It's just not my day today, Chandru thought to himself as he swerved the auto heavily to the left. The sharp turn saw the auto temporarily shift all its weight to the wheel on the left. His heart jumped to his throat and his stomach felt like it had been punched. He couldn't afford another repair this month.
The auto had just rebalanced when Chandru spotted trouble. The nets had been thrown out to sea, the fishermen were out to catch their livelihood. A police jeep and a pride of inspectors had placed themselves strategically along the road. It felt to Chandru like the shit had just hit the fan, as he braced himself for the impending attack.
Royola, the cop who made the most off of the delinquents on the roads, grinned ear to ear. His favorite automan had just driven right into the trap. He could not help but have excited spring to his step, as he strutted over to the unfortunate automan.
"Hello hello, where's your uniform?"
"Just about to put it on sir"
"Why don't you already have it on?"
"Just thought I'd put it on while I wait for my passengers sir"
"Which passengers? There's no one here, and you just rolled yourself in"
"Oh, no Sir, just took a quick U turn!"
The aptly named Inspector looked around with a smirk. He'd won, quick thinking Chandru had failed. Time to collect. How much will it be now? Should he add some for the time he was trying to take Chandru's number down for speeding, and Chandru drove over muddy pot hole water in such a manner as to distract the inspector enough to loose him. And maybe some more for parking at the bus stand a few days ago and escaping a fine by convincing his boss that he was merely stopping to take a quick toilet break.. or the other time..
"Thanks for waiting sir!" Royale's thoughts were interrupted, with the sound of the cheery voice of an IT employee. No, this cannot be happening again.
"What do you want madam?" Royale quizzed.
"An auto sir, what else?"
Chandru caught on- who ever this lady was, here was an escape route. "See, I told you I was waiting on a customer," he beamed. Royale felt his grip on his victory slip- NO. This could not happen again.
"Get out of the auto, now, challo.. let's go"
They both marched over to Royale's boss.
"Sir, this fellow didn't have a uniform and he parked in a no parking zone"
"But sir, I was waiting for a passenger and I was in the process of putting on my uniform"
"The passenger just came sir, he's lying"
"That's ok, call her over here," commanded the Supervisor.
The now quick heeled cop, rearranged the scene quickly enough to have the IT employee in the fore front of the conversation with Royale's supervisor.
"Where are you going?"
"To Andrew Park Hotel"
"How much is the meter from here to the hotel?"
"Ok, give Rs 100 now to me, pay the driver's fine.I'm sure it will be more than that..we haven't asked him yet but he will say he doesn't have money," he barked.
Chandru creased his forehead in worry. He needed all the money he could get, he hadn't paid rent in months for the auto and the owner was threatening to take it away if all of it couldn't be paid in the next few days. And with the repairs on the auto the last few days.....
"I don't have money, Inspector"
"Big company and all and you have no cash?"
"I needed to withdraw"
"Show me your purse"
"Here you go Inspector, I have coins worth 20 bucks if you want" she said handing over a palm full of coins.
The inspector looked over. Royale looked, it wasn't much, but it was something. Chandru looked at the palmfull, and yes, he needed that too...
The inspector contemplated.. how much was his dignity worth? Ha! Atleast more than this, he thought to himself and with a brush of his hand, he'd dismissed the incident as an unfortunate memory.
Royale's face fell, no appeals- this was yet another epic fail.
Chandru looked over to his saviour woman, and signalled her in.He grinned ear to ear.. he'd won, but more importantly, he didn't loose.
"Madam, thank you madam" he said with sincere gratitude.
"That's ok, they're here every day trying to scrounge money off. Quick thinking, you had to shout out that excuse loud enough for me to help you!" said the IT lady, before getting distracted by the sound of her phone ringing.
Chandru's day had just turned into something else!