Banking and Finance has never been my favorite subject during college times. No wonder why it explains my passing chits during those lectures instead of taking down notes. And this unfavoritism has continued even after college. I hate going to banks for any job.
I'd to unwillingly go to SBI near my place to submit an application for a duplicate PPF Pass book. I was directed towards a lady who was supposed to tell me what I was to do with the letter hanging in my hand and a blank expression on my face. Anyways, as soon as I calmly narrated her the purpose of my heart-rendering visit to her; she looked at me as if I've just told her my plans of eloping with her 10 yr old son. She blinked - twice exactly - and said "How did you misplace the passbook?" I couldn't draw a blanker face. If I knew I was going to misplace it, I wouldn't have misplaced it, no?
Fortunately, after she lectured me how important the passbook was, and how thankfully they had relented and let me get off without having to lodge a police complaint (which was otherwise the procedure), did she find it the right time to tell me that I was to give the PAN Card xerox too which would put an end to my miseries.
The xerox did not speeden up things. I was made to run from pillar to post first to "get The Madam's signature" on the application, then to show it to the PPF section handling lady who gave me a challan which said I was to pay Rs. 110 as the charges, then again get the challan signed by "The Madam" and finally deposit the money at one of their counters where the queue was never-ending. And there I was waiting, waiting, waiting...... waiting, waiting,.... and some more waiting, waiting in a long queue that was moving at a snail's pace... all this amidst the stench of all kinds of oils - *not aromatic essential oils - sarson, badam, coconut, palm, sunflower* - you name it and it was stinking from those black, slicky hairs of those uncountable heads. *And to think of it my mom usually asks me why I have to bathe in my deo!!* Each of them armed with a zhatak cell phone having nails-on-blackboard-ish aggressive ringtones that were ringing from every corner. To please my eyes, I pulled out my W580i; which at the moment had one little red network bar and screamed "Emrgcy calls only"... WTH!!!! Just when I needed to call back home to say I'd have to stay here a little(?) longer.
I was roasting in the line wearing a sweat-shirt, holding the extra xerox copies in one hand, the challan and the money in another and also trying to call home with my spare fingers, shouldering a nasty purse, trying to breath despite the oil-slick air pollution, cursing the slow-pokes under my breathe and swearing that I'll definitely blog this.
It did not get any easier after I'd paid though. When I asked the ancient uncle the estimated time period in which I can come and disturb their peace by making an appearance to collect the duplicate passbook, he said I'll have to ask the PPF lady. I was back to where I'd started; the PPF lady, who at the moment was busy crooning over to another lady. She did not glance up, but she acknowledged my presence by muttering a "ek minute haan". She wasn't bothered that I'd almost died of asphyxiation waiting at the line neither was she excited that I'd to almost nudge my way from the ancient uncle to her with or without "excuse me"s, she wanted to seem important and that's what she did. As it is, I was at their mercy.
"Come and check in 2-3 days" she sang; after what seemed like a million years and just when my sensory organ of smell was getting accustomed to that oily stench.