It was Sunday, a day that is loved by every working professional! Since I do not always get time to watch TV these days, I was watching TV yesterday. And what I prefer watching every weekend is the one and only comedy daily soap, Taarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashmah. There was that episode going on when Jethalal and all the men from the society go out partying, enter a No Entry zone and then attempt to pay bribe to a police official when caught. I simply love this series of episodes since they are truly comedy and fun to watch. But this serial is something that teaches us a lot and depicts the cruel truth of life.
Yes, just like Jethalal, we all have paid bribes to officials and public servants at some point of timein life, whether knowingly or unknowingly. A few days back, I had been to the police station for the documents check process for getting a passport. And we all know this process well! The agent whom I had contacted for getting my passport appointment done had already given me the idea that I would have to pay a sum of money there so as to get my work done soon. And as my name was called out by the police after a long wait, I finally went in with my sister where all my documents were rechecked by an official. Soon after this, his voice lowered noticeably and he asked “Kahi payment anli ahe ka?” (Have you brought any payment?) When I questioned him regarding what the payment was, he insisted that it was the fee for the software that was used in the process and he demanded Rs. 200 each from me and my sister. Disgusted with this, I told him that this fees is not included in the passport process, and if it is, I need a valid receipt for it. Instantly, he started bargaining (literally) and finally settled down on Rs. 100 per head.
Trust me guys, I was not at all ready to pay the sum to him! I mean why should I? I earn for myself dude, after working whole day at office. And they are so called public servants! Well, I really doubt whether they are serving us or we are serving them! They get paid from the government for doing the work that they do, then why pay them extra? And, if, as he said, it was the fees for the software, why did he refuse a receipt? And c’mon, these people think people are fools! We understand very well the difference between fees and bribe! And then those who refuse to pay are asked to come back again later some other day (as if that’s the only work we have in life!) That’s the reason I wasn’t ready to pay him the sum but my sister insisted on it since no one has time for this shit every day! And then, it somewhere made sense, didn’t it?
At the face of elections, when parties are making huge claims, is there anyone who can free us from the evil of corruption? Frankly speaking, I don’t think so! When I paid the suggested sum of money to him, a higher official signed on my file. Later, when I questioned an official regarding when my passport would arrive, he said, “It would arrive within 30-45 working days. Leave now.” And trust me, I was so disgusted with this reply. I mean c’mon dude we are not here to stay at this pathetic place but at least have the courtesy to speak with hospitality to people! Why don’t politicians simply concentrate on improving the system rather than making false and irrational claims to people? Sad! L