I was in Lucknow sometimes back to get a marriage certificate. Waiting since morning 10AM to get the final certificate from magistrate. This was my 5th or 6th visit after a lengthy undisclosed process. A process where you don’t know the next step and have to keep ego of officials intact. Anna Hazare movement has caused extra angry mood to the officials now a days.
This was aroung 1PM. I was still waiting and in hope that i will get it. I saw a clerk doing something with his MS Word. He was in a tough situation drawing table in word sheet using lines from drawing box tools. He was drawing lines horizontally and vertically to make tables. Using indents to type in the box created by lines cross-sections. He was trying hard but each time the words were not fitting inside the box. I was watching impatiently. Wanted to help, but was thinking, if his ego will hert that may cause my certificate to dealy more. But i couldn’t stopped myself. I went to him,
Hello Sir, I think this can be done in a better way, i spoke gently with a smile and helping attitude…
No no no, he responded furiously, this is all about the lost practice on computers, don’t mess with my work. I can handle it. — As expected, i felt blank and came to my seat.
Time was passing slowly. Passed half an hour more and the clerk was still struggling to decode the paper sheet on MS Word.
This was unbearable, i rose once again,
if you give me 5 minutes i can help you in creating it, or give me some 15 minutes, i can finish your job.
The clerk was puzzled. In office environment people only help senior babus to get some favor or money. Work is supposed to be a mechanism to delay and make money. He was puzzled, why on earth i am helping him. He was not aware, why i was there in office.
This action draw attention of some peer fellows, and they were gazing me like i have insulted the man of nation and the next time i speak, they will throw me out. however the clerk quickly move from his seat and offered me to sit. His attitude reflected, lets see how can you do it.
I created a table and demonstrated. He was like, yeah yeah i know this but i was doing it like that… this is easy stuff. He finished his work there on.
And thank to God, the familiar officer came with mouth full of Guthka/Paan? Very busy. Talking on phone. He noticed me but pretended not to be of concern. A lot of formalities, waiting, communication gap, etc etc.
Finally he asked me to sign on a document and writing certificate received. I was not questioning, since this may make him to delay more. A peon of him waved a hint to me for coming out. I came out and you know what was expected…
The Dakshina (bribe) was in demand. I told him like a good citizen and argued over. The scene was out of control again. The officer told me that he will inform me. I asked why, all the things are done, only thing is to make a print, attach photo and handover. However no help. You can’t win simply.
I came home. Three days regular follow-up and a bribe of 2000 made a certificate to me. I felt lost. Was thinking on the way, “How can i fight against this attitude of corruption”. I was equally responsible but i was not having the time. One senior official told me, “Beta ye sab yahan nahi chalta hai, hame uper bhi bhejna hota hai” (Son, this all do not hold here, we have to answer seniors as well).
Well, i was thinking a discussion sometimes back against corruption and i was a recent victim. Though i am regretting, i could have been more firm and i should have a fight.