Who is the Bigger Culprit? | Delhi Transport Corporation or Pick Pockets

In a strange way, I feel at home here (Lord’s).
It’s like the place of cricket.
- Rahul Dravid said ahead of 100th Indo-England and two thousandth Test match.

I asked myself if I connect to some place as he does. The wisdom bulb lighted up, the answer came up after thinking for some time. Old Delhi! Yes, Old Delhi is the place to be at. Whenever I go there, I offer my prayers at parathewali gali, make pilgrimage to Gyani’s and ultimately find some lemonade to beat the heat. Gurudwara Sheesh Ganj, Jama Masjid, Red Fort. The place speaks Delhi’s respect for its ancestry.

Chandni Chowk , Delhi India
 Busy Chandni Chowk

jama masjid , old delhi
Jama Masjid
Yesterday, I managed to sneak a few hours out of my tight schedule for a visit to Old Delhi. It is obvious I can’t go for a picnic. I went to buy my first DSLR. Yes, I am a novice. Finding the product, trying shops for prices, bargaining and then making sure that every part is in the box is quite a task. I pulled quite a few hairs out of my scalp. I finally got a deal at Rs. 21,500 for Canon EOS 1000 D. While the billing was in process, I tried my hands at the machine. I clicked a few random pictures of people around. After making the payment, I had a closer look at the bill. Amount Rs. 19,111, I almost stretched my hands for the rest of money. Then I scrolled down and saw 12.5% VAT. Wow! Huh! Anyway, I got my machine.

a beautiful handsome sardar
Lucky Paaji | There's no relevance of the photo of such a beautiful Sardarji in context of my article but this was
the first picture that my camera clicked. Hence deserves to be featured.
Good looking fellow! :P
canon 1000 D bill

I had to make the long journey back home. I sat on the conductor seat for it was the only vacant one. As soon as the conductor sat by my seat, passengers started pushing their way through to grab their tickets.

Low Floor AC Buses
For Adults
For children (Age 5 to 12 yrs.)
Up to 4 km
Rs. 10/-
Rs. 5/-
4 - 8 km
Rs. 15/-
Rs. 8/-
8 - 12 km
Rs. 20/
Rs. 10/-
12 & above km
Rs. 25/-
Rs. 13/-

It was just another weekday evening. As expected, the red AC bus was carrying over capacity. The route stretched from Old Delhi to Narela. Conductor asked the passengers close to his seat,”kahan jaoge bhaiya?”(Where are you going?).”Narela” the passenger replied. Conductor said,” sab nakli aadmi ho tum, koi faeda ni karaayega mera”( you idiots won’t let me make profit). Oh! Something’s fishy. With a glitter on my face, I inquired, “Sir there must be some difference between Azadpur and Narela for you”. The conductor smiled back and said “hai to sahi”(Yes there is). “Sir bata bhi do ab”(and what is it?). To which he replied, the tickets up to Azadpur can get punched again.

Let me explain what he meant by that. The fare between from Old Delhi to either destinations, Narela or Azadpur is same i.e. Rs. 25. The conductor marks only one point on the ticket, i.e. the destination point. If a person asks for a ticket to Azadpur, he gives him a ticket punched to Narela. Now the problem is no matter to which destination the ticket is punched to, the ticket is going to stay with the passenger anyhow. In order to resell it he has to get the ticket back. Who helps him do that? Well answer is simple - you do. Ever wondered why DTC bus conductors are always short on change when they know that every day they would find passengers who would need some back. The rate of Rs. 25 helps these fellows. They punch tickets and don’t return Rs.5 change even when they have it. They write it on back of the ticket. And when the passenger is about to disembark, they ask for the ticket to tick the returned amount. The passenger disembarks; the ticket is left with the conductor. Now if another passenger asks for a ticket, he can give him the same ticket without being caught. Any discrepancies can otherwise be caught by the ticket checkers.

But that was not all for the day. God booked an adventurous journey for me. It all looked very normal, until a man caught someone trying to pick his pocket. And what happened there afterwards was something I don’t see often. Everyone with blood in his eyes wanted to rip the hell out of that man. I recalled the scene in Munna Bhai MBBS in which Sunil Dutt caught a pick pocket. It was very similar to that scene but the man was no Sunil Dutt who would show mercy as per the script. The other accomplice who tried to get off the bus and a jaat standing a couple of seats away from the door, pierced through the crowed and grabbed hold of him by his collar and pulled him in to feed him some dose of anger. The driver closed the door of the bus as soon he left the stand. The women subsided and the men started their exercise. Suddenly I heard hard slaps on the face, back or wherever they could grab a hold of. His lip was cut, his nose bled, and the moment you would feel everything has silenced, an odd blow would come and break that silence. Everyone liked the entertainment, conductor too enjoyed the drama, the ladies standing on the elevated portion looked on and an aged man explained the incident to them with salt and spice as he just wanted to talk to the beauties. “Inko koi fark nahi padta ji” (These are hard skinned people). After the whole episode was over, the culprits waited for the doors to open, but they knew they would open only on the next bus stand. A man went up to them and said,” jawaan ho, kuch kaam dhanda karo, ye kya chori chakaari me lage hue ho, sharm aani chahie tumhe” (You are young; you should do some work rather than picking pockets). The pick pocket with tears in his eyes and pain in his voice, fell on man’s feet and said,”kabhi ni karunga ji aaj se” (I won’t do it ever again). Both the culprits disembarked. That was the only moment I could see their faces and eyes which they covered otherwise to save them from hard blows.

DTC AC Buses

The show was over, but not the drama. A long discussion on the origin, practices and values was initiated as expected. The pick pocket learnt his lesson the hard way. A knowledgeable person would come out of nowhere and open the valve of his overflowing tank over you. “ye smackiye hote hain ji, mai bata raha hun jab nasha ho jaata hai fir inse kuch bhi karwa lo aap” (These are druggists. They can do anything under influence). Someone else would come and pinch on their parents and say,”maa baap hi galat raaste pe chhod dete hain”(parents direct them on wrong tracks). Conductor argued, no matter how worse the parents are they would never like their children to go on the wrong track. I felt like giving him a pat on his back. He had been an ass otherwise.

The reason I narrated this incident to you, is because I expect an intelligent answer from an intellectual like you to a question that is troubling me. The pick pockets learnt their lesson the hard way. Let’s not argue if they would quit doing such menial jobs. Let’s talk about the more grave issue. There’s one person who sneaks an odd bucket of water when his water motor fails, and another who has made a hole in your water tank to his bath and enjoying it ever since, whenever he needs it. Who is the bigger sinner? Who deserves your anger? You beat the hell out of a person who takes an odd 100 rupee note out of your pocket and one due to whom once a 10 rupee ticket is now a 25 rupee one escapes unpunished. Every year DTC incurs loss while private bus services make good money on same routes and serving same people. The lost Rs.2.5 on a Rs.25 recharge, the extra Rs.6 on a McDonalds burger, Rs. 2k on a 21k camera, you hardly notice how much money is leaking of your pocket without your attention and control. I wonder if we’ll ever punish the ones eating up on us like parasites.
Please answer me-

Who is the bigger culprit?

Share this: