They were getting SPG protection in spite of there being no provision for such security being offered to them. It was indeed against rules. We've had enough of this laughter ban. It's your turn now. Enjoy the fun but don't laugh!
SPG: Well, my boy how's your new experience? How's your team doing?
Z+: Salutes Sir, I just have to admire you. You've been at this for over a decade. We are just learning.
SPG: I heard someone trespassed into PV residence. What was it about? A lot of noise going on.
Z+: Oh Sir, that is just ridiculous. I heard it from my colleague. You know these Dilli people connected to politics. It seems most of them have doubts about their paternity. The moment we try to stop someone, they ask, "Do you know who my father is?" Some former MLA candidate or something. They threaten to get us suspended. That way, your duty is much better Sir. Now, you just have to bother about one person and don't have to worry about "Tu Mere Baap Ko Jaanta Nahin?"
SPG: Hahaha, that is funny. But we were doing all that you're doing till about four weeks ago. You think our job is easy? You know what was the most difficult part of our training?
Z+: Special Commando training Sir?
SPG: No man, that you NSG guys too have. In terms of skills and training, you boys are no lesser than SPG. Your preparedness is no way inferior to any of the best Commandoes in the world. By the way, you're posted with RG, right?
Z+: Yes Sir. I was posted at residence. Have yet to go outdoors.
SPG: Yeah, that's it. That's where you need special training. Especially on campaign trail. Do you know how much is Two and a half thousand, five hundred?
Z+: Haha, what's that Sir? You're joking! Hahaha, is that three thousand Sir? Hahahaha...
SPG: No, that's serious! This is the training you're lacking my boy. You must learn not to laugh and remain absolutely serious when you hear these kind of things. It can be "Dhaai Hazaar Paanch Sau" or "Dedh Lakh Pachaas Hazaar" or even "Pichattis Lakh". It's good for you if you don't understand Hindi. If you understand Hindi, then learn not to laugh, at any cost.
Z+: Sir, I understand why I haven't been posted for outdoors duty yet. My Boss told me I laugh too much and that can be injurious to my health as well as my career. It is about not laughing when you heard things like this, Vishweshwaraiah like things. How did you manage Sir?
SPG: That's it my boy. There will be made in Saharanpur Mobiles in China. There will be escape velocity of Jupiter. There will be women giving milk to Gujarat. Every single outdoor campaign trail will be education in serendipity. You must learn not to hear what you're hearing.
Z+ (Confused): Not hear what we're hearing? How's it possible Sir?
SPG: Yes, there are certain adjustments you must make. Talk to the Sound System people and make sure all loud speakers are directed away from the stage. You are supposed to be standing behind him or in close proximity. Possibilities of cameras preying on you when laughing are very high. If all loud speakers are directed away from stage, you can't hear much.
Z+: Are you sure it works?
SPG: It works like dream. Remember PC Chacko had problems translating the speech? It was simply because he was on stage and could not hear anything, just like us. We had managed to get all loud speakers directed away from stage.
Z+: There can be situations where we cannot control positioning of loud speakers. What else can we do Sir?
SPG: You are given cooling glasses with inbuilt headphones. Connect your Bluetooth music and listen to songs. You can appear alert, enjoy music and avoid laughing.
Z+: Sir, are you serious? Can we listen to music? Won't it be dereliction of duty? What if we get caught?
SPG: What is there? You will be suspended if you get caught. That is a deliverance for you. You can start Aaloo Ki Factory or start selling Shikanji (Lemonade). Who knows, some day you might become owner of Indian brand of Coca Cola or McDonald's.
Z+: Oh Sir, you sure are joking now. I can't even laugh now. I am numb actually.
SPG: There you go my boy! You're getting ready for the ordeal. When you say, I can't laugh, you are ready for the campaign trail. You can stand there, on the stage, totally blank with no expressions whatsoever.
Z+: Sir, one more doubt. How did you manage with breaches in SPG Protocol? I heard there were many. How should we manage such transgressions?
SPG: Oh yeah, there were countless breaches. One fine morning, he would disappear. He's gone to see his granny was the stock answer. Then we get to hear news about Myanmar, Bangkok, Cambodia and meditation. Remember one thing, when he's out of India, you needn't worry. When he's in India, you needn't worry either. Nobody will harm him. Ruling party supporters know their party needs him to win elections. His own party has not many leadership options left. Best thing is terrorists of all hues adore him. Even our neighbouring country seems to love him. So nobody will harm him. Just relax and make sure you don't laugh in front of cameras.
Z+: What about PV and family Sir? How do we manage?
SPG: PV is as intelligent as her big brother. You've to exercise same caution when you are outdoors. In fact, you need to be more cautious. These media people are pretty fond of her. If you end up laughing at her rallies, the feminists will destroy you.
Z+: Oh my goodness! And the mother Sir? What about her rallies?
SPG: She rarely goes for heavy duty campaigning. But you needn't worry. Just like 99% of her party people, you won't understand anything she speaks. Nobody understands what she speaks during her public speeches. So there is no fear of your laughing. It is like you're listening to some European language. Sometimes, words like balaatkaar might come out but don't worry. With her accent, even balaatkaar would sound like "ball at car". So you're safest there.
Z+: And the Daamaad Sir? The son in law, what about him?
SPG: Are you serious? Are you serious? Do you think anyone is bothered about him? You won't face much of a problem if something untoward happens to him. Only the ruling party will be blamed. But from my experience, nobody will harm him either. People are scared of his reputation of land grabbing. So everyone keeps a distance. If at all, he needs protection from pink pants and dumbbells.
Z+: Haha Sir, you have a funny way of looking at things. Almost everything in fact.
SPG: If you spend a decade and more shadowing RG, PV and the mother, only thing that will keep you sane and safe is your ability to know when to laugh and when not to. We have been doing this job against the SPG rules for donkey's years now. You will learn on the job.
Z+: Really? How is that against the rules Sir?
SPG: You know SPG was formed to protect the incumbent PM and his or her closest family during the term and a maximum of 10 years after the term ends. This family was given highest security in spite of the last PM from the family ceased to be PM over 30 years ago. They were getting greater security than even the President of India. Even now they are getting same level of security as the President, in spite of the fact that none of them decorate any constitutional positions. They were getting SPG protection in spite of there being no provision for such security being offered to them. It was indeed against rules. We've had enough of this laughter ban. It's your turn now. Enjoy the fun but don't laugh!
Z+: I shall accept this Great Indian Laughter Challenge and learn not to laugh. Thank you so much for these invaluable lessons Sir.
(The writer is a columnist and writes mostly on Politics, Cricket and Cinema)
Disclaimer: This is an imaginary conversation between a senior SPG (Special Protection Group) Officer and a junior NSG (National Security Guard) Commando of the Z+ security. This exchange is happening in the process of restructuring of duty, thanks to changes in security arrangements WEF 8 November, 2019. There is no possibility of an ordinary person overhearing a conversation between two Security Personnel. But Imagination is a nation where anything and everything is possible.