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?