Friday, May 15, 2009

My 15 minutes under the spotlight

You might not believe it looking at me. I am an adventurous sort.

As a child, I dreamt about flying a plane, skiing down snow-covered mountain slopes, running for the gold medal in the Olympic track event and doing all the glorious things that people on TV did. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were second only to action star Rajinikanth on my tall Pedestal. I promised myself if I ever got out of the clutches of my concerned, over-protective parents (that was the old stinking me, mom and dad), I would go and have myself a life of adventure.

The most adventure I allow myself to have these days is carting 20 bags of groceries in to the house in under 3 trips from the car. Playing referee to my kids, forcing them to their corners before any blood is spilled gives me all the adrenaline-pumping action I can handle.

Still, every now and then, I would think back on the dreams that I once had. Smart that I am, I have stumbled on to a secret; the perfect way to enjoy edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting, sweat-pouring adventures without getting rushed to the ER. Meet, my friends, the most fervent collector of Cop dramas on TV, the proud owner of all seasons of NYPD Blue available out in the market.

When an urge for adventure strikes, I put my feet up and enjoy an hour of action-packed episode.

An anonymous tip to the Precinct about a 30 year old homicide gets the cops in to swift action. Vigorous canvassing of the neighborhood leads to the arrest of a reputable businessman with strong ties to the community. Will the Judge remand him to the custody of the State without bail? How is the Prosecutor going to prove a 3 decade old crime without solid physical evidence? Will the defense attorney crucify the state’s only eye-witness who is plagued by schizophrenic tendencies?

Whew….if I can’t get my heart rate to slow down, will someone please dial 911?

AND, (imaginary fanfare) here is the highlight of this post. Hold on to your seats, folks.

I knew all those hours of watching Andy Sipowitz and Bobby Simone kick ass, pardon my expression, won’t be for nothing. On a seemingly ordinary day, when I was on a routine errand to the grocery store, fate finally decided to indulge my wish. Parking the car, my sharply honed cop-like instinct sensed trouble. Sliding back slowly in my seat to avoid being detected, I noticed a tall, big guy hassling a man half his size. Sensing the opportunity, I decided to see the ‘crime scene’ through the eyes of a ‘witness’ in case the prosecutor summons me to take the stand ever. I noticed that he was wearing a light blue jeans frayed at the edges and a blue polo shirt with white stripes. I noticed that his eyes were edgy and glazed over leading me to suspect that maybe he was under the influence. I mentally filed this information away to be presented to the cops later. The alleged ‘victim’ managed to escape into the store and was followed closely by the ‘suspect’. I got out of the car, grabbed myself a shopping cart and under the pretext of shopping, followed those two at a safe distance. I slowly pulled out my cell phone and had it ready in case the situation demanded that I call for help. I pushed a little closer to the ‘suspect’ just to see him put his hand in his pocket. To reach for a gun? I could hear my heart beat loud and clear in that noisy store. I watched the ‘victim’ call for help from his cell phone and heard the faint sirens of cop cars approaching in the distance. To my total dismay, the ‘suspect’ slipped out of the store just in time to escape the attention of the cops who rolled in.

Watching the cops take the ‘victim’ outside the store to question, I hurriedly finished my shopping and stepped out. Squaring my shoulders, I prepared to wait for the cops to start canvassing those at the store for details. Boy, are they going to be surprised by all the details I noticed about the scene! This is one case where the ‘suspect’ will be handed over in a silver platter to them. May be, they will even invite me to be a guest speaker at the next ‘How to be an ideal witness’ convention, who knows? Shaking out of my pleasant dreams, I saw, in confusion, the cops wrapping up their conversation with the ‘victim’, get back in their cars and roll out. What? What happened? What about ‘blue jeans with frayed edges’ details? What about testifying on the stands? What about staring down and terrifying the defense attorney?

Oh well, I guess that wraps up my 15 minutes under the spotlight. Remembering that I had yet to start dinner and attend to a pile of laundry waiting to be washed, I loaded up my van with the groceries and pulled out myself.

-Meena Sankaran

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Meena. Absolutely nailbiting narrative, with an anti-climactic finish. Hats off.
Krithika

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Thank you Krithika. It is not John Grisham but hey I do what I can.:-)

நாகு (Nagu) said...

LOL. Your chance will come soon. keep taking those notes...

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

"Your chance will come soon."

From your mouth (or keystroke, he he) to God's ears, Nagu.:-)

Srilatha said...

I like forensic or courtroom dramas more :) But I recently started watching two cop dramas: Southland and Unusuals. I Like both - Southland is gritty - sort of like the early days of the Blue. Unusuals is more quirky - and I love it. I watch them online at NBC and ABC websites. YOur narrative was excitintg - felt breathless after reading it. We could star you in your own show - Meena Sankaran - Mom Cop.

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

"Meena Sankaran - Mom Cop"

Hmmmm...Does have a nice ring to it, doesn't it? :-) Thanks for stopping by, Srilatha.

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Meenakshi Sankaran said...

@ Anonymous #1: I am a bit curious to know how my post helped your college assignment so write back if you can. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Anonymous #2: Welcome and thanks for taking the time to say that you enjoy reading my posts.