… from laughing out loud.
As I walk/ride around this gem of a city called Mumbai, I am often treated to sights that… frankly have me on the floor rolling in laughter. Not surprisingly, many of them are courtesy of our super vigilant police force. Don’t get me wrong – I completely respect the effort the force puts in to keep our city safe every now and again… But I think sometimes they take a break and leave us in peels of laughter.
These are 3 things I’ve seen around the city that baffle me to the point of stomach cramps
1. Incorrectly placed signage
(If you can’t read/understand Marathi, here’s the translation:
Matunga Police Station (pertains to the locality where I nabbed this image)
Exhibit A is this beautifully constructed and exquisitely painted sign asking a vehicle to stop. Problem is… it is placed right behind an electricity junction box so that the only person who sees it is an unsuspecting pedestrian who maintains a ridiculous blog.
I took the cops seriously and stopped.
2. Incorrectly positioned checkpoints
There is a faux checkpoint (because it is temporary construction and not cemented/bolted down) not far from where I work that I am forced to navigate every day. What makes this the most incorrectly placed checkpoint in the history of checkpoints (other than Checkpoint Charlie) is
a. It seems to serve no purpose since the cops don’t really frisk/ scan anything or anyone.
b. It is so strategically placed that it blocks 1 lane of a 2 lane approach road to a business district.
c. Sometimes it isn’t even manned!
So basically… It’s a blockade in the wrong place and (during peak office traffic) at the wrong time. While on foot once, I asked a cop what the checkpoint was for. He answered, “Sahab bole laga ke gaadi ka checking karo, hum laga diye”. (Translation: My boss asked me to put it up and check vehicles, so we put it up). It still didn’t answer my question, but his answer was so sincere that I left him to his fate. And the traffic to its own.
P. S. Most days I pass by the checkpoint with a mix of laughter and anger, so I’ve never been able to steady a shot of the place. But I promise to make an honest attempt of sharing this most spectacular checkpoint for y’alls amusement.
3. Confusing parking/tow zones
I’ll start by accepting that I’m not quite sure who’s responsible for updating the signs informing people about parking zones… But since you have to get to the cops to get it ‘untowed’ I’d say the buck stops with them. I know the signs are put up by the traffic police… But I’m sort of unclear on whether it’s their job to update it or that of the municipality folks.
I am proud to state that my city is home to the most complicated parking zone signs ever seen (by me or you or any extra terrestrial creature). Exhibits B and C below explain how a particular side of the road is a no-parking zone on even (or odd) days. Even. Days. What’s next… quizzing me about parking on prime days??! Or Fibonacci days?! Or god forbid Perfect days?!
And I wonder how would you really enforce it…? Would you drive around as 12:01 am on the morning of the 3rd to tow away cars? And do you really expect me to set an alarm for 12:01 am every other day to re-park my car??! I don’t even see dog owners being as punctual!! At this rate I would need to invest in a smart car just to tell me which side of the road to park on (and smartly park itself on the other side at midnight).
P. S. I own a two-wheel one-gear bicycle. It has never been towed on odd or even days.
With a promise to bring you more earth-shattering news from the financial capital of India… This is me signing off.