Displaying a tough countenance and wielding the baton, the Mumbai Police has also shown its little-known humour quotient as it tightens belts to enforce a tougher lockdown phase from Thursday night in the country’s commercial capital.
Coming up with unique ideas — like red, green, yellow colour-coded stickers for certain specified categories of vehicles — the Mumbai Police are going all out to make their onerous task as enjoyable as possible for all, with a dollop of wit designed to bring down the temperatures inside and outside.
The Mumbai Police Twitter handle (@MumbaiPolice) has become the new hangout joint for the citizens/netizens resigned to another spell of caged life as Covid-19 has an unbridled run outdoors.
It started with an innocuous — and some even suspect otherwise! — query from a man, asking which colour sticker to affix on his vehicle to step out and meet his girlfriend. “I miss her,” said the lonely chap.
Without batting an eyelid, the Mumbai Police replied: “We understand its essential for you, Sir, but unfortunately it doesn’t fall under our essentials or emergency categories! Distance makes the heart grow fonder & currently, you healthier. PS: We wish you lifetime together. This is just a phase.”
When one netizen appreciated the reply and the police services to society, with a plea to “keep us engaged with witty responses”, pat came the reply, but with a mild warning: “You promise us that you stay at home and stay safe, and we promise to keep you engaged with our wit as well as grit to arrest the spread of Covid-19.”
To an unabashed one gushing how Mumbai Police has heart, the unexpected and touching response was – “Not as big as our city’s.”
The Mumbai Police Twitter posts managers have earned praise from not only the ordinary folks but also industrialists and actors like Anand Mahindra and R. Madhavan.
“The human-and-humorous touch from our very own Mumbai Police,” said Mahindra in admiration, to which the reply posted was: “Two of the strongest weapons to help us ‘Rise’ above the current circumstances, Sir”.
“Hahaha Very well put and I am sure equally well received,” guffawed Madhavan, and the Mumbai Police replied with a straight – “We hope so too – its no ‘Rocketry’ after all.”
When a gent sought permission to commute by car from Bhandup to Kandivali over the weekend, came the genteel and gentle advice with a veiled fist: “A friend, who respects your taking precautions during Covid is a friend indeed. We are sure your friend will agree. Please stay home, we would not want to get ‘unfriendly’ with you.”
“Keep scrolling. Better to be scrolling indoors than strolling outdoors,” said the Mumbai Police when some wondered whether it was necessary to reply to all tweets.
Some other imaginative and catchy tweets — which would give a run for their money to any veteran advertising copy-writer — include two recent ones – “Food for Thought: Stay indoors, Order online.”, and “A mask not worn properly – the ‘Achilles’ Heel of your safety.”
And the last but not the least: “What do moms and masks have in common?” The pix displays a Hindi-English word ‘Maa-sk”
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)