As you flirt at the Dandiya this year, an unremarkable gentleman in the crowd could be taking notes and photos, only to produce a long log of your escapades to your parents.
Many parents are hiring detectives to ensure their children do not spend a debauched Dandiya, which has acquired notoriety for reports of unwanted pregnancies happening in the nine music- and dance-filled nights. Dandiya, a part of the Navratri festival, begins on Friday.
Detective agencies are charging Rs 2,500-15,000 for a night. Topping the worry list are parents of young girls. “They want to know who their girl is with, whether she is having sex,” said Rahul Nanda, CMD of Tops Security. Tops charges up to Rs 15,000 for an evening. Parents are given a daily report and photographs.
Mahim resident and mother of a 16-year-old daughter Sunita Patel (name changed) is worried because “a gynecologist friend told me about abortions rising after the festival”.
But sex is not the only worry. “Youngsters get drunk and take drugs too,” said D Kumar, managing director of Andheri-based Secret Eye Detective Services Pvt Ltd. This Navratri, Kumar already has nine cases.
Borivali-based Orbit Detective and Security Service Director Manish Dubey said. “When parents see a change in their children, they approach us,” Dubey charges a minimum Rs 3,000 per evening. Two to three detectives keep an eye on a youngster. To avoid suspicion, they even play Dandiya. If the youngster disappears, they contact teammates and follow.
“There has to be a healthier bridge — more trust — between parents and children,” said Anuradha Sovani, clinical psychologist of Mumbai University.