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Monday, March 02, 2009

FunnyMen aka PoliceMen

Just couldnt not write about the traffic police of the city after sharing roadspace with them for almost 2 long years!

They are a strange lot. Almost docile, followers of Gandhian principle of non-aggression and non-violence, Policemen here (in most cases) are caricatures of their profession! They dare not fine a lady driver, despite her violating many a sundry traffic rules for which her male counterpart will be fined. But there again the fine would vary depending upon how much cash he is carrying. They are considerate enough to allow the offender to keep the change!! And if the offender is the assertive and hostile kind, they'll just let him go.....

Barring a few bulky mustachioed ''Men-in-Uniform", the rest of the lot are lanky, giggly just-out-of-teens "Boys-in-Uniform". And if the consequence of their immaturity and inability to handle the daily morning /evening choc-a-block traffic condition hadnt been so frustrating, their antics would have been downright comical.

Scene I : A group of two or three lanky, malnourished twenty something boys-in-uniform, standing in a cluster right in the middle of a busy crossing. A digital camera in hand, one of the group is showing something and the other two (or three) gangly chaps are giggling away, their backs to the honking traffice jam. Red light has turned green and green into red...the cars are all in a go-as-you-like mode. Chaos all around. But the boys (in their new avtar as cameramen) are oblivious to the pandemonium surrounding them...

Scene II : A lone youth-in-uniform, again with his back towards the chaotic rush all around, is happily chatting away on a cellphone, laughing and talking. That he is on duty which requires contant vigilance is a fact he is apparently unaware of.

Scene III : Again at a busy 'chaurasta', manned by a burly mustachioed man-in-uniform, geared up for action with a baton in hand, supervising another skinny chap in an ill-fitting uniform, shooting images of the passing cars on handycam. So what if the traffic has gone berserk and Autorickshaws, Cyclists, Mercs, BMWs and modest mortals like us, are vying for inches of roadspace. Neither of the Laurel-Hardy police duo bothers to budge from their self-designated spots on the road to clear the jam.

These are a few of the many scenes I am a witness to, daily to and from work.

Now coming to the catalyst for this blogpost?
SD received an inland letter. We were pleasantly surprised, because in todays age of e-communication, inland letters are remnants of the past and we were receiving one after almost a decade or two. We teared open the blue folded sheet in anticipation and wonder only to be deflated and disappointed that it was an e-challan (Traffic ticket) for jumping signal!! And that's when the mystery of the utility of those handycams and digicams was solved!

Just a question to City Traffic Police dept? Innovative and effective though the idea may be to punish the violaters, wouldnt automated cameras be a better idea and let the 'men' do the manning of the commotion that our road traffic is?

PS: I am waiting for an opportunity to click pics of the antics of the men in uniform. If and when I successfully do so, I will amend this post and add the pics


naperville mom said...

Very funny! And receiving an inland letter sure'd perk anyone up:) I still associate it with long gossipy letters from my cousins... The pics'd be interesting too, I can wait:)

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

hmmm. I was wondering which boys you were talking about... all the policemen I have seen are pot-bellied middle-aged slobs whose sole role as a traffic guardian seems to be to raise a hand and wiggle it.. and let us figure it out!
Maybe the higher-ups were able to lure in these 'boys' by dangling handicams before their eyes!!

SGD said...

@NM - I have to wait to take pics for the occasions when I am not driving! Otherwise who knows, they may just make an exception (of fining a lady driver) and send me an e-challan for unauthorised photography while driving!! ;)

SGD said...

@Roshni-The policemen you've seen...were they during your recent visit or during your Hyd stay 5-6 yrs back?
In case it's the latter, may be the majority of pot bellied middle-aged-hand-wiggling were offered VRS to give way for the just-out-of-teens-giggly-lanky chaps-in-uniform!!!

Anonymous said...

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HR said...

Actually who committed the mistake? You or SD? Was it a real mistake or just an error made by the overzealous policemen while clicking surveillance camera?

SGD said...

I am sure it was SD ...He;s the one who's an expert in jumping signals and such similar violations!!! A fine of Rs.100 or 3months jail!!! What an unfair choice!!!
And those are not 'real' surveillance cameras...they are paati cameras... :D :D :D

HR said...

In the beginning of the story you mentioned that male counterparts of lady drivers are penalized even though the crimes are committed by the ladies. So i was little confused.
I am more confused with the nature of punishment imposed.. 3 months jail!!! or Rs.100 fine!!!..It's not commensurable!!

SGD said...

@HR-No no..what I meant was for the same violation commmitted once by a male and at another instance by a female driver, the former may (or may not) be punished depending on several factors, but a woman will not least in 90% cases..

Reflections said...

Hey...dont say a word abt these sweet guys huh.....these kind souls have innumerable times let me go with just a kind warning whenever I was caught without my license, when I cruised thru a 1way, took a U turn & so many other itty-bitty things.

Where in the world will u get chaps like these...have very fond memories of them

p.s: LOL abt the island letter....I cd just imagine ur excitement:-D

nsiyer said...

Men in uniform are an interesting lot. In the morning when I go for a walk at 530 am , I find them accepting bribes from truckers.

Uniform is a symbol which sometime scares people and they use it to their advantage.

SGD said...

@NS Iyer - Yes what a shame....we need protection from the protectors themselves!
In Hyd, apart from the corruption, the lackadaisical attitude of the men in uniform, adds to the woes of the common man...though on hindsight they do provide comic relief!!

SGD said...

@Reflections; You are soo funny!! Sweet & fond memories, eh??
If the indian police knew, they would be after you to be their chief PRO!!! :D :D