Funny Escapade at the Licence office, written well by my wife!
Bollywood didn’t inspire me to write this piece, its the Ooooo’s and Aaaaa’s I experienced, at the licence division office that made me write it. They need to be credited for this creative outburst in a Hausfrau like me.
This is how this intriguing story began...
When I got married 15 years back, I had illusions of driving being a sport for women and a symbol of their independence. Soon these illusions were struck by the harsh reality. Drive to survive.
Driving is a mandatory skill, not a sport. Your yoga teacher would not start the class at a time that matches your husband’s office time, the tennis, swimming, chess classes of your kids also refuse to adhere to the 9 to 5 slot, not that the husband’s office timing are 9 to 5 anymore, they are more like 5 to 9 now.
The ‘picking up and dropping’ and ‘dropping and picking up’ of kids, the grocery shopping, the play dates, your coffee time with friends and of course reaching office on time, for the working women are making women salves of a mechanical object called the car. And the car is in turn your slave, it goes through the small Himalayan mountain ranges that are all over Gurgaon and finally it is enslaved to a plastic card called the licence. Your whole life comes to stand still if your licence expires. Stand still for those, ‘jinhe desh ki phikar hai...’ Unfortunately I am one of those.
So after ransacking all my cupboards and drawers, I finally found my identity to be attached for a new Licence. A voter ID, that was simple to locate as it was used a few days back to remind us that we still have some control over the making our country a better place. Second were some bank papers and credit card bills. Enough to identify myself.
Armed with all the proof of me being myself, I walked into the mini secretariat, no, I was not shocked. I am an Indian and used to seeing people bursting out of all the places, I also make that crowd. After the long wait in the queue I reached the high and mighty lord of lords, the clerk across the table who had to verify my details. He scanned through my papers and was about to keep the file, when he noticed the biggest flaw in my character, ‘ Yeh toh Jaipur ka licence hai’, a gleam came in his eyes, like a Hyena who is about to pounce on a fawn. However morally strong the fawn is, it gets scared of a Hyena. The hound has power. The file was flung back on my face.
This flaw of mine made me stand in innumerable lines and answering unfathomable questions. Giving up, I called an agent. Giving up my morals made me sit up at night and curse the very fact that I had to drive. In my mind I assured myself that I am giving money to a person who will stand in the queue for me, do the formalities and make the file for me. I was not paying bribe to any hyena there.
Once again I was summoned, this time, no queue, but we circled from one room to another, the agent looked like a bribe himself. Finally, it was time for me to get a photograph clicked. Hair sticking with sweat to my face, I was ready to pose. Then the hyena roared...’this licence is not on the net’. I wondered which site was I supposed to upload it? The shady agent told me that its an old licence and so its not on the net, ‘so how is it my fault, if I got a licence when there were no computers used in Government departments?’ But I guess it is a big fault. I required a ‘no dues certificate’ from the Jaipur transport office.
Once again, after I got the ‘no dues’, I stood to pose, but the Hyena giggled again, ‘I need the number of the person who made this no due.’ I called up Dad in Jaipur, who fumbled with his glasses and directory, found the persons number. ‘Yeh Hai, number,’ I gave it to the disgruntled clerk. His disappointment was evident. He threw the file and stood up to go for lunch. The fawn requested him to postpone his lunch by 2 minutes and click her photo as her kids were coming back from school and she couldn’t wait. Sai Baba blessed her this time, the photo was clicked.
Days passed into months. I forgot of the horrid experience that every law abiding ‘general category’ citizen has to go through. The conscience also allowed me to drive because my papers were legally in the right hands and under process. But what a process...it took ages. No licence came. As I assume, no money was offered. This was the law of the jungle.
To kill a hyena, a lion is required, so I like a Hindi film heroine I called up my dad and narrated the ordeal. The Lion called up his counterpart Lion, who in turn called up ‘so n so’...apparently the lions and the ‘so n so’s’ don’t really know how much the fawns are troubled by the Hyenas. Difficult to believe, but true in most cases, the Lions are generally matter of fact people who don’t bother too much about the Hyena’s daily routine. If told, they are ready to help.
After the roar from Jaipur, I got approximately 15 phone calls from the licence office, they located my file, requested me to come for another picture as the earlier one was not ‘clear’, so I went like a lioness, posed looking fresh and pretty for the hyena, who had converted into a race horse, as this was his Lion’s guest, who was a genuinely honest person. The licence was in my hand in flat 15 minutes.
A dull, depressive feeling came over me. What if I was not acquainted with the Lions? As an Indian citizen, I was a fawn. The licence held no validity for me now, if a spoilt government officer’s daughter goes, she gets it on a platter and if a Housewife, who is teaching village students, is doing more for the society goes, is shunted around. Is this the country I live in? Is there a way to change this country? Does everybody require a Lion here?
I wonder if all the officers, ministers, celebrities and their children stood in that line, could they convert the hyena into a race horse permanently. What say?
Neha Srivastava more
I think Aam Adami wants everything on a click. Everybody is quite well aware of rights. But what about their duties?
Moreover, I have found people of this site are not interested in criticism and also stage-wise improvement.
Nothing can happen with the fall of hammer. First, we should learn to perform our part of duties and then ask for rights. A lot of chaos can be seen in the traffic jams, where we don't behave properly; otherwise Delhites are not required to waste a lot of time in Jams. We can drive properly when some implementation agency is enforcing the rules. Then also we brand them that they are doing such acts for bribes.
Anyway, I do not want further responses.
Thanks to all.
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