November 14, 2006

Point of it all

Heading to Kherlanji a few days ago, a lady cop flags us down a few km short of the village. I'm very aware of all the attention this spot has got in the last few weeks, and the police presence in the area. Why, at the previous chai-shop where we stopped to ask the way, a man had shouted urgently: follow that police Sumo that just passed! Must be going to Kherlanji! Go on, don't waste time, catch the Sumo!

Turns out the Sumo wasn't going to Kherlanji; it turns off in another direction soon after the chai-shop. But that's what I mean: these days in these parts, any sighting of a police presence is assumed to be Kherlanji-related.

So anyway, I see this woman in uniform waving for us to stop and I'm worried. Will she stop us going to the village, and why, and how will I manage to argue us past her?

Turns out she only wants a lift to Kherlanji herself. She's on duty there in a few minutes, and is despairing of getting there in time. Then we show up. She sits in the back actually humming and singing to herself, she's that happy to have saved herself the walk.

When we reach Kherlanji, I ask her, where do you want us to drop you? She looks puzzled. "At the police point, of course!"

She means the police picket in the village square. But I can't help a quiet smile at the charming use of "point" in these parts. So far I've seen "Medicine Point", "Scooter Point", "Shaadi Point" (Marriage), "Chinese Point" -- and now it's "Police Point".

Regardless, it's the last real light moment for quite a while.


Anonymous said...

Typically DDD :)

wise donkey said...

sorry for the unrelated comment.
came across this link in cnn (AP), thru another blogger's post.

the last lines in that news item "A case will be registered only if police find proof that the woman was raped. We are inquiring from children who were playing in the field then," Singh said.If convicted by a state criminal court, the man could be sentenced to death.

In India, sentenced to death for a rape? (there wasnt a murder)
when this mentions Delhi high court commuted to life the death sentence of one, prisoner, convicted for the rape and murder of his three-year-old daughter..