Homilies of the travelling policeman

Comfort seeking travellers in India prefer the confines of an airplane. However, a glimpse of the country and its various moods and manias can be sampled only on a bus or a train journey. While your legspace and comfort can be severely compromised, you come away with memories of having overheard some priceless conversations, forcibly I may add.

This is a brief recap of one such conversation that I ‘overheard’. On my way to Aurangabad, on an overnight bus journey, a loud man climbed aboard. He knew another passenger on the bus, who was seated in the front of the bus and proceeded to have a ‘conversation’ across 10 bus rows.

He then began talking to his fellow passenger, a quiet man who, by the end of it, didn’t quite know what had hit him. Apart from commenting on world weather and the Krupashankar fiasco, he also offered some hilarious travelling tips. Excerpts:

1. Drink before you board the bus. The subject of this post turned to his fellow passenger and said, “You must have two pegs of whisky before you board the bus. Believe me, you won’t feel a thing.” Clearly, it worked for him, as after a point, he proceeded to snore his way through the journey while the rest of us found ways of making ourselves oblivious to the engine. For readers, please DO NOT try this, the drinking I mean.

2. The world is experiencing an Ice Age that’s being engineered by America and the BJP was paid money by them. (I still haven’t figured this one out, but apparently this is the reason why it’s still chilly in Mumbai in March).

And then the conversation descended into the grievous complaints of the job that he did. Since I have added a policeman in the title of the post, I think it’s time to reveal that the guy was actually a senior level cop from the Maharashtra Police Cadre who was about to take a posting in Marathwada. Like all cops, he went on to deride how corrupt the system was, even though he was actually a part of the system and of how he lost out on a plum posting because someone else paid more than he did.

He looked like the quintessential cop, the fat, lethargic pandus that have become caricatures of the police force. But, one doesn’t know whether it was under the influence of alcohol, he also went on to reveal some ‘interesting’ information to a complete stranger who just happened to be sitting on the seat next to him. That he appeared comfortable being drunk in the presence of female passengers makes it even scarier. Makes you wonder where the country’s security is headed when all it takes to loosen the tongue of a cop is two pegs of whisky.

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