Thursday, August 11, 2016

.... and let there be Hope

The media seldom portrays the positive side of our society, while in reality good things happen constantly leading to integrity, hope and trust. Through the following narratives, I have shared two of my recent encounters in Kolkata that give rise to hope.

Adhaar Card
We took the first opportunity to walk up to the bureau office to get our applications through unscheduled registration. We were elated by the professionalism demonstrated by the government officer on duty that day. After waiting for some months and a bit of follow-up the day arrived to get photographed and fingerprints taken. Fortunately for us, it coincided with our vacation time.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover everything well organized and there was absolute discipline … an order not too synonymous with our land with billions. Everyone came strictly by appointment. 
My daughter and I breezed through the procedure and all waz well till it was my wife’s turn. Her residence proof document had parental home address and despite all cross references in our documents they did not accept our home as her residence. While the supervisor was slightly inclined to make a concession, the person on duty insisted on adequate paperwork. But he did leave us with one solution, that too quite politely.
We were to approach the councilor of our municipal ward and request for a permanent residence certificate. Hearing that I said to myself 
… “now are into a never-ending loop”.
We hesitantly went to the councilor’s office, unsure what to expect as they did not know us personally. She was a very cordial person and though about to leave, she stepped back inside. The required certificate was issued then and there. To my apologetic “thank you”, she smilingly reassured saying it was her duty.
Completing the remaining procedure back at the bureau was easy breezy. Before leaving I thanked the person in-charge saying
“you are doing a great job and insisting on proper documents will go a long way to weed out the infiltrators.”

Mobile Recharge
One of this days we went to the Spencer supermarket in Kolkata for shopping. While making a decision on a humble mop, we got stuck between an unbranded products priced INR 149 and one of a known brand that cost 400.
A sales lady was present there from the brand explaining the advantages of the product. She highlighted this one was entirely covered with plastic not letting any direct contact of water with the metal preventing rust. She also told us that there was a 50 INR discount in the form of a mobile recharge coupon that would work with all service providers.
I said, “fair enough, decision made. But do we have to come back all the way to collect the recharge coupon or it will be available at the checkout station?”
She said, “I will give it to you now.”
Surprised I asked, “Now! What if somebody takes it and goes away without buying the product?”
She said “How much would one gain by doing that?”

I smiled and thought common people of Kolkata have so much trust and integrity...... Let there be HOPE .......


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