The tale of a traffic marshal : The Tribune India

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The tale of a traffic marshal

The tale of a  traffic marshal

Photo for representation. File photo



Harish Kapur

I was making tea for myself and my wife when my mobile phone rang. I first chose to ignore the call, but had to take it eventually as the caller seemed to be unstoppable. It was a former university colleague and a good friend. We had worked in the same teaching department for more than three decades.

After a quick exchange of pleasantries, he enquired about my new honorary assignment as a traffic marshal. I told him that I was doing pretty well and enjoying the task that involved the safety and security of thousands of people driving on the roads. He was overjoyed when I told him that the city traffic police chief had honoured me twice for my outstanding services.

When I asked about his family, he said: ‘All are fine by the grace of God. My younger son is pursuing a course in mechanical engineering. Yesterday morning, he was challaned for jumping the lights. As he was already half an hour late, he was in a hurry to reach the college. Traffic cops took away his driving licence and other documents. Kindly resolve the issue through your good offices.’

Mincing no words, I told my friend that I would not be of any help to him in this matter despite being a traffic marshal. ‘I know you can get the fine waived and bring back my son’s driving licence,’ he insisted, even though I had made myself very clear.

It was apparent that this boy was one of those countless youngsters who managed to coax their parents into buying them a motorbike. With banks offering hassle-free loans at easy instalments, it was no surprise that the density of vehicles on the city roads had increased manifold, with the young brigade being no stranger to rash driving.

The next morning, when I was visiting my family doctor for a routine check-up, my friend’s son came to our house and left the challan slip with my wife. When I returned home, I took the slip and went to the police headquarters. I deposited the fine of

Rs 1,000 and got the receipt as well as the driving licence and other documents, which I later despatched to my ex-colleague’s son.

Subsequently, I have met the father-son duo on a number of occasions, but there has been no mention of the driving licence or the fine that I had deposited from my own pocket. However, the bond of our friendship remains strong!


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