Friday, August 14, 2009

In our Pune sound travels faster than light.....

Evening 1900hrs, lane 6 KP (Koregaon Park) the usual friendly neighbourhood. I was there to pick up my son from his dance rehersal. I parked the car on the shoulder of the road, in the designated area for parking. I was back in half hour, to find small stick-on placed on the window with only a mobile number. I was about to ignore thinking it was some sales man who must have put it. Just then my son excitedly asked me "Daddy why have you put a cycle lock to your car, are you also scared some one will drive away". I astonishingly looked at the front wheel where his finger was pointing.

To my surpise I saw a huge yellow padlock tagged to my RHS front wheel. I guessed that probably the number on the stick-on is the key to this "cycle lock"

I called the number and was received by a very unfriendly voice which responded saying "BOLA". I probed and with certain "uncertainty" told where i was calling from and on hearing just the address that voice said "thamba tikde me yeto thodya velat", "tud" the phone was disconnected. I had not even completed my statement, however message received by me was loud, clear and rude.

I was now waiting in anticipation for this voice to arrive in a physical form. Looking at me and my anxious look another parent, incidently a "Sardarji" friend said, "koi nahi kuch der pehle mere saath bhi yahi hua, bol rahatha no parking main gadi hai, bas 200 rupee deye aur lock khul gaya, abhi woh aayega fine Rs: 500 with receipt mangega, tu bas 200 rupeye pakda aur tala khul jayega." making this statement in the most casual form, he disappeared in his car and drove away.

Anyway my wait was on and after 15 minutes one motor bike arrived with two guys they looked like tout's one chewing pan masala and both unkempt. I simply ignored them, but a similar padlock one like on car actually caught my eye, it was held by the pillion rider.

Walking upto me:
They: yeh aapki gaadi hai?
I: Haan!
They: 500 rupaye fine dena padega..
I: Kis liye??
They: Yeh no parking hai aaj....
I: Kahan likha hai??
They: one guy point a finger towards a tree about 30 mtrs ahead and say's there is a signage of P1
I: there isn't any, I cant see!!
They (second guy): Arre udhar hai, aap jake dekho. In the mean time another guy pointed towards another tree across the road and said "woh wahan par bhi pati hai na"
I : Arre bhai kahan?
They: boss Rs:500 ka fine hai, jaldi pauti phado...
I (surprised): Tum ho kaun??
They: Traffic police contractor!!!!!!!!
I: Toh Traffic police kahan hai?
They: yeh hamara area hai... (sounded like some bhai)
I: Maine poocha police kahan hai???
They: doosre site pe hai... jaldi pauti phado.
I: Tumhare pass receipt book hai?
They (looking at me blankly): yeh raha (the first guy pulls out a government press printed and stamped receipt book from his baniyan and places on my car).
I: Yeh to police authority ke pass honi chahiye, tumhare pass kaise?
They: Aap fine bharoge kya saab, humko aur bhi jagah jana hai!!

I was stuck because the time 2015hrs and i was losing patience, these goon's had the key, my car was strapped. I was frustrated and trying to keep patience.

They: 500 rupaye fine.
I: mujhe receipt chahiye?
They: thik hai 500 rupaye... nahi to tumhari marzee?
I: matlab!!!
They: without "pavati"
I: How much??
They: the second guy, (with glowing eyes) 200 rupaye (Sardarji was right)

I wanted to understand this whole issue, so demanded a receipt, paid rs:500. They reluctantly opened the lock and went away.

I am now writing to the traffic commissioner along with the copy of the receipt. I have also taken pictures of the entire parking area and also the hidden and invisible P1 and P2 boards.

I understand and respect the law, I obey the rules.

I definitely could have avoided the fine, but unlike our (civilized) regular habit and "jane bhi do yaaron" attitude of not exposing the wrong doings. I have decided to take the bull by the horn. I would want to use my influence to get some correct answers, rather make (or buy) my way out of problems.

I remember reading in news paper some day's back, that traffic police were serious of dealing with illegal parking in the city and they were definitely going to deal with people strictly and would impose fine.

I can assure that not a soul from the traffic department would have ever visited this site of Lane 6 KP to identify the location of these boards P1 and P2.

Infact, am more traumatized because the illegal parking of the tourist buses in the heart of the city which cramps the traffic like Simla office, Station, Ruby Hall , Gunjan Chowk, Don Bosco road and many more still continue.

I felt cheated by the commitment of the traffic department and the system, because the fine collection has began to fill the pockets of the government, but the norms and system are yet not set.

The fine collector is an unidentified guy who bears no office nor authority to collect fine, but he carries a government press printed and stamped receipt book. (Telgi scam looks so normally possible)

My conclusion, "In our Pune the sound of money (fine collection) from rule offenders has travelled faster than the modified and appropriate traffic norms for safety and convenience which have not seen the day light."

My question and quest to get it answered by the Traffic department will be on.... ab ki bar main bhi peecha nahin chodunga.....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Common and Uncommon episode 1

Common sense: definition: the sensibility displayed by the common or the most uncommonly prevailing sense among the common human.

I always wonder where do we get (inherit) our common sense from, family and friends, I suppose... But the most important thing about the common sense is, it is like taste buds of different family members of the same house..... its different!!! Everyone moulds it to their liking and benefits. "Its like our house of commons's" the sense swings in the direction of favorable wind.

For example:

Most common sense thing is: putting on seat belt while driving, both by driver and co-driver.

Most common scenario we see : Negligible percentage of the driving population wearing seat belt.

Most common answers we get: Does it really help??? ...... It is so suffocating!!!!..... It spoils the dress!!!... Its just a short distance i am travelling..... Oh, i put that only when i am on the highway.... I thought seat belts are to be put on only when I drive at high speed?... I am just not used to it.... Oh! it get tighter over the belly...

The point to drive is for one simple thing like wearing a seat belt which is a very meaningful habit, we have 100 reasons for not wearing it.

Now, you may realize how a basic safety hygiene becomes a big task for many of us.

Advantage of wearing a seat belt is so simple, "it is an active safety device and feature in your car which in case of a frontal or a rear impact holds you tight in your seat and does not allow you to crash with the dashboard or steering wheel. Hence prevent serious or fatal injury."

Have you not heard that people have walked out safe even after huge impacts only because they wear seat belts.

But this small good habit when not followed has also proved fatal on a small drive. Try ask someone who has lost a loved one.

The sensibility of the commonsense prevails when we inculcate a simple habit because it has a logical conclusion to save your life.... and I think it is worth it.

The beginning....

This whole idea of blog originated may be 12 years ago...when my dad meet with a road accident, he along with his two wheeler was pushed of the road by a speeding car and he got a forehead injury as well a broken arm. There after the irony was no one wanted to help him as he lay there in pain for half an hour and been an ex-services man with the same injury he drove back home.
Those days cell phone were luxury.

I rushed my dad to the hospital and had him treated for his injuries. The incident haunts me even today and ever since I always kept wondering what was my dad's fault, why did he have to suffer? I always wondered why not a soul came forward to help him, what was the hesitation? I was wondering did that someone who was speeding for fun or reasons best known to the person was even aware of the damage created by him?

This kind of incident today probably is one of the most common incident next door type.

In 2005 I first came on air with a thought of social moral responsibility by way of my driving and maintenance tips, some thought it was a publicity stunt, some that it was glamorous, but the goodness was those who actually needed some answers, help and clarity got them.

The intention was if I could help even a few to understand the importance of maintaining their vehicle for safe driving, longer life of the vehicle, lesser pollution and reduce maintainence cost it will be job well done. Fortunately, i kept getting good response and many people started to benefit.

My Blog is a step ahead to get closer and more accessible to the people and have an interaction which will be more meaningful and useful.

Looking at the growing road accidents and that to fatal, i genuinely thank Radio One to run a small campaign where we wanted to analyse what factor and whom do people hold more responsible for road accidents, the option were "Mechanical failure" or "Human error" . Not so surprise overwhelming response came "Human error" as the prime cause of accidents.

They say "to err is human" but when a human error causes damage, permanent disability or even fatal. What is the bandwidth of human error?

My personal thought is can this element of human error be minimized? What are those factor's which actually trigger human error?

One good thing about our land is we are all well connected to the top and all of us know the big boss on the top and so avoiding long punishments or for that matter getting out of situations is easier.

I have question, how many of us are well connected with God and how many of them can reverse the loss of a loved one, or permanent disablement, because the so called human error.

Its one beautiful life and how do you think when it is ends so abruptly... alive some seconds before and LATE because of the human error.

I can't undo the human error, but definitely with your help try and minimize? At the same time I can share my knowledge with all the maintenance tips, driving tips along with safety (both active and passive) understanding and drive a point of hygiene in our driving and road safety habits.

happy and safe driving
Jitendra Mali
6th August'09