The papers reported that all fireworks and crackers activities should cease between 10 pm and 6 am. KSPCB and the police were supposed to be doing rounds and enforcing the curfew. It’s 11 pm in the night, and near Nagarbhavi, some random crackers keep going off at regular intervals. Dealing with continuous fireworks is one thing, but sudden bursts at random points in time is too much to deal with.
The dogs, not accustomed to rackets other than their own, start howling everytime one goes off. Aged parents at home, struggling with flu-like symptoms thanks to the weather, exacerbated by the smoke hanging in the air, are forced to suffer through this.
I am left with two options:
1. Go talk to the people nearby and get them to tone down. Not knowing anyone that side of the street and also with knowledge gained from experience that when you stand up for common sense, you are always alone and fighting a losing battle, I knew this had to be the last one.
2. Call the police. Easier. All I needed to do was pick up the phone.
So option 2 is what I chose. Remembering from a long time back that 103 was Hoysala I dialled that number (Turned out it was traffic). After many rings it went into engaged mode. With no other option I dialled the generic 100. The number was busy. I dialed again. Same results both ways! Even after multiple attempts!
The crackers stopped by then. Either they ran out of ammunition or thought the curfew started at 11 PM. The problem of course was different now.
In case of a ‘real’ emergency, the city was all alone. The police force was too busy or not going to answer your call!