I’m wanted by the police. In Bangalore. Kumaraswamy Layout, to be precise.
Let me explain. Sometime in 2004, I was driving towards the city when I came across some idiot making an illegal U-turn just before Sarakki, and blocking traffic in both directions. I therefore called him an idiot and carried on, little knowing that in him burned the fires of unrighteous anger, assisted by a short fuse. He stopped behind me at the traffic lights, and I, seeing him, rolled up the window and locked the door, thinking to myself that he really couldn’t do anything. Right?
Wrong. Next thing I know, I’m sitting in a pile of shattered glass, as the driver-side window caves in under a fist, and while I’m still stunned by that realisation, he’s cuffed me across the face. In the time it takes me to unclip my seatbelt (ah, responsible driver that I am) and open the door, he’s cuffed me again. Not hard, mind, but enough to leave bruises that lasted a few days, as I discovered later. I had the car in gear, so I accidentally released the clutch, jerking the car into the auto in front of me. I clearly remember the irate auto driver coming out to yell at me and then realising he didn’t want to get involved in something of this magnitude, and quietly slinking back to his auto.
Anyway, some slanging ensued, based primarily around the recurring themes of Who did I think I was, calling him an idiot? and Didn’t I have any respect for my elders and betters? and Didn’t I know who he was? to which my responses were along the lines of I thought I was someone who knew an idiot when I saw one and No, not when they were idiots and No, and didn’t care anyway.
This went on for a while, and I was shaking with anger, but managed to refrain from hitting him back, and eventually he drove on, and I went to the police and registered a complaint, and got the window fixed, and went on home. I didn’t really have any faith that the complaint had actually a) been taken down or b) would be acted on, so I forgot all about it, had the bruises looked at (nothing serious) and carried on punting down the grand olde River of Life.
Until this afternoon, when the AP fielded a call from Kumaraswamy Layout Police Station, saying that I was wanted to give evidence in connection with the court case. I really, really, really wish I could go do it – but there’s no way, of course, and I don’t have the contact details of any other eyewitness. I was alone in the car. It’s a source of some satisfaction that the idiot has had a court summons, which should have given him a hell of a scare, and if he really is a politician’s son, as we speculated (on the grounds that no one else would try to get away with that sort of thing in public) it would have been sweet to actually do something about, but that’s impossible.
I’m really quite touched, though, that this eventually floated up to the surface and was dealt with. A sort of faith-restoring moment. Also deeply amused, of course, that it’s reappeared in this way. Ironic, but amusing. As the AP noted, the wheels of Justice grind exceeding slow, but they grind exceeding fine.