Pardon the hmmpf-that-was-cheesy title to the blog! But you would see that the relation warrants the cheesiness - at least serves as a decent excuse!
Yes! I was shown the White Gloved hand to the side of the road yet again the other day. And that took the count to 6 (Hence the title. See I told you I had a decent excuse). This time, it wasn't my fault (Yes. Yes. I know. I know. Har khooni yehi kehta hai ke usne khoon nahi kiya and all that). Anyway.
It so happened that my centuries-old Maruti 800 decided to conk off. No no. That was not the problem. The problem was that it took this decision right in the middle of a chauraha (crossroads) and off went the signal. So, Mr. Pandu dutifully signaled me, once my car started, with his White Gloved hand and showed me the side of the road.
Pandu: What were you doing?
Innocent Me: (Oh! This is something I always wanted to do. I was feeling too left out, so what better way to attract some attention.) Car conked off.
P: (Showing much concern. At his empathizing best...whilst taking my license) Tchh...tch! Hard luck!
IM: Sir, seriously. It wouldn't start. I can show that again. Some problem that developed just a few minutes ago. (Truth sometimes seems so unbelievable)
P: Tch. Hard luck!
IM: Sir, Promise! (Ya right! No mother-promise? Ok! God-promise?! Who am I kidding?!)
P: (Eyes me, from head to toe - and smirks. I have no clue what he is thinking though)
IM: (Makes the innocent-most face possible)
P:Ok! Pay and Go!
IM: But sir... (Oh! Forget it. Guess, hard lunk it is!) Ok! How much do I pay?
P: How much ever...
IM: But sir, receipt would be for?
P: (Hmmph... incorrigible fellow!)Go! Get your papers.
IM: (Oh! $#@#$) Sure.
IM: (Went to the glove box. Took the pouch that neatly holds all the papers.) Here you go, Sir!
P: What would I do with these?
IM: But sir...
P: Take out the insurance and PUC papers.
IM: (Oh! $#@#$) Sure. Here you go.
P: What is this?
IM: Sir, insurance, right?! (Freak! I had it.)
P: Yes. But it is expired.
IM: (I am not a bad actor, but it looks really cheesy saying...) What???!!! Oh! I did not know sir. Actually I wasn't in India for the past year. (Allow me to repeat - Truth sometimes seems so unbelievable.)
P: So - I now pardon your Rs. 100 for crossing the signal.
IM: Thank you, Sir!
P: And gift you this ticket worth Rs. 1100
P: Rs. 600 for insurance and Rs. 500 for PUC, both expired
IM: Oh! Damn...
IM: (Freak - there he goes again.) Unless?
P: (Handing over my license to me...Oh! Yes!) You could pay less and get away, you know?
IM: Oh! Thanks a lot, sir.
P: How much are you going to pay?
IM: How much am I supposed to pay?
P: Hmmpf. How much can you pay?
IM: How much am I going to get a ticket for?
P: (Under his breathe) $#@#$!
P: Give me your license for a minute!
IM: (Oh! No.) Here sir.
P: Don't you understand?
Bystander: Hey mister! Give him whatever you have; and be set free - Rs. 100 at least!
IM: Oh! Sir! (As if it just dawned upon me) Actually, I have only Rs. 150 and I have to get some medicines for my mother (Yes! I actually said that - hee hee - life's fun!) Anyway, I wouldn't part with a penny without the receipt! (And I said it out loud!)
P: Wait a minute - I guess I have had enough! (Scribbled something on the receipt; when I interrupted and asked...)
IM: Sir, have they not given you readers to read these smart card licenses? Do we have to submit them?
IM: Yes Sir. You could actually...
P: Ok. Ok! Here you go. Go to the RTO - after taking PUC. I have not charged you for insurance! Pay Rs. 200 and make way!
IM: Thank You sir!
Next morning! I religiously checked for PUC. Went to the RTO and surprise. Surprise.
P2: (Not of the Pentium fame!) That would be Rs. 600!
IM: (With an open mouth!) But Mr. P told me Rs. 200.
P2: Ok! Give me Rs. 200! Here take your license!
IM: (Wow! That was easy! But... wait a minute!) Uhmmm... the receipt?
P2: That is for Rs. 600.
P2: I can't help what he said. He might have said I owuld pay you even! Rules are rules. We have to live by it!
IM: I don't have that much. Wait till I call home.
And I continue to stand there when I see a big black board with all the fines written with chalk. It read: No PUC - Rs. 100! So, I proceeded to ask him about this. In the mean time, he was watching me closely. As soon as I approached him, he asked for a minute and was gone. Then he had some one call me. I went. Then he tells me that if I get the PUC photocopied and submitted, I would have to pay only Rs. 200! Rs. 100 for PUC and Rs.100 for the signal!
And so ends yet another kahani of 'encounter' with the traffic police making it (Drums rolling. Audience applause, cheers and whistles. Music rising to a rich crescendo!)Ab Tak 6.