Friday, November 21, 2014

Lessons from an unexpected quarter - 2

Date: Long long ago
Location: Signal at Jehangir Hospital, Pune
Teacher: Traffic police constable

Twas a balmy summer morning and I was perspiring under my helmet, my hair seems to have plastered 15 minutes into the ride to work yet I was feeling exhilerated riding my bike-Viru. I had just run over a mobile phone of a person suffering from obtuse phoneckitis and feeling as satisfied after a tot of oldmonk and black coffee. I was nearing the signal just beside my workplace; the signal was green, I increase speed and  making a mad rush(I know! sigh!). I reached a few meters from the junction, the light turns to amber when I throttled from ridiculous to ludicrous speed and crossed the signal just after the light turns red ( I still know, stupid right!?). Just outside my office gate, I get flagged by a portly, uniformed, tobacco crushing, head nodding to the right and yelling all the time "yae ikkde ikkde" traffic constable. At this point the universe was going "serves you right bugger". I manage to stop without hitting him, he gives me a look which deemed me lower than the lowest of life forms and pointed to the inspector standing by. He had already taken the  key from Viru. I get down, put the bike on the stand and walk to the inspector who gives me a 1/2 a millisecond look and issues me a challan. I don't even remember the amount written on it. All this was the context. Now for the learning.

I yell why did you let others pass by and only get hold of me. Yeah! I still know I was being a jerk. This time the inspector gives me a 1 second look and returned to whatever he was doing. Twas as if he thought of me as a WOT-waste of time. As if on cue, the portly, uniformed, tobacco crushing, head nodding to the right and yelling all the time "yae ikkde ikkde" traffic constable takes over smoothly. I had already pumped myself to my pretend irate best and was not ready for what transpired next. The conversation went thus-

Constable: तुम  हॉटेल में खाने जाते हो?
Do you go to a restaurant?
Me: बहुत बार( I was not married yet)
Lots of times.
Constable: मेनू में बहुत आइटम होंगेः नै ?
The menu must have listed a lot of items, isn't it?
Me: हाँ  (All confused, where was this conversation going, I get my guard up. I still wasn't ready for the boom to be lowered)

Constable: जितने आइटम है, सारे खाते हो की तुम चुन्नथे हो क्या खाना है?
Do you eat all the items listed or do you make a choice?

Now how does one beat that. I dropped all of my pretenses, calmly make my payment, get my keys, start my viru, get on it and go to work and my life.

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