True story

November 10th, 2009

Late one night in early September this year, a young relative of mine drove to the Delhi international airport to pick up his girlfriend, who was arriving from a Western land. She had threatened him with consequences if he met her without a bouquet of flowers in his hands and sweet words on his lips.

Having forgetfully failed to fortify himself with the flowers during the day, the young swain was nervously inventing excuses as he drove towards the airport.

Right outside the airport entry, he was therefore delighted to see an illuminated flower stall. Equipped with a suitable bouquet he turned onto the airport entry road, where a queue of cars waited to pass the police dogleg. The officer at the barrier was putting his head into the passenger window of every car.

Came the young relative’s turn at the naka, and the officer put his head in, saw the flowers on the front seat and without explanation picked them up and took them away. Asked why, the officer said only “Chalo, chalo,” and waved the young man on rudely.

With a line of impatient Delhi drivers waiting behind, the young man obeyed, unhappily.

Not 50 yards on the young relative noticed a man running after his car and gesturing. So he stopped, and the pursuer ran up to his window and asked, eagerly: “The policeman took your flowers. Do you want to buy some more?”

The answer was, of course, “No, thanks,” but as he drove to the parking lot my young relative found himself thinking:

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