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