Friday, January 18, 2008

My visit to the municipal office...

You see one of the many benefits that you receive on becoming a major in India are the whole lot of licenses, ID cards in your name; to show the world perhaps that you have truly arrived. One such is the voter ID card. An accessory that allows me to exercise my vote to money hungry nincompoops who know that other than the job that they are doing they would never fit in anywhere in this world given their brains. ok getting to the point, i decided to enroll my name in the new voter list. The CEC on his visit to our state was hopping mad (literally) at the poor state of the election machinery here. So after receiving a thorough spanking from him they (municipal dudes) ran around the city hither and tither enrolling and checking as many people they came across.

I didn't want my name to be lost in this melee. So decided to do it the Right way. I was dressed in sober clothes so as not give an impression that i was of the flashy type (this from my brother who had a harrowing experience on wearing a leather jacket on one such occasion). My mom being a psychology student said that such an impression would make the already lazy workers to make me wait further (bribe appreciation) and all that crap. I followed it religiously albeit having a dilemma if my navy blue shirt might offend him in some way.

I was glad to see fresh printouts stuck at all visible places asking the citizens to enroll their names at the office. I had to approach the revenue officer (whose kannada equivalent was informed to me by my father which i promptly forgot). Finally having done so the officer dismissed me by waving his left hand, on hearing my WARD no. he said " next building".

The next building had 3 floors and having studied modular programming in C, i went in for a top-down approach.(there was no board who was in which floor thus...). At the 3rd floor i saw 4 guys with some 30 other tables empty. An old villager was arguing with one of them regarding some land papers while the 3 others were busy in deciding whether to attend X's marriage or not. "how will the food be?" asks one. "that stingy dude wouldn't have spent much." said the other slurrping on steaming coffee. i stood in front of them and cleared my throat. "wha?" he said apparently very much disturbed to having an interruption on going ons. "sir ward 19", i said with namrata bhaava. "2nd floor ravi" was the answer and he went back to his dicussion.

2nd floor ravi said "1st floor sagar". But sagar was absent. Ok i settled down on a chair of one the many empty desks. "election duty pa ,that's why so many missing" someone said. By that 9year old boy came in to office plate in hand with a glasses of steaming coffee to be distributed to the meager crowd. The workers relished it with aplomb without a care for the outside world whether it was problematic citizens......

I left them alone (feeling a bit drowsy myself) and looked around if sagar arrived. I observed musty files overflowing everywhere. 'Why the hell don't they digitize this?' i thought. i saw a lone HP processor in one of the chambers.The tout who was invisible until now came from nowhere and asked if everything was alright and if i needed any guidance. I thanked him for his innocent concern. Sagar finally stepped in after some time. I ran up to him and repeated my request. To which he first setteled himself into the chair ; arched his arms; peered at me ;scratched his unshaven chin and cleaned his ear vigorously and then "what?". I was unfazed, i repeated my request for the form. "oh, that, oi ramu get that register from that cupboard i say"."oo coffee, good good. tell your owner not to grudge on sugar ok?" this to the coffee bearer. i wait. ramu throws a bundle on sagar's table. "find form 6", he ordered. i rummage through it for a long time and on finally getting i settled down in front of him to fill up the in kannada, the language which i used to write confidently 2.5 years ago and now sparsely in grocery lists.

The tout came from behind again; this time having served a few customers. "Can i help you fill the form sir? it is kannada you see"."Will manage" and glared at him. "strange customer",he muttered under his breath and went away to the more needy ones.

"finished?", sagar asked after tapping on the desk. I submitted the form to him which he promptly threw into a old dilapidated folder."that's it, you can leave". I walked back smirking after completing the first hurdle towards exercising what i consider one of my fundamental duties. ;)


Arjun Bharadwaj said...

"....and having studied modular programming in C, i went in for a top-down approach...."

Maupilley, Why the hell did you go to the last floor first? :P

Nice post Maga(Pun not intended :P)!! Keep blogging(Har!! Har!! Har!!Ho! Ho ! Ho...Oops sorry Ho is banned :D

By the way convey my regards to first floor sagar and second floor ravi!! Hope to see them during may, when I come back to bengalooru! :P

Nakki said...

top to bottom pille.. last floor to first floor

Akshata said...

1) The people who make electoral rolls come to your doorstep, hun. And grandma says its always good to accept help when it knocks thrice or rings the doorbell. If you DO miss it, they leave a note which makes the CMC hunting simpler. :)

2) You'll have to face a lot more to go GET your card. Not to mention, the photograph. *smirks* The rest, after you see whose photo appears on YOUR card. Pell mell. :p

3) Voting is NOT a fundamental right. Pardonable assumption, though. Just pay attention in your CIPE class next sem. :p

Good post. :) (no pun)

Arjun Bharadwaj said...

@ Nakul

Warrasht phellow,
when you enter the building, you go to the first floor....Why go to the last and come back again. :P

Lorretta said...

Good words.