Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sniffer cops!

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


Pradeep said...

Good one :)...

In earlier days, during the pre-call centre era when there were not so many cabs zipping across the city at night, cops used to ask embarrassingly probing questions to women in the cab.

"Where are you going at night like this?" "Why are travelling at night", Looking at guys in the cab, cops ask "who are these women" "Where are you all going?"

Then after the journalists fish out the i-cards and show it to the cops, they apologise; saying "in Bangalore all sorts of things happen, and that it is our duty to check suspicious vehicles".

Ajith said...

Banaglore darshan and tube lights in the loo are pretty common after effects of recession in our company also. :) Some of my friends are happy as they get to travel with some pretty faces, so one or two hours is actually not enough for them :)

Anonymous said...

The real estate is one sector that features as one of the most badly hit sectors following the global economic meltdown. Especially in developing countries like India, where real estate was going great guns, so to say, faced a steep downfall following the recession and inflation. Especially in the metros and the developing cities like Bangalore, real estate suffered dearly as the demand for the residential units, though increasing became a pent up demand. The badly hit economy particularly the IT sector that has a strong foothold in Bangalore, and the high rates of interest in home loans made the demand for residential units go down or at best become a pent up demand. It is believed that once the situation stabilizes the demands would start surfacing. Another very problematic issue that the real estate dealers are facing is that patrons of the currently booked flats are not willing to pay the original price that they had agreed on but the current price that is less than the original amount owing to the current economic condition. Not only the residential units but the commercial properties like the hotels in Bangalore have also naturally seen a drop in their occupancy. The ITC hotels in Bangalore that registered the highest occupancy, as high as 83%, have been forced to cut down on their tariffs by almost 20% as the occupancy has also gone down by 20%. On the contrary, the business hotels in Bangalore are surviving the tough times as the number of business travelers has not been affected as hard as the umber of leisure hotels. The budget hotels in Bangalore have seen a hike owing to the obvious reasons.

Sekhar said...

That was a strange act indeed. Hilarious too :)

And true you said. At workplace we never consider our friends until we meet them in a cab or a bus.

Nice post.

Debby said...

Poor BPO fellows also stare at us from behind (most of their vehicles trail us at night) and give this sorry look as if we were all colleagues on the same boat. Thank your stars. At least we are not going home on this long ride after listening to unending calls all day long. :P Debby

Pascale said...

Great post! I'd like to see how this policeman would handle some bad-breath fellows:-) Very funny and very deep.

Anonymous said...

Atleast you got home safely and without flashing that press card. Cheers. Enjoy. Life goes on!