The first house that we lived in Bangalore was constructed at a time and at a location that did not have a sewage connection and like all the other houses had a pit instead. The pit was large enough for it to require no attention for several years. But, one day we saw tca crack on the adjoining compound wall and it had started to lean.
After brainstorming, we came to the conclusion that it may have been caused due to the build up of gases in the pit which was forcing the wall to lean. So we called the excavators who came in with their trucks and the pumps to empty it out. The pit was completely sealed in so the top layer of the cement had to be chipped before the job could be completed. The access to the pit was possible only with the breaking of the said wall. On opening the pit we found that there was no problem of overflowing and the compound wall had leant due to a weak foundation.
This led to another bout of discussion and arrangement of funds to repair the wall. Now the street in front of the house was narrow and once the construction materials were unloaded, there was limited space for movement of bigger vehicles. Now in the entire street there was only one person who had a four wheeler and he decided to take it out and it required some energetic movement of material for him to pass. I was at work at the hotel and this was being supervised by Jaya at home.
I was at home on my weekly off when a police vehicle came and stopped and informed me that I should accompany them to the station. So I got on to the vehicle like a criminal and still not knowing the reason behind it. I was taken to the police station that was situated inside the defence campus and was asked to wait at outside the chamber of the Sub-Inspector. Now being new to Bangalore, my Kannada was no great shakes and was barely making any attempt at conversation. The only thing that I managed to glean was that I was being arrested due to a complaint from the neighbor. Meanwhile the information of my ‘arrest’ reached my in laws and soon my FIL reached on his Bajaj Chetak and defence ID card to defend my honor!
It appeared that the neighbor complained to the cops about the inconvenience of his vehicular movement and that my construction activity was preventing his egress from the house. A flurry of exchanges later and a token ‘fine’ later, I was released with the promise of removing the material. The job was scheduled for three days and it was almost over and I told him so.
I wonder what the neighbor would have done in today’s scenario of a lock-down? Whom would he have complained to? Anyway that was my only instance of a criminal activity, thanks to which, I had to visit the local police station. The other instances were not of my doing and the presence of a Police Outpost inside the college campus should have given me some indication to the nature of my job.
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