Jan 16, 2011
If you are one of those who have kept a track of crime trends in Bangalore in the last few months, names such as 'Loose' Manja, 'Lambu' Nati, 'Silent' Sunil and 'Meterbaddi' Manja may strike a familar chord. We have heard of 'Chota' Rajans, 'Chota' Shakils and 'Langda' Salims of Mumbai who had those glorious first names attached to their orginal ones. Even Bollywood had a field day making some of these names immortal albeit by slightly twisting them as 'Chota' Vakil etc. The trend is fading out fast in Mumbai, and it seems to have shifted to Bangalore lock, stock and barrel.
Historically in Mumbai, Parsis, Maharashtrians and a few others tend to associate their names with their professions. The legendary 'Screwwallas', 'Furniturewallas', 'Batlibois' and 'Engineers' among the Parsis and the 'Telis', 'Tandels' etc among Marathis in Mumbai made a mark in our minds. Closer home, in our own coastal districts also such profession-based names are prevalent.
The ruthless criminal gangs operating in Mumbai perhaps picked up the cue from there and started associating such fancy names with the names of their sharp shooters and ace gunmen which spoke more about their physical attributes rather than their capabilities or profession. Hence Chota Rajan, was named so due to his height to distingish him from the Senior and taller (Bada) Rajan and 'Langda' Salim (with physical disability in his legs) and so on.
Though the gangsters in Bangalore seem to have picked up other cues from their more seasoned cousins from Mumbai in many aspects, they seem to differ as far as sporting such fancy names are concerned. There is a distinct trend of them associating themselves with profession more often than based on their physical traits. Except for the odd 'Lambu' Nataraja aka 'Lambu' Nati and 'Chota' Reddys, there are more of 'Loose' Manjas and 'Meterbaddi' Manjas. There is even a 'Silent' Sunil (due to his skills in silencing his opppostion?).
A-17-year-old teenager named 'Chaandala' 'Ton'dulkar, so called because of his fastest strike rate of 100 crimes in the shortest possible time also finds mention in the annals of the Criminal Hall of Fame. Not to forget 'Mulamu' (Ointment) Lokesh, a specialist in settling property disputes by applying the right kind of balm.
At this rate, I am afraid they are going to exhaust the name reposiotry of all noble professions in Bangalore. How about a Software 'Raja'? Or for that matter 'BPO Sada'? Or a 'Silicon Ranga' or 'Outsourced' Kitta (not a favourite of Obama for sure) all laid off from their professions and taken up a life of crime? Such names also reflect well on the other mulitple identities for which Bangalore is known for (and sometimes hated by the likes of Obama). The possibilities seem endless.
Though there were feeble attempts by some of them to associate themselves with names of their hometowns (like Riaz Bhatkal and Bannanjhe Raja for instance ) which unwittingsly made their hometowns notorious, the trend seems to have petered out perhaps due to less glamour and popularity attached to such names and possible repercussions from their town folk during their visits home.
Going by the increasing number of criminals in Bangalore, it will not be a surprise if they run out of these names too in near future. Some wisecrack has even suggested it is better for them get GI (Geographic Indication) tags for their names so that they are proudly flaunted only by Bangalore gangsters. They can also sue (or eliminate?) criminals from other cities who dare to use these names. They may as well register their domain names and offer their home pages with live blogs from the crime scene on how where the crime was executed. It must be pretty nightmarish for the crime reporters to keep track of all these goons. I guess, they will probably start calling them by first names. ...for instance "Hi Nati...how are you doing?" and "Hello Silent...are you still in or out?" and so on....With the penchant for these criminals to duplicate everything there could be even copycats of these names adding further to the confusion. Imagine police eliminating a fake "Lambu" Nati in encounter only to find out that the real one is live and kicking and having the last laugh.
I am sure they being so immensely proud of then names, will ensure that misfortune befall of those unfortunate souls who get their name combination wrong. For instance calling 'Lambu' Nati as 'Silent' Nati and vice versa could be a sure recipe for disaster. As the legend goes..hell hath no fury like a gangster scorned (with due apologies). With the rest of the world being carried away in the "Social Networking" craze, they might as well think of networking among themselves with entry to this exclusive club restricted only to those with such prized names in their Face Book home page. They can also have theme parties on the new year eve...No prizes for guessing the theme for such parties!
I think the possibilities are limitless. For all you know, RGV (Ram Gopal Varma) might make a movie with characters flaunting such names. Any guesses about the name of the move. "Criminal" and "Ganster" are passe. How about "Professional"?
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