This post is predominantly in Hindi because English translation would kill the effect.
Three days into the new year, its time for our first of the usual evening-timepass-at-railway-station sessions of the year. I head out, with a friend on vacation from Australia, to a small station just outside Mumbai. Half an hour into the talks, the Delhi bound Rajdhani Express blasts past at full speed, and having my camera, I just point it in its direction for a quick photo. Few minutes later, a police constable approaches.
Cop: Yeh tum log yahaan kya kar rahe ho?
Me: Kuch nahi. Timepass. Mera yeh dost bahar se aaya hai toh usko ghumaane laaya hoon.
Cop: Tumne Rajdhani ka photo liya? Humne camera me dekha. Kyun liya?
(I wonder- WTH! When did they put CCTVs here!)
Me and Friend: Aise hi. Yaadein.
Cop: Police station chalna padega. Sahab ko baat karna hai aapse.
And so we start the long walk with the cop to a tiny police chowki just outside the station platforms. The constable asks us to sit inside a small room and wait for the "sahab" to return. After ten minutes, I see a typical government style safari suit clad man walk in, he has yet not seen my Australian NRI friend. He is talking outside the room we are sitting in.
Safari Suit Man (SS): Kaun hai voh log?
Cop: Foreigner hai
SS (in an excited loud voice): FOREIGNER hai?!? Kya baat hai!
Safari Suit enters, looks at my 6 foot tall, well built friend and mellows down.
SS (in stern tone): Haan, toh tum logo ne Rajdhani ka photo liya. Kyun liya?
Friend: Sahab, main NRI hoon. Australia se aaya hoon. Udhar ke log hamesha India ko gaali maarte hai, bolte hai India bahut ganda hai, undeveloped hai, toh maine socha India ki mast wali train ka photo leke unko dikhaunga India ka progress.
Hearing this, Safari Suit's eyes light up, big smile appears on his face.
SS: Kya?? Aisa bolte hai voh log? Vaise photo kidhar hai? Dikhao mujhe.
Me: Theek hai, sir, yeh hai voh photo. Main yeh ek photo delete kar deta hoon, aur bas matter khatam.
SS: Nahi nahi, delete mat karo. Yeh photo jaake dikhao unko. Zaroor dikhao.
First shot, on the dot. Time to chane-ke-jhaad-pe-chadhao the Safari Suit saheb. So, we start-
Friend: Arre sahab, voh toh kuch nahi, udhar ka train system toh ekdum ganda hai. 20-30 minute me ek train aata hai aur kabhi bhi cancel ho jaata hai
SS: Voh log khud ko samajhte kya hai! Idhar dekho, 1000 train chalta hai ek din mein. Achcha ek cheez batao, udhar ke police kaise hai? Humne suna udhar bahut Indian log ko sab maar daalte hai
Friend: Arre sahab, udhar ka police apne comparison mein kuch nahi. Udhar koi bhi police ko sunaake jaata hai, idhar aap Mumbai police ko koi gaali diya toh aap sun loge kya?
SS (gets excited): Sawaal hi nahi! Idhar public mein hi usko maar padegi.
Now this is getting fun. I decide its time I join in too.
Me: Sahab, main America se abhi aaya hoon. Pata hai udhar ke log mereko poochte hai Mumbai me sirf jhopadpatti aur khet hote hai kya? Unko Slumdog Millionaire wala image hi dikhta hai.
SS: Slumdog Millionaire! Saala sab uska galti hai. China ka picture dekho, voh log kabhi China ka garibi nahi dikhate, sirf mast road aur airports batate hai. Hum log hi aisa ganda dikhate hai.
By now all other cops in the office have heard this conversation and join in one by one..
Cop2: Sir, aap yeh jo kar rahe ho barabar kar rahe ho. Un logo ko dikhana maangta India kya cheez hai!
Cop 3: Haan haan, udhar jaake apne vatan ko yaad rakha hai aapne, bahut achcha kiya.
The conversation continues for the next 30 minutes, with curious cops asking about everything from crime rates in Australia to relationship between Australia and New Zealand to the inevitable question I have encountered everywhere- "Achcha toh udhar America ya Australia me padhai ka scope kaisa hai? Mere bete ko bhejna hai mujhe!"
By now, we the "convicts" are completely in control of the situation and the entire police station is in awe of "foreign ki baatein". Taking this opportunity, we decide to cut it out. As we decide to leave, Safari Suit gives the farewell speech- "Sahab, aap aaram se ghumo, photos kheecho, meri taraf se sab permission hai. Koi tension nahi leneka"
One of the cop, looking at my Aussie friend all this time, finally breaks his silence- "Sir, kuch bhi bolo, aapka body mast hai. Ekdum hero type!"