Monday, May 01, 2006

The Big Fat Angry Moslem

I chanced upon a fight on the street two days ago. The word "fight" is a bit of a misnomer here - it was too one-sided to call it that. When I reached the scene, there was a small crowd of people looking-on. In the center of the action was a young lad of about 14, two older men, in their late 50's, and a plumpish woman of about 40. It was around two in the afternoon, and tempers seemed to be as hot as the burning sun overhead.

One of the men, a fierce-looking Moslem gentleman with a gray beard, had caught hold of the boy's collar and was soundly berating him in Hindi. Expletives were flying out thick and fast from the man's lips, most of them bearing upon the boy's suspect parentage and his maternally incestuous tendencies. The lad was silent, and I didn't blame him. Two scooters were parked next to them, having a role to play somewhere in the drama, I suspected.

It was hard to gather much information out of the yelling. In fact, once you removed the cussing, there wasn't much else left at all. But I figured, not unreasonably, that the young boy had been riding his scooter too rashly and had crashed into these people's vehicle and was now hearing it for that. Of course, the fact that the boy was the one driving rashly was merely a surmise on my part, and it could well have been the other party's fault all the way.

One thing was fairly obvious - the chastising wasn't going to stay verbal for long. A couple of passers-by stepped in and tried to pacify the old man. "He's just a boy," they told him. The man refused to listen to any such talk. He raised his arm and tried to smite the young chap a blow to the head. One of the other men managed to stop him in time though.

Up to this point, I had thought that the woman was with the two men. But now she grabbed hold of the young boy and pulled him away, yelling something at the two men at the same time. She herded the boy in front of her to one of the scooters, which they then rode away on, with the boy riding. As they were leaving she threw one final retort about how she was surprised that the man could use all these "nice" words while wearing the Moslem prayer hat.

The man, for his part, wasn't too pleased about the sudden exit of his young foe. He still looked red enough to explode, and for a second one might have thought he would catch one the onlookers and complete his tirade on him instead! But somehow the guy who had intercepted and the man's companion managed to calm him down enough for them to get onto their scooter and leave the scene.

I left too; with some stuff to think about. Was the boy old enough to possess a valid driver's license? It didn't look that way to me. The number of children that drive around in this city without a license is sizeable. Fewer, but still alarmingly plenty, are the number of children that drive with licenses that were illegally procured. (Because they aren't old enough, for example.)

From experience I know that a few of these young turks drive extra cautiously, for fear of getting into unnecessary trouble should they get stopped by the police. But a lot of them sit at the other extreme. For them a two-wheeler is something they've just discovered, and they ride it with gay abandon. Legally, their crime is driving without a license; morally, it is driving rashly, and thus endangering the safety of others. Which one do you think is more important?

Then of course, there's the other point of how a man in his 50's can be allowed to hit a young boy in his mid-teens. I think it's wrong. Heck! I know it is. But one could always argue that if the adolescent thinks he's old enough to drive (and apparently his Mom thought so too), then surely he should be old enough to face the music. He was as responsible for the "accident" as anyone else. So why should he be allowed to get away now by pleading "too young"?

Moral of the story - makes no difference how old you are, drive safely! (And stay well clear of angry, old Moslems!)


sophie said...

hey...came from SWB
nice blog
nice read...dont u think this happens everywhere?

and why do u call urself bedroom traveller? just curious? ;-)

Arnold said...

sophia - hey! yeah... it does happen quite often... but still this sight was quite funny! and i also wanted to address the issue of "underage" drivers.. which i didnt really get to in this post..

about the name of the blog, wht do you think it means?? ;)

_ð!®†ß¤¥ said...

I almost thot u were gonna lauch ur own tirade against "rash" AND licensed drivers.. almost braced meslf fer an argument here.

Sadly the post ended, pretty abruptly. Wht i dint get is how cud a person wit someone ridin pilion be so irresponsible to b in a sitoation like that. I mean, the other person's trustin the driver wit his/her safety. The kid ought to hv been more careful.

"Drive Safely"... Now, dont em words ring a bell... hmmmm...
*walks away tryin to remember*

Arnold said...

facesmasher - it was actually supposed to be a tirade against rash drivers.. like you.. but then at the end i was too tired to continue.. so there.. maybe in some other post..

Siddhu said...

B-FAG, uh? LOL!

As to your reply to the CS grad student thing, the operative word is - STUDENT!

A student on funding earns say around 2000$ per month, with which he manages to buy a burger a month at most, and at best has a rickety 20 year old car.

And in the worst case, he's working three jobs, studying, and has recently discovered that he can no longer get a hard-on! :P

Arnold said...

siddhu - looks like u're having a pretty rough time of it there in scotland... unless of course that was just a neat piece of fiction.. which i suspect it was! :)

Anonymous said...

Well firstly dont you think that people can drive around without licences because they can easily get away with it in the first place. Thats where the crux of the problem lies (corruption). And just curious but does this happen in other countries to the extent it happens here

Siddhu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Siddhu said...

It's nothing to do with Scotland. I had a tough time in India, as well. ;) But hell, I at least had my dad's car once in a while LOL! ;) The primary problem is - when will women learn to buy their own drinks? I thought this was a very Indian-girl phenomenon, but any girl anywhere in the world expects you to buy her drinks - and they *never* get sloshed enough (and if they do, you're too sloshed yourself) ;)) - and in any case, alcohol for two is too expensive - it's not Goa, goddammit! :P

(Note to the still-undergrad: A status message of the kind 'I'm Free, single, good-looking and virile. Free virility demos available.' does not impress the chicas. ;) )

Arnold said...

anonymous - hell yea! it's definitely due to the lackdaisical nature of the system to do anything against it... that's one of the major reasons... but i also feel that it's due to the indian "chalta hai" attitude...

happens in other places too.. though not so much in developed countries..

siddhu - have u read "surely you're joking, mr feynmann!"?... one of the chapters there has quite a few tips about how you *shouldnt* be buying the ladies drinks... !

ruhey said...

bad driving sux man
right now i m struggling to get used to left hand drive...I don drive here but het itz wierd ebough to see automobiles cumin the other way ...! but it dusn matter which hand drive people here also overtake from left right and centre..

Arnold said...

ruhey - hey, where are you exactly? nigeria? [wht are you doing there anyways?] is the situation as bad as it is in this country? something tells me it cant be!

ruhey said...

arnold: yep I am in Nigeria , but only for a few days...check my blog for sounds like a publicity stunt for my blog... me itz as bad as India here...and the traffic jams r worst!!!!!!!!

Arnold said...

ruhey - hehe.. will do that..

Anonymous said...

you actually replied to an anonymous comment???wat happened to ur rule??huh??

Arnold said...

Anonymous - my bad.. wont ever happen again..

Anonymous said...

hey comeon..not so much a bad!!!

Siddhu said...

Go on, please elucidate, I've lost enough money already - but I can start saving can't I?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a heart attack when a female actually paid for my drink - if that had been it, I wouldn't have asked for the elucidation!
But I ended up buying two later :|

Agarwaen Mormegil said...

lol dude. good one. i'll definitely stay clear of angry moslems. btw, you wona bike, moped or what?

Arnold said...

siddhu - cant fill you in here, man! it's just way too long.. read the book.. or maybe some other time over some beers [which i'm sure u'll buy! ;) ]

agarwaen mormegil - umm.. i'm not sure i got you there.. is that "you won a bike, moped or what?" or "you want a bike, moped or what?" or "you on a bike, moped or what?"... what?