India’s longest-running television series, CID, was the characters’ rapport with one other, the mystery around their personal lives (which often had us at the edge of our seats more than the actual whodunnit) and the comfort of knowing that justice will be served in the end. There were also the more peculiar characteristics that made CID the entertainer that it was, including ACP Pradyuman’s dialogues, Daya’s fondness for door-breaking and Abhijeet’s romance with Dr Tarika. CID’s bizarreness made it entertaining and the characters made it memorable. Here’s what we miss most about the show:
The sovereign in B.P. Singh’s CID is ACP Pradyuman, played by Shivaji Satam, a former inspection officer. Over the two-decade-long run, ACP settled into some iconic catchphrases like, “Kuch toh gadbad hai (There’s something wrong here).” Considering CID was a police procedural drama, you’d think that line would be stating the obvious and it is, but when ACP Pradyuman does it, we don’t mind. Pradyuman also tends to announce the verdict right when a criminal is being arrested: “Tumhe toh fansi hogi, fansi (You will be hanged).” And when he asks “Iska matlab samjhe? (Are you following?)” the wheels turn in all our heads. A law unto himself, ACP Pradyuman is a man you can trust to spot “daal main kuch kaala hai”.
Senior Inspector Daya (Dayanand Shetty) is to CID what Hulk is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The ACP’s right-hand man, with his upper body strength, solves the problem of locked doors with muscular panache. In episode after episode, Daya breaks down doors in a manner that physics can’t explain (but destructive therapy can. Look it up). Under that door-smashing exterior is a complete softie — but only behind closed doors. His bromance with Senior Inspector Abhijeet (Aditya Srivastava) is one for the books.
Please note that Daya isn’t the only one Abhijeet is making heart eyes at. He has crackling chemistry with Dr. Tarika (Shraddha Musale), who assists Dr Salunkhe (Narendra Gupta) in analysing evidence. Dr. Tarika is a respite from the show’s general machismo for the audience. And for Abhijeet, she seems to be a breath of fresh air in a room filled with chemicals. However, CID is, ultimately, a workplace drama and we only get some teasing banter and coquettish glances. Like Abhijeet and Dr. Tarika’s colleagues, we’re left to speculate whether the two are dating or not.
Of all the ways to identify a substance, tasting would seem like the most obvious option as well as the most potentially hazardous one. Being basic doesn’t deter CID. Dr. Salunkhe dips the tip of his tongue in a white powder before concluding that it’s a “nasheeli dawaai” (basically, cocaine), which can only make you wonder how Dr. Salunkhe knew this. The analysis of his study constitutes an instant and brief high, which appears like a warm-up exercise and demonic possession in equal measure. A perky background score and shaky camera effects are added to communicate his intoxicated state.
In Star Wars, we have teleportation. In Harry Potter, there is the apparition. In CID, we have a slap-induced match cut. A police pursuit would often end with a smack on the criminal’s face. Cut to the next shot, where the culprit is nursing his cheek, recapitulating his sob story in the department office, while the officers encircle him. It is left up to the viewer to imagine what transpired in the middle. Was the criminal dealt with blows? Did he lose consciousness? Did the officers take a chai-sutta break after? Never mind those details, just focus on the power of one tight slap.
Coming up with titles is usually the least favourite part of writing anything, but when you look at the individual titles given to each of CID’s 1,547 episodes, someone was clearly having a lot of fun. Here’s a sample: ‘Kissa Khooni Kartab Ka (The Case of the Deadly Stunt)’, ‘Raaz Khooni Suhaag Jode Ka (The Secret of a Blood Stained Wedding Dress)’, ‘Credit Card Ka Khooni Raaz (The Killer Secret of a Credit Card)’. We couldn’t help but notice parallels to Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes series in ‘The Case of the Thief Within – I’ and ‘The Case of the 639 Coins’.