I logged out from office early owing to my weakness and expected fever. I wasn’t in a hurry at all. Drove my bike out of the parking lot and slowly accelerated towards my doctor’s clinic. The evening office traffic was heavy and I just had to get to Dadar from Chembur. After the doctor’s consult, I took off for home and this is where I was going to part take in a short and surprising incident.
Near the left turn from Sion hospital I was blind sided by a Tavera and missed the red light. I knew traffic police would be waiting to feast on this opportunity and I was right. That road wasn’t new to me and I had no doubt they were waiting patiently for drivers who forget their brakes. I saw the hand asking me to park aside. I had unintentionally missed the light, but I was at fault too.
“Ya bajula Saheb, gaadi thaambva.” (Come aside Saheb, halt your vehicle).
I had no option. I parked quietly besides another victim and waiting for his judgement. He just gave me a casual look hinting towards my license. This was my second encounter with a traffic police officer. The first one was pretty short so I’ll fit it into one sentence – I was driving home at midnight and one officers just casually stopped me to ask my name, twice(No rules broken, mind you!) and then he let me pass.
This wasn’t going to be so easy. I took off my helmet and glasses and calmly handed over my license and waited there resting on my bike. I felt weak, physically and it was evident from the way I stood. I just wanted this to end and get home. I started to convey what had really happened –
“Ti Tavera khup javalun geli and mala signal dislach nahi, mala disla asta tar thamblo asto mi.” (That Tavera went past very close to me due to which I was blind sided. If I would have seen the signal I would have stopped)
“Mi fakt tumhalach nahi thaambavlay, to bagha tyachi gaadi pan ahe thaambleli.” (I haven’t jut stopped you, look there’s his vehicle as well)
“Kaka, mala kharach disla nahi signal.” (Uncle, I really couldn’t see the signal)
“Mala maajha kaam karava lagel Saheb, signal konalach todaicha nasto.” (I have to do my job Saheb, no one want’s to break signals)
“Tumcha kaam mala samajta pan mala taap aala ahe ani office madhun lavkar nighun doctor kade gelo hoto. Taap alay mala.” (I understand your job but I had gone to consult my doctor after leaving my office early today. I have a fever)
“Taap ala tar kashala gaadi chalavta Saheb??” (Why drive when you are not feeling well??)
“Kay ilaaz nahi ahe Kaka, office la javach lagta.” (There’s no way out, we are obliged to work in office)
“Aamcha pan kahi ilaaz nahi. Aamhala sangtat – Jaa 20 license gheun ya!!” (Even we are helpless. We are ordered – Go and get 20 licenses!!)
“Tumhala tumcha kaam karava lagta, pan mala kharach signal nahi disla.” (You are bound to your work but, I really couldn’t see the lights)
“Paise bharun jatay tar bola.” (Talk to me only of you are paying the fine)
“Kaka, gaadi navin ahe, mala signal todaichi haus nahi ahe.” (Uncle, the bike is new, I really have no motivation to break rules)
“Bara, 50 dya.” (Okay, give me 50)
I quietly took out my wallet and handed over a 100 rupee note to him. I had no idea whether I was supposed to wait for him to return the change or just ride away and thank god that I didn’t have to pay a hefty fine.
He asked me to wait.
He was handling another case during which he was handed over 2 bricks of Dairy Milk by his colleague. He asked the same fellow to return my change and stood behind my bike. I took my change and I was about to leave but noticed him handing over a piece of the chocolate to me! I denied. But, I had to accept it in the end with his words “Ghya chocolate. Taap alay, jara bara vaatel.” (Have this chocolate. You have a fever, this will make you feel a bit okay)
Startled and relieved, I drove away.