Skip to main content

Sada Dilli

Sify is the bane of my life right now. Every third day my Internet connection goes for a toss and when I pick up the phone to yell at my cablewallah, who has installed the broadband connection for me, I get such replies:"Madam aaj fibre cut gaya; madam aaj doosri fibre cut gaya; madam aaj sify ka building main kaam chal raha hain... matlab cement lag raha hain building main... matlab building geela hain to wire nahi lagega, electric shock milega kaam karne se..." He continues to take me for a ride like nobody's business.

When one of my American colleagues left after precisely a year of her coming to to work in India, her reason was that nothing works here. I didn't, of course, agree with her but my grouse is building up. My 'metre man', who comes for his routine checks every month, is the latest in the list of irritants. Each time he wears a hungry look. "Aap ko lagta nahi aap ka metre fast chal raha hain? Uska bhi kuch upai hain.. kuch sewa ka moka do, kuch cooperation do, kuch do aaj..." He wants money, he wants favours, he wants to hit the jackpot via me. Today it was, "garmi aa gayi aakhir, AC nahi lagana?... meri beti ki admission karado kahi acchi school main..."

Ninety per cent of the whole system here is corruption. I recall the police verification needed for my passport, the cop refused to budge from my place without getting dough for his 'chai pani'. When I told him that I had all the requisite papers and that I could report, he bluntly told me that in that case I would have to do the rounds of the passport office. And who wants to succumb to such an ordeal all over again? And boy, for all those wanting to get a marriage certificate in Delhi, think twice. Apart from the fact that you submit photographs, temple certificates and what not, they still insist on verifications -- from neighbours, the neighbourhood police and the police station closest to the temple where the marriage took place. And that means two rounds of police verification. AND if the groom happens to be a foreigner (as was the case with my sister), there's more trouble in store. Obviously, they expect a hefty sum. And you end up price haggling the way you would with a vegetable vendor.

We all know there are more semantic disguises to bribery everywhere. I turn to my friends with my grievances but I get "welcome to dilli" instead. I think I have a solution: legalise bribery. Maybe then, some of us will no longer be hit by the pangs of conscience. What say?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…