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Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Gas Connection and The Rent Agreement

So I’m back in India, great. I love my country and I have often been homesick and longed to be back here among my own people. This post is by no means to make fun of or ridicule any person but rather to raise the issue of how inefficient certain people or agencies can be.

I enjoyed the first few weeks in my hometown with my family before I shifted to Pune. Since I had already lived in Pune for five years, I thought “Ok..settling down here again is a piece of cake ! All I need is a rented flat (a family friend had already arranged a furnished one), the shifting of my domestic gas connection, a decent internet connection, and the regular services of a maid, a laundry guy, the newspaper vendor etc. etc.”
So dear reader, it all sounds easy enough right ? Wrong !!

Hubby and I head out to the gas agency. After a 20 minute wait we get our chance to talk to a guy who politely says “ aage waale counter pe jaiye”. We go to the next counter and wait for another 20 minutes for our turn whereupon we hand over the transfer papers. The lady gives a very bored expression and asks where we are coming from. We reply, thinking “OK, finally it’s going to be done now”. The lady asks us for an address proof, an ID proof and 2 photographs. We are not in luck it seems. We have the ID proof (our passports) but we have yet to receive the rent agreement from the legal firm.

We call the legal firm where our call is transferred, kept on hold for almost 15 minutes after which we are informed that they will give the copy of the rent agreement only if the owner authorizes it ! We explain that the owner is abroad and we do not need the original, we just need a copy and we have a right to it, but our appeal falls on deaf ears. Frantic calls from our end are made to a relative of the owner who has been authorized in the matter, who in turn calls the legal firm. Finally they call and inform us that we should visit their firm and collect the copy. I blurt out in desperation “but your office is like 35 Kms. away ! could you not email it to us please ?”. But they remain adamant that we visit. We spend 1200 Rs. on a cab and finally get the address proof.

We go back to the gas agency with victorious expressions and hand over the documents. The lady takes out a blank form and informs us “ Ye form bhar do aur sath main ek 100 Rs ka affidavit bhi de do along with the documents.” WHAT ?? An affidavit ???

We ask some friends regarding this matter and they suggest we visit the court premises. We travel another 22 Kms and pay more cab fare. There we see some guys sitting out with typewriters. We approach them and they say they will charge 350 Rs for typing the whole thing. We agree. We get the affidavit and head back to the gas agency. Finally the documents are accepted and we are informed that we will get the gas cylinder in 4-5 days. We come out dead tired but happy regardless.

A guy standing outside who had been observing us coming and going takes a look at us and asks “kahan se shift hoke aaye ho sahib ?”
“Oman se” hubby replies.
“Tabhi itna ghoome…800-1000 Rs. kisi ko diye hote toh kaam yu hi ho jata..”
We are stumped !!!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Back Home Again

“Coming back (home) is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads to another, how one twist of fate, good or bad, brings you to a door that later takes you to another door, which aided by several detours–long hallways and unforeseen stairwells–eventually puts you in the place you are now.” ― Ann Patchett.

I'm back in Pune, or at least my physical self is. A part of me still resides in Salalah.
So much as changed in Pune. I see new roads, malls and shops..and yet nothing has changed. The air and greenery remain the same - refreshing as always. Friends calling all day long, invitations for dinners, the hearty laughter....yes i'm home again :)

The song from the movie Nikaah runs through my mind:

Wohi Ghadi, Wohi Pahar, Wohi Hava, Wohi Lahar
Nayi Hain Manzilen Magar, Wohi Dagar, Wohi Safar
Nazar Gai Jidhar-Jidhar, Mili Wohi Nishaaniyaan
Suna Raha Hai Ye Sama, Suni Suni Si Daastan..........