Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ticket woes

On the way home from prison Lucky takes the wrong turn and gets lost. Hoping to right things, she finds an opening in the traffic and takes the road only to find that she had made a left from "NO LEFT TURN" lane. Consequently , she was caught by a policeman and
she tried to talk her way out by attributing this to her being in New York only a month, but the policeman hands her a ticket "welcoming her to New York!" ( p.42)

This reminds me of the many times I've been caught by the policemen in Mumbai for skipping the signal. Of course, this was never done intentionally - for instance the first time I was ever caught was because the signal changed just as I took the turn and the cop who was hiding behind a bush came up and asked for my licence. I gave him the licence and wondered why he looked at all the pages and then at me and then again at the licence !I wondered what he wanted but before he could do anything, I prodded my four year old in the car( who was already gripped by panic) and he prompty threw up on demand! Happy to get rid of me and my stinking car, the cop forgot about the ticket and let me off.

But another time I was not so lucky. This time, I didn't see the signal change and when the cop pulled me over to the side, I promptly handed my licence. This time he didn't so much glance at the licence but at the Pollution certificate stuck on the wind screen. He pointed out that my environmental pollution check was long over due and made me pay up the fine for both offences - jumping the signal and not getting my car's pollution checked.

Yet another time, I was in a rush and was stopped by the cop for speeding. Once again he asked for my licence and he looked at it carefully, page by page. Then when I explained to him why I was speeding ( I had to deliver some birth announcements and chocolates on behalf of my sister) I was let off. That night while talking over dinner, when I mentioned that the cops seemed to bequite eager to inspect every page in the licence given to them, I was told that when one hands over the licence, one is supposed to slip in a suitable denomination of currency which would then be discreetly taken over and the ticket and offence happily forgotten!

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