Vice on public display

Being between jobs I’ve been at home the last 2 weeks. On occasions I’ve stepped out for a visit to the nearest supermarket. Now with the traffic being what it is, I usually travel Gandhi class. Right foot first. On these sojourns I’ve many a time noticed a group of men congregated on the sidewalk less than a stone’s throw away from my gate on Raman Street. On closer inspection I’ve found it’s a cross shaped diagram formed by two intersecting rectangles that they are gathered around. Nothing religious I assure you, even though the fervour is. Stones are used as markers, dice thrown by the players to progress on this makeshift board game and money exchanged at the end of a round. Yes, I’ve seen that happen. I’d refused to believe they were gambling till I actually saw currency change hands.

Now I’m all for encouraging sport. Like many other Indians I too am in search of that game which will finally afford our country a gold medal at the Olympics. But I’m quite sure I haven’t found it yet. Gambling in public view, in a residential area, especially outside a school gate, is something I experience great difficulty in subscribing to.

The school in question is the Holy Angels School in T Nagar. The players, auto drivers who ferry children to school and then wait to pick them up after class. Apparently this company has been broken up by the police before, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before it happens again. I only wonder why it takes so long for the long arm of the law to reach the scene considering they are motoring around on Royal Enfields, Mahindra Jeeps and Hyundai Accent cars. We’ll leave the BSA SLR out of the discussion for now.

7 Comments so far

  1. annoynomas (unregistered) on August 6th, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    You should look at it in another way.

    It looks like Poor man’s ‘hedge fund’ trading.

    The only difference is these folks
    trade in a ‘dusty’ and ‘sweltering heat’
    with lookouts signaling impending crash
    due ‘cop rushing’ and noise to lessen the risk.
    The mainstream financial Pundits(or bandits)
    trade in a air-conditioned room backed by
    sight (from tv) and sound (from mob fone).

    In one the winner takes a Putt-Putt ride ,
    the other drives out in a BMW M class..
    Life goes on.. Live and Let live


  2. Absolutely (unregistered) on August 6th, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

    Agree with that above… this is equivalent to the taboo-cliche associated with drinking in our culture… “you’ll become a drunk throwing things around and shouting if you as much as have a glass of beer in your hand”

    For the drivers, its a harmless way of generating interest in their lives during their day; their job involves a lot of sitting around waiting for their next trip. You yourself had to peer and look to see the money that was being exchanged, so its not even like its in open view is it?! When you look in their direction, its the game and them sitting around that you see. You will notice the money only if you really look for it, at that moment when the cash exchanges hands. So where does this hypersensitive question of “oh but our kids will be affected?” come into play here?

    We don’t seem to say that at middle-class weddings with uncles playing Rummy and exchanging cash now do we? Is that not in full view of the kids? Oh no, your uncles are doing it for fun. But the drivers are doing it, destroying their lives and their families’ lives in the process, AND screwing up the lives of school-going children too! Good God!

    Like Annoynomas above said, Live and let live, man…

  3. Nastikan (unregistered) on August 7th, 2007 @ 6:54 am

    Perhaps the police have some actual crimes to investigate rather than harassing working men having some mild fun.

  4. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on August 7th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    I thought this was going to be to do with something interesting, like sex. :(

  5. suppamani (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 7:48 am


  6. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on August 8th, 2007 @ 8:43 am

    If they are getting engaged!?!?

    What, the drivers are marrying each other?

    Hmmm… Still not exactly, [i]vice[/i]

  7. jillumadrasi (unregistered) on August 13th, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

    I too saw those blokes outside the house where Asokhan the villian used to be a tenant, but did not feel all pissed off.

    What annoyed me instead was the bad upkeep of the convent building on the Raman Street side. SUrely the school makes enough money to paint it from time to time.

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