|Tell me NOW!|
The accounts of our friends almost always match centering on two questions: a) who are you; b) how do you know them? Aware of their no-panga policy our friends usually “cooperate” with the Bhais and are let off easily.
Sometimes the “interview” with the Bhais gets long and messy. A couple of years ago an ex-help got into trouble with the Bhais because he refused to “cooperate”. The help obviously had no clue about Bhaigiri.
“We are here to make sure they do not do anything wrong,” said one of the Bhais when our help sought their introduction. The help replied: “I am there to stop them from doing any wrong” – and that did him in. With time the help learnt to deal with the Bhais and we would often spot him chit-chatting with his new-found friends.
Some other helps have been more cautious. Some time ago, our maid asked me about a visitor. “Is she Pakistani or Indian?” My look must have said it all because she quickly added, “I asked because she spoke English differently.” Another time she was itching to know if our dinner guests would be Indian or Pakistani. Her explanation was obviously lame: “If they are Indian I would serve them in bowls!!??”
Occasionally accounts of the encounter with Bhais are exaggerated. I am told that for some it is a status symbol to be stopped and followed by Bhais. Some examples:
I said I knew his boss. He let me past.
He said sorry for stopping me.
He said salam to me.
Knows my dad/uncle/etc is a cop/politician/etc.
I sped away and he could never catch up.
I slipped someone else’s visiting card in his hand and fooled him.
Last month, I heard someone being slapped outside our gate after a heated argument. I could hear Bhai shouting. He wanted to see the man's (I wish I knew who it was) ID card. The man refused and Bhai started slapping him.
However, the saddest cases are when good friends are forced to sever ties because Bhaigiri is so disgusting.