Noel and the Bribe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
I am pleased to introduce Noel. He is my good friend. But unfortunately he is not from the kind of place you and I come from: he is from Uial. Don't know where it is? Relax! Neither do I!

All I can tell you is that he is not impressed...

Submitted: September 15, 2010

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Submitted: September 15, 2010

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Noel was trying to get his Driver's License. Yup, despite having 8 arms, he can drive. He uses each for a control. But, obviously, that is in front of me, and not in front of you. For him, you are freaks, who get scared seeing people drive spaceships with 48 controls simultaneously with 8 hands. And his experience of letting people see the number of his arms is not very good (they ran away as if they were on fire), therefore, he doesn't let anyone other than me see them.
His prowess as a chamaeleon often comes in handy with him. He transforms himself into a man while driving, and while standing on a queue.
"Pathetic!" he exclaims to me, seeing the infinitely long queue winding beside the dim archway of the office. Some drivers are seen giving their tests on an adjacent ground. "Difficult, you call this?" he asks me, pointing at the testing equipment for a boring well. "Yes it is a boring well. Difficult and dangerous machines to handle", I answer him.
"Absolutely right", he says again. He eyes me lightly, "It is indeed very boring equipment”.
And while we continued to rant, one man came up steadily from behind, and just walked right through the queue, without so much as a glance to how long it was. We didn’t know how long it was, it bent right in and we couldn’t see head of the line! But for this man it was nothing but a stroll on a Sunday park.
Of course it wasn’t correct, but can you please tell Noel to stop pointing fingers at such people, it is rude! He might just well be the relation of some police officer! These things happen in India; it is perfectly normal! But just as I told you, Noel is not from India. He doesn’t know the customs that go on around our country. Therefore, he shouts to him, “Oi! Where do ya think you’re goin’?” He doesn’t halt, in fact the people around him usher him about. Noel bumps out of the queue, leaving me alone as the sole proprietor of our hallowed place. Noel tries to stop him, but the guard comes about and disengages him from a heated discussion with a four foot five gentleman accompanying our lawbreaker. Finally, I have to leave my place and handle him.
As I try to calm him, we return to our place, and find it has been conquered just as Gaul was by Caesar. Despite repeated attempts to persuade the lady standing after us, she only replied that ‘the others will complain’, and the others replied that ‘the other people at our back will complain’, and so on so forth, until we reached the very end of the line and there was no other person to complain.
‘What amazes me is that he could walk straight through’. And here Noel applied his special logic, ‘if he can go inside, so can I!’ But before he could threaten today’s plans, I withheld him. ‘No Noel, we cannot. You must know that he simply did not walk inside’.
‘So what did he do? Go and take special permission from the president of India?’
‘No, I think he must have been a relation of the police officer inside. He must have come from some other work’. Just at the moment, the lawbreaker passed us holding his new found license in his hand, and reading a list of rules. We need to have read it before.
‘I think my friend’, said Noel, ‘that there is something fishy here’.
Fishy? It was crystal clear! He had given a bribe, a ghoos, a bakshish, and the world knows that in India money talks. But the world knows, not the space. ‘I think Noel, that this gentleman must have done something in the opposite way. The way round the law. If you have money, you can access that. You know, pay someone who would guide you through’.
‘Indeed like an agent?’ I was glad he got it. ‘Yes, more or less like’.
‘Let’s find one right now!’
‘You would need Rs. 600’ the agent tells us. ‘Each, if you want it done’. Yes, it is a complete rip-off. But time is money, and unless you can sacrifice an entire day in the name of the traffic officials, you do not get your license. Rs. 600 is not much of a cost for an entire day. But as a stranger he is to our customs and ways, Noel stamped a firm no onto his face and walked off.
Okay, so then we did stand for a line, and it did move snake-like into that den of looters, but it felt to me as if I had been laid to waste. My legs were shaking, my time was running out. When we finally managed to reach the officials sitting behind lofted desks, we met another barricade. “Yes, yes. Await your line”, he says to us (the man behind the desk). Another comes, and he waves a Rs. 100 note in front of him, and is immediately granted permission to go inside for the photo and documentation of the driver’s license. Unbelievable! We were waiting for half an hour and my stomach was rumbling, and I just had to get out, but this man behind the desk still keeps on waiting.
Noel gets a little furious at him, and then has a little heated discussion, just almost amounting to fist showing each other. At last the man feeling ashamed, perhaps, gives us the nod to go in and submit and verify the documentation. But my stomach doesn’t agree. It says it wants a nice lunch; otherwise it won’t budge from the sweetly melodious grumbles it kept on making all the while. And it only meant another day’s delay for me to successfully drive around.
“Noel”, I say to him. “I am hungry, and though prices are high around here I will just go and eat at an eatery and come back. Can you manage?” As effectively as Jose Mourinho, he replies.
Well, I keep on waiting for him, after I had my lunch, but it is well nigh onto 5 pm that Noel emerges from the dungeons of traffic controls. “What kept you so long my friend?”
“Nothing much; just that they were having some official problems” and he proudly displays the Driver’s License he had wrestled out of a system of bribes.
“Did you give any bribe at all, Noel?”
“Yes; unfortunately I had to. There was no other option”.
Next morning I was busy reading my newspaper, when all of a sudden, a blazing headline pierced through my dim witted eyes : CITIZEN BUSTS BRIBERY RACKET. It ran thus:
Noel Srinivasan, resident of Yamuna Vihar, Ram Nagar, very clearly put an end to the notorious bribes being taken at the Traffic Police office at Law College Square. The alert citizen took secretive photographs, and furnished them to the CBI sleuths, who in turn conducted another sting operation, and nabbed 25 officials, red-handed.
The police congratulated Noel Srinivasan at his vigilance, and have declared his examples for others to follow. Sadly, the CBI anti-corruption bureau set-up at the Traffic Police office was kept unawares of the large amount of bribery taking place …
“Wow, Noel! You didn’t tell me what you did here. How did you manage it?”
“Very easy. I used my button camera to click pictures of the officials taking bribe. Then I showed it to the CBI office. They weren’t accepting my proof though”.
“Then? How did you convince them?”
“Oh that was easy! I bribed the anti-bribery bureau!”


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