The stories in the book have been given a different flavour and spin from the episodes. The authors have added a different perspective, and a new dimension to each story. The book does not clone the episodes, but betters them, says OSWALD PEREIRA
Annup Sonii had hosted for a decade around 1,600 episodes of the Crime Patrol show for Sony Entertainment Television. Annup Sonii and Oswald Pereira thought it was time to pick out the most moving and thrilling episodes and present them in the form of a book. They shortlisted 30 stories, pruned them to 15 and then zeroed on the eight ‘best’ stories to be included in the book, titled Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. The book was published by Westland on December 11, 2018.
The authors chose the rarest of the rare stories, where the perpetrators were ordinary people with no criminal background and didn’t hail from the major metros like Mumbai or Delhi.
While keeping the basic story line, the stories in the book have been given a different flavour and spin from the episodes. The authors have added a different perspective, and a new dimension to each story. To write the book, they looked at the raw fact sheet in each story and gave their own dramatisations and characterisations, doing their own extensive research. The information in the stories thus surpasses that contained in the episodes. In effect, the book does not clone the episodes, but betters them.
Annup and Oswald come from different backgrounds. One is an actor; the other a journalist and author. They know each other since 2011 and have been in regular touch about each other’s work. An actor and a writer may appear to be from different backgrounds, but the fact is that they are both creative people and understand each other. The working relationship between Annup and Oswald was one of give and take and they perfectly complemented each other.
The authors believe that there are a couple of stories that can be adapted to the big screen, including the story of a crime of passion called The Brutal Mass Killing and a story of superstition titled Blind Faith.
Did the gruesome stories affect Annup on a personal level? He replied: “Yes, I used to get personally affected initially when I started hosting this show. It was disturbing that the stories are true and the fact that this is happening around us, and is part of our society was scary. But then I thought you can’t shut your eyes to these facts. You have to face them and look for a solution and guide people on how they can be alert, prevent crime and safeguard themselves.”
Oswald has been a crime reporter in the past. How different was writing these stories from the ones, he wrote as a reporter. He said: “These stories are more substantial than news reports on crime. When you are doing the crime beat you stay in regular touch with the police and organised crime gangs, including their ‘dons’. You use this to write your crime reports. Based on my experiences as a crime reporter, I wrote my debut novel, The Newsroom Mafia, which describes in graphic detail the media-mafia-government nexus. In that book, the dividing line between fact and fiction was thin. In Crime Patrol: The Most Striking Stories, except for the creative liberty of dramatisation, all stories are true and based on fact.”
Which one of the stories touched the authors the most while researching and writing on it?
“We were touched the most by A Shero, Forever, which is a story of a pretty, vivacious college-going scholarly girl, who is disfigured and blinded for life, after three lustful males, including a juvenile, attack her with acid, after she rejects their demands for sex. The juvenile was let off after spending some months in a correctional home but the two others were sentenced to nine years in jail. However, the High Court released them on bail after they spent merely three months in jail.
They still roam free, and the victim continues her fight for justice till this day, 18 years after the attack. But she has not given up on life. When we spoke to her, she said, she sees a “very bright future ahead of her.” We did very extensive research on this story, and were really moved to tears. The story shows that despite the talk of India being a land of great culture with a rich heritage, we are in reality a callous society, with a lethargic government and an insensitive judicial system.
Sixteen years of hell for an innocent woman and nobody really cares.”