By now you’re probably sick of reading the millions of ‘Best of’ and ‘Worst of’ 2013 lists so I will start the New Year with a letter.
Dear Mumbai Police,
I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends writing this but I want to thank you for tolerating us citizens on New Years Eve. As if a major religious festival every week, having to save us from terror threats, getting drenched for four straight months during the monsoons, sucking up to political leaders that India would likely be better without and having to tolerate Sanjay Dutt playing you in every movie despite being a convict wasn’t bad enough — you have to spend the 31st of December out on the streets away from your families trying to protect us as well. It is a thankless job and many take your existence for granted but the city would collapse without you.
Sure there are transgressions. Sometimes we get angry when you shut down our nightclubs. We protest at the inequity in treatment to those from different economic and cultural backgrounds. We fume at how your answer to most crises ends up being a nakabandi. We rightfully rally against your occasional moral judgements and human rights violations. Despite being underfunded, understaffed and under-resourced, however, you do the best you can to keep the city running.
I can’t even begin to fathom the monstrosity that was New Years Eve. Near Juhu beach alone, as if chances of a stampede over kulfi falooda weren’t bad enough, your officers had the unflattering opportunity to smell hundreds of rich brats’ breaths just to see if they wouldn’t pull a Salman. If I had to see so many people partying with their friends and families around me while I told them to open their mouth and blow air into my face, I would likely shoot atleast five-six people. Out of everyone who asks you the dreaded, ‘Boss New Year pe kya scene hai?’ question I referred to in a previous column, a Mumbai policeman probably has the worst answer. ‘Kuch nahi yaar bas laundon ki baas smell karoonga saari raat’. You know what, even if you are corrupt and want to take a bribe from a driver, you deserve it.
It’s entirely possible that next week I’ll write a rant on Facebook on Twitter talking about how you wronged a friend or didn’t handle an issue the way it should have been. For now, however, I feel it’s time to say thank you for being part of probably the least respected public service organisation in the city and still being out on the streets for us. We will continue to hold you to task, but thank you once again for your service.
Have a Happy New Year.