Submission #7

Submission information
Submitted by Anonymous
5 February 2016 - 5:52pm
The Ten Paise Bribe
Coimbatore Tamil Nadu

Cycles required a Registered Token (a small piece of Coin Shaped Aluminium) issued by the Coimbatore Municipality and affixed to the cycle. The cost of the token was 15 Naya Paise and it was to be renewed every year. 15 Naya paise could get you a decent breakfast in those days. The Municipality had inspectors to stop cycles to check if they had the license to ply. Going doubles on the cycle was also an offence. One had to be adept to sense their presence and avoid them. 

Invariably we students who had cycles did not renew the license choosing to spend the money on more useful things. Once on my way to school I was stopped along with my friend with whom I was going doubles. The inspector stopped us and started to list out the laws that we were breaking. We listened to him most obediently and promised that we would not repeat the offence and just as we were about to be left off he casually asked for the licence and we did not have that. That did it. The inspector demanded 15 Naya paise and another ten as penalty and we had only ten paise in between us. The choice was we could leave the cycle with the inspector, walk back home and tell my parents about our folly and collect the cycle from the police station after making the payment at the small causes court the next day or pay a bribe to the gentleman and walk to school pushing a cycle from which the air had been let out. We chose the latter option and after paying the bribe of ten paise we walked a total of 6 kms to school and back pushing the cycle just because we did not have the two paise to inflate the cycle. The lesson was learnt. Always have an additional cache of coins to cover exigences like this and do not disclose that to anybody in authority.

(This story is based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu)


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