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I apologize for misleading you there a bit, but I had to catch your attention didn’t I? 🙂 So, it wasn’t as dramatic as you see it in the movies but yes, it did happen. Why, you may ask… That is what you’ll have to read to find out 🙂

I’ve narrated this story a dozen times to scores of people to make them laugh and also to tell them that the COPS can be dirty people to handle with if you’re on the wrong side. Now, come to think of it… there’s no RIGHT side when it comes to dealing with them, EVER!! I’m trying to figure out which less scandalous story I should narrate… ehm… yeah there’s been more than one time!

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The story is pretty silly but it all happened to ME! A couple of friends got out of a late night show in Surat and gave me a call, knowing that I’ll be the ONLY one awake at 2 am because I’m an Architecture student and I had my final jury in a few weeks. They said that they would be coming in an auto to pick me up for a late night (read early morning) cup of chai at Chamunda (the only place where you can get chai when you crave for it which is almost all the time). I was relieved because I was starting to feel bored and sleepy and designing in that mood is never a good idea. There we went, all four of us… 2 boys and 2 girls to Chamunda for chai… After having our well deserved cups of chai, we decided to go and sit on the pavement just below the flyover. And, like friends normally do, we started chatting and didn’t know how time flew by and one of my friends (do NOT get any ideas, he’s like a brother to me and will not be named cos’ well… it’s not HIS story!) was damn tired and put his head on my lap. Agreed, it was not the best move but also agreed that we didn’t know what would happen in that situation.

In less than 5 minutes, an auto with a stick protruding from one side races it’s way towards us, hitting every person in sight. (you’re not allowed to be out late, on your own without a reason… CHAI is NOT a reason!) The stick belonged to a police officer who hadn’t had his ‘dhanda’ for the day and was pissed! He spotted us and well, the inevitable happened…. he said it… “Follow me!!” Agreed that it wasn’t as dramatic as it sounds in the movies and well, the title as well, but it was enough to make us all shit in our pants. (not literally)

He took us to the Police Station which just so happened to be next door to the Chamunda Chai Stall and interrogated us like we were criminals. Now, come to think of it… I think I enjoyed it a bit too. First, the girls and then the boys to verify. We weren’t professional liars or criminals (although we had definitely seen enough movies to qualify) and our stories obviously didn’t add up. Now, this guy realizes that we’re not really scared of him (I wonder now, why we weren’t) and he starts chatting us up and even gave us Chai and biscuits! We told him the truth that we came to have chai and that all of us were just FRIENDS which was also sort of a lie because the other two were dating at the time. I WAS TELLING THE TRUTH!! (my story, remember?)

He did the normal threatening to call our parents act from our phones and I was using the  Nokia 1100 then and the constable couldn’t unlock it and oh, was it hilarious 🙂 I made up this story that I was an NRI and that my parents were abroad and not reachable (I know, I lie very well. You should be forewarned.) That sort of worked. My friends gave some cock and bull story each and well, it worked. The police inspector asked the auto guy to take 3 of us back to our hostel and college to verify that we were telling the truth and in the mean time 1 of us was left behind. We had watched enough movies in our lifetime to know how one person is left behind and tortured to show that they mean business and yes, this was about the time I was ready to cry and beg (drama is my middle name). The 3 of us came back to the police station, expecting to find the battered remains of our friend and what did we see…?! He was sitting there, chatting away with the cops having chai and biscuits. Bewilderment. He seemed just as relieved to see us in one piece as we were to see him in one piece and we were taken back to our hostels, where we had to cough up Rs.100/- each (haggled it down to 100 from 500).

It was a harrowing experience and as the auto pulled away from the four of us, there was this silent prayer which was said, I thought as agnostic as most of us were at the time. We could’ve been in a lot of trouble but just as 21 year olds are; we laughed it off and thanked our stars that we got away with just paying them a menial amount of money. I’ve had a constant run-in with the cops throughout my 5 years of Architecture and always managed to get away, unscathed. My friends called me a ‘panauti‘ (a person who’s jinxed) and trust me, at times I think it’s true!! I shall save the other run-ins with the cops for another blog entry because… well… I’m lazy to type anymore!!

P.S. If you’re also jinxed when it comes to the COPS, save your best friend’s number as MOM or DAD on your phone. You will thank me later.

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