Following protocol has never been too much of an issue for cops in the city, but give them a conundrum and you’ll see just what stress can do to them. Recently, when a major crackdown on helmetless riders was underway at Anna Nagar, the traffic policeman who was doing the intercepting of motorists, pulled a couple of young men to the side and triumphantly asked them for their papers. Though it was barely past six in the evening, it didn’t take the cop’s bloodhound like nose to reduce that the two men were as drunk as fish.
Just as he was hitting his stride about the irresponsibility that the youth of the nation flaunted, one of them stopped him short and said, ‘If you wish to register a case then please do it for drunken driving sir. Please don’t do it for the helmet.” Puzzled at the request, the policeman called his SI in for a consult and asked them to explain. With remarkable presence of mind, the more sober of the two gents said that the bike had been borrowed from one of their brothers-in-law and that having it impounded after they took it and lost his helmet outside the bar would really land them in trouble. More amused than anything else, the cops had a hearty laugh and then told them to walk it off and come take the bike the next day.
It would have ended there if the young man, possibly in an act borne of sheer desperation, offered to cough up the fine if they could just leave with the bike. Both the cops turned on them and gave them a solid earful until the second offendor (the chap who would have been branded A2 if he’d been sent to the slammer) asked how much fine it was to get off without the advice.
Post script - the last this reporter saw of them they were being loaded into the police SUV by a very grumpy looking constable.
Meter Doesn’t Matter
People living in the outskirts of Chennai seem to be left behind not only with regard to development, but also in adhering to rules. Recently, when this reporter tried to hire an auto from the stand outside the Avadi Railway Station, the drivers enthusiastically began to haggle over the fare. When reminded about the meter system which was made mandatory more than a year ago, one of the drivers said, “Madam, the rules you are talking about apply only to the drivers in the city and not for us. Here, people are used to a flat rate for a particular destination. So, you better stick to our system and forget the system in the city.”
Aiyya wants a Laptop!
“Aiyya Laptop Kekuraru,” read a message sent by a cop from a local police station to a civic body member (In cops’ parlance, Aiyya refers to a superior official).
The policeman informed the local politico from the ruling party that his Aiyya’s son had been admitted to an engineering college this year and that his ‘budget’ could not accommodate a laptop for him. “Please consider this as a help for Aiyya,” he pleaded in the message.
Had the policeman demanded it out of authority, the politico would have definitely turned down the request. But the silver-tongue talking had its own advantage.
It was then learnt that the same cop had approached another local politico with the same request and managed to convince him to buy a desktop for his Aiyya’s son by informing him that a similar request for a laptop with another politico had been okayed. Turns out, a desktop was ‘gifted’ to aiyya’s son, but the laptop was yet to reach the officer’s house.
Interestingly, the Inspector whom the laptop was meant for, is attached neither to the Law and Order wing nor the Crime wing of any police station, but to one designated to mount vigilance on the functioning of the City Police.