Gurkhas have been replaced by watchmen

Gurkhas have been replaced by watchmen
Highlights

The familiar noise of a cane being tapped on the ground in the middle of the night often used to rouse many from sleep as the Gurkha watchman made his rounds.But now we miss the noise of the cane. There is occasional patrolling by the cops who intend to use CCTV cameras and burglar alarms.

The night owls who used to guard every colony are now slowly becoming an incandescent memory

The familiar noise of a cane being tapped on the ground in the middle of the night often used to rouse many from sleep as the Gurkha watchman made his rounds. The Gurkha earned his living by wandering desolate streets in the middle of the night. He had to walk around the same set of streets every night. He spent all his life in the darkness when everyone was asleep and slept in the mornings when the city was abuzz with all sorts of activities. After a long month of work, he used to come at the door and say, “Shaabji, Rs 15 only.” We used to reluctantly give him the amount without even caring to look at him. In spite of this, he used to give his traditional salute and leave contended.

But now we miss the noise of the cane. There is occasional patrolling by the cops who intend to use CCTV cameras and burglar alarms.

Descended from the Rajput tribes of North India and raised in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Gurkhas conquered the small Nepali region of Gorkha after being forced out from India in the early 16th century. Settling down in their new home, they called themselves Gurkhas from Nepal, one of the world’s poorest countries.

Several people who have worked with Gurkhas agree that their strength lies in their impartiality. Not being influenced by the local scene is part of their credo and they are known to not get emotionally involved in anything they may get caught up in. This is just one of the many reasons why they are held in such high regard.

Arvindra Dass, chief operating officer of First Security, says that the high demand for Gurkhas has to do with their loyalty and bravery, and more so if they had served in the British Army.

“In the late 90s, I had soldiers from the ex-British Army working with security guards. They really are the best, but we can’t get them anymore because most have retired and to be honest, they are highly paid and most companies cannot afford to hire these ex-British Army Gurkha soldiers,” he said.

There have been cases in the past where robbers had managed to get away by bribing the guards on duty. But when you employ a Gurkha, you will be rest assured that it’s not easy to tempt them.

The profession of Gurkhas was lost a few years ago. Nowadays, every flat has watchmen on shifts. The introduction of watchmen has changed the trend. There is a watchman not just at the night but also during the daytime.

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