The ‘criminal’ lexicon

“Mohamed, will you do the bank robbery, as he is busy ?”, our immediate head asked me the other day. I nodded, “No problem, give me half an hour, I’ll do it”crime

Then I turned around to my computer. Turned around and wondered. Wondered that if the conversation was heard by around 99 per cent of the population, they would either think I was part of some weird social experiment a la clockwork orange or that I – and my boss- needed some serious counseling, quick.  

Crime reporter’s lingo is stuff that would make them seem more insensitive than the hardened criminals they usually write about, and on most occasions bordering on the loony.

My mail inbox screams of suffering, to put it dramatically. The subject line would normally read Kurla murder, Ghatkopar theft and so on and so forth. And then the messages exchanged between crime reporters are not things you want to read first thing in the morning.

“Buddy, I have been told to make this Matunga robbery big, will you do the Kurla theft for me,” is a routine example. “Of course I will, and take half of the stolen booty from both sides,” one could ideally say if you are a criminal. But you are not. So then of course there is no stolen booty, as a reporter, there are stories and there are follow ups and if the police are in a good mood, they will solve the case and a press conference will be called for.

Scandalizing further is the desperation that gets into my breed when criminals decide to take it easy once in a while and there is nothing to report. A routine conversation with a cop would go something like
Hassled reporter, “Sir kuch hain kya?”
Bored cop: “Sab thanda hain”
Hassled reporter: “Aisa kaise chalega Sir” (although said with a mock joking demeanor, the reporter knows how serious he/she is)
Bored cop: “Arey accha hain na, shanti rehne do”
Hassled reporter: ‘Come and tell my boss that’ (internal dialogue ofcourse)

While on most occasions we are reprimanded by our colleagues – and on some occasions rightly so – to not behave like vultures and ‘have some sensitivity’, at times it becomes hard to explain that when crime becomes a daily acquaintance, things shock you less over a period of time, which is not necessarily  a good thing. But then every once in a while, it is not a ’crime’ to look at the lighter side of your profession. 

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