By V.N. Balakrishna, IANS
Ahmedabad, Oct. 4, 2008| Is your spouse the jealous type? Do your worried parents have deep pockets? Beware, a private eye is watching you this Navratri.
The nine vibrant nights of Gujarat’s biggest festival are also the most worrisome for many parents. Now more and more of them are hiring private detective agencies to keep a tab on their frolicsome wards.
“We’ve been given 13 cases this Navratri compared to five to six last year,” said Hemang Bhatt of Noble Detectives and Security Services here.
Bhatt said parents of daughters are not the only ones who come to him. Parents of boys also want a watch on their wards. He also has two cases of women approaching him, one from Mehsana who wants to keep a tab on her husband now in Ahmedabad.
The detectives trail their “subjects” with hidden cameras that can record for two hours at a stretch, Bhatt said.
Do the parents ask the detectives to intervene if they sense that their wards could be in danger? “No, the parents tell us clearly not to interfere in any manner whatsoever. Only to watch them and report,” Bhatt told IANS.
“In one case I called the father of a girl saying that his ward was unusually long inside a hotel; and if he would come to the place and see what was happening. The man categorically told me he wouldn’t like to come personally. ‘Why call me when you are there? Just give me the report’, the father told me.”
For another detective agency, though, business has not been good this Navratri. “No parent has approached us this time around though we had many customers last year,” said S.R. Singh Chauhan, managing director of Perfect Security Services.
One possible reason, Chauhan feels, is that some television channels had got hold of some private detectives’ footage last year and aired them. “The girls told their parents they knew their limits and the parents had no business hiring detectives and wasting money. It seems the parents got the message.”
But M.M. Khan of Blackcat Secret Services is not complaining. “This Navratri is really different,” he said. “It never happened in my life. Garba organisers and private security agencies are asking us to send undercover agents, both male and female, dressed in traditional garba attire which had never happened before.” One possible reason is they are worried about security, he thought.
Apart from the organisers of the traditional garba dances, Khan is working for 45 parents who want him to keep an eye on their children. “Seventy percent cases have come from boys’ parents who want to know if their wards are into bad behaviour or resorting to anything illegal,” Khan told IANS.
Like Bhatt, Khan has been told by his clients not to interfere. “All they want is an hourly report. Eighty percent of the parents want only hourly reports about their wards.”
There are more serious assigments too. Khan said he had nine clients whose cases were in the divorce courts, and they wanted more “evidence”.