For those who’re getting really curious, here’s a disappointing news. I did not get arrested for assault, shoplifting or adulteration. In fact, I did not get arrested at all.
I went there to get an agreement signed about my PG accommodation. I don’t know if this rule is applicable all over India, but here in Baroda, you’re supposed to get an agreement signed by you and your landlord. Kind of like an ‘OK tested’ from the police.
It was 6.25 p.m, and there I was, sitting on my chair, tired after office (without doing any work). Fifa 11 was on, and Wayne Rooney was all set to score a hat-trick, when the door bell rang.
Exasperated, I paused the game with an angry press on Esc. It was my landlord and his broker. After asking whether I was free, he told me to get dressed quickly, as that identity check, can be done only from 6 to 7 pm.
I’ve never been to a police station before. My familiarities are restricted to the ideas created by Dabangg, Hungama, and other movies with distinctive cop roles. There were a few ‘SWAT vans’ parked outside, and being my first time, I couldn’t help feeling a bit nervous. I regretted wearing my awesome black Tee I bought from Thailand. And so, in I stepped.
It was as if I walked thirty years backwards. Probably the dingiest place I’d ever been to. The air was rotting, with the mixed smell of Pan and alcohol ( Gujarat is a dry state, I know), with mosquitoes swarming all over the place. I don’t know how they could take it. Maybe they are the mosquito cops.
This was just a local branch of the main police station. There were two or three rooms, labelled something in Gujarati. I could only make out ‘Inspector’. And there they were, the khaki pot bellies.
As I followed our broker into one of them, I figured instantly, that the only thing in the room which reassures you that it is indeed 2011, is the calendar. The room was just about the size of a hostel room for one. Just one difference though; the wall opposite to the (clerk cop’s?) desk was not a wall.
It was a jail.
Five or six people were squeezed into this dark, black hole. They had all strangely bewildered looks on their faces, and I did not look again. On a corner, a huge red pan spit was lying. I remembered those computer games, in which you shoot a guy again and again, and blood is spattered all over the place.
I made my most innocent face, at the bald cop, waiting to be questioned, the environment already making me feel I had done something wrong.
My authentication was over in about six minutes, which involved some guj-hindi conversation, and a lot of nodding from my side, and ‘jee sir’ from the broker.
As I stepped out into the cool evening, I said to myself, that it’s a lot more worth to commit a crime in perhaps the states, but definitely not here.
“Could it be Rooneyy ?? Yes! It’s a hat-trick !” Martin Tyler’s commentary brought me back to the woo-hoo world.