Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) The man behind last weekend's theft in actress-politician Hema Malini's house here has turned out to be a member of her staff. It's difficult to find trustworthy staff, she rues.
'It's very worrisome. But we can't seem to find the staff we can trust,' Hema, who spent Holi dealing with the police, told IANS.
'The security guard at our Goregaon residence was caught sleeping when the burglary happened. At the same time, we've to depend on security and domestic staff. But how do we make sure they're to be trusted?'
The high drama began at Hema Malini's Goregaon bungalow on Saturday night when approximately Rs.8 million worth goods were stolen. Most of the stolen goods were gold ornaments.
By Tuesday morning the cops were expected to retrieve the entire loot from the man arrested. However till Wednesday morning Hema had not got back the stolen valuables.
Hema was pretty sure, though that the ornaments would be retrieved since the alleged culprit had been apprehended.
Hema was not in town when the incident took place. The nightmare began when Hema landed in Mumbai Sunday morning after a show.
'We're right now in the middle of shifting from our Goregaon residence to our Juhu bungalow. That's how it has been for a year now. While our Juhu residence gets fully renovated, we're shuttling between two homes.'
On Saturday the Goregaon residence was locked.
'Esha and Ahana were in the Juhu residence. My cousin Prabha, who stays in Goregaon was with me dancing on stage at Nagpur. Our show went very well. And we returned happily, not knowing the shock that waited for us.
'The minute we landed in Mumbai on Sunday morning, my cousin called to say we should immediately head from the airport to Goregaon instead of our Juhu residence. When I reached my Goregaon residence the whole place was ransacked. Locks in the rooms and cupboards including mine had been broken.'
Sounding tired but calm Hema said: 'This is the first time in our entire life that we ladies have been so invaded by intruders. I've spent all my life in households run by women. First, it was my mother and me. Then it's been me and my two daughters.
'The world was out playing Holi while I had my home swamped with cops. But it's okay. The investigation has been very efficient. I'm very happy with the cops.'
The question of safety for women who stay alone crops up and Hema sighs: 'I do miss a male presence in the house at a time like this. Looking into a police matter was not the way I wanted to spend my Holi.'