Impressive Shopping

Image000%281%29.jpgSo what happens when a policeman in Karachi is done with his duty and its time to go home? Given the collective deeds of his fraternity and how society – out of habit or justice – treats him in general, the man would quickly get rid of his black uniform shirt and get into a regular shirt/T-shirt to become part of the crowd. After all, to most of the people, his uniform is an icon of coercion, not pride.

The only sign of his linkage with the police now is now the pair of the thick black boots that clearly stand out from the rest of the make-shift get-up. This ‘change practice’ and ‘catch by the boots’ thing dawned on me when I was in university and used to take the public transport that saw the policemen always either refusing to pay or not being asked in the first place by the conductor who used to magically turn courteous only to this lot.

After a long break, I recently spotted one such policeman again – at a big departmental store this time. As I paid off Rs 100 for my mundane shopping of a few chewing gums for the week, the shoes of the turn-coat standing next to me at the counter caught my attention. I stayed there a few more seconds than necessary. I was impressed to see him put down some 800 rupees at the counter as he collected two big packs of exotic, imported Davidoff cigarettes. We left almost together and just outside the place I saw him riding a private car with the everyone-knows-what-it-mean blue and red background number plate used by policemen in their private but public-law-violating capacities. Of course, the car had darkened window glasses.

As he drove away, I looked back at the chewing gums in my hand that looked so childish compared with the expensive cigarettes the policewala had just bought either for himself or for his boss. Was that hard earned money? May be. May be not.

9 Comments so far

  1. DeJa Vu (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 8:49 am

    Tee Emm, He might be driving the car of his SHO/Head and buying the cigg. for him :P

  2. Murtaza (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 9:05 am

    i certainly doubt a policeman who only changes his shirt would be able to afford all that. Anyone seen the police locality just off sharae faisal?…i guess thats iqbal shaheed road…just before army public school. So yes, probably the police version of ‘batman’, another group of people used and abused by the ‘higher ups’

  3. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    TM, Your money must be coming very legitimate way, HIS is doubtful be it his Boss’s or his own.

    Bow down and be Thankful to the supreme one for your chewing gum which is worth every crush under your teeth. ! :) smile Its 1st Roza Today !

  4. pkhan (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 11:40 am

    Who has created them, we the ordinary people , because we can afford to bribe but will not waste our own time going legal way and not bribing. Need to break the system not an individual who might be a Poor Jawaan working for higher ups.

  5. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

    PKHAN you are right, the whole system need reshuffling, starting from TOP or else the BIG fish would deal and accept EXILE.

  6. MB (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    If you put this post to that policeman i am damn sure he will convince you that even if he is wrong , he is right.
    Given their condition they have no choice but to opt the wrong way. I know the academics will bring the stupid law & morality part but who gives a shit to those stupid books when you have 5 kids at home to be taken care of with inflation ever high.

    I fully support that policeman. No one objects to the official plundering our ARMY is doing but everyone comes up with ALL-GOOD-THINGS-LECTURES when police does something wrong.

    Does anyone here knows how DOG-LIKE life a police wala lives? And does anyone gives a shit when they die in the line of their duty? So long you have such idiotic salary packages for these police men (including traffic walas) expect angels to be clean in this era.

    And yes there are exceptions. But then again they are exceptions.

    The solution ranges from simple to complex. But the first thing is to cut the ARMY budget by 10-15 percent and channel it to police. Raise their salaries to at least 3 times they are now and then expect them to perform.

    In an era when a bhikari earns 5 times they do, are they out of their sense to be GOOD-POLICE-MEN ?

  7. Ahmed (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

    I have a question. How much do the following get paid, OFFICIALLY?

    a) Traffic police (Tulla/Shurta)
    b) Sergant

    My guess is,
    a) 4,000
    b) 12,000

    Any idea?

  8. Unapathetic (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

    Actually – this “I was made to do this” is such a lame argument. If you were indeed made to do this, and are so agonized by your decision – why, then, you evil person aren’t setting up any limits?

    I mean if I were made to do this or that, I would at least wallow in guilt and shame – not be as proactive as these folks are.

    BS, all of this is. My family’s life was recently threatened by an ungrateful idiot whose medical bills we have been paying for the sake of pity. It wasn’t the first time, then, when our goodness was slapped back in our face. The man decided one day that since we can help him {which isn’t easy for us, since we aren’t exactly growing money in pots} why shouldn’t he get all the golden eggs at once? So we were held up by his companions.

    And here I was thinking how could we help his village women by employing them in craft trade.

    I think collectively, the innocent amongst are so shocked & awed that we keep making excuses for the wrong-doers. I’d rather remain angry and pained now – and be able to tell the difference between right and wrong. Rather than put my demanding conscience to sleep by justifying these criminals.

    Enough is enough!

  9. Imran (unregistered) on September 16th, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

    Interesting post. But why target policemen only? I think they are part of the Society we all live in – and in oe way or the other we are all corrupt, we all victimize each other.

    NB: I am not a policeman, nor related to one. Just an individual who’s part of the SAME Pakistani Society. AREN’T WE ALL THE SAME?

    The question is, if we talk about reform, WHO will cast the first stone?

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