Unique experience – “Chor dhora”
I had an unique experience in Kalyani a few days back that I have to tell my FB friends especially if you are not from Bengal.
And it is about catching a burglar.
Evidently, there was a burglar that was slinking from boundary wall to boundary wall near my dad’s apartment building. And the security guy in his building (coincidentally he is also called Rajib – but certainly with a lot more courage than me) spotted him, kept yelling that there is a thief nearby and then chased him down and caught him.
Now comes the best part. “Chor dhara” has a few salient points to it regardless of where in Bengal it happens.
First, once a thief is caught, it becomes a spectator show. If you yell that there is a thief in the neighborhood – other than young males, everybody locks themselves up. But if somebody yells that the thief has been caught, people of all ages and gender pour out from their houses like ants spotting a sugar hill.
Second, there is total “instant justice”. There is scant respect for the police and the judicial system. Everybody just keeps beating up the burglar. As an example, my brother went there and joined the melee. No sooner had he spotted the guy who was obviously the target of attention, he just walked up and slapped him twice!! I asked him if we were sure he was actually stealing or had stolen before. I got a long lecture back from my brother!!!
Third, the stories of what the accused has done and how he was caught gets bloated and embellished with every minute. If you join the show thirty minutes later with the usual “Ki hoyeche dada/didi”?, the impression you will gather is that there was a gang involved, most escaped however three guys (it will surely include at least one of the sons of the narrator) managed to fight back bare handed the gangs’ weapons and caught the head guy!! 🙂
Fourth, all the bravado escapes moment they have to take any responsibility. As an example, the cops eventually came. They heard everything and then picked a couple of folks who were yelling the most about what the accused has done and then asked them to come to the police station to make a formal complaint. Suddenly all those “dadas” were nowhere to be found!! Some crap about “night shift duty aachhe” or something like that!!!! 🙂