Friday, March 29, 2013

The Best & The Worst

Just back from a trip to Konkan... and specifically wanted to blog about two experiences which were a study in contrast!

First, on the way to Murud Zanzeera, we came to a small village where a holi procession, with dozens of dancers in pulsating circles, swaying to the beating of drums, blocked our way. The constable accompanying the procession stopped us, and asked us to turn back along another road that ran opposite to where we wanted to go. Left we no choice, we were about to take the turn and head back, away from Murud, when we saw an officer and a couple of constables, sitting in the shade of a tapari. I rolled down the window and asked him whether there was another way to Murud, he immediately got up, assured me he would take care of it, and then walked along with us over 200 meters to the procession, asking his constables to make way for us through the crowd, physically pushing people away from the vehicle, ensuring we got through to the other side without trouble. And when I rolled down the window on the other side to say a grateful thanks, he flashed us a big smile and waved us on our way. One officer that made Maharashtra police very proud that day!

Later in the evening, as we were returning to Pune, we were almost mobbed by a boisterous crowd of drunk, indisciplined thugs (and most of them were kids barely in their teens), extorting money in the name of Holi. While Samara's squealing brakes and size scared them away from her path, and allowed us to make a getaway, it wasn't before one of them hurled a bottle at us (thankfully, it was a pet bottle and bounced harmlessly away) and splashed a horrible oily color all over my windshield. I shudder to think of what they could have done, if we had stopped and rolled down our windows!

The best and the worst of behaviour, in a matter of hours.

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