In India, almost everyone wants to be doctor or an engineer when they grow up.. Most of them do get a degree in engineering or medicine and few of them become engineers and doctors… but that is besides the point.
I always wanted to be Sherlock Holmes. No, I did not want to be a self loathing ,woman hating , drug abuser. I wanted to be a detective.
My detective skills bloomed when I was very young. My mom and dad used to work till late evening, so after school , I stayed with my grandparents. My grandfather is a very enthusiastic person … a military man himself, told me stories about the front line. This helped fuel the fire in my childish fantasy. So when he took me to see any kind of social gatherings or processions, especially palkhis, I would make it a point to follow the policeman. One day, with as much stern face as a 8 year old can make, I asked a policeman why he was following the palkhi. My grandfather, with sheepish smile, gently and firmly guided me away from that policeman. That was my first encounter with a cop.
Unfortunately, I started to grow up. Or at least , my age advanced in years, I realized the childish fantasy was not going to disappear soon. My encounters with the law, however, definitely were at bare minimum.
Once such incidents includes me taking money from the cop. Yeah, I know it was a bit weird, but I still managed that. Here is how :
I parked my vehicle in a “no Parking” zone. Of course the vehicle was towed away. After half an hour of cursing myself( mentally), and a bit of butt kicking(again , only mentally, it would be really funny and extremely hard to do it to yourself in the middle of a busy intersection), I found out where they stow away such towed away vehicles.
I went there… produced the necessary papers, haggled about the price to be paid and finally freed my vehicle. This was when I noticed , one of the levers for my bike’s brakes was broken. I was furious. Went back to the policeman and asked him about the damage to the vehicle.
He denied everything. I thought only the criminals did that. In fact it is their default answer to any type of question asked by the cops.
Anyways, back to the story. So, the cop denied everything. Then I told him that if he did not pay me back for the broken lever, I will press charges against the entire crew for purposeful damage to the vehicle. The cop was writing something n his note book. He continued to write in his notebook. without looking up, he suggested “The lever might be broken for along time. You are simply pinning the damages on us. What proof do you have that the lever was not broken? “. His point was valid. But I was in Sadashiv peth, The area notorious for debating Punekars. ” What proof do you have that the vehicle was parked in a no parking zone ?” , I asked.
He showed me exhibit no.1 . The photo of my vehicle being parked in a no parking zone.I zoomed the photo, and said” Se here office, the lever is perfectly healthy, ready to live for a few more years. Are you going to refund , or shall I lodge a complaint?.” I became richer by Rs. 70 that day.
A few days later, I was at a traffic signal. There were a lot of copy on the other side of the signal. They were stopping everyone, so there was a lot of crowd on the other side of intersection.
We know there is an association between a crush and your heart beats, but the same hold true in case of cops. Even if you are innocent, the heart still starts beating faster.
The cops stopped me in the middle of the road. They handed me sweets wished me good health and proceeded to the next fast beating heart.
Faith in cops, restored.
These are just a couple of encounters I had with the community that is underpaid , over worked and stereotyped for being corrupt. But seldom are they appreciated.
I know off a few of the modern cops who are not at all technology ignorant, obese or rude. But just because of a few bad apples, there is a threat of the entire basket being spoiled.
#cops #humanity #corruption #stereotypes #hashtagsingeneral