Disclaimer: This post has NO fictitious elements.
I had lost the mobile phone a couple of weeks back. It was a good phone. I was at CCD; I had left it unattended for a few minutes and suddenly, it had disappeared. People had seen this crowd of drunken boys take it and leave (and nobody raised their voices then) and told me all about it when I came back seconds after they left. Too late.
So I did what we all do when we lose a phone. Called Airtel and got them to block the number. Then I went to the local police station to lodge a complaint. I reside at Nungambakkam, so I went to the Nungambakkam Police station. I had never been inside a police station, ever. My head was swarming with stories I had heard about evil police men with nasty intents, so I took my bro along. And he got his friend. So the three of us enter, and meet a cordial police chap. He listened to our story and told us to go to the Vepery Police station because I lost my phone in Puraswalkam (which is closer to Vepery.)
So we drove to Vepery. We were directed upstairs. Apparently the crime branch men (whom we were supposed to report the theft to) were patrolling the city. Two other men were available to hear us out. So I started on the story again. Where I was, at what time it occurred, who were with me and so on. It was all okay till this point. Now started the cross questioning.
What followed were 30 minutes of harassment, for having lost something that belonged to ME, for mere carelessness on MY part. I came off in one piece, thankfully. Here is how it went:
Interrogator 1 starts thus.
So you lost your phone? What was its value? Rs 6500.
How old was it? Close to 11 months.
That’s all? We wouldn’t take that much an effort for a phone that costs so little, plus the depreciation value. Better you forget the phone. Sir it has a lot of pictures- The memory card was full of photos of me and a lot of girl friends.
Photos eh? That sort of photos eh? You people do all crazy things, then take pictures of the same, then lose the phone, then come to us! Bah! It’s not possible, lady. Even if we give authorization to lock the phone, the memory card can be used by anybody. Closed case.
By now, I'm shaking with anger. But no, it is not over yet!
Then interrogator 2 chips in.
So, where did you say you lost the phone? CCD sir.
Ah Coffee Day! You think we don’t know what crap goes around in that place? One day you just watch, we are going to seal that place up!
(Despite the seething anger, I wondered if these people had even been inside a CCD outlet.)
So how many of you people went there? Four.
All girls huh? No. Two girls and two boys.
Turns to Interrogator 2.
There you go! TWO boys it seems. These people go with their boyfriends and get busy with them and miss the phone, and then they come here!
(I'm almost a wreck by now. Wtf man!)
So, does this place have a cctv? Camera tv? No, it does not.
Ofcourse! You people would not enter places that have camera tvs, would you?
(How gross! Are all police men this cheap?)
So where do these friends of yours stay? I stay at Nungambakkam, one stays at T Nagar, one stays at Puraswalkam and another at Sowcarpet.
(To interrogator 2)
Look at the connection sir! Everybody stays in different parts of the city, and they meet at some other part of the city! So that they can safely meet without bumping into anybody they know!
(What bullshit? But again, what could we do? We came voluntarily; we had to take all this crap. It was humiliating. Nobody had ever spoken to me this cheap all my life! Then the buggers ask about the family.)
What is your dad? Ah, bank manager? Very good. And mother? Teacher? Brilliant! So it is not a big loss, eh? This mobile phone? Your dad will buy you another even before you know it! So what do you do? MBA? Searching for a job? Ah, got one already? L&T? Wow..What is your pay package? 6 lakhs p.a? (I was bullshitting there)Very good!
(Then they started ‘madam’ing me. The transformation itself was disgusting. )
We will try madam. See, even we can buy a Rs 10,000 phone, but we don’t! Because even our phones get stolen! (Laughter) It is very natural; just make sure you get it insured next time, yes? Please write a complaint, yes here, and we will do what we can.
The complaint was written and handed over. Smiles and promises exchanged. Then we left, and never heard from them again.
I promised myself that I would never ever set foot in another police station again. Losing valuables is one thing, but to top that tension listening to downright bullshit from such characters is an entirely different issue. What are they trying to prove? That they are invincible, and we need to turn to them for aid at some point of time or another? These people need some lessons in psychology. If this is how they treat someone who has lost something as common as a mobile phone, I shudder to think of the plight of rape victims. No wonder there is a lot of crime around that goes un-reported. And characters like these bend to only two things- power and money. You have either, they take you seriously. If you have neither, you may as well forget your lost property. And the big guns sure need to do something about it! All said, that was one experience I look at with disgust- Friends of the people? Bah!