Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bribe ok! Fine yakke???

The title of this post is the motto of our Trafficku Police’u in case you are wondering.

Today, I was driving peacefully at a comfortable cruising speed of 40 kmph as stated in the Driving School Manual, when I saw the traffic light turning Amber. Now, as a good little product of a driving school I slowed down, braked gently and stopped short of the white line. The very next moment, twenty one pair of eyes were glowering at me very angrily.

The eyes belonged to the BMTC driver whose bus was halfway up the kerb, the cab driver whose Qualis was on top of the BMTC Bus, the Reva driver who was under the BMTC bus, the pick-up van driver whose van was shamelessly showing its privates as it lay on its back and several mobikers whose bikes were piled neatly on top of each other in a formation that would have my PT Sir very proud indeed. Bought back memories of Sports Day formations...sigh.

Did I mention the traffic copper who was half way up the flag post in the traffic island? That made it 22 pairs of eyes looking very angrily at me indeed. According to the Bengaluru Drivers Union Road Rules (as opposed to the Indian Union Road Rules) you are supposed to speed up when you see the Amber light!

I was so embarrassed!!! I wished the earth would open up and swallow me. But then the Driving School manual, page no 768, para eight states that “Thou shalt not leave thy vehicle on the road even if you desperately want the earth to swallow you up which is natural when you follow road rules in Bengaluru.”

Yes peoples I am a driving school product. :( A much hated, reviled and despised species on Bangalore roads. We are so despised that we had to make a support group to support our support group. We even despise each other. Every Saturday, in a dark corner of a room in that building next to Mayo Hall, we meet to discuss our problems and how we should deal with a world that is increasingly becoming hostile to minorities like us. Our meetings were raided twice by the traffic coppers. The laathi charge, the coppers hoped, would make us forget road rules and intimidate us into joining the mainstream drivers on the road. But we held our own folks. We taught them a lesson they won’t forget in a hurry. And how did we do it?

We ran for our lives in single file on the “left side” of the road.

Ha! That taught them a lesson! Long live the cause!! We shall prevail or die on the roads following traffic rules! *gulp*

I slid down in my seat while the people picked themselves up from their respective piles. The traffic copper meanwhile had climbed down from the pole and was miserably hoping he had stayed up there. Traffic was in a snarl and the drivers were practically baying for each others blood. An inspector and couple of more coppers rushed in and started clearing the traffic.
After what seemed an eternity the jam eased up and cars sped away clearing the road around. I felt a tap on the car bonnet. It was the Inspector. I was screwed. I expected a stiff fine and a lengthy session in Kannada epithets. Instead he leaned over, smiled rather agreeably and asked.

Which driving school?

As I sped away thanking my stars for getting off so lightly I felt an enormous amount of pity for the Driving School Director cum Sole Driving Instructor cum peon.

And did I get a ticket in the mail? No. I didn’t. But the driving school owner is now footing the bill of some traffic copper’s annual trip to Haridwar we heard. The copper has reportedly gone there to wash off his sins.


Blunt Edges said...

Leave alone amber lights, I have seen situations in Bangalore when even red doesn't stop anyone. And what do you do when others don't apply pressure on the brake? U too don't!

Nishant Chandgotia said...

Yes. Seen this happening a lot of times. My sympathy for the group :)

Gayathri said...

But I think Bangalore in so much more civilized than rest of the metros, on roads. I am not brave enough to drive, or even learn driving but, I remember once my senior-most boss gave me a ride to office- he is the Vice President of a particular vertical of entire South India, of a media major, and at a signal we see, amber, and he nonchalantly proceeds. Until then I had thought only bikers are into uncivilized practices. Anyhoo, like reading your blog :)

Synapse said...

since you driving school people are a minority, you should ask for reservation of part of the road for you. and set up a few traffic lights to manage on your own! :)

Alka Gurha said... it. Chill maaadi!

Destiny's child... said...

I think the world needs more people/drivers liek you. Long live the cause! :)
rofl @ running away in single file :D

The Wanderer said...

Not just Bangalore, we "Driving School taught" drivers are harrassed here in USA too.. when I drive on an expressway with Speed Limit 70 mph (112 km/hr) at 75 mph (since driving manual said 10% overshoot is allowed), I have had to face angry black and white men honking, maaroing headlights at me and occasionally showing middle finger!

Grayquill said...

I can see if I ever come to India, I better use a taxi service. I would not survive. I am conditioned to actually believe traffic signals have a purpose and are useful.

Magical Homes said...

hee,hee. If I'd been there, you would have had 23 pairs of eyes glaring at you!!!

bangalore hudugi said...

"The copper has reportedly gone there to wash off his sins." ROFL! And it is true I know.

First time here. Loved your blog.

Anonymous said...

It only happens in India - red and green signal together at Kundanahalli gate junction in Bangalore. Should we go or not go?

Victor Guerra said...

First time here. Nice narration, Silverline! "Vehicles displaying their privates" - brilliant ;)!

This reminds me of my 'date' with a mumbai trafic police.

Unknown said...

Hey Please highlight your name(silverine) on the blog.

It is not visible clearly.