09 January 2017


 Security Guard:
                                                                       Our house which was once upon a time without any neighbours suddenly have  too many of them after the new apartment was occupied by sixteen families. The occupants were mostly ladies and children as the male members come only during week end .Gone are the days when people feel happy to have a doctor as a next door neighbour. Every educated couple have “Google Doctor” at home hence my service was reduced to ‘uncle’, as they call me fondly. I am better known as ‘dog uncle’ in this locality.
                                                         Initially there was teething problems in that apartment with water supply, electricity and security. My German Spitz used to watch that house and bark at night spotting strangers and would disturb my sleep. Half a dozen of security personals left because of irregular or inadequate salary problems. Majority of the families in that two bedded apartment are in silent mode  and not concerned with the outside world. Morning the ladies with their night gown would pick flowers from my garden with a hook. My dog Ringo would bark at them still then they continued to steal flowers much to the annoyance of my wife. I developed friendship with some of the ladies who were smart and young, loved my Ringo.
                                                     Lastly they found a fraud Brahmin security guard who used to recite ‘Mantras’ at night during his C shift duty. He had a grown up son and daughter who were employed elsewhere, did not like their sixty-five years old father to work as a security guard. His mantras would disturb me and my Fitz but we got adjusted to his whistle and mantra at night. He too left due to non payment of his dues. But faithful Ringo continued to watch the apartment gate at night without any remuneration of any kind.
                                       Now there are two security guards with twelve hours duty for each. At night Ringo and the security person would guard our house and the apartment. Press people, teachers, house wives, retired persons now stay in that apartment. That area where the building has come up was once up on a time a small play ground for children.
                                   Once in a while some of the occupants of that four storied apartment would  give us sweets and fruits. The security guard has become friendly with me for my attitude towards him, a tough job of watching others life and property at night.
                                 There are more than ten thousand male security guards at Bhubaneswar employed in hospitals, ATMs, banks, apartments, hotels and departmental stores. They are available from different registered security organizations. Initially someone tried with lady security guards but it landed up in legal problems, hence stopped. At one time  there were fewer jobs and more unemployed people, where as now there are too many jobs for car drivers, security guards, doctors, nurses for old couples at home,sales girls, teachers and maids but they are unwilling to work. Old retired officers are driving their own cars during day time only. Cars without dents and middle aged people without diabetes are rare every where, Bhubaneswar is no exception.With Ola and Uber coming up in a big way, getting a sincere driver at Bhubaneswar has become more difficult than getting a good bride groom. Many of the senior citizens visit their children in far off places once or twice a year leaving the house in the safe hands of security guards.Gone are the days of government security guards at tresury asking the stranger at night—“friend or foe?”

Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy.

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