Sunday, October 23, 2011


When I sought to apply for a post at the UN, I had to fill up a column which asked whether I was ever booked for a traffic violation. Too bad that the truth disqualified me... check this out...

It is midnight and Zero, from the Sad Sack comic strip, is returning to base alone in his car. The car stops at a red light that is unfortunately stuck on red. Zero is in a big dilemma—well no, it is not whether to go or not to go, it is that his out-pass expires at 5.00 AM.
The solution is only too obvious, how does a red light apply in a deserted crossing at midnight..? If you want some good advise here it is, ‘don’t apply this logic on Pune traffic rules’. You are likely to bump into a policeman, who is strategically placed at one of those points which make you apply the ‘obvious’ logic.
Take this point close to the Nal Stop, on the Karve road. On taking a turn towards Swargate and proceeding about three hundred meters you reach a circle with a traffic signal. You are standing at the circle, the signal having just turned red on your arrival. You watch one road empty into the circle and then it is the turn of a small lane coming from the left. The wait seems like an infinity because you are held up by a lane starved of any traffic (probably leading into a desert); and the urge to use the ‘obvious’ logic builds up, especially when you are racing against time… The temptation is too much; you take off. You might not have crossed twenty meters and you are flagged down by a policeman… It becomes apparent that the policeman had stationed himself strategically behind a huge tree. The tree was his camouflage: masking him from your view when you were battling with the dilemma at the crossing.
So there I was, flagged down, and he asked me for my license. I showed it to him. And he said it’s is a learning license… Where is the ‘L’ sign? Legally speaking I had to have had that on, but with a great deal of practice on dad’s geared scooter (the one that I drove was a gearless one) I felt that it really did not matter. But then rules are rules… There was a pregnant pause and he said that would be 200 Rs. 100 for each mistake. Another pregnant pause, then he said, Ok come with me, I will ride with you to the police station… That was about a mile back on the way in which I had come. At the police station he made me pay a fine of 100Rs for which he duly made the clerk give me a receipt. An electrical shop nearby, a bit of creativity, a piece of red insulation tape and the ‘L’ sign was in place. And then he said good-bye...

He surely knew how to get a ride back to his station.

No comments:

Post a Comment