I drive a Scooty Pep Plus, and it’s like one of my best friends. I love my bike and I don’t know what I would do without it! Yesterday’s paper spoke about global surveys that proved that a woman would rather lose her boyfriend, than lose her mobile phone. I attach about as much importance to my bike. (But of course, priorities would change if the boy friend can buy me a bike himself.) Well, women ARE materialistic. You just need to accept that.
Now I shouldn’t be saying this, but I (like many, many people out there) don’t have my license in hand. I keep filing for an LLR (I’ve done it thrice, already) and wake up only when the validity is over, and then I need to file it again. And I am NOT proud of it. Last week, the insurance papers were overdue too. Vulnerable prey for the cops-hawks.
So my bro and I are on the bike, bro driving (“NO WAY I’m sitting behind when a GIRL is driving!!”) and he happens to be my flesh and blood, so he doesn’t have a license either. Now there are certain things you learn when you drive without a license:
1.Never look scared. If a cop is looking at you, you defiantly look back at him. Then he’ll think you are clean.
2.Signals are dangerous preying grounds. Regulate driving speed and make sure you zoom away when the lights turn green.
3.Always wear the helmet. It’s one reason less for them to swoop down on you.
4.Never break the law.
5.If caught, never act smart. Act sorry; plead (Self respect or bars?) If you are a girl, cry. Or turn on your charm. Whichever you are good at.
6.If you are ever caught, discreetly empty the cash off your wallet and stash it away. Just keep as much as you are willing to donate to the cops in the wallet. Make sure you stash the credit cards away as well. Once, long time back, this cop saw the cards peeking out from my almost empty wallet and drove with me to the nearest ATM and got his due.
7.If you know some big-shot in the hierarchy, you don’t need to worry yourself with the six points stated above. Just make sure that person’s mobile number is always stored in your phone.
I have given this gyan to my bro many times, but one look at the cop’s face, he simply forgets it all. So we are caught in the signal, and bro breaks cardinal rule #1. He gets all sweaty and is like “Iyo..he is looking at us da..I think we are done”. Sure enough, the cop scans all the faces and picks the one that looks most guilty.
Blank stare. Metamorphoses into scared stare.
“Va va, oram kattu vandiye.”
Then the cop turns the ignition off and takes the key with him.
Now bro regains his senses, and he is opens the wallet, and takes extra cash out and puts it inside his pant. (snigger*) My wallet now had a fifty, his had a hundred. We pull the bike toward the cops. An equally hassled crowd stands there. Either they are making frantic phone calls or bargaining.
Cop turns to us.
“Enne pa, license illeya? 500 rupees fine. Enne, fine kattreya?”
I think when caught, we should cough up the cash, atleast for the savage satisfaction that none of it would go into the cop’s pocket. But almost always, we never have THAT much dough to spare. And think of all the things that you can do with five hundred bucks.
“Ille sir..avlo money ille sir..sorry sir..” We are taking the road most often travelled.
“Evlo money irukku?”
Then I go enter conversation, “Sir, neengale paarunga sir, only fifty” Thrust the purse into his hands.
“No no, fifty pathadu..two hundred rupees.final.” It was like bargaining on Pondy Bazaar.
Then a senior cop enters the scene. (With a bigger moustache. And an even bigger paunch. I think an increase in these parameters is directly proportional to raise in ranks)
“What is the problem?” He smiles at both of us. We smile back. (The charm, remember?)
I say, “Sir, sorry sir, Fifty than irukku...”
The two cops have a hush hush conversation. Then the senior one looks at us again. Nods. “One hundred and fifty.”
I still have faith that we can get away with fifty, when my bro hands over his hundred.
“Indanga sir.” Idiot.
Then some more hush hush. Then the senior cop says (this is the best part),
“Seri seri, one hundred koduthutu ponga. Inde ponnu naale unne vidren. All educated people. Looking like college students. Get license soon”
(I shall translate : Because this girl is with you, I ll leave you this one time) Haahaahahah :D
My bro gives me one long glance. Sardonic contempt mingled with gratefulness. Signs the receipt. And we are off.
My bro tells me then, “Thank God you were with me. Or they would have put their hands inside my pockets and all and checked for money.”
And we look at the receipt: Crime-Obstruction. Fine:Rs Fifty. So the other fifty is for his generosity.
I mean, we ARE wrong. Maybe if all the motorists out there had their licenses in hand, these guys wouldn’t be able to make a business out of this at all, would they?
So now my mum has put a ban on the bike. We are allowed to use it only after we both get our LLRs. Blah.