I was involved in an encounter yesterday. My third one. With a menacing, mustached stern man who waits by signals to ruin the day for all happy drivers. Yeah, a traffic policeman!
I had fought my way through traffic on Sardar Patel Road and reached the Madhya Kailash junction. I intended to go straight but couldn’t make it to the left side of the road (till I reached the junction I was trying to avoid suffering in the traffic jam!). Still I went ahead, without switching on the indicator to show the direction in which I was headed.
Bang (mini bang)… a cyclist crashed into my bike from behind.
By the time my bike stopped swaying dangerously (I didn’t know a cycle could make such an impact!) a traffic policeman was telling me that the mistake was on my part and that I was supposed to go only on the left (oh yeah, a mistake. I admit it. I should’ve gone to the left no matter how many cars were blocking my way, like a superwoman. I’ve imagined myself climbing over several cars in seconds and getting to a signal. Seriously! I guess it happens to you when you encounter the Saidapet traffic jams everyday.)
Oh, back to the story. Yeah, I made a mistake! I am an impatient driver. I get distracted too. At that point my aim was to get my bike ahead. I didn’t switch on the indicator. Shouldn’t the cyclist have understood why? Also he banged from the back! So he turned before I did. How could he do that in a turning? Would I turn magically in the few milliseconds that took him to close the gap between his cycle and my bike?
There was a major catastrophe. I realized that the tottering, weak heel of my sandal had fallen off when my bike lost balance. I was looking at my sandal sadly, but the policeman didn’t sympathize with me. “Go to the corner of the road,” he said. My mind drifted back to Maths class in Standard IV for a moment and the policeman sprouted the long plait of my strict school teacher in my head.
Thankfully, not a single car stopped. The policeman, who noticed that no one was agreeing with his decision to send me to the corner of the road and collect money, said “Sari ma, Po!”
I left the heel of the sandal behind and sped away. The fine would be almost as much as the price of the sandal itself (say, 150 bucks. Yeah, I buy cheap but hot looking shoes – Bollywood Shoes, Egmore. Check it out!). Ok, I am drifting into dreams about new shoes. Let me get back to the story.
I headed to Adyar, Besant Nagar, every garment shop that I could spot on the way, to browse through clothes and cool down. I did that till 8 30 pm, but fortunately, didn’t find anything I liked. My Mom called me and yelled. I headed back home. Also treated myself to my favourite oily fried rice from the local wannabe dhaba on the way. And found the perfect bag after a week of searching! At least the evening amounted to something. Boo to traffic policemen!
As a concluding statement, I’d like to say this… If I were God, there would be no traffic policemen in heaven. There would be ice-cream wallahs, boutique owners, pushcart sonpapdi wallahs and every other person who cheers a girl up immensely after an encounter with a traffic policeman.