Sunday, June 24, 2007

My adventure with the Mumbai Cops

Written sometime in June 2007

Declaration :This comes an educated professional running in her usual in the rat race with no links to crime scene/underworld etc.

Information : This comes six month late, but have moved to Mumbai. Have a car with a Punjab registration which after being damaged in an accident was parked outside my building with me waiting for a weekend to get it repaired, till one morning.

Just one morning while I was running behined schedule a little bit as usual, I saw two cops standing in the street where my car was parked for the last few days. I looked carefully there were cops, but no car. Oh my God! Did someone stole my car or what ? More than anything else I was shocked. Who would steal my car. To be fair it still runs, but nevertheless it is  almost a decade old, badly maintained, not cleaned for two months and at the end of it all, a B segment car in the middle of those newer Sedans.

Shocked at the thief whose standards were so low, I approached the cops . To my surprise the policemen jumped at discovering who the owner was. I was very pleased to hear that they had been looking almost the whole night. How concerned & dutibound, I thought.

I began talking and their questions went something like this

Who owned that car ?
For how many days was it here ?
Why was it there ?
When did it come ?
What was the purpose?
When did I last use it / Did some one else use it / The apparent accident that had happened / When/ Where etc etc?

I was shocked. What was going on ? Why was this policeman acting so weirdly ? The fact that the registration of the car is not in my name (The vehicle belongs to my dad and my parents are based out of Delhi) did not help the case at all.

And then the contours of the dramatic story unfolded.

It seems someone in the neighbouring building had intimated the cops last night of the suscipicious vehicle parked opposite his gate. According to him the vehicle was old, uncleaned, had an accident and, had a Punjab number. Clearly, this had to be bomb. These guys had been there since early morning trying to find the elusive owner & the scary bomb.

What happened thereon is history. I signed some papers (statement) went to the police station explained the case, and promptly gave my car to the nearest workshop for cleaning then & there. Inspite of everything that transpired, my interaction with cops was polite & cordial. I liked the professional treatment.

PS: That was the first time I ever went to the police station. Just recording another step in my growth as a person
Moral of the story : Keep your cars clean & get them repaired as soon as you have an accident.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It also happens in Delhi

It happened with me yet again. Had taken a day off to make good use of the Christmas weekend to go home. The three days home were great for unwinding and I really did not want to come back. (For those who me know too well, for example my parents, were surprised. I am not those very sentimental and mushy kinds) Never the less, I let home on Christmas night to take the Rajdhani to this city in the heart of India where I work

Now that I am absent minded is almost universal acknowledged. And I had the extra advantage of leaving a little late for the station. I went to station the train was already there at the platform. I frantically searched my name in charts. To my dismay, it was not there . It took me quite some disbelief to figure out that my ticket was not confirmed.

It took me good 15 minutes of talking to the TT to convince me how desperately I needed to be at work the next morning. Seeing no signs of me relenting the poor man gave in. That he too almost missed the train in this whole exercise is another story.

Once in I decided to call back home to tell them that I have left Delhi. I looked into my purse, then in my bag, then in my jeans pocket and then again in my purse. Quite a few rounds of these searches and realized the evening had been more exciting than I initially thought. I had lost my cell phone. Since was talking on the phone while on my way to station it clearly was not left back home.

For those who loose their cell phone for the first time are clearly unprepared for the loss of information it brings. I have since long stopped keeping people's cards or a diary. The 1.5 inches by 4 inches by 1/2 inch gadget stores all my contact numbers, to do lists, information etc. But this to is not the high point of this story.

The high point of the story was to be unfolded the next day morning. I landed in Nagpur and then reached office, to find out that dad had called someone to give a message. An autorickshaw driver had given my cellphone in the nearest police station to be delivered to its owner. In 2004 something similar had happened to me in Mumbai. But ordinarily I or for that matter no one I know would have expected this is Delhi. We just make certain generalizations of things and people around us.

Yet again life taught me not to make any assumptions

PS : If I haven't called you for long, please blame it on this incident. Its high time you give me a call so that I get your number again.