This is just phenomenal.
The honesty of our mamus cannot be questioned. If you're a mumbaiite then you will know who mamu's are. If you are the uninitiated then mamu's are what we lovingly call our traffic policemen.
Now we all know how fond the mamus are of challans. So I found out at my own risk the other day. I drive thru the signal when it was yellow as I was getting late for a meeting. And lo and behold. There is a mamu right in the middle of the road motioning me to get to the side. I stop and he Saunters over. Just my bloody luck, I curse myself.
I roll down the window and the usual exchange takes place.
'what's the matter officer?' I ask innocently as I can make it.
'you know what it is' he replies cockily.
'no!' I protest. 'I have no clue what you're talking about'.
He smiles and asks for my licence. 'you ran a light' he says.
I hand over my licence and get out of the car as he Saunters back to his bike. He opens the challan book as if it's a ritual. Slowly pulling out his pen as if to write. We both know there won't be a challan. But the show is for my benefit.
To give me time to say 'let it go sir, why do we want all the paperwork'
He smiles and says that I'm right.
'so what do we do about this' I ask 'how much'
'however much you want to' comes the standard reply.
'50?' I ask tentatively.
'look at the inflation sir,' he says. '50 just doesn't cut it' and he proceeds in giving me a lecture on the economic condition of India.
So I say ok. How bout a hundred.
He is pleased. He smiles and follows me back to my car. I left my wallet in there purposely so that I don't have to slip him the note with everyone watching.
So I sit back in, roll the window down and check my wallet. I then realise that I only have a 500 buck note. No change! Thoughts run through my head that now he's gonna take all of it.
So I look out and tell him 'I only have a 500 buck note, no change. Can we just let this go'
Humans love hoping for the moon.
'that's ok, I'll give you change' comes the reply.
I'm shocked! The guy wants to give me change for taking a bribe!! :D
So he puts his notebook forward and I drop the note in inconspicuously.( you can't be too careful these days, right??)
And he walks back to his buddies. He comes back shortly and extends the notebook into the car again. And there they are. Four crisp hundred rupee notes in exchange for the 500 and my licence. I pocket both of them.
He smiles and says thank you. ( can't fault them on the politeness factor)
And I drive off.
So you see, however bad you might think they are? They're honest atleast :D

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