Who will watch the watchmen?

July 21, 2008 at 7:11 am 24 comments

As a blogger with his finger on the pulse of the nation, I was first going to write a post about how the proposed Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal, or the ‘123 agreement’ will affect each Indian on a personal level, but then it occurred to me that I really don’t have the faintest idea. So instead I’m going to focus on the other problem that has been troubling me for the last few days – the psycho killer on the loose in Chennai.

If you’re a normal human being, or even an abnormally well-trained dog, then you probably just pick up the newspaper every morning and turn straight to the sports page, and then pick up the supplement to check the movie listings. So there’s a good chance you’ve missed this spine-chilling story. So here it is, in brief: There is a ‘psycho’ killer on the loose in parts of Chennai (Vadapalani, K.K. Nagar and Ashok Nagar) and he has committed as many as 9 murders in a span of 23 days, the latest victim a 45-year old watchman named Basha who was burnt alive after first having his head smashed in with a large stone. Gulp.

The poor man, who had signed up for the job only the previous day, had been hard at work, using the traditional watchman tactics for scaring away burglars – Heavy Drinking and Loud Snoring, when this ‘psycho’ killer apparently attacked. Over the last month, other watchmen, an auto driver, and a rag picker have suffered similarly morbid deaths involving giant stones and forced immolation. So the result is that the areas in question now have no watchmen, no auto-drivers and no rag pickers. All of this has lead to increased overall safety in the locality, sending rents and house prices rocketing up. This is turning out to be extremely bad news for anyone hoping to buy property there. So, obviously, something needs to be done about it, and fast.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Just a bit of highly insensitive humour to defuse the tension of the situation. Sorry. But all kidding aside, this is a really terrifying situation for a lot of people. How serious is this problem really? What are the police doing? These are probably the questions running through your head right now. The answer to the first one is: Very serious. Definitely not more serious than the SRK-Sallu spat at Kat’s birthday bash, but still reasonably serious. People have actually lost lives here. The second question was conveniently posed to the city’s Police Commissioner Mr. R. Sekar recently, who replied: “We enquired those persons who sleeping on the pavement”, proving that the police are indeed hard at work on this case, leaving them with no time to check their statements for grammar.

Now, I don’t know how to feel about this whole situation as I’ve never really cared too much for watchmen. Take the one in my own apartment, for example. I’m not completely sure yet whether he’s in full working order. For starters, he’s about 110 years old. When we first saw him, we thought he was extremely brave, purely on the basis of the fact that he had slanty eyes, like a Gurkha. It later turned out his name was Arumugam and he was actually from Coimbatore. His eyes had looked like that because he’d been half-asleep during the interview. And at first we had taken the absence of any meaningful response to our queries to imply a lack of understanding of Tamil, but have since realized he is almost completely deaf.

In fact, Arumugam still doesn’t even recognize me most of the time. He’s always telling me parking is for residents only and generally irritating the shit out of me every other day. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind it too much if the psycho killer targeted him one of these nights. I would even purchase the petrol required for the burning, actually. I’m guessing psycho killers don’t make much these days, and with the current fuel prices, it would be a strain on his pockets, which must already be sagging from the weight of the large stones.

Trust me, we’d be just fine without him. Some of my neighbour aunties would probably have to start going out to buy milk and vegetables themselves, but they can use the exercise. In Arumugam’s place, we’d hire a guy from one of those professional security services firms, with a name like ‘Black Dog Security’ or something like that, intended to send a chill down the spine of any intruder. When a burglar comes in, if he sees an old man sleeping wearing a name tag saying ‘Arumugam’, he’s probably thinking, ‘Ha, I can take this guy!’ but when he sees the same old geezer wearing a uniform that says ‘Black Dog Security’, with an image of a Black Dog frothing at the mouth to help drive home the point, he’s going to be wetting his pants.

But if this psycho killer is made of sterner stuff, and just goes ahead and kills this watchman too anyway, then we’d just get an actual black dog to keep watch. Or brown, we’re not really too concerned about the colour. We just don’t want one of those yelping Pomeranians. If my apartment got one of those, I might have to set fire to it myself. But I won’t, and neither will the psycho killer, because we both know that we’d immediately have all the PETA and Blue Cross people on our backs. Now they’re way more efficient than the police, who are still enquired those who sleeping on the pavement.

More seriously, I don’t think this killer is really psycho at all. My hunch is that he’s a normal guy with a respectable job who turns into this deranged maniac at night. And there IS one person I know who actually hates security guards that much. I have actually seen him scream his head off at watchmen without provocation and threaten them with actual bodily harm on a number of occasions. And I’ve always felt strongly that he was just a push away from mental instability. He claims to have a job in New Delhi, as a journalist, but I’m now starting to think that’s just a false cover to provide him with a strong alibi in case the police somehow trace the killings to him. Meanwhile, while he’s in Delhi, maybe he could just kill anyone who says anything about the nuclear deal ever again. Please. I’ll courier the stones.


Entry filed under: Humour, News, Opinion. Tags: , , , , .

Two Guys, A Girl, And Paradise – Part 0 One of the mistakes of my life?

24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Thomas Masun  |  July 21, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Dear Uncle:

    Come to Goa.

    Kind regards,
    Thomas Masun

  • 2. Samanth  |  July 21, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Dude, what’s with the gay kid who’s constantly commenting on your blog?

    I disavow all knowledge of killing watchmen and other such activities that are carried out under the silence of night. I don’t know why — noble acts as they are, they should be carried out in broad daylight, preferably at Chepauk in front of a cheering crowd. It’ll be a whole lot more entertaining and constructive than “Dasavatharam.”

    If junta plan to raise donations to help this modern-day Samaritan, please include me in.

  • 3. Karthik Narayan  |  July 21, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Amidst all the killing, some kidding. well done kiddo 🙂 nice post…

  • 4. Nimesh  |  July 21, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Don’t see how this is funny… maybe psycho should kill a few middle-class people for us to take this seriously… sad.

  • 5. bobo  |  July 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Should check if the killings correspond with quizzes held in madras that samanth turns up for..

  • 6. Shanim  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:59 am

    not one of your best…too sensitive a topic to be messing around with dude….and u’re losing ur charm….get the old vinod back 😛

  • 7. Raghu  |  July 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Gee.. I first thought this was about the upcoming movie the Watchmen (the trailer for which was shown before the Dark Knight, at least in the U.S.).. never judged a book by its cover I guess 😛

    However, kudos on bringing this issue into the blogosphere… might not have known it unless one also reads the Hindu and/or Ashok Nagar/Mambalam/K.K. Nagar etc. Times 🙂

  • 8. neon  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe Chennai needs these guys to watch people’s homes:

  • 9. Paulie  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Good to see you back to your blogging ways (apart from some abstract quiz blogging). Certainly seems that all these months of aloofness have done NOTHING to dip the sarcasm levels.

  • 10. Cliffy  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Ha ha ha… You are one heck of an evil guy…… 😀
    Good thing watchmen don’t blog… or else its gonna be terror filled music playing at your flat…. with a distant scream….

  • 11. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Hi Thomas,

    I’d love to, but there are other enthusiastic mallu teenagers in Hyderabad who need me.


  • 12. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:25 am


    Donno da, seems gay as hell.

    And lol at Chepauk!

  • 13. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:26 am


    Thanks, dude.

  • 14. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Nimesh, Shanim

    I’ve poked fun at far more sensitve issues I think, in the past. Anyway, point noted. Will try not to in the future.

  • 15. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:27 am


    Have you seen him yell at them? It’s scary!

  • 16. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:28 am


    Yeah, even I was surprised by the lack of publicity. Someone told me about it, that’s how I found out. But quite a bit of stuff online.

  • 17. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:29 am


    Lol, that’s how this post came about.. was joking around with some friends about how the tagline could be a good headline for an article about these killings..

  • 18. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:29 am


    Thanks man!

  • 19. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:30 am


    I have nightmares about that anyway!

  • 20. Arumugam  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

    You rascal – this is your watchman Arumugam. Be careful next time you try parking.

  • 21. Vinod  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Sorry, Arumugam saar!

  • 22. bobo  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    i’ve seen him yell at an autodriver. eeep. i was trembling.

  • 23. Vinod  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:24 am


    Autodrivers also? Hmmm.. the pieces are all starting to fall into place..

  • 24. skimpy  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:33 am

    one problem with getting a security guy from Black Dog is that you’ll have to start feeding him Black Dog. I suppose the current thatha demands only country saarai.


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This blog was previously published at http://vinodg.blogspot.com.


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