Friday last, 9.45 am, Chamiers Rd/Cenotaph Rd Intersection.
I've just been pulled over by traffic cop for jumping a red light (the damn thing had turned red before I could drive off. Don't ask). We get out of the car, and follow the guy. He's clearly a rookie.
"LLR-a? You're not allowed to drive in traffic."
"Oh yes I am!"
" Read your LLR properly- it says in there that you can't."
I fish out my LLR and (triumphantly) read out loud, "The attention of the holder of this license is drawn to rule-3 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989. Which prohibits him from driving any motor vehicle unless he has besides him a person duly licensed to drive the vehicles and in every case, the vehicle carries "L" plate both in the front and in the rear of the vehicle."
I sound quite indignant, and Rookie senses that I'm about to pick up a fight. And so we are taken to meet the boss. The Boss regards me balefully and parrots out, "LLR-a? You're not allowed to drive in traffic. Read your LLR properly- it says in there that you can't." Before I reply, Rookie, tells his boss with a smirk, "She's claiming that there's no such rule." I feel belligerent, and dearly want to break his nose. The Boss continues his interrogation,
"What are you doing driving in traffic?"
"Learning to drive in traffic..."
"You're not allowed to do that! You're supposed to practice on empty roads."
"But I've already done that! And anyway, there's no rule that stops me from driving in traffic."
"No, you can only drive in traffic when you have your license! What if you cause an accident?" I want to say to him, you moron, a driver's license does not automatically endow anyone with perfect driving skills.
"How do you propose I learn to drive in traffic, then?"
"YOU CAN DRIVE IN TRAFFIC ONLY AFTER YOU"VE GOT YOUR LICENSE"
"But there is no such rule!"
"When I tell you something, you must listen. Instead you go on insisting that the rabbit has three legs..."
"BUT THERE IS NO SUCH RULE!"
"You're a girl, so I can't say anything to you. You'll claim that I harassed you."
"Err, if you say so."
"Now get lost."
See how the cops made no mention about my actual offense? It's symptomatic of a special kind of idiocy that's endemic to the authorities.
And that, folks was my tryst with the law.
Questions and Observations
-Why is switching on the indicator while changing lanes not standard practice in India? It makes me very nervous not doing this. In Kerala, putting on your right indicator while driving on a straight road apparently means that you're allowing the person behind to overtake you. Scary.
-Bike drivers are a nuisance to civilised society. Also, auto drivers. Ok, some car drivers too.
-Oh god, how I love power steering!