Dear Traffic Policemen of Bombay

Honestly, I dont think anyone likes you. I can imagine how sad you would be feeling. But what to do, some of your folks have created such an impression in our minds, that everytime you stop anyone, I can imagine the people around them smirking in their minds ‘Abhi paise kam hai, toh fokat rok ke loot liya bechare ko’ (Now that the (Traffic  policeman) has less money, he is stopping someone just like that, and is going to loot that poor fellow!)

Well, what to do, I guess, most of you know that dislike from public is a part of your job description eh?

I must admit, I have met a few of you who have been really sweet…Like I remember, I was running around with R at Bvr station trying to find the AC bus, and one of you asked me what the matter was..I told you that I was trying to get the AC bus, in the sweltering heat with R on my hips..you were kind enough to walk with me all the way to the bus stop and actually stop the bus for me to get in..

or, the other day, when I got lost trying to find a book dealer…I came to you and asked you where its located..you didnt know it, but you took the pains to come with me to a rick fellow and ask him the location and then guide me to the right place..

and then the other day, when R and I were trying to cross the road, you actually came upto us and helped us cross it by showing you hand to the racing rickshaws…

After all, I must admit, I do realise you are definitely human 🙂

But, honestly, most of us, also have very bad experiences with you. The worst, I think is when you stand at the corner of the turning, trying to catch people randomly and then scare the daylights out of most people!! of course, there are people breaking rules all the time and you are just doing your duty, but the way you do it can be a bit more human  you know..perhaps try talking sense into rule breakers instead of just pushing them the wrong way, by fining them, accepting bribes without the paavti, etc etc

Acha, I  had one question, whats the point of this nakabandi? For the non-Bombayites, this basically means that the traffic policemen park their vans diagonally across the road, or just put up road blocks across the road, so that the traffic slows down to one vehicle passing at one time, and ends up in humongous traffic jams…

so dear Trafficpolicemen, do you really think, you can catch terrorists, etc etc using this technique..honestly I dont think so..it just ends up with us, normal people, showering more curses on you 😦

Of course, I do understand its a terrible job  you do..especially in Bombay…the kind of pollution levels your system sucks in on a daily basis just scares the hell out of me..apart from that, unruly ricks, unworried two wheelers, scared pedestrians, you manage all of them with the wave of your hand..it must be crazy standing in that heat/rain for 8 hours trying to guide un-guided souls to some kind of path na?

and of course, during the festival seasons, ganpati, and dahi handi, etc, your work is increased 100 fold..yet you guys seem to do a manageable job na!

I sometimes, feel so so bad for you…and of course, most times I am just terrified of you.

Unfortunately for you, even if you were planning some kind of a reform, your bad name seems to precede you, so I guess, its going to be tough for you to let an average Bombayite know that perhaps you do mean well 🙂

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that there have been times, I have been among those who have cursed you for making up the traffic jams, and sometimes I have been among those who think you are really nice people.

Thanks for doing a job which involves a lot of health risks, and hoping that the common man-traffic policeman relationships see a better day

Yours
RM

PS – Did you know, my dear Trafficpoliceman, that I have noticed, whenever you are directing traffic at a signal its a jam, if the signal is just working by itself, there are no jams at all? why please enlighten 🙂

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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26 Responses to Dear Traffic Policemen of Bombay

  1. Psych Babbler says:

    Never liked the cops there…they follow the law based on their moods. Will take bribes most of the time. If they are in a bad mood, you will get caught. If not, other people go scot-free. I like your odes to the people of Bombay RM but policemen there don’t get my sympathy or empathy. And these are police in general. I still remember in order to get my passport, they expect to be paid money to state that I lived where I lived. Messed up system.

  2. Amit says:

    The traffic policemen in U.P cut a pathetic figure. They might be flingling their arms as if sending a tsunami warning but no one bothers to give them a second look. People just go on with their life. They earn from truck drivers.
    Over the past few years I have seen the Delhi traffic police to be very efficient. They have changed for good.

  3. LOL @ the PS. I haven’t noticed that!

    Whatever you say is so true! I have thought about these things many times, too. The life of traffic policemen is so tough – standing in the midst of all that pollution and traffic, trying to regulate it, bearing the cold/rain/heat and facing curses from the general public, sometimes with no place to even sit or relieve oneself. A hard job! That said, I agree that they have such a bad reputation that people are mortally in fear of them or just hate them. Their reputation precedes them. I hope that changes in the near future – that can only happen when we become more aware of the problems they face, and when they show us more of their compassionate, human side.

  4. meenamenon says:

    err how do i put this without ofending.. see these posts abt mundane things is gr8 but errr i enjoy ur post on daily life more :-/. No offence, ok??

  5. sandhya says:

    Am loving these posts from you, RM. Keep them coming. Maybe you can compile them into a book like that one I gave you. Would make for wonderful reading. And we can preen about knowing a published author.

  6. ashreyamom says:

    i too feel bad that they stand in heat/rain for 8 hrs and work like dogs.. but really get irritated when they take bribe.. inspite of having all documents, you will end up paying them, as it is their month end crisis.. 😦

  7. Ashwathy says:

    apart from that, unruly ricks, unworried two wheelers, scared pedestrians, you manage all of them with the wave of your hand..it must be crazy standing in that heat/rain for 8 hours trying to guide un-guided souls to some kind of path na?
    Yeah I have often thought about this myself. It’s a tiring, thankless job….

  8. Sujatha says:

    ROFL @ the P.S . I have noticed it several times…

  9. Hmm.. yeah its a tough and thankless job. I certainly wouldn’t want to become a traffic cop in my next janam! But you know RM, they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory by their actions on the job. Only rarely have I come across an honest traffic cop who plays exactly by the rules(and then only in Chandigarh) Most of them openly ask for bribes and are totally pathetic.

    About nakabandi–I may be wrong but I think they do it when they have orders from higher authorities to check out every passing vehicle . I bet they don’t like it either, it means too much work for them.

    You’re right , traffic manages itself fine with only the lights to guide it. Cops seem to complicate the picture more often than not 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      oh I totally agree….this post is just about them SH, I am not definitely saying they are great people, just that sometimes I do feel bad for them 🙂

  10. Thank god I did not get through the interviews .. I would have been a FAT-Corrupt officer..

    the problem is the system even if you are not corrupt it makes you .. One of my friends is a in the forces in the last 8 years of his service he has been transferred 6- 7 times.. and is still waiting for his promotion while the officers who joined with him on the same day have become senior to him..

    I wont take the name of a place , it was in mumbai though his tenure lasted just a mere 3 months .. yeah it looks like a MOVIE dialogue 🙂

    Honesty will only take you so far.. and as such the salary is not enough hence bribe comes in

  11. anisnest says:

    hmm.. what to say abt traffic policeman.. I had always looked at them as those ppl who take bribes instantly.. if they are work under hot sun all day so do the construction workers but these ppl misuse their authority. Not everyone but most of them. They think they have more power and control on all the bike riders on the road.. sorry to say this..

  12. uma says:

    So totally agree about the p.s. part..whenever there is a jam near a junction, we can definitely close our eyes and put the reason down to a policeman manning the signal.

  13. Pingback: People to Thank « lifeslittletwists

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