It was almost 3:30 PM by the time we finished our camel ride.
Elephants Rats ran around in our tummies. On our quest to find a good restaurant, we roamed about the streets of Pink City. That was when a Police stopped Tulu. He had spotted Abbas not wearing Seat Belt and imposed a fine of 200 bucks. Abbas was being opaque-eared to all the warnings that Bhaiyya and Bhabi presented with him with regards to wearing seat belts and we all thought this was a good lesson he learnt.
We were not able to find any restaurant that was open at that hour and had to settle at Copper Chimney which was the only one that promised to serve lunch at 4:00 PM. All of us were dog hungry and could hardly wait till the food was served. 2 bowls each of onions and pickles were presented at the table. We slowly took spoonfuls of pickles on our plates and began licking it off. Within minutes before we knew it, 2 bowls of pickles were emptied clean. The waiter was kindhearted enough and brought another couple of pickle bowls. The dishes were exorbitantly priced and due to our prior experience of food served in abundant quantity, we ordered less. And the quantity was lesser than standard servings. Bless Murphy, we thought!
When we came out of there and got into Tulu, we were trying to analyze the directions to reach Hotel Teej. Abbas spotted traffic police at 10 steps’ distance and proceeded towards him to seek help. One of us screeched – “Wear your seat belts” and both Abbas and Bhaiyya obliged. But we were quite late as the police himself marched towards us and accused of not wearing seat belts. 2 Gol Matol Police with pot bellies stood there smiling victoriously as they had found their catch of the day. Bhabi got down and spoke politely with the police and convinced them that we had just come out of the restaurant and that they had spotted us as seat belts were being draped around. Bhaiyya got pissed off and asked Bhabi to tell them to issue a Challan and that we were ready to pay the fine. They let us go and pretended as if they did a huge favour to us.
Phew! We had had enough of police. And Abbas became more proactive with seat belts from then on. From there, we went to Crystal Mall opposite our Hotel to buy water and diapers. We bought a set of playing cards as well. The mall was deserted. Apart from us, there were literally no customers there unlike our day-to-day mall experience in the cities. While getting out of the mall, Abbas was bringing Tulu out of the parking lot when Ummi knocked on the window. He jumped in his seat thinking it was police again. And when Abbas alone got down for some reason, Mimmi asked Bhabi with genuine concern – “Pa abar belt pode ni?” (Didn’t Pa wear belt once again?) – So much of impact the Jaipur police had on our thoughts that day 😀
We came back to the Hotel but we were to occupy to two separate double bedrooms as Family room was already booked. After freshening up, we had a light dinner at the in-house restaurant downstairs. Double bedroom had a beautiful dressing table with a full length mirror. Guess who was caught making utmost utilization of the luxury? Tammu – it was. She stood there for as long as she could and smeared baby lotion on her face umpteen number of times. She wouldn’t budge from the mirror. After the lotion session was over, Madam was busy combing her hair and clipping it. All of us watched her Nautanki while Abbas was making plans to buy a dressing table for his darling daughter. Dads, I tell ya!
Mimmi, Mannu and Tammu dozed off on the bed and rest of us 6 played Uno till late night. Bhaiyya, Bhabi, Ummi took Mimmi along with them to sleep in the other room. Ma slept with us.
27th December 2011 – Tuesday
We checked out from the hotel as we were leaving Jaipur that day. After hogging on the same breakfast as the previous day, set out on our way to Ajmer at around 9:00 AM.
As we drove, all of a sudden a police came into sight out of nowhere and signaled to stop. Tulu was moving in such a speed that Abbas couldn’t get him to stop in a jerk. A bike infront of stopped stand still and Tulu bumped into him before coming to a halt. Both the rider and the pillion rider fell down along with the bike. All are hearts beat faster than ever. Abbas got down, apologized and they were too kind and didn’t utter a single word to us. We thanked God for no harm was done.
As we advanced towards Ajmer, we were looking for an ATM as we were low on cash. All of us had bitter experiences in Jaipur while withdrawing money from ATMs. Money would get debited from our accounts but cash wouldn’t emerge from the teller machines. We were about to get into the highway when another set of pot-bellied topi-wallahs were waiting for their prey. Inspite of sporting the seatbelts on, Tulu was signaled to stop. First thing to be checked was undoubtedly the driver’s DL. Next they demanded for RC. When they didn’t have anything to find fault with, they chose pollution certificate as a last resort. We too mockingly handed over the certificate but they were proficient enough to mark the date of expiry which was just the previous month. We had lost the case yet again. They demanded 1000 bucks. We pleaded, begged honestly saying that we didn’t actually have money with us. That was not their head ache after all. All our bags were rummaged around furiously to find any long forgotten notes and all we could manage was 440 bucks. They took it all. We asked them if there was any Toll Plaza ahead and the response was in affirmative. How could we get through the Toll without paying? We furthermore searched kids’ bags and found a few coins. The police who were witnessing our helplessness finally pitied us and returned 40 rupees to us.
After crossing the toll, we did withdraw ample cash from the first ATM that we encountered. Our hunt for a Petrol Pump that would issue Pollution Certificate began from there and within another 24 hours, we must have visited at least 50 pumps for the same.
We reached Ajmer at around 1:00 PM without interacting with any more police officers. Phew!!!
To be continued….