Knock Knock! Can I Have Your Phone?

My job is not easy. I snatch mobile phones and wallets from the middle class citizens of Karachi. My boss is a tough cookie and he does not let us get away with poorly done jobs. In the one and a half years that I have been working for him, I have learnt that he is really hard to please.

What makes Bossman really mad is when one of us breaks a rule. For instance all of us know that we must always stick to working within our assigned territories. We cannot get caught by Policemen who do not work for us and we cannot get beaten up by the common man. We must also always meet our weekly targets no matter how many hours of unofficial work time we have to put into the effort. (Boss does not care if you don’t spend enough time with your wife. I guess his wife must not be as scary as mine!) Similarly, we must always work in pairs and never do anything that is beyond our level of expertise.

Working in the industry for over a year means that I now qualify for the position of ‘snatcher.’ This means that I am an actual mobile snatcher now and not just a rider. You see, if you are a newbie in the field, you can only ride, not collect! Now my partner rides the bike and I get off it to collect phones. The two of us work great as a team and collect up to thirty cell phones a day! Of course we aren’t always so lucky! For you see, when we are assigned a territory in Defence, we have a tough time meeting our targets. Rich people are very unpredictable and one can never tell when there is a guard hiding in the car or when of the rich people are armed.

One of my favorite territories to work in is Maripur. It is the area that every beach-goer must cross if they want to reach their destination. There is a bumpy patch of ground near the factories and truck ‘adda’ where we find our targets almost too easily. I’m quite sure there used to be a road here at some point, but there is only sand, bumps and pebbles now. Since the road is so non-existent, cars have to be driven at a snail’s pace and they are inevitably trapped between trucks. This is where we come into the picture. We waste no time in stopping our bike in front of the car, jumping off with a gun, knocking on the car’s window and grabbing our loot in less than one minute.  Of course, by the time we are done with the snatching and have disappeared, the beach-goers don’t know what hit them.

Sometimes, however, our chickenly opponents experience a fleeting moment of courage and speed off without parting with their valuables, and with us just looking on in confusion. Such stunts not only leave us without our loot, but they also hurt our ego and damage our image! And sometimes, our prey gets a bout of strength along with some courage, and crushes our bike or partner in their mad dash to safety! Obviously I think that is unfair and unnecessary! But, who will explain this to the heartless citizens of Karachi?

Therefore, I appeal to all you Karachiites with a cell phone and wallet; please follow the instructions below and make our jobs easier for us:

  1. Make sure you flash your phones in the car a couple of times so we know you have a phone for us.
  2. Do not look around for suspicious people on bikes. If you make eye contact with us we cannot catch you off-guard and before you know it, you just made us lose a potential loot.
  3. Make sure you keep your car between trucks or right next to the sidewalk so that you are easily accessible and conveniently trapped.
  4. Leave your phones and wallets inside your bags so that when we are collecting we just have to grab one thing instead of several things at once. Snatchers only have two hands after all… Plus there is also the matter of limited time.
  5. Also, do not forget to keep your jewelry in your handbags! I recently came across a nice lady’s handbag which had some expensive jewelry! I think she believed she would be safer if her frosting was off her instead of being flashed for all to see! Ha. Lucky for us, we snatched the entire bag from her and found the jewelry too!
  6. Keep your windows slightly rolled down and doors unlocked. It saves us time to wait for scared fingers to roll down the window.
  7. When we knock on your window with our metal beauty, please remember to panic! Your panic is what makes our work easier!

I do hope you will follow these simple instructions. You do this for us, and I will be sure to put in a good word for you with our Boss! Thank you!


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