Harbadipur is a busy town and is also very true to it’s name. The people there are always in a hurry. Old or young, men or women all seem to be in rush from morning till night.
When buses or trains arrive at the station, people push and run past each other to get the seat first. They hardly wait for the passengers who are inside to come out first. When walking on roads, they jostle past one another barely glancing around themselves. While talking, they just speak fast and loud and do not listen to what others have to say.
The people here do not follow any rules and do not care about others. They drive cars or buses in high speed and do not obey the traffic rules at all. Most of them think that they are in a race. Everybody is in a hurry to reach their place first. Most of the time they skip and jump the traffic signals thereby causing accidents and hurting others on road. Very few people obey the rules and follow the law.
Police try to manage and keep Harbadipur safe and free from all troubles and accidents, but it is a tough job for them. This city has been like this for a very long time.
One morning a bus carrying many people fell in the nearby river. Lots of people got wounded. Children were crying as they were hurt. Some died. There was an air of gloom over the city. Everyone was sad and crying. Police were trying to do their work properly and was very busy. They were thinking, if the people of this city listened and followed the rule, then no one would get hurt and all would be safe. There would be no accidents, but the people were disobedient, selfish and rude citizens. They always broke the law and did not cooperate with anybody.
Many months passed by since the accident occurred and yet nothing changed. Life was going on as usual in the city. Police were working hard to make the people obey and follow the law.
When one fine evening, a bus in red and yellow colour suddenly stopped in front of the police station gates. It looked quite similar to the bus that fell in the river few months back. Few people got down from the bus.
They all wore an uniform; white coat with blue pants and large red colour whistle hanging from their neck. They all looked the same too. Silvery hair that resembled a mop, eyes as round as buttons with a tiny camera.
Their nose as long as pencils and the ears were tiny holes which could not be seen from outside. When they smiled they all had green teeth with lips that were as thin as a thread. They were tall and skinny and walked on their toes and seemed to be in hurry. They entered the police station and wanted to meet their senior most officer.
They introduced themselves as Wizards.
Seeing them the police were first surprised and then they started to laugh loudly. “How can we help you?”, one of the policemen asked.
“Well, we have come to help you and try to solve your problems. “People here are very stupid and stubborn. They do not have any manners and are always rude and impolite. They will only listen if they are punished. Those who do not follow rules and disobey the law will be turned into monkeys” replied the leader from the group.
“ Well”, said an officer, “they need severe punishment, but why make them monkeys.” The wizard replied “ because they are closest to man and man often behaves like a monkey if not trained properly. Also when they would drive, others would know that he was a bad driver and have now been punished.” The police officers liked the idea and asked the wizards to come to work from the next day.
Next morning, as usual people were rushing and hurrying around for their work. Suddenly a red and yellow bus came from nowhere Phur….phurr….a shrill sound from a whistle blew and an angry wizard stepped in front of a purple car.“ Why you splashed that dirty water from the puddle on that school girl’s clean uniform. Could you not slow down or stop the car for few minutes and allowed her first to cross the road?” He shouted at the driver and arrested him.
Soon the wizards were arresting drivers who did not stop when the traffic light turned red. Some were racing with other cars. One driver hit a person on a cycle. They also caught people riding in the wrong direction, zooming in high speed on a busy road. Those who were honking unnecessarily and making so much noise. That day whistles blew endlessly from one corner of the city to other and by the end of the day large number of bad drivers were arrested.
These arrested people now as a punishment were turned into monkeys and had to stay with the wizards who would teach them how to drive properly, follow the traffic rules and educate them on road manners.
People in Harbadipur got scared and started to drive properly. They of course did not want to become monkeys. Their family members would say, ”Please drive carefully as we do not want you to be punished by the wizards.” Slowly, as the days passed by the number of arrests also started to reduce. And finally a day came when everyone drove carefully and safely. People were safe on roads and could walk and cross the roads comfortably. Number of accidents also decreased. Everyone, especially the police were pleased and happy.
However, the bad drivers who were turned into monkeys were staying with the wizards. They were far away from their families and could not speak or meet them. They were missing their home and was therefore feeling very sad.
Also they felt ashamed and thought that now their dear and near ones would make fun of them and laugh at them. Slowly, the naughty drivers realised that by driving carelessly and not following the traffic rules they were putting their life and those of the others on road in danger. They said sorry and pleaded with the wizards that from now onwards they would drive very carefully and obey all the traffic rules.
After making a promise to the wizard they changed from monkey to man and their punishment was over. They now happily went back to their family.
The wizards became very popular and famous in Harbadipur. The police thanked them abundantly for all the help. Everybody learnt to drive carefully. Roads became safe . Children reminded their parents, “ Drive carefully otherwise the wizard would take you away”. The traffic wizards thus taught all the citizens of Harbadipur that it is good for all to drive carefully and not carelessly.
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