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Bamboo-Shoot, Chicken And ‘Crime Patrol’

Bamboo-Shoot, Chicken And ‘Crime Patrol’

Girl watching "Crime Patrol" on TV

The Covid19 lockdown blues takes a Sikkimese ‘gal’ – watching the crime thriller with her friends from Arunachal and Meghalaya ‑ back to recall when she harangued a Delhi cop about his right to question her identity

By Sashi Sherpa

When Anup Soni’s smooth baritone with perfect Hindi diction comes alive on our television sets, there is no other soothing voice we look forward to hearing – despite the fact that he is hosting a crime show called Crime Patrol.

All through the pandemic, mentally, emotionally and financially crippling, three of us from the northeast were surviving on hogging on food and watching “Crime Patrol”.

This man and this show alone could wave that magic wand on us.

Us, three gals… one from Sikkim (me, please!), another from Arunachal, and the third from Meghalaya. All huddled in my pad in Safdarjung Enclave, South Delhi, to fight back the killing boredom of the lockdown.

No, I have already watched this episode. Look for another one,” Leena from Arunachal Pradesh commands me, wafting in and out of my living room and the kitchen in-between her cooking, while the intoxicating aroma of Axone (fermented bamboo shoot) mixed with chicken aromised our entire home.

I search for another episode on YouTube – it had played for even less than a minute when the other friend of mine, Hema from Shillong, interrupts: “I have watched this episode. I know the story‑this old man is the murderer. He’s planned the abduction of his grandchild. And his son is also such and evil bastard!”

I could not let the policeman who came claiming he had to verify the identity of tenants just like that. For I had heard many a tale of how fraudsters dressed in police uniform cheat people, so I demanded his name and identity card instead

“Oh my god!! I have checked out more than ten different episodes. How will I ever find the perfect one for you guys…My fingers are about to get numb moving on the key board for the last one hour,” I said, slightly exaggerating but nonetheless, they were honestly irritating me.

Giving both of them a grumpy stare, I continued on my voyage of trying to find another ‘ultimate virgin’ episode, seen by none of us.

Truth be told, all three of us had watched almost every new and old episode of “Crime Patrol”.

If anyone were to visit us in the pandemic period, they would be listening to the booming sound of cops beating the criminals black and blue to get them to confess.

I finally managed to get an episode of 2014, where all the ‘usual’ characters of this show looked quite young then –and which none of us had, thankfully, watched.

“Wait for me,” Leena flew to the kitchen like a super woman to stir the boiling chicken and to check the rice which was getting in the pressure cooker, and rush back to watch the episode.

In no time, she was sitting next to me, asking me to start the show. Three of us huddled together- eyes fixed on the television, listening to Anup Soni in pin drop silence.

Being a hard-core fan of this show, I was in awe of the policeman in India, and I was equally enthralled by their network of informers.

So, one day when a policeman came to my place for the tenant verification process, I imitated and took the role of policeman myself, interrogating him in the typical suspicious manners they have.

He was inquiring as to how long I have been staying and my landlord’s name and stuff.

“You have come for verification? But how do I know that you are not a fake policeman,” I gave him skeptical look.

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I had watched many shows where people in fake police uniform were cheating or misleading people.

I refused to budge until he gave me his full name and his ID details.

I called my landlord too, who confirmed that there was a verification process going on, which was likely to happen around these days.

Knowing that I have made a fool of myself. I smiled at him meekly –I ranted in order to make the situation a little less tense by telling him that I appreciate their work so much and also added that I am a big fan of crime patrol.

The exasperated look he gave me was a clear indication that he wanted me to shut up ‑it seemed like I had drained every bit of his patience and he was longing to run away from my house.

As soon as I gave him the details, he left – probably hoping that he doesn’t encounter another lunatic woman like me.

To clear the misconception; we, north- easterners don’t just watch the Hollywood drama – we are as dramatic as Bollywood movies and we love such crazy Indian shows like crime patrol.

Huddled together, watching ‘Crime Patrol’ intensely trying to figure out the killer, while munching on that juicy boiled chicken with bamboo shoot – there cannot be any other way to describe heaven!

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