Indians are known for drawing upon various tricks to meet any situation. And when it comes to breaking traffic rules, like riding without helmet, jumping a red light or driving without seat belts, they have more than a few tricks up their sleeves.
In fact, they can go to any extent just to dodge the traffic police. A colleague narrated the saga of one such cab driver, who transported him from an assignment to Noida. Our colleague was slightly taken aback when the driver asked him sit in the front but he gamely agreed.
The driver was running a private vehicle, but was illegally using it as a cab, for commercial purpose. When questioned, the cocky man responded that he was adept at dodging the police. He went on to reveal that he usually asks one of the passengers to sit in the front and then puts on aviator dark glasses. At our colleague’s nonplussed look, he explained that any policeman would get the impression that he was driving his personal car with family or friends. Which driver wears an aviator while driving, the smart alec grinned.
Upset by social media-fanned panic withdrawals from automatic cash dispensing machines, a non-pensioner sought to fortify himself for sundry personal expenses outside the family managed home. He went to his neighbourhood bank branch in South Delhi and presented a self-cheque for Rs 2,000, politely asking the cashier for a wad of Rs 20 notes.
Without bothering to look up, the cashier tersely remarked, “Aapka bees rupaye ka zamana chala gaya (Rs 20 currency notes of your time is passé)”, and impertinently threw four Rs 500 notes on the cash counter.
A neighbour’s grandson behind him in the queue, softly told the disappointed old man, “Grandpa, the money you earned and saved in your working years has lost value.”
Panic in Metro
For all the safety assurance by the Delhi Metro authorities, commuters are prone to panic at the slightest hint of any danger. A colleague, returning home last week, was alerted by a mild smell of smoke as the Metro she was riding in crossed Sultanpur station. Looking up, she found the others in the compartment too sniffing and in no time, a mild panic set in. As the train approached the next station, Ghitorni, commuters prepared themselves to de-board, complaining that the driver should have alerted them.
However, as soon as the doors opened a strong whiff of smoke entered the compartment and people soon realised the smoke was outside. Looking out, one saw an extensive smoke haze, caused no doubt by a massive fire.
It was only after the train had crossed a couple of stations that the smoke inside dissipated. While our colleague appreciated the alertness of commuters, she also realised how easy it was to panic. In the melee that usually follows, there are more chances of accidents. Which once again reinforces the need for mock drills and a prominent display inside all the trains of safety procedures in the event of any emergency.
Our in-house wisecrack hopes the latest “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” bonhomie fares better than the previous one.
Contributed by: Nivedita R, R V Smith, Rakesh Kumar, Samir Pal and Asha Ramachandran