I was booked by a traffic cop yesterday. It was my mistake and I was booked only for that. But what happened in the space of 10 min makes it an interesting thing to mention here. Here is what happened.
I was travelling with my wife late yesterday evening, going to the market. We were in the middle of some interesting conversation and by mistake I jumped a signal. Blame it on the road, which was not much crowded at 9pm. But I realised it immediately after I jumped and I went back to the stop line. I also missed a traffic cop standing on the foot path waving towards me. Obviously he had to walk some distance (read few steps) to come and reprimand me. I thought he would just do that and leave. But no. He decided to book me for the offence I saved myself from committing.
Anyway, it was expected and approached him calmly. Unfortunately the original insurance and PUC copy of the vehicle was not with me. I remembered I had removed it and replaced with a photo copy during the servicing last month. And I had obviously forgot to put it back. Thats it! He got a point and explained me lot of points, what they call ‘Kalam’. Overall the fine mounted at Rs. 1200. “Twelve hundred?” I was surprised. “What for? For being honest and going back to the line?” The cop obviously had lot of things to say. He was in a mood to talk, which was a clear indication that he wanted a bribe. I’d have paid the fine any day instead of paying the bribe. But 1200 bucks were too much for my honesty. So negotiations was the only option.
It started at 600 and we closed the matter after I agreed to pay 200 bucks. While we were engaged in this intriguing debate on how much bribe should I pay, few other offenders jumped the signal. But even that point could not persuade him to let me go. I had lost the debate and also 200 of my hard earned money. But this looks like any other story, is it not? This frequently happens with almost every one of us. But what happened in the next five minutes makes it very interesting.
So I went back to vehicle feeling dejected and angry. Defeat was all over me. But I was not prepared to give up so easily. I drove up to him and said, “Can you wipe my vehicle?” He was both shocked and surprised. I again said, “I pay that much to my watchman to clean my vehicle and he wipes 30 times every month. Cant you do it once?” He was furious. He started hurling abuses at me and almost tried to grab me by my collar. I let him burst out first and then said, “Your anger can not hide or cover your inefficiency and ill attitude. Corruption can only get you what you just heard. Good Night!”
I had my revenge. But I dont know what he learnt from it. I guess he must have earned another 1000 bucks till now. Sigh!