I have spent my seventeen precious years of my life, pestered with murder stories, told by my granny. They are not fiction. They are not fake stories, and my granny is not Douglas Adam. But, they are true ones.
Long before I was born, murderers revolved around this area – Royapuram, like after-rain-mosquitoes. They adorned Aruvaals* in their backs, blades and knives in every sensitive part of the body. You can identify a murderer from the lilac bush like mustache all over his face. After all, Murders here were very common as punch dialogues are, in Tamil movies.
Well, according to my granny, a most-wanted rowdy will go on rounds in his sutta royal-enfield, visiting his gang, spitting on the roads, bribing constables. Even today, to be qualified as a murderer, or a rowdy, one should have the following characteristics – a must.
- Have to wear a pattapatti and cover it with a veshti.
- Have to grow a big mustache, atleast the size of a biggie butter-moth
- Have to carry atleast 7 kg’s of metal within his clothings (one aruvaal- compulsory)
- Should have atleast 10 guys in his gang
- Should not be a Vijay fan (Compulsory)
Though Rowdies revolve the area unnoticed even today, all have the above characteristics. But, these guys are not as vigorous or shaggeletic as the previous generation.
As a matter of fact, Since 1993 ( or 1994, who cares?), things have changed a lot. Not due to the increasing police officials and their increasing tummy. Its because of the Wine Shops. Yes; pretty weird, but yes. It does two important things to protect a man from murdering some one. First, it pushes a man into full mabbu, and makes him least aware of his fellow citizens; Second, it makes him too lazy to do a murder. Simple as that. But, fascinating stuff never comes to public attention.
In these days, though the murder list has come to zero. Violence and this area are inseparable. My eyes has personally encountered many such incidents. Some examples –
- Aunties fighting over each other near a water lorry, eagerly snatching each others Kondai
- Two ladies fighting over the last piece of a discount Saree
- And sometimes, serious real life fights also happen
Though the arguing wars and battles never sleep in Royapuram, it has its own adorableness. The people over here are happy as hell and they dont give a damn for anything. The chinky harbor cranes, the ever-active-textile market, the Robinson cricket ground (where I used to swing my bat in a tail-ender fashion), the army of little, enthusiastic school kids – all adds to the glamor to the shabby walls of this neighborhood.
The Chennai senthamizh, fearful mustaches, and the most easy going people mark the culture of this area. Well, if you want to gain a quickfire rowdy look in your gang, say – “I know one guy in Royapuram”.
Simple as that.
*Aruvaal – A sharp one and a half foot metal knife with a wooden handle. Significant feature is the ‘C’ shaped sharp end of it resembling Snape’s nose.
*Kondai – Shiny black headbun of Indian serial-watching-auties.
P.S : Its a shame that the Chennai-28’s Royapuram Rockers has never visited Royapuram!