The ugly monster of “Babudom* is rearing its head all over again. And this time round, it has spread its tentacles further, getting more daring by the day.
No matter which office i go to, a bank, Post office, or even a private telecom company, armed with all the mountains of proof that i can muster, I only find myself returning dejected, for, invariably , the incorrigible “Babus** ” would have found something amiss. A spelling mistake here, a middle name omitted there, or an address that makes no sense, all errors made by another set of incompetent “Babus “, who chose to make my official Aadhar card (identity card) address as “Bangalore North”, when i live nowhere beyond the South of Bangalore.
The part that would be hilarious, if it weren’t so irritating, is the attitude of the private sector “babus” who chose to clone the public sector ones. Each time i go there they have another lame excuse up their sleeve, like “Govt regulations “, to find another way of rejecting all the paperwork which makes perfect sense to me, but never to them. Almost as if they wanted to say “Never mind, we really don’t need business – give us bureaucracy instead”.
So, inspite of all my pleas to reconsider, the documents must fail the tests of these babus, so cleverly convoluted each time , that it is impossible to work a way out of the maze. As mazes go, this one of finding my way through Babuland , takes the no 1. spot, to be feared by all maze breakers and puzzle solvers alike. How can you ever get a combination of ID, address, photo, marriage certificate and the like, to ever meet their lofty standards? And if, by sheer luck, you manage to make it past the first goal post ( also known as Know Your Customer), you will invariably fail the signature test . As your signature cannot change even by the minutest over so many years of existence, and, if it has, too bad, as you are now relegated to the deep dungeon, to be in a hellhole with other lowly mortals, who can never , ever get past the bar of identity proof. And so, defeated, you resign to your fate, your destiny of never crossing the finishing line of babudom.
The only silver lining, you can console yourself, that you only came away defeated,unable to reach the goal of acceptable documentation, but thankfully, had your modesty ( or honour) preserved, by being spared the groping and lecherous behaviour sometimes meted out by other incorrigible babus**, in addition to the raft of non – stop requirements.
So here i retreat into hell, defeated but still holding my head up, for being spared molestation, at least of a physical nature. To hell with Babudom , i say!
Aina Rao, the amblingindian.
*Babudom- the anal behaviour of officials when it comes to any govt transaction, making citizens run from pillar to post for unwanted documents.
*Babus – Officials
***A recent incident reported where an official of the Govt office (FRRO) harassed an Italian tourist seeking a visa ,by repeatedly asking for documents that didn’t exist (marriage certificate when she wasn’t even married ) , then for a bribe, and finally molesting her . The official is now behind bars and all is not lost, I hope, in the war against babudom.