It happened last week.
I was driving with my wife in Mumbai. Somewhere near Chembur (won't reveal the exact location as I don't want to defame anyone). I wanted to take a right turn and the signal was green. So I took the turn. One traffic police whistled (you are required to check if the whistle was intended for you). I saw him through my rear view mirror. It was for me. I slowed down my car. I heard the whistle again, I saw again and the police indicated me to leave. Strange. I assumed there's some misunderstanding and now eveything's fine.
Me and my assumptions!
Suddenly another traffic police whistled and stopped me then and there. I asked him the reason politely (as he is just doing his job) and he politely asked me to show my driving licence. I obliged. Politely, I may add. Politely again, he asked me directly for money! Now that was direct to the point!
I asked him, "Paise kyun?" (Why are you asking for money?)
He: "Sahab ke paas chalo, sab batayenge" (My senior will answer your query)
By the way, I must add, the politeness I was referring to earlier on, suddenly left.
He: "PUC dikhaon" (Show me the PUC receipt. PUC is the certificate you get from the authorities when your vehicle's contribution to pollution is minimal and under control)
I obliged again. Thankfully, the PUC was still valid!
He took me to his senior. His senior said there was some confusion and he can let me go. Politeness is back in this world again! And now, finally, eveything's fine.. again!
I am not publishing this incident to defame anyone. I, for one, have the utmost respect for Mumbai police (traffic police included). I feel they are the most under-appreciated group in Mumbai. Anything happens here and we expect them to solve it. And they do, sometimes a little later than we expect. But that's understandable considering how big, multi-cultural and diverse Mumbai is.
There are some though, that spoil every good deed Mumbai police do. Like the one I referred to in this post. People eager for money and will not mince words to ask. Selfish priorities. As they say, it takes just one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch. But then there are guys, like his senior, who ensured that sanity and justice prevails.
|Image: trafficpolicemumbai.org. Deeds that we normally tend to forget|
My overall experience - Satisfactory.