This afternoon on SV Road, Andheri an elderly Parsee couple was trying to reason with an auto-rickshaw driver to take them to the Parsee Colony, which is on the same road, not even a minute away. Anyone could tell that the man was having trouble walking; he could barely stand, but the auto-rickshaw driver refused to listen.
The woman looked around helplessly as her husband trembled with age and rage, and just when he looked ready to collapse, a policeman appeared.
The policeman was no ordinary cop… he was a Mumbai cop.
The rickshaw driver, who had pulled over for a leisurely smoke, stuffed his packet of beedis in the pocket of his shirt and got into his 3-wheeler when he spotted the cop looking at him. Before the ‘rick dude could realize what was happening, blows were raining down on his head.
“No?”, asked the cop in Marathi. “Tuchi mai la… nako?”
The old woman looked pleased, and the old man looked empowered.
In a separate incident, three middle-aged men thwacked a rickshaw driver for refusing to take them to their destination. One of the men happened to be a beef cake, and he kicked the rickshaw driver so hard that the poor fucker flew out from the other side of his vehicle.
In 2010, Mid-Day had teamed up with Mumbai’s traffic police and done an excellent job of bringing rude rickshaw and taxi drivers to task, but many of them seem to have gone back to their errant ways despite having been heavily fined.
But Mumbai has always known there is something more result-oriented than monetary penalties.