With all ill-effects it can bring, recession brought to us — those who work late into the night in Bangalore — one more woe: night-long cab rides. With the company resorting to drastic cost-cutting measures, including removing tubelights in the loo, many times people to all different routes were clubbed into a single cab.
When the situation got worse with the person who is dropped last getting a good two hours of ‘Bangalore darshan’, many lucky ones opted to bring own vehicles. People like me, who have no choice, remained crammed into a Sumo every night with some 10 others, equally hapless as me.
However, we utilize the opportunity to make it as interesting as possible. The hours in the cab turned out to be the best lighter moments we shared as colleagues. Our loud outbursts of laughter would have woken up at least one family every night.
Yesterday it was different when just two of us were there in the cab and the reason for laughter was provided by none other than a policeman on night patrol.
My colleague and I were in the cab other than a securityman and the driver. As our cab reached Cambridge Layout, we saw the road blocked by barricades and a policeman standing in the middle. He was inspecting a motorcyclist who was just ahead of us. We waited for our turn as policeman gestured to stop.
The driver turned back and said: “Madam, please take out your Press cards.”
Soon, both of us dug into our bags and held the Press card in our hand as we seldom get a chance to show that privilege to the world! The hidden ego of journalist murmured in mind: “Are you trying to act smart Mr policeman? See, we are licenced to travel any time in the night...”
I also thought, to the worst there must be some bomb alert in the city. Now the fellow will make us stand on the way at midnight until the whole cab is examined, we thought, least interested in wasting few more minutes of sleep.
The two-wheeler inspection was done and the cop asked our driver to take the vehicle forward and stop near him. He asked the driver to pul down the window. We were ready to wave our Press cards at him any moment.
The policeman came near the driver and asked him to blow on his face. The driver did and we were let away!!!
It took a few seconds for us to decipher what was happening. He was one of the IT city’s sniffer cops with an in-built alcohol detector! With no alcohol detector in hand, he put the driver to alcohol test with much ease!
We burst into laughter and wondered how the policeman would tackle the situation if somebody with a real bad breath was driving the vehicle. Would he be conscious when the next vehicle comes? ;P