While I was doing my second year of MBBS, one weekend Beautiful eyes and I went to Bangalore to eat ice cream at the Lakeview MilkBar on MG road. ( btw, the place is still there on MG road and I took Yaya there the last time we visited Bangalore) They used to sell hot chocolate fudge and my favourite was mint hot chocolate fudge, Vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate and mint sauce. Beautiful eyes didn’t like strong flavours and would never touch mint sauce, but will wait for me patiently to finish mine before he ate his regular hot chocolate fudge, so I could eat the chocolate topping on his ice cream fudge. He knew how much I loved the hot chocolate topping.
Anyway, after eating the ice cream, we walked towards the MG / Brigade road junction, crossed the road and sat on the cement bench to watch the world go by. There was another reason to sit there. We both wanted to eat the bhel poori from the road side vendor near to where we were sitting, but one can’t eat bhel poori right after ice cream.. I think as you grow older you tend to be more wiser, had I been with him today, we surely would have had the bhel poori first and then the ice cream.
Sitting with him always meant some story or other and I was engrossed in his world of words.. And after a while I heard a distinct whistle sound, even amidst the cacophony of horns blaring, I still heard the whistle. I looked around to see the origin of the sound and noticed that a policeman standing on the other side of the road, blowing the whistle like a mad man and waving to us. Once he saw me looking at him, he indicated to me to sit apart. Somehow, me sitting in close proximity with the opposite sex made him very uncomfortable and angry. I pointed the police guy to Beautiful Eyes and he told me to ignore him. I was terrified and tried to move away, but he held my hand and told me don’t. When the policeman saw that his demands were ignored, he crossed the road and came to us swinging his baton in a threatening manner.
Beautiful Eyes, very calmly asked him “what is the matter?” and the policeman replied in broken English that we can’t sit next to each other. ( perhaps he thought I would get pregnant if I sat close to a guy ! ) It was also the first time I actually noticed the power of position. Beautiful Eyes very calmly told the policeman who his father is and why it is not worth making his father angry.
There were few things that was wrong with this event. First, both of us were over 18 years of age, old enough to vote in India. We were not doing anything but sitting on a bench and talking to each other. And whenever I sat on his modified Yamaha 350 CC bike, I was much closer to him physically than when we sat on the bench.
Who gave a policeman the power to be my moral guardian? Why should there be a moral police?
I believe in Robert Heinlein’s quote..I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”