The glass half empty.

13 Dec

About 2 weeks ago, I got pulled over. Tinted glass.

I got out and commenced a furious argument with the cop. He gave back as good as he got, and i was giving it to him, pointing out the almost black-glassed cars whizzing by. He ignored it all.

Jitu’s license confiscated.

Last week we go to Mahim station. License has been sent to Worli.

Early this week Jitu, my man, takes the car to Worli. A officious, bespectacled hawaldar had surveyed the car, announced that the bare glass was too tinted, and demanded that the glass be changed.

Jitu, ever the fixer, offered chai paani to the hawaldar.

The hawaldar told him that he would give Jitu chai paani and to go get the damn glass changed.

A dumbfounded Jitu arrived back.

Er … change the glass? The glass is the original glass, with the factory glass stamp on it. I checked. All 4 glasses correct.

I called around and asked friends. I posted on facebook. Everyone had the same answer: I am entitled to my ‘normal’ glass. Chai paani was the only recourse. Which of course, did not help, because the cop was not accepting the glass or chai paani.

So, this morning, I drive to Worli. On the way, I stopped 4 times, 3 times at different pairs of traffic cops at different spots on the Western Express Highway, and I asked each of them if my glass was too tinted. They look confused. Each time I told my story. The first one smiled and looked at me and said: "Ab main kya kahoon Sir." The second started giggling and skipped off to tell his pal the hilarious story and they both looked at me and giggled. The third one saluted me. Crisply. I was flumoxxed. The fourth was the one who had caught me in the first place. He asked me if I was still angry. I asked him if he was angry. We started laughing. He told me he had NO idea what the hawaldar had told Jitu and that it definitely did not make sense. We shook hands. He gave me the name of a senior cop and said to approach him if it happened again and not to say he had provided the name. He warned me NOT to offer the senior cop chai paani, "Saab, woh officer hai aap jaisa, unko chhaai paani ki zaroorat nahin."

So I arrived at the Worli RTO Office and stood in a scrawly line outside the building, like a good citizen. After 5 minutes, a young-ish cop emerged and the entire line dissolved in a flies-to-the-honey mob around him. "Film ka gaadi lok hai kya"? hawaldar asked. A chorus of haan, yes, ji. "Gaadi gate peh leke aao!" he instructed. We dispersed in all directions like schoolchildren asked to locate the missing prize.

One jackass respectfully asked him to come to his car parked a bit away. "Gaadi idhar lao," he drawled, his voice dripping disdain. "main gaadi ke paas nahin jaata hoon." Off went the little chap.

Cop and mob now proceeded to the gate. My driver Jeetu did what he usually does, warped all the laws of physics and got the car in sideways blocking the entire gate of the RTO office.

Cop nimbly ignored my car, sauntered off to two other cars, inspected, signed pauti.

He came to me. Looked me up and down. "Bolo Sir" he said.

Me, in full cunning mode: "Good afternoon. Saab maine film nikala. Nilalne ke paise bhi lage." Some reverse psychology there, not sure where, but its there.

Cop gave me withering look. "Yahan leke aatey toh free mein nikalta tha."

My driver Jeetu opened all four doors. The officer closely inspected the rear left glass and scratched at the top centimeter of glass. "Sagle kaadle", Jitu offered. "Pudchah?" "Ho saheb." "Maagcha?" "Ho Saheb."

OK he scrawled on the pauti.

Not a word about tinted glass. Not one word.

I sat in the car while Jitu scooted off to do the paperwork. Apparently I was charged Rs 200 extra fine for arguing with the cop who had nailed me in the first place. The same one who was now my friend, as of this morning, and who had sternly advised me to stop eating salt to relieve my blood pressure.

End of episode.

One Response to “The glass half empty.”

  1. anand lobo December 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM #

    Very strange 🙂

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