Police story


I was driving back home on a Saturday from a bit of shopping. Impromptu, I decided to stop by at a friend’s shop on my way to pick up something. I called her to check if the shop was open. Knowing its illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, I put her on speaker and gripped the phone and the wheel while speaking to her for a few seconds.

 A little later, a bike rode right next to me and the riders signalled me to pull over. As they parked in front of me, I realised they were cops.

“Oh, joy!”  I thought as I pulled over.

One of them walked up to me.

I rolled down my window.

“Madam, You cannot talk on your mobile while driving…”

” I was not,” I protested. “I was just holding my phone.”

“Even that is not allowed, Madam. You can come with us to the sergent and pay Rs. 1100 as fine.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s standing under the bridge you just came by…” It was almost a kilometre behind me. (It occured to me only later that the sergent must be a seasoned scuba diver to stand under that bridge, which was constructed over the murky waters of Adyar river! Unless he had meant to say ‘the other side of the bridge’!)

I hesitated. “Its almost lunch time and I have a small child waiting at home…” I said pleadingly. 

He seemed good natured enough to smile and suggested, “Then you can give us whatever amount you want happily, madam. We cannot give you a receipt, though…”

“Oh, that’s ok,” I said happily, intending to give him a hundred ruppee note.

But as luck would have it, my wallet had only 3 crisp 500 Rupee notes.

Reluctantly, I peeled off one and handed it over. Do I ask for change, I wondered.

He beamed at me as he asked his fellow cop to come over and take it from me. (Why couldn’t he take it, I wonder…)

“I’m saying this for your own good madam. Please don’t use the phone while driving, its very dangerous”.

He went back to his bike and made a show of directing the vehicles so I could join the meagre traffic… 

In the days of yore, this was called ‘vazhippari kollai‘…

And people doing it were respected dacoits…