We have so many traffic rules…….. we hardly follow few…….. and never bother to know them all J.
I was driving on the highway once on the leftmost lane. Saw a signal turn red and halted like a responsible citizenJ. There was a left turn at the signal, but I didn’t want to take it as I had to go straight. The signal light turned green, and I accelerated, only to find a traffic cop blocking my way and ordering me to park at the side.
As I turned the wheel left to park I started to think if I had jumped the signal, and maybe that’s why he asked me to stop. But soon realized that I did see the signal turn green. Nearing my side of the window he asked in the usual Mumbai Police istyle “chala license kaada”. I handed him my license and asked what fault I did.
Just then I got a phone call (I didn’t notice it as my phone is always on silent when I drive). The cop saw it and smiled quirkily “You broke 2 rules – One is you were on the left lane when you wanted to go straight and Two is that you are using your phone and getting calls while driving” .
Well rule one did make sense and I agreed he can book me for lane cutting. But the second rule was simply hilarious J J J ……. Another cop came near and started to write a receipt for a fine. And below is the transcript of the exact conversation:
Cop 1: Book him for lane cutting and talking on phone
Me : (with a naughty smile) Sirji, you know that I was not talking on the phone. Yes I was on the wrong lane, so I’ll pay the fine.
Cop2: You seem like a bright kid. But you see, if I give you a receipt, then I take your license and you have to come the next day to collect it. So much trouble to you.
Me: So what should we do? (I knew where this was heading J )
Cop1: He was talking on the phone!
Cop2: You tell me what should we do?
Me: No you tell me!
Cop2: Ok. Your normal fine is Rs200. Pay me less here and leave.
Me: (Thinking…….shall I give him less and leave …….. or……… damm….tough choice)
Me: Sirji, I don’t feel its right so you can take my license and write me a receipt.
He then started to write a receipt. But a similar incident happened when I was in South Africa with my uncle. So taking some tips from there I bluntly requested the cop, “Can you let me go please? I haven’t committed a grave offence. I usually follow all rules and I am sorry I was on the wrong lane. Can you let me go please? “
There was no reply. He simply handed over the license to me nodded me to leave. Wow! That was a relief………and an instant learning as well. - If you don’t ask………..you don’t get !!! J
And when I was all set to leave, the cop who caught me said “You seem like a good man. Pray for us”. We don’t like to take bribe either. But it’s a tough job that we do”
I wished him luck and left. It was so true what he shared. Traffic policemen are never respected by citizens. All we think is that they take bribes. But that’s not true. Imagine what would happen if Traffic cops went on strike for a day…………would be total Chaos in the city right! They do work, and it is indeed a tough, tiring and thankless job. Hope the government provides good facilities to those who make sure our travel is easy. But till then, would be nice to just wish a traffic cop next time you meet one. A “Namaste”, “Good Morning”, or festive wishes, or just one statement of praise like “you’re doing a really good job”. He too will feel good for that one moment you greet him J