There are at least five different ways in which tragedy can strike me at any given place at any given point. I think. May be, and most likely I am more paranoid than others in my clan, but reporting on the dark side of human nature comes along with its own baggage I would say. Scarred is too big a term but crime reporting will ensure that you know of many more ways in which things can go wrong, than you did before which is not exactly a good thing.
I remember having gone to this hill station with friends and found this beautiful isolated spot. I sat there for a few minutes taking in the view, till my sub conscious mind, that by now has become a receptacle of all things bad, played spoilsport. I thought of how someone could come on a bike, snatch my mobile wallet etc and flee. Or they could push me so that I do not reveal to the cops how they looked. While I sat for some more time, the possibility being thrown up at that almost picture perfect moment was irritating.
Every time I pass the road connecting Marine Drive to Churchgate station, and cross a three star hotel located there, I remember how someone had jumped from the terrace and committed suicide. When I pass Hindu colony in Dadar, I do not fail to mention to someone, if anyone is along, or make a mental note about it myself for the umpteenth time how a woman who stayed all alone at an empty bungalow and was murdered. I am sure most of my clan have such ‘landmarks’, unwillingly.
In the backdrop of these things, the fact that my reference point, while taking directions for a place, is the local police station, more or less does not even deserve a mention. Like at most times, it was while answering a friend who asked me if reporting on crime affects me, that I realized a few things myself.
On most days crime reporters report on the dark side of human nature, which in comparison to the overall population is an aberration. But reporting on these aberrations everyday, over a period of time, kind of blurs that line and one, at a certain level, begins to think of it as a rule. That such things happen everywhere all the time. It would help the cops a great deal if we all thought this way !!
How many times have I, while entering my building or relatives building, tried to make a mental image of the building watchman, local help following the number of cases I reported in which a domestic help or the watchman turned out to be involved in a crime. In one way it makes one overcautious and can come in handy. But that is one way of looking at things. You get to see the others side, when you look at a serene view and it reminds you of a crime story.