Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Poulose Poulose!!!

As usual I listened to my fave songs, lost in some other world and negotiated the Hollywood bound LA traffic with the experience and complacency of three months on the same road. Suddenly the blare of sirens and lights flashing from behind woke me up from the reverie...and I saw the cop gesturing at me to pull over to the side. I was in deep shit...the only thing on the road i kept tabs on for quite sometime have been police cars and their bikes...and how the hell did I miss this one...I had a missing front license plate, a dysfunctional rear brake light and an expired auto insurance to boot!!Today wuz just my day...I thought. As she headed towards me I could see in the rear-view that she was a black female cop and looked very pleasant. This was my chance...I thanked my stars for having prompted me to shave off my french beard and without that, the innocent smile I reserve for the choicest occasions of trouble came out with all guns blazing...she fell for expected gave me a citation and told me to report to the LA station with the fixes done by September 30 but amazingly no fine...i was expecting anywhere between 100 and 200 bucks but the escape notwithstanding, i wuz really shaken up!!

Summer of 2003, four of my friends from USC...Mathew, Bipin, Vikas and Rohit decided to go on a road trip and we took off to Mexico, returned via San Diego, spent a night at Las Vegas and though totally road-weary decided to push ahead to Grand Canyon...halfway through, our camera melted in the torrid desert-sun and tempers flared as we seemed to be getting nowhere...finally at breaking point we decided to head back towards Los Angeles and I was so pissed at the turnaround and folishly decided the only way to escape the arizona desert and heat was to drive as fast as possible...but a state trooper had other ideas! He flagged us down and Mathew tells me,"veshamikkathe...ipppppam njan ellaam solve aaki tharaam" and proceeds to open his door...the cops hands go to his gun and he shouts "Stay Put!"...for a second we thought mathew would get a trophy to show off for life...he forgot he wuz not supposed to leave the car!

Kerala Police...every youngster must have had a run-in with them many a time. In the seventh, my classmate ganesh and i were going doubles on his cycle when we passed a flying squad...a passing comment from a khaki stopped us dead on our tracks..."mone, inne bournvita kudikkaatheyaano veetil ninne erangiyathe"...the other cops started laughing and totally chammufied i got off. In the 11th, for an IIT contact class in Cochin, we were squatting on the middle of the Marine Drive road at midnight when a flying squad started watching us from a distance...we continued with our chatter and star-gazing but Abba who picked up the unpleasant name abbithoori after this incident chickened out and moved away from us...the cops were by now suspicious and we watched the distant jeep move closer to us as we debated whether to give it a run! A foreigner came out of the jeep examined each of our faces closely...then looking at Jofu says..."He is the man...he is the thief...those same big white teeth!"...and turns to the cops! Jofu shivering with fright forgets his english and blabbers to the man...."I...I, no thief...I...I, student of Loyola"!!! We couldnt help laughing out in front of the grim-faced cops who ordered us to go back to our hotel! Then in the 12th 25-30 of our guys ganged up to "take care" of a guy from KV Pattom in front of his school to settle a score but a shout of "Poluose, Poulose"...was enuf for our ruffians to leave our bruised prey behind and jump into every passing KSRTC and private buses and any two-wheelers willing to give us a lift!

College guys and cops never get along...there is this story of an sfi senior who lead the cops, who came into campus to break up a fight, on a wild-goose chase promising to take them to the spot where the fight was going on and leading them elsewhere while the abvp guys in between getting bashed wondered why the cops hadnt arrived! And at theaters the many friends who took blows from lathis at first-day first shows never again showing the fervor to watch a movie until a few weeks went by! Then there was this bud who sheepishly got pounced on by cops waiting right outside a bar as he just took off on his bike! The mahan spent a night in lockup and his comic struggle to othukkufy the case gave me goosebumps, thinking wht wud happen if my mom stumbled on him at the Vanchiyoor court! My last bump-in with KP happened on the last visit to India and rejoicing at being able to wear a lungi without feeling embarassed, i took it too far by wearing it to the second show at Kaplana theatre, a few hundred meters away from home...after the show as i crossed the street was intercepted by a flying squad who gave me the dressing down of my life...expletives, harsh words, probing questions all answered with the chammufied smile mentioned above...finally they let me off! When I recounted this at home, my mom wuz telling how A.K.Antony's free hand had transformed the police and the royal treatment awaiting brats like me in police stations and how contacts wont work anymore...which sent a chill down my spine but i managed to awkwardly joke, "mummy, ille enne erakki tharaan"!

Seeing a cop evokes so many emotions in me...when i know i am on the law-abiding side a smug look escapes my face daring them to try their luck, when i am bad..i avoid eye-contact unless absolutely necessary, somebody else caught gets sympathy, a cop dressed smartly evokes admiration and your heart goes out to them watching rioters damage public property and pelt them with stones as they ponder the consequences of giving these anti-socials a deserved pasting! Today, that lady cop graciously let me off lightly...i wonder how lawless, people like me would have turned out, if these men and women in uniform werent around to keep an eye on december when i am in india and in the company of old pals and am stoned, wonder whether occasions will arise to make us shout out again...Poulose Poulose!!!


joseph said...

Eda Jabba !

Anonymous said...

Heard a lot about KP and the encounters with college guys. But this is a first hand account. Sounds terribly scary.

Matter of Choice said...


Was browsing through ur earlier posts..very funny post this.

Having studied in thrissur engg college which shares a road with police camp even i have lotsa police stories...such nice guys..when they see us walking from thrissur to college after second show..they often used to stop the jeep (and once even a van) and after some "upadesham"s even offer us a lift :)

ps: this weekend i am going for the marriage of a friend, his dad is a dysp (and a terror!)..lotsa police guys are expected too..maybe i will have some new exp.."drinking with the pouloses"

Unknown said...

reminds me of college days in Arts college and CET.....quite funny and nostalgic!

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