It was just like in the movies. There it was, a police car with flashing blue lights and a wailing siren weaving through lanes and chasing…. ME!
Let me begin at the very beginning and let me tell you this before I start. I am a very law abiding citizen. I don’t even watch pirated DVDs. So how did I come to be involved in one of those adrenalin pumping, high speed police chases you sometimes see on reality TV? (Oh, allow me to exaggerate a bit here. I threw in the adrenalin and high speed to spice things up a bit.)
So there I was, just driving through the scenic byroads of Cary, showing my visiting niece the sights around the place where I live, a ‘city’ which still hasn’t made up its mind whether it wants to be part of an IT hub or continue be the bucolic farming community it once was. So you can still see farmlands with beautiful red barns and corn fields, horses cantering around limpid pools and sleepy cows lazily chewing the cud in lush,rolling meadows. Here you do not have to drive miles to go strawberry picking or travel far to get lost in a corn maze, come Halloween. All you need to do is take a walk.
Ah, but I digress. Back to my brush with the law….
So after we had covered some of those scenic routes, we got back onto the main artery of the city when I suddenly saw blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. Concerned citizen that I was, I immediately switched lanes to facilitate the process of the law. Of course I would make way for a police car rushing to nab a criminal. A moment later I saw the flashing lights again, not passing me in the next lane, but right behind me. Oh no, the criminal must have changed lanes again.
Once again I moved over to the next lane so that he could go ahead and this time, I not only saw the blue lights shift lanes with me, but also heard the siren wail. Finally my brain kicked in and it dawned on me that it was ME that he was after!
After one short second that seemed like a lifetime when I actually understood what people mean when they say they have the ‘heart in mouth’ feeling, I tried to think of the crime I had committed. Nothing I could think of. I had definitely not jumped a red light or failed to stop at a STOP sign. Speeding? Anybody who knows me would not even put that word in a sentence with my name in it. And as my daughter says if I am taking her to watch a movie, “Amma, I’ll just walk on. You come and join me. I’ll save you a seat.” That should explain my speed limit.
Then what was it? They had not made getting a tattoo illegal had they? The last time I checked they hadn’t. I suddenly realized I was supposed to stop driving and pull over. I did. And my husband’s words rang in my ears. “If ever you get stopped by a police officer, just pull over and stay in your car. He’ll come to you.” So I stayed, quaking in my flip flops.
And while I waited for the officer who was probably pulling up my whole jathakam from this birth and the last one from one of those thingamajigs his hi tech car was fitted with,inexplicably, scenes of Jagathy and Sreenivasan donning khakhis started playing in my mind. Oh great! Now all I needed was the officer to walk up to my car and find me doubled over in hysterical laughter.
Soon he came up to me and after he had asked for my papers, told me what I had done or rather had NOT done. Somehow we had missed renewing the vehicle’s registration. He wrote out a citation and told me to appear in court within a month.
Seeing the state I was in, he did ask me very solicitously if I felt up to driving to where ever I was going to and told me to drive carefully. As I sat there for a couple more minutes trying to gather my wits before I started driving, my next biggest worry loomed, “Did someone who knows me see me getting pulled over?” I was quite close to where I live and a neon green Beetle is not exactly a car you miss easily.
Anyway, I was back home in a while and faced my quota of “Don’t you want to update your Facebook status about the new developments?” and “On which wall do you think your new ‘certificate’ should go up after it is framed?” The ribbing stopped only after I threatened to actually do something violently illegal.
I had stopped shivering, but for the next few days, every time I looked into the mirror I wondered, “Are those the eyes of a felon, looking back at me?” And it took me quite a while to stop having a panic attack every time I saw a police car after that.
Previously posted here: at Yentha.com