March 20, 2007


Bhaiyon aur behenon, those who got the shock of their lives when they read the title; and sadists, who were feeling happy; take a deep breath. I love exaggeration. No trauma in my life. At least, no major trauma. Today's minor trauma is that there's a box of Milano in the house, and I cannot find it. And believe me, when a person searches the whole house, not just the kitchen, for a record twenty-five minutes, and a box of cookies still doesn't turn up, things are bad.

Duggu makes me think of Milano. Oops. Just realised that there was a Freudian slip there (thanks, Venkat, for teaching me that term!). That sentence was supposed to be, "Milano makes me think of Duggu." Anyhow, the point is, I'm presently thinking, Duggu is the only man in India who can wear a rose pink tee and not look like he's on the wrong side of "metrosexual", dance like a dream and sell biscuits with panache. (As a reference point, you might want to think of SRK selling 'Sunfeast' biscuits). Also can make Shoumeli and me do stupid things like send each other SMSes that say "MTV. Now." whenever they're showing "Dhoom Again". Or make Peru, an entirely sane woman (er... maybe not) send me a message that says, "I have D:2 on DVD... original print! Now Mr. A is mine, all mine! *evil laugh* "

Duggu cults aside, I am presently very bored. And the extent of my boredom will be clear from 2 simple facts:
1. I log onto Orkut three times a day.
2. I have had "Who's your type?" conversations with Shoumeli and Sunny. [Have discovered that all our respective "types" are impossible to find, and that each of us is unwilling to compromise. We all want someone perfectly tailored to suit us, and that unfortunately, is rather... er... difficult. 15 years down the line, I predict a "Singles Club" happening. But what the heck, statistics show that the top 4% and bottom 10% of population are single, former being too choosy and latter having no choice. We like to persuade ourselves that we're in the top 4%, even though the statistical probability thinks otherwise. ;) ]

I have also just realised that I promised in my last post that my next post would be as short as Uday Chopra, and this one is presently not going anywhere. So I would like to now talk about my encounter with the babudom.

I grew up in an era where we were firmly made to believe, "Customer Is King." This belief has been reaffirmed with the treatment we get everywhere - from mobile service providers to home appliance sellers.

Airtel, for example, scarcely ever lets a day go by without telling me about its exciting offers... "Ghar mein samasya, kaam mein rukawat, pyaar mein mushkil. Jaaniyein apna bhavishya panditji se!! SMS karein ___" and "Free Ringtones! Salaam E Ishq, Red, blah blah. SMS ___. Chgs apply." (Free AND Charges Apply. Nice.) But irritating SMSes aside, they usually provide good customer care round the clock - take my calls, listen to problems, be nice to me even if I'm at my sarcastic worst.

So in my naivete I imagined that the government would be, if not as good, a close second. My rationale was, "The government has to move with the times, or it's going to become an obsolete relic of a red-tape-ist regime." Little did I know, that it already is.

I need an MTNL broadband connection. So in December, one dude from the government comes home and creates a new phone line. Except that when a phone is plugged in, there is no dial tone, or for that matter, any sign of life. So we spend a month chasing the babus and phone repair guys to come and fix this.

By mid-January, it's fixed. I call MTNL Broadband Services (For sake of convenience, all phone numbers will be referred to as P1, P2, P3, etc.)

So I call P1.
Lady: Namaskaar.
Me: Oh, er, hello. We've got a phone line for a broadband connection here, but no connection. Work Order No. hai...
Lady (interrupting): Idhar ka problem nahi hai. P2 pe phone karo.
Me: Ok, thanks.

I call P2.
Me: Haan, namaste. Phone line hai, broadband ka connection daalne ko koi aaya nahi hai.
Lady: Ithun kasala phone karta? P3 pe phone karo. [My Marathi skills are non-existent.]
Me: Er... Bye.

I call P3.
Me: Namaskaar. [Gave in, finally.] [I repeat the problem]
Lady: Woh hum handle nahi karta hai. P4 pe phone karo.
Me: Arre lekin mujhe aapka number diya!
Lady: (As irritated as she would be, were I a credit card seller calling her at 1 in the night) Bola na, hum handle nahi karta hai. P4 pe karo.
Me: Mutter mutter. Slam.

I call P4.
Lady: Hello?
Me: (Relieved) [I repeat problem]
Lady: Madam paanch baj gaya. Office bandh hai. Kal phone karo.
Me: Kya? (Yaaron, 24x7 service ke zamaane mein, jab aisa koi bolta hai, I feel I'm dreaming.)
Lady: Arre kal gyaara aur paanch ke beech mein phone karo.
Me: (This time I'm too surprised to say anything. I just replace the receiver.)

I call P4 again, the next day.
Me: Haan. Abhi suno. [I repeat problem]
Guy: (Yawns) Kya Bhurk Aardar Number bola?
Me: Huh?
Guy: Arre Bhurk Aardar Number kya hai?
Me: Oh. Achha. [I repeat the Work Order Number]
Guy: Ek minute. Haan. Aisa koi Bhurk Aardar nahi hai.
Me: (nonplussed) Mere haath mein hain!
Guy: Aisa koi Bhurk Aardar nahi hai. [He's apparently been programmed to say just this.]
Me: Aisa kaise ho sakta hai??
Guy: (Thinks) Kab ka hai?
Me: December
Guy: Toh humara koi aadmi aaya hoga, aur ghar pe koi nahi hoga.
Me: Toh aap cancel kar dete ho?!
Guy: Arre nahi, humne uss number pe phone bhi kiya hoga. Kisine liya nahi hoga. [Sounds happy, for some reason.]
Me: Lekin woh number ek mahine ke liye dead tha! Dead phone pe phone karega toh obviously aisa hi hoga na.
Guy: (A silence that says, "Fine. Now can I go back to my vada pav?")
Me: (Refusing to give in) Abhi kya karneka?
Guy: (Silence again)
Me: Kya karneka?
Guy: (Sigh) Naya form bharo.
Me: Phir kitna time lagega?
Guy: (At the end of his tether, apparently) Arre, humko kaise pata! Woh Telephone Exchange mein poochho.
Me: (Resigned) XYZ area ke Exchange ka number hai?
Guy: P5.

Conclusion: To get any work done in a Government Office, you must be:
1. Related to the CM, Commissioner, Governor, et al
2. Fluent in Marathi
3. Willing to bribe
4. Very patient, in spite of 1, 2 and 3.

Thankfully, I do eventually have a broadband connection now and it's a wonderful thing. God bless. All is forgiven.

This entry is dedicated to Peru - my "Soul Sistah" in the blogging world. Freakily coincidental blogs, freakily coincidental thoughts, freakily coincidental comments, freakily coincidental drafts, even! Add to that the fact that she's just sent me a message that says "Do you take me to be your freakish karmic soul sistah, for rich quotes and corny, poor jokes; in text messaging and in poor signal, till low battery do us part?" My reaction was a solemn, but emotional, "I do." [We stopped there, for anyone who's wondering.] Whom blogging hath joined let no Blogspot/LiveSpaces malfunctions do apart.


Dilshad said...

you know thats the difference between you and me....i would have given a string of gaalis at P3 itself !
other than that....ur bored , im bored , our whole group is.....BUT NO....NO one wants to go out !....and ofcourse YOU have refused to get out of your dungeon till may 6th.....EXCELLENT...!

Dilshad said...

I NOTICE I DIDNT SAY anything ABOUT THE enjoyed the sarcasm again ! rock at it !

venkat said...

1. HOOS DUGGU? (and PERU is a person?..hoo calls themselves peru??...its like calling yourself kela or papua new guinea...and if ur reading peru, im kiddin;-))
2. u actually called up to P4?..either ur marxist or tibetan..;-)
3. u think the governments bad?..
announcement in an air deccan flight: " regulations of the indian government prohibit passengers from leaving the flight with a life jacket unless when authorized to do so. any passenger found disembarking with a life jacket either by wearing it or by carrying it in hand luggage shall be liable to prosecution"...u know ur in the wrong crowd if people there STEAL lifejackets..
4. i think the blog was pretty good and sarcastic..
5. may u and peru live happily ever after

Bleue said...

Preeya Behen,
The Duggu Freudian slip (snip) - im not surprised :) & you better find that box & find it fast & well if you already have then good for you! Like who loses a box of Miiiilaaano!?
'MTV. Now' & the works is just so typically..(i dunno) bt i remember doin this kinda stuff ever since i ws in d
Entirely sane woman?? Which part of that could be true!? (gettin into technicalities, im not a woman yet, so even THAt is indeed untrue..)
Please dont log on to Orkut so often, it kills you eventually, it really does..
Dont freak (yeh lik theres any more room for freaking left neway) but i ws jus thinkin of d 'whos my type'..yeh, no one fits..Singles Club? count me in..
Sometimes these network provider messages are so irritatingly-funny, i cud very well forward them as PJ-SMSes!
You finally have a b'band connection. Congrats. That must've been brutal, especially since they dont teach Marathi in ICSE schools. Bless your soul. But 'Mutter mutter. Slam' just lurrrved that one!! Ahhhaa!!

..& ohhmygod! Look! this ones dedicated to me! & in retrospect, u sure damn right 'whom bloggin hath joined'! I really never spoke 2 you b4 i knew abt ur blawwwwggg!!! *runs out of home, too astounded & freaked to remember to put her shoes on, mom calls her back to swicth off the PC. returns* yes..& may no Blogspot/LiveSpaces malfunctions do us apart. Amen

@venkat: wait till i get to pull your leg, punk. You dont kno who Duggu is AND u make fun of my nick-name! Of course im reading * now..just you wait..(jus kiddin :D..NOT)

whatta cracker-ova-blog! kill those babus!
cheers \m/, (+.+) ,\m/

Nitish said...

you call him Duggu as if woh tera kuch lagta hai :) (how you wish)
I have total empathy for you on the red-tapism prevalent in our government bodies today.
I had applied for the MTNL thing too when it came out, but being not as persistent and patient as you gave up after they failed to do ANYTHING about my dire net condition (that was 3 years back). In retrospect, i think i should've egged them more to get the connection, cos i wouldve got a decent blog yopic to write then (you know my state :P)
You're lucky you didnt (note the tense) have a junior college that is run by goverenment karamchaari's Mudra..I had to pay them Rs. 20 to get my name corrected from NITESH to NITISH on my hall ticks..pff

Vandana said...

Hey Mudra.. Great post.. hilarious take on red-tapism and babu-dom.. somethings never change.. :-)
I would like to add a note on the "search for your type".. this from a person who'll start her singles club soon.. don't look for your type.. every types the same.. the smart ones are the ones who find a good "specimen" and change "it" into what they believe is their type.. :-D

shoumeli said...

hehehehe.. loved it.. this one was fun!!!u ACTUALLY called MTNL some 6 times??u DO hav patience dude
u lost a box of milano????!!!!!ur PATHETIC!!
n yea dude... singles club ka toh dun say onli...:(:(.. i like vandanas theory i guess all singles would like it:))
oh n airtel.. bloody.. they cut like 50 bucks of my balance JLT.. i mean..@#$*%^*!!!n full time all faaltoo msgs they'll keep sendin.."get bhojpuri ringtones".. i mean.. who wud waste 6 preeecious bucks on BHOJPURI ringtones n caller tunes??!!!( id rather msg mu three times say.."MTV .. now.. fast.. ".." i cud hardly look at the phone while typin the msg"..."im bored.."...hehehe)

Mudra said...

@dilshad: I have a CA entrance to take, darling. Ask the others. For the rest, thanks! :)

@venkat: No leg-pulling of people whom you don't even know - especially not if they're my soul sistahs! :D And shame on you for not knowing who Duggu is. For the rest, thank you. Enjoy your trip.

@peru/bleue: Whoa... that's a whopper! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Realised while I was writing the blog, that I met you THROUGH blogging. Same college and all that, but still! And Singles Club? Membership is open. ;)

@nitish: Yes, how I wish!! Lol. And just be glad you're out of Sathaye... in 10 years or so, you'll have gotten over all the psychological scarring that you've suffered over the last 2 years.

@vandana: Thanks! I'm interested in this theory, though, sounds good. It's just that I haven't yet seen any woman who has been able to change a man for the better. ;)

@shoumeli: Thanks! And Bhojpuri ringtones? I want these!! Imagine if you're working and in a meeting with your boss, and your cell goes, "Mar jaawan saiyyan hamaar bedardi, kaa karein ab jaanai naa..." or some such stuff! Fun time ;)

Pratz said...

a bow to the sarcasm princess...*truthfully bows* abt effective service...But why did ya bother calling MTNL 6 times??? Tolerance Man!!! No wonder ur doing CA...u will definitely survive it well.....
by the way abt that singles club idea...I dont nthink u would really need it....rememeber I told yeah sumthing abt finding a gr8 match in Thakore....hehehe...dontcha worry Muddu....*evil laugh*...yeah I can be a sadist at times....
Keep Blogging....
- Muddu Fan
(*bows again*)

Asterix said...

I am not usually one to judge, but are "Duggu" and "Peru" real names? What's next -- Chile and Guatemala?

When you finally get around to the Singles Club, make sure that you have enough money to deposit the entry fee. How do I know this? I am the founding chairman and lifelong president.

Good stuff as usual. Let the sarcasm pour on.

azmeen said...

*rolling wid laughter*

Mudra said...

@pratz: Stop bowing, dude. Please!! And no, I don't want a "perfect match in Thakur College" - thanks for the suggestion.

@asterix: Duggu and Peru are nick names...! Thanks for the rest. W.r.t. the Singles Club, entry should be free. We have enough to deal with, without having to "make sure that we have enough money to deposit the entry fee." :p

@all: Once and for all -
Duggu = Hrithik Roshan
Peru = Prerna
And if you want to make fun of nicknames, think about how your mother still calls you Munnu, Sweetu, Bablu or Bittoo. :p :D

@azmeen: At the post, hopefully, and not at me. :)

Anonymous said...

gosh muddu ur obsessed with duggu... !!
the guy looks not so metro to you alone...
look around..
hes pathetic in that tata thing ad !! ...

scondly.. completely identify about the milano thingi (well its food.. and u know me and food go down very well.. :D :D ...) i hate it wen i have to search for food in MY house !!

mtnl... gosh u actually call those guys.. !! im glad my dad deals with that torture ..

btw dont kill me for this.. but i saw duggu too at the airport on my way back.. !!!! sorry couldnt take a pic.. goofed twice ! .. (security)
tell u more abt it later...

other than that ... excellent blog
keep blogging


Arjun said...

hmmm.. first of all, this south american-indian collaboration, (read, mudra and native peruvian) is wreaking havoc on my life, and on my super duper amazingly planned Plans for padhai..

basically, it's just a case of the usual complex which one gets, (at least, shoums n me) after reading the entries yahaan pe, and then, after reading a SUPER COOL, witty and humorous entries like this one, we go all philosophical, and start to discuss the futility of our existence, blah blah blah... :-)

but abt the blog...

hmmm... duggu, i'd kill my own son if he started responding to duggu. and i'd kill my wife for calling him duggu. AND, i'd also kill my son if he lost a box of milano.


ha ha HAAA !!! fone ke maamle mein jams is BETTER !!! YAAY YAAY !!! within two days the service guy comes and theek karaofies the fone. of course, they ask questions like, "aap wahii kharaab fone se call kar rahe hain ????", but wtv..

Anonymous said...

already told ya my comments na.. ul prolly get dem wen u sign in next time.. n then ul prolly type haf d reply b4 u realise dat m nt gonna b online.. blah..
k m seriousli talkin nonsense now..

oh n u tink peru is an entirely sane woman???!!!??!?! *shock n disbelief* *peru dnt kill me :P*

Ritika P

n who on earth doesnt know duggu!!!!!!!!!????!!!!!!!!!!!??????!!!!!!!!!
do ul even keep up wit current affairs!!??! (uh does knowin someone's nickname fall in dat category???) hehehe.. neway luved ur blog!! lookin fwd to many more!!!!!

Mudra said...

@stan: You met Palash Sen. I didn't say anything. I controlled my jealousy. Now you say you saw Hrithik. I say, last straw.

@arjun: "Entries yahaan pe" would be? Who blogs? [No, not being sarcastic, I genuinely want to know who blogs out there.] For the rest, thanks. And you don't want your wife to call your kid 'Duggu'? Dude - what if she calls YOU "Duggu"? Tab kya karega?!

@ritika: Thanks a lot! :)

aditi said... actually had the patience to hold on for that long...god these mtnl people....
youre getting better ! with each entry....loved usual...super-witty....super-funny...keep them coming!

Anonymous said...


i broke the campus' proxy rules to be able to view ur blog, and i guess it didn't go waste :D

but ya, for one with such an evident skill with the 'kalam', i dunno why u confine urself to writing about the rhetorics of common-life...that's a job for hopp-aa's like me ;)

figured that u'd use ur flair to loftier ends. don't be flummoxed, i was just being's ur blog, u can whip my comment off if u wanna to.

still, amazing stuff...

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