As a seven-year-old boy in 1982, I had taken my baby steps towards being a criminal. Back then, if you were a criminal you didn’t have to hide in a high-fenced complex in Pakistan or in an apartment complex in Dubai (did I just give away the hiding place of Dawood?). I had stolen a pink colored, peacock shaped, scented eraser in grade two – but my journey was cut short by lack of guts. Not to mention the beating I had got from a lady who knew how to wield the broom – my mother.
Today after slogging for almost 14 years in corporates of various sizes and shapes I wonder ….where would I be if I had actually continued on my course to becoming a criminal.
Would I be an individual contributor? Would I have been leading a business unit? Or would I have been leading the whole company? Obviously not D-Company….for that still has a good, effective CEO in Dawood Ibrahim…but you get the idea.
I had started thinking along this lines after a casual discussion with my Argentinean colleague Andres.
First day in Argentina, I asked Andres: “So, how is the crime scene in Argentina?”
“We have very little crime in this country,” Andres replied.
“Is it? Why so?”
“You know…it is against the law.” Andres continued.
This got me by my you-know-what. Wow…crime was against the law? Never occurred to me!
“So, no crime at all?” I reiterated. As you may be aware by now that we Rajans don’t let go so easily.
“Well…actually…I would be wrong if I said there was no crime,” Andres seemed to be breaking down.
“And what sort of crime are we talking about here?” I poked him.
“The sort that one commits in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. Know them?” Andres gave me a sly smile.
The moment the sentence escaped Andres’s mouth I knew he was referring to the crimes that countries did – in groups and in the name of patriotism. After all, a murder in a war isn’t a murder because it is being done in huge numbers and to patriotic jingoism. This gelled well with my past as well – before I had fully given up the criminal path I had wanted to join the army. If only I had joined…I would have committed crimes in a crowd. But that was not to be as they refused to take me in.
That night as I lay in bed…I wondered: If everybody in this World was chasing a fortune…and it was also true that behind every great fortune there was a crime…then life needed to be redefined.
Before I fell asleep that night…between me and my split-personality we agreed that life could be re-defined as “a competition where everybody wants to be the criminal and NOT the victim”.
The next day when I woke up…I wanted to be a criminal again. As of now, I am trying to get back into my groove. Plan to start at the criminal equivalent of Summer Intern, which is pick-pocketer.
I don’t agree with all that bull-crap our elders have taught us… that crime doesn’t pay in the long run. Lets ask the children and grand children of famous gangsters such as Alphonse ‘Scarface’ Capone….who are now living off the riches. Perhaps it is out of context to say here but still…no gangster named after a mango will ever scare me.
Anyway, now that we have agreed….I am going to become a criminal. The beauty of this decision is that I don’t need any investment or an office space. I can work from home. And I am starting tomorrow.