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Bangalore Traffic Games

BY: subramanniyan mani | Category: Issues | Submitted: 2010-06-08 06:11:28
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Article Summary: "A glimpse on the hardships bike riders face in Bangalore traffic.."


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This is a true incident, or you could even call it a series of on the road mishaps. A couple of weeks back, I happened to take a small road trip with my colleague Satish on the bike from Sultanpalya to Whitefeild, It was a dreary trip to meet a customer, the first part of the trip went smoothly and without incidents. But it was the return trip that proved eventful.

It was around 5:30 pm, it was getting a little dark, and the rain factor was in the reckoning. Satish was zipping along nicely until we reached the Kalyan nagar signal on the outer ring road. The traffic was stalled, and some of the guys were taking to the service road. Satish also took the service road, from behind I started bitching about not wanting to take the service road as the chances of getting caught by the traffic police was more. And then Satish went philosophical on me saying, if you are destined to get caught, whether it is the service road or the main road you will end up getting caught and there is no avoiding it, and I was like yeah yeah.....we were getting to the next signal, when out of nowhere came the traffic police and waved us to the side. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time.

Satish was all serious, and with due respect was addressing the traffic police man. He immediately told Satish that we were on a no entry lane and that we have to pay the penalty of 250 rs. Even as this conversation was going on, other bikes were simply cruising on without being stopped. Just our luck getting caught in this no win situation. While I was mulling over these things, Satish has already started bargaining seriously with the police man, in the midst of this negotiation, the traffic policeman suddenly lifted a contraption from his belt and started to key in our bike's licence plate number, then suddenly asked Satish to produce his driving licence, which he duly did, after glancing at it, the policeman asked Satish for 100 rs, and again Satish started crying about being a poor man and that he has got no money with him, and policeman was really getting worked up, so to diffuse the situation I started getting my wallet out of my pant pocket, when Satish motioned with his eyes not to do it. I just moved away and was getting worked up myself. Satish somehow produced 70 rupees and started begging the policeman that it was all the money he had and that he can give only 50 rupees and that he needed the other 20 rupees to buy cigarettes.

Finally the policeman succumbed to Satish's persuasion and accepted the 50 rupees and allowed us to leave. And Satish was like boasting about his prowess and techniques. I just kept quiet as I wanted to get home without further incidents and not invite god's wrath again. We got to the Nagawara signal without problems, when the signal turned green we were among the first few to zoom past it, and as luck would have it, suddenly another white shirted policeman stopped us, and he said he was watching and that we crossed before the signal turned green. Standing there nobody could see the signal lights as we were standing behind it and there was no way he could pin that infringement on us. I started arguing with the policeman, then Satish interfered and started telling the policeman how we have already bribed one of his colleagues just a few minutes back. The policeman just laughed and asked Satish to produce the infringement notice. By then I was really frustrated with the whole system. I moved a few metres away and removed a 50 rupee note from my pocket and gave it to Satish and asked him to close the issue quickly. He paid the money and we started the final leg of our journey, the signal was on green when we reached Veeranpalya, we had to take a diversion there, we were just doing that when again another traffic policeman materialised and waved us to the side, by then I was ready to do anything, I just wanted to get home somehow or other. And this time around, I think even god got bored with it.

Just as we were moving to the side, a small accident involving a bike and a car happened a few feet away, and the policeman had to attend to it. Satish using his presence of mind just zoomed away without waiting and finally managed to get me home without further incidents.

If I had hind sight I would have taken an auto rickshaw instead of the bike, as it would have been less eventful, or even economical taking into consideration the petrol used and the hand outs................... please note that I am not making any complaints as I was also playing the game, which I should not have done, but honestly I don't see any other way to resolve issues of this kind. It is so very easy to be suckered in by the system and taking the easy way out rather than fighting it like heroes do in movies.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am a fun loving guy, who gets irky and antsy when forced to endure the wrong end of a no win situation. But I always manage to find the funny side of it.

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