needs is some help. And, some love.

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy
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