High drama on a Delhi flyover : The Tribune India

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High drama on a Delhi flyover

High drama on a Delhi flyover

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Shamsher Chandel

IT was a bustling summer of 2004, and Delhi was like a huge circus on wheels with traffic snarls everywhere, thanks to the construction of the Delhi Metro. On one such occasion, I was driving from Batra Hospital to RK Puram. Right at the Chirag Dilli flyover, two cars were involved in a minor accident, or rather a side-swipe.

The driver of the damaged car immediately stepped out, using expletives and frowning at the owner of the other car.

‘Don’t you have eyes? See what you have done to my brand-new car!’

Traffic screeched to a halt and horns started blaring. And things escalated into a full-blown you-don’t-know-who-I-am kind of verbal duel.

In a bid to restore sanity, a traffic cop approached the distraught car owner: ‘Brother, it’s just a small scratch! Why make such a fuss?’

The car owner responded: ‘It looks small, but the bumper has come out. The repair is at least worth Rs 1,000.’

The other man, the so-called offender, said: ‘Brother, this must be your first car. It will not cost you more than Rs 50. If you want money, just sit by the roadside and start begging.’

The ‘victim’ went a step closer, as if trying to scare the other man: ‘What did you say? You called me a beggar?’

‘No. I didn’t. But you are behaving like one.’

After about 10 minutes of drama, a middle-aged, suave Punjabi passerby made an intervention, uttering part Punjabi and part English. His firangi accent stood out: ‘I have a flight to catch in another hour. Can you leave this fuss and be a bit wise?’

‘Tell him to cough up Rs 1,000 and I will leave,’ the owner of the damaged car said.

Frustrated, the passerby asked: ‘How much will it cost you to fix your car?’

‘Around Rs 1,000,’ the man replied.

Just then, another fellow arrived on the scene, addressing the irate passerby and pointing at the ‘victim’: ‘This guy is shameful. He will stay here forever. Let’s pool money and pay him. I am getting late for a party.’

The Punjabi passerby sprang into action and took out a crisp Rs 500 note. Others followed suit, frantically rummaging through their pockets until Rs 1,000 was collected. The passerby put Rs 1,000 into the hand of the ‘victim’, who sheepishly did a vanishing act.

As the traffic finally began to move at a snail’s pace, a beggar with a wide grin came with folded hands and stopped right in front of the passerby. The latter wasted no time in pressing a Rs 100 note into the beggar’s hands and smiled: ‘You know, sometimes beggars drive cars, and kings like you live on the streets.’


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