Thursday, May 12, 2011

We need more beacons.....


My brain is slowly but surely turning to mush in this bloody heat. Normally, I don't leave home if I can help it - especially when I'm mid-book ( like now!). But this being our beloved Bharat, one has to deal with peculiar procedures. Today, it was a Post Office account that needed to be closed. The p.o. happened to be in Dadar and I was summoned there to verify a six-year-old signature. Fair enough. This time I wasn't taking chances with a grumpy Bholanath ( he and I are officially 'katti' ). I borrowed my husband's super smart, super efficient chauffeur, the amazing Subramaniam ( he has been with us for over 30 years). We managed to reach the p.o. on time and I stood in line behind the dustiest counter ever. When I looked around the dismal place, I was so disheartened to see the pathetic state it was in - dingy, filthy,broken down. There were several naked electric wires hanging from the ceiling. Chairs without seats, piles of papers, miserable looking people plodding away at tiny,over laden desks. This was seriously depressing. I spoke my best Marathi to the clerks. But everybody I spoke to replied in Hindi. Perhaps they didn't think me 'Maharashtrian ' enough? I had to fill in several forms, sign on various documents, produce identity cards.... oh heavens... all this for such a small job! It didn't matter to me - I'd factored it in. But I did feel bad for those people slaving away in such a shabby, smelly setting. It doesn't cost much to buy a few dusters and keep the place relatively clean. Why don't these p.o. employees take the initiative and do it? How can they be so indifferent to their work environment?
After I got home and drank a gallon of lassi, I felt much better. But my writing rhythm had gone for a toss. I decided to give myself the afternoon off . I took a nap.... tidied my room. Listened to the insistent calls of the koel in the Brazilian Copper tree outside.... suddenly, the world seemed better. The sun-set was glorious - all golden and show-offy ! And I suddenly thought of the neat, well-proportioned lighthouse that had caught my fancy, perched precariously on the edge of the red sands of a distant Australian beach... it is lovely, isn't it?

12 comments:

goodluck said...

Cant imagine you at the dusty Post Office.
Yes, the light house is nice. Reminds one of seas and shores.

NAT said...

Shobha,

Please do not feel sorry for these postal personnel. They are only worried about making their money at the end of the day.
They deserve what they get, as they treat the client in a shabby manner if their palms are not greased.
They held my late brother's money for seven months, even after completing all formalities.
After the seventh month they wanted us to go through the procedures once again, as they said that they lost the passbook.
On approaching the Supt. of that area with a written complaint, we received our late Brother's dues within two days.
The poor lady Supt. had a tough time as the rogue clerk was very rude to her.
For each and every pass book that goes through their hands, they receive minimum Rs.50/ from the agent...

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

took a nap... tidied the room... got inspiration from Post Office, i believe :)

rutuja said...

have u ever thot how these ppl feel doing the same boring THANKLESS job hour by hour, day by day, year by year??? instead of the 50 rs.. buy a rose or chocolate and hand it to each one of them.. and just c the expression on their faces n how they treat ppl thw hole day.. n u2 wenevr u c them wit a smiling face.. ok so u wud say u dont have time.. but it ill say do it 1nce n jst watch the xpressions.. may b theyll b suspicious.. whatver.. jst do it 1nce n see.. small things in life make a lot of diffrence.. here at our place, the potoffice z old but clean nevertheless, and they dont take bribe fr anythng as far as i know.

kanch said...

Talking of post offices and lighthouses, did you know that the Peggy's Cove lighthouse in Halifax used to be a post office until a few years ago? Very beautiful setting.

Neeraj Tandon said...

its a real pleasure reading your blog...

ms said...

agony, mz de! you brought back those memories that will render me comatose for the next few days! last time i went to a PO i spent my time organising the people into correct queues so that i could send my documents by registered post. after almost one hour of yelling and shoving queue-jumpers back in line, i reach the window and the pesky so-and-so says "kahphee brak" and swivels around to chat with his mates while slurping his beverage. i came away with a vow that from now on, the indian post and telegraph will not get any business from me -up and away to DHL, the over-priced, over-rated alternative. next time, send subramaniam instead.

Jogeshwar said...

Most people of your status or VVIPs never even visit a PO, they rather have the clerks come to their place to get the things done for a measly commission.

Instinctive Traveller said...

shobhaa, every post office in this country is much the same. and the attitude of the employees match. is it the place that's responsible for the attitude, or vise versa? one can never tell. but there you have it.

NAT said...

Shobha,

My comment on this blog about the Post office was removed. I request you to let me know the reason. I understand this is your space, and you can do what you please.

I have never used any abusive language or abused anyone. I just made a factual statement. I was not even using your blog to get any respite/publicity. I solved/sorted the problem myself. I was just wanting to share my personal experience with our Indian Posts with you and others on this blog.

To tell you the truth we keep hiding, putting all our dirt under the carpet, and that is the reason we are in this state.
Anyways Cheers!

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