It’s a bookie’s life!
Following are the fictional confessions of a bookie, who has to manage the stressful life of crime in order to have two square 8-course meals in a day:
Hi. I’m your friendly neighbourhood bookie. I don’t know why people are alarmed at the mere mention of the word ‘bookie’. If it really was a crime to be one, would my brethren thrive with full fervour across the globe? Hey, it’s you whose money I’m doubling here (making a small cut for myself in the process, professional I am, he heh). Before I go into the nuances of the trade, you must be warned that ours is a craft that is constantly evolving one and if you look upto me as a role model for making your millions, you might end up on the dead side of the spectrum! We have to keep two paces ahead of the law, what a dynamic project to be involved in!
Having said that, it’s not that we bookie boys don’t have our guiding lights, they just remain so till the time they’re outdated by more worthy successors. Who wouldn’t be inspired by the top brass of our organization after umpteen movies have been made with our swashbuckling mascots romancing hot ladies? We die in the end, road-crash or police encounter, does it matter? Live life to the fullest I say.
A typical day starts, er, actually, our days and nights are usually the same, with action happening all the time 24*7. I start my 24 hours by making a list of all the Forex rates, analysing the complex calculations to set and understand the bets, drinking coffee, making sure I’m not being traced etc etc.
After the money analyst in me is done, the marketing guy in me wakes up. I have to look for leads, susceptible youngsters and coaches/senior players. I make a comprehensive list of their personality traits, their likes and dislikes (Paparazzi have less info on a celeb’s life as compared to our knowledge of the sportsmen). I have to sell my products –Spot Fixing, Match Fixing, Leaked Team Line-ups being the hotcakes- to these guys who are already harassed by those pesky anti-corruption blokes. I mean, can’t the players be left alone after 80% of their time is blown-up in domestic leagues and commercials? But we respect the fact that those guys are also doing their job and hence, don’t kill em (not till now).
Once this is done, its time to say hello to the PR dude in me. Hiding all the top secret info and millions of dollars in my frame, I have to come across as the most trustworthy and amicable person to the player I’m approaching, memorising all the points of his personality as I greet him. Then I have to convert all the hard work into gold by making him agree to sell his national pride and love for the game. And let me assure you, these players are pirates when it comes to fleecing us bookies.
I’m also like a producer, overlooking the proceedings of every ball (the ‘no’ kinds especially) to ensure that the script is unfolding as rehearsed. And it is just like the producers anywhere else, I also do the labour without a single thank you. If it was not my efficient brotherhood managing things and some egotist boards, this operation of ours would have died decades back.
I turn into a spy, confidante, fall-guy, Yes-man and what not to keep my job. A few measly million per annum are what come my way after putting my life on the line, just like that sewer cleaner (the life part, not the money, I mean). I don’t even get a bail-out from the governments whereas the other fraudsters of the sensex and other IT and Steel organisations have all the benefits. It is the kind of motivation even millions cannot suffice. But, I bear it all for the sake of my cute little spoiled family, the same thing our dear US of A and other partners do for its citizens.
I’ve made millions richer, no one talks of that. I’ve globalised the sport and am above petty racist undertones the world over. I’m secular, I’m benevolent, I’m just an extended corrupt version of you. You fix jobs, deadlines, challans, bills, marriages, votes and everything else under the sun, all under the garb of ‘system’, ‘professionalism’ and ‘procedure’, but all hunt for me when I do it in a lot less bawdy manner with a sport. Shame shame.