Yesterday Karthik and I were on a mission to get curtains (well he was driving and I was shopping!) when we got pulled over by the police. Amazingly the traffic was so light that it was feasible to be caught speeding - a very rare occurrence to be able to get anywhere near the speed limit driving in Bangalore!
The police guy comes over smiling and he sends Karthik, who is also still smiling and totally unfazed, to the police car behind us. I have absolutely no idea what is happening/going to happen at this point and am still sitting in the car. Karthik then returns to my window and said he thinks he'll need 100 rupees (like $2.50). I ask him if this is the fine.
"No madam. The fine is 300 rupees but as I was only 7 km over the speed limit, I think it is worth only 100 rupees"..... and off he trots back to the police car with 100 rupees.
As we drive off I ask - so the fine is negotiable? Karthik smiles - "No madam it is not negotiating - it is talking.........and also I gave the constable 50 rupees" (Maybe that also was talking...)
Later, I went to a meeting convened in our neighborhood to deal with the issue of aggressive stray dogs infiltrating the 'hood. There are literally thousands and thousands of stray dogs in Bangalore, it is a real problem. As they get plenty of food from the ample supplies of trash, they seem in the most part pretty healthy and have plenty of energy to procreate very efficiently.
You would think a couple of stray dogs in the 'hood would be an easy issue to deal with but no!! Firstly in Bangalore, as in the rest of the world, there are staunch, vocal, animal lovers, and consequently no dog, even rabid and aggressive, can be euthanized, or even relocated. Yes, it is even illegal to relocate a stray (which means homeless?) dog. They can however be sterilized, but first you have to catch them - not something I am volunteering for! They will then be collected and snipped but then released in the same place!
Apparently last time there was a stray dog issue in the 'hood, pressure was put on the management, and the dog "mysteriously" disappeared. Maybe that is the way to go!!
If you google 'stray dogs Bangalore' (yes - I have too much time on my hands!!), there's a sea - no ocean - of discussions, newspaper articles, complaints, police memorandums etc.etc. and there are no bigger issues to deal with?!?!?!!?
Crazy, wonderful world we live in!!