Or how I learned to stop driving drunk and respect the judicial system.
My office happens to have a large terrace area with a built-in bar and a view of a lake. A place which practically demands regular intake of Old Monk.
After one such occasion, I offered to drop a friend home. I wasn’t drunk by any measure (except one, which I was to find out soon) so I started up my
car (pathetic excuse for a car, henceforth to be referred as:) dabba, and hit the road like any other Friday night.
Except, I was stopped at a barrier by a thulla (traffic constable, for the un-Delhi-ites) who leaned in and asked if I was drunk.
Bold from similar experiences and, presumably, a little help from the boodha muni, I shot back: Nahi pi yar, check kar ke dekh lo.
I did get a bit worried when he called the bluff and pulled me over. Turned out this one actually had a drunk-o-meter.
If you haven’t done this, it’s a little gadget with an attached pipe you’ve got to blow into, and it tells the world how drunk you are.
Now, I initially refused to blow on any (non-detachable) pipes drenched in man-saliva. (What, come on … we all know women are never caught driving drunk. And if they are, they can just start crying.)
I was appalled and justifiably so, I thought.
And then he walked into the scene. I only saw his legs at first because they came up to my fucking shoulders. I am not kidding, he was the tallest man I’ve seen in real life.
He looked down at me – like an upset God looking down at Adam caught with a mouthful of apple – in grave silence for a few seconds, before asking politely: Aapne drink kari hai?
“Haan … thodi si …”
“Check karo inko”
I quietly took the pipe in my mouth and blew like I was Larissa Riquelme and it was a fucking vuvuzela, and waited while everyone stared at the machine. The little green LCD read: ERROR.
“Fuck, now I’ve broken their machine with my alcohol superbreath.”
I did it thrice again, before it threw up a count of 302. I wanted to look up and respectfully ask what standard of measurement it was using. I assumed parts per million, and it looked like a ridiculously small number to me.
Seeing his expression, I changed my mind.
I didn’t try to bribe them (although it doesn’t matter, because you have to do it later at the court – I’ve done that before when I ended up paying 4 Green Gandhis for jumping a goddamn traffic light) so gave them my license and got a date with the judiciary.
I thought it would be like last time. A walk in the courtroom.
I would go in, be hounded by the touts, choose one and pay him a couple hundred bucks, marvel at the completely dysfunctional system while I wait smoking, and after an hour or two, drive out proud and smug on successfully manipulating the man.
Well, I had another thing coming.