July 1, 2018
“Salaam sir! Good morning madam! Your Id card please!”; these may be just words for us, uttered by faces we see daily, but notice rarely. We almost overlook them, as we head towards the biometric system, to mark our presence. How many times have we really turned around to greet them or to just exchange a smile? Yes, these are the same faces who guard us with all their brawn. They sweat and labour to ensure that we are safe.
Here is a story of one such man, PK Tyagi, who has been standing here to protect us, since two decades. In this universe, he stands tall, performing his arduous duty while people come and go, as he keeps a watch on them, like a passive observer. He has seen it all; the coldness of those windy autumn nights, which brashly challenged his will. And the hottest summer noon, whose scorching heat often burned his soul. Yet, with smile on his face and tenderness in his eyes, there he goes, marching ahead with his army of 18 security personnel, who are the guardians of our stainless galaxy.
You Are Our One Of The Oldest Security Guards. In What Circumstances Did You Join Jindal?
I joined Jindal in 1997 as a security guard. Before that, I served in army for six years as a technician. So, when I came here for an interview, Surjit Singh, then Security Head, almost rejecting me, asked –“you were a mere technician in army; how can you value add to the security here?” Deep inside my heart I knew, he has made up his mind and I will soon be asked to leave. But that was my last shot. I had nothing to lose. Hence, I narrated whatever I knew and had learnt during the six months of my army training. He was aghast to hear a mere technician possess so much knowledge about weapons and equipments. That is what struck him and hence, I got this job.
From An Indian Army To A Security Personnel, What Made You Come This Way?
Though men in army uniforms always fascinated me when I was in my early teens, technically I never wanted to join army. While sharing my aspirations to join the Indian police force, I was once mocked by a friend for being physically unfit to even dream about getting into the police service. So, when army trials were happening in our village, district Bijnor, I was the first one to appear for the physical test, just to check if I am physically fit to apply for a police job or not. And fate played its trick. I got selected. Being born in a family of five siblings where my father’s teaching job was not enough to raise such a big family, cracking the Indian army recruitments was a golden opportunity. And so, there was no way to escape! But the army taught me a great deal of courage and tolerance, both of which I could use in a job like that of a policeman. If not police, then something like it, where I can guard people from the evils of the society. May be“ that of a security guard.
There Have Been Hardships And Life Threatening Moments; What Gave You Strength To Carry On?
Every job comes with its own share of hardships. But as we do it day and night, these hardships befriend us. When we security personnel sign up for this job, we all know that it involves all sorts of risks. From the sun struck bodies of Delhi’s extreme summers to that of bone breaking winters whose chills send us shivers even in our nightmares, we ‘guards’ experience evils of not just humans, but also nature. I clearly remember this instance; it was a rainy night and some thieves were trying to steal the AC. We were two people on night shift then. When we realised that something is wrong, we moved towards them. On seeing us come their way, they accelerated their vehicle to crush us. By god’s grace and some of our promptness, we jumped on the other side of the fence. Else, that would have been our last night.
However, the strength that lies within us gets channelized only in a good working environment and with the help of good people. Initially, we had to perform the whole shift standing. There was no heater to keep us warm in winters and no coolers to save us from heat strokes. We can’t extend enough thanks to Mr Rajiv Rajvanshi, without whose intervention, we could not get all these amenities here. He got coolers installed for us and provided blowers for winter. Soon, we even got permission to sit and perform our duties. So, when your employers and people around you care to this extent, you can even climb the Everest.
You Have Caught One Of Delhi’s Wanted Thieves In Jindal Centre. Tell Us About That Incident.
This man was running a gang of high profile thieves. It so happened that once a laptop was stolen from one of the cabins. When we checked the CCTV camera footage, we saw the thief’s face. In looks, no one could even imagine him to be a robber. He was a smart and well dressed lad. In the crowd of employees, he smartly entered our office, made his way into one of the cabins, stole the laptop and vanished like he was never there. I was given the responsibility to find him and recover the laptop. My instincts told me, he will come back. And there he was, exactly one month later, standing opposite the cafeteria. I stealthily followed him. He saw me come after him so, he tried to run towards the gate. I held his hand from the back and caught him. We immediately called the Police and got to know that he was a ‘Wanted’ robber. Later, we were surprised to know that he was a science student from Venkateswara College, D.U. I recovered the laptop in three months time. I felt like a policeman then, the job my heart always craved for.
Today, you have an army of 18 guards under you. Introduce us to some of your best hands.
He is Kedar Singh. He has participated in many marathons and has even received awards in long distance runs. Meet Jai Prakash. His love for cricket is incomprehensible. He is the first one to stand when you are in need. He is Chandra Shekhar, our gun man. He is known to have Arjuna’s eyes when it comes to striking down a target. This is Shobeer Singh, an ex-army personnel. His heart dances on the beats of Haryanvi songs. All our guards are gems. I’ll introduce you to the ones who people see more often on day duty, so that they can be contacted for any help.
My other team members include Surender, Amardeep, Rajpal, Kamlesh, Rajender, Ashish, Ashok, Rajesh, Arjun, Ved Prakash, Mahaveer, Bache, Anender and Shokeen.