Encounter with the Pee-lice

It was late evening and the little shrub shrugged disenchantedly under the warm shower, much like a kid does when rudely woken up for school. After being drenched incessantly by the Westerlies, the last thing that it desired was warm water to disturb the repose. And yet, for all my concern and respect, I had little recourse but to let nature have its way — out of me. So, after dutifully ‘watering the plants’ or rather a solitary shrub on a dark sidewalk, I felt much relieved and refreshed to continue my onward journey home.

But barely, had I zipped up, a hoarse cry disturbed my nirvana. On turning around, I found out that the person hollering out was none other than a Mumbai cop, and by the way he was looking, he seemed to be a sub-inspector (had a gun holster and no Pandu cap) and yes he seemed much irate and on the verge of fuming.

Hey kay kele” he said much loudly, even though a few quick paces had brought him much closer to me than before. On seeing my bewildered look, he quickly shifted from Marathi to Hindi (to help me or chastise me). The subsequent conversation ran something like this:

Mad cop (MC): Tum idhar su su kyun kia?
Bewildered me (BM): Saab, jor se aaya tha
MC: Aur koi jagah naheen dikha
BM: Saab kidhar karta poora to road hain
MC: To kya idhar karne ka, police ka gaadi naheen dekha kya

At that point, I did remember seeing the police vehicle — the kind that was bought to fight off the Kasab-types, a heavy built Scorpio with COMBAT etched boldly — parked on the side. But then since, there seemed to be no women in there, and considering that men are often considerate on such sensitive issues, I decided to let nature have its way. I tried explaining it as deferentially as possible.

BM: Saab, dekha tha, magar bahut zor se aaya tha, aur aage sab ladies wagarah khadha tha. To out of respect idhar kia
MC: Tumko police ka respect naheen hain?

The question seemed more like an accusation, and even though the answer was fairly obvious, I continued lying through my teeth.

BM: Saab, bahut respect hain, but aap samjho na

By this time, he was in angst not only that I had peed, but also the fact that since I wasn’t conversant in Marathi, it was obvious that I was an outsider or rather a migrant. Now, now, a migrant dirtying Mumbai, no self-respecting cop can bear. So, almost sounding like Gabbar from Sholay, he pronounced. Continue reading