2. Kannada got a traffic fine discount

I felt the power of Kannada in Bengaluru

One evening in January 2017, I met an acquaintance Sachit (name changed) at an event on Sales, to get tips on selling Courseloka’s Kannada courses.

Sachit and his wife, from Mumbai, had been in Bengaluru for 9 years but did not know Kannada. The wife knew a little of Kannada as she handles household responsibilities. Sachit liked the Kannada course, and promised to buy a course soon, saying that he and his wife would learn Kannada together.

Sachit and I walked to his car after the event. Alas, from some distance he saw a bright yellow clamp on his car’s front wheel and lamented that he would have to go to a police station and pay the fine. He had parked a mere 5 meters away from a No Parking sign. A chit with a mobile number saying “Call me” was attached to the wiper. He called the policeman and requested him to unclamp the wheel.

The policeman arrived in the towing truck and put a Rs 1,100 fine. A dismayed Sachit protested for a while in English, saying he was there for just an hour and did not get any other place to park. He gave his visiting card, being in senior management position in a top MNC. 

Even then, though impressed, the policeman would not budge, saying “Parking even for 20 seconds is not allowed”. Sachit protested that the fine was too high, because last he remembered, it was just Rs 300-500. The policeman asserted that the new fine had been in force for the last 10 months from 1st April. The new rates were much higher and were no April fool’s joke.

Sachit was short of cash and walked to an ATM 10 meters away to withdraw cash to pay the fine. Meanwhile, the policemen and I talked on women’s safety in English, but soon switched to Kannada. The policeman was pleasantly astonished and delighted “You know Kannada!” I said, “Yes”. He seemed happy.

Sachit returned and paid the fine amount of Rs 1,100. The policeman had a second thought and asked me “What do you say, shall I forgive him the fine?”

I told Sachit “If you learn Kannada, I will ask the policeman to excuse your fine”. Sachit said “Okay”. I requested the policeman in Kannada “Yes, please excuse him”. The happy policeman returned Rs 800 and charged only Rs 300.

Sachit and I were both amazed and surprised at what transpired. Clearly, knowing Kannada saved the fine. Now that I think of the times I have paid fines quietly whereas I should have protested in Kannada! . Better luck next time!?

Sachit became convinced of the power of the Kannada advantage and bought a Kannada course instantly. This is how I earned a sale for Courseloka.

Author: Rekha Chandu Lal

Last modified: Sunday, 7 October 2018, 7:02 PM