Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Encounter

Roaming around in Delhi alone is so much fun. There is so much noise and chaos around you that you never feel alone. Politely, its so happening. Returning from one such expedition, a traffic policeman knocks on the window of my car. I look at the light. Its red. Knock again, light still red. I realize that a policeman's knock may not necessarily mean one's caught for a fault. I roll down the window -

P: Where are you going?
Me - towards X Nagar.
P: Ok, can you drop me at point Y?
Me - Well, thats in the other direction?
P: Thats okay, you can then drop me at point Z before X Nagar.
Me: Ok.

The policeman helped himself into the car and my bollywood eyes brought to me the scene of this policeman being a conman in a policeman's dress who will soon hijack my car. And the black bag clinging to him has a pistol. Vrrrrrrrrr. Although he had this imaginary pistol, I fired the first round.

Me: So where do you work?
P: At the Chanakya Puri station.
Me: And where do you live.
P: XYZ in Haryana.
Me: Whoa, thats 40 kms from here???
P: Yes. But I am learning to drive and I will soon get a motorcycle, on a promotion.
Me: You would reach at 11 PM in the night.
P: Hmmm. May be not. 10.30. Lets see.
Me: What time do you leave for work in morning?
P: 5. To reach the "chowki" by 7.30. VIPs are on a move starting early morning, so we have to be there before them.
Me: Who VIPs?
P: There are only 2 VIPs in Delhi. Dr. Singh and Pratibha Patil.
Me: Sonia?
P: Oh yes, she too.

My bollywood senses depart here.

P: Hey, can you take a slight right from here and drop me at point C?
Me: I will drop you right at some metro station. Dont worry.

He acks with a Thanks.

Time for my favorite question - Dhadwal vs Bedi.

Me: What do you think about Ms. Bedi.
P: Dont ask, if she were the Chief today, things would have been a lot easier.
Me: Are things hard today? Whats hard. What part in the whole scheme?
P: We have no schedule. Dhadwal wants us to be honest. We are honest. But there is no time schedule.
Me: Ok, so is Dhadwal not a great manager?
P: Hes only an administrator, a tough task master.
Me: Is it true that since Bedi's track record is better than him, hence she would have been a better manager?
P: Everybody has a good record. Ms. X of the Punjab cadre is also good. But she is not the Chief.
Me: Ok. So what do you think Bedi should do?
P: See, she has some more work to do. She has NGOs to run. She took VRS and is happily doing it.
Me: She has 35 years of service. Commendable record. Why cant she do service as a Chief for 5 more years, and then retire to play NGO-NGO?
P: These decisions are well done. They cant be changed. Lets face it. Ok, here is my stop. Thanks a lot. I appreciate your help.
Me: Sure. (Murmuring "Delhi Citizens, with you, for you, always" in heart).

I am wondering that this guy is spending only 6 hours at home, including his sleep hours, eating time, and any time he might want to spend with his kids. This brave fellow gets up at 4.30 in the morning, to leave home early for the VIPs. And then, he is expected to be honest and not crib. How is this possible? These guys have no say on who will be their boss. They have no schedule at work. With the measly salary for this much hard work, no transport arrangement in odd hours, what reasons does he have to stay honest?

-G Singh, 29th Oct 2008, 9.30 PM, New Delhi


Nirmal Mehta said...

what reason does anyone has to stay honest? Probably its money, security, job, family...but a dishonest man will always miss atleast one of these :)

Prayag Narula said...

I have met with more than a handful of Delhi cops and it is one of the most difficult jobs to keep.

Really long working hours, no leaves, working on all major holidays and most of it, the most thankless job in the world. But people take the job because once u rise up the ladder you can make good money.

Ironically, I might well have been talking about the mafia and saying the same things :)

Gursharan Singh said...

Thanks for your insight. Bit I think that even with abundant money, security, job and a happy family, there are dishonest men. Your clause may be true in one direction only. The function is not invertible :).

I agree with you. My post proves that :).

aman said...

excellent post !
As for your question : What reason does anyone has to stay honest ?
Lots of reasons but only if one cares for them. Not that I despise people who are dishonest. I just think they are weak.

Shivkumar said...

This was so much of a pleasure to read. I could picture every little detail in my head. They way your eyes would have rolled as you asked him - doing pretty well at concealing your curiosity.

The best part was the "with you for you always" twist! And yes, we cannot be thankful enough for whatever we have and still it's hard to reason why our focus is on all that we do not have. However, thinking about what we do not have is an important psychological drive towards growing - like wanting to learn something that you do not know.