Thursday, 26 December 2013

Amblingindian scores in Germany..

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Devyani K - please stand up...

Devyani K - the diplomat vs Sangeetha - the maid: An unusual case
Do I make any sense of the Devyani Khobragade episode? Not yet. Not even with the entire Ministry of External Affairs, some Indians, press and bystanders rooting for her. Not withstanding the support she has gathered. There seem to be enough people commenting about issues from her murky past, her fake "Damsel in distress " pleas, and her atrocious behaviour, and harbouring plain disgust, even calling her a Devi(em . Devil) in disguise.

Enough and plenty has been written about her and shared on the TV channels to portray her as a victim, and on the other side, her murky past raises a lot of questions too -
Cornered a flat in the prestigious Adarsh society, meant for war widows, on the basis of lies,
Cornered the choice of language in the IFS exam by bending the rules, grossly undervalued properties declared in her annual return, etc etc. the list goes on. And topping the charts are the cases slapped by her on Sangeetha Richard, the maid. Whatever be the treatment Devyani received at the hands of the NY police, will be nothing compared to what she has kept in store for the poor maid. (Non bailable arrest warrant as soon as Sangeetha enters India? Whatever for ? Using pure muscle and influential tactics? And who dares talk about this? )

Another interesting snippet comes out of reading the entire case. Devyani's husband, who has largely been quiet , apparently made a trip to the NY police to report that Sangeetha had stolen from their house. When asked which items were stolen, he said that he will have to check. He never came back to file the complaint. Now, if that doesn't smell of planted seeds, then what does? Also, do note that he has been quiet after, not making any statements, like her father does, almost on a daily basis. I dont know whether to infer that the husband is a law abiding citizen, perhaps ashamed of the whole affair.

Now, i don't know either of the women , Devyani or Sangeetha, or their relatives . All i know is what i read everyday. And i hear Uttam K( the father) speaking out,saying "Sangeetha is a CIA agent". Well, if she is a CIA agent, then I may be the "Queen of Sheba" too. And if she is a CIA agent, Mr K, then surely, India inc should file a case against Sangeetha , why do you need to do that ?

The case gets murkier by the day. And some sensible questions being asked too.. Devyani wants full immunity, pray why? If she is not guilty,why not fight the case in court? Anyway, all the bills for her lawyer and bail are being picked up by the Indian tax payer. And what does the taxpayer expect in return ?

A honest explanation , so that other Indians are not tarnished by the episode. A withdrawal of all the nonsensical cases filed in India against Sangeetha. A return of the Adarsh apartments, wrongly claimed. A statement of properties owned by her that is based on a correct valuation and an explanation of the sources of income. If these were inherited from her father, then an explanation of how the father acquired these.  And if , all these don't happen, can anyone be blamed for assuming that the whole persona of the "D" lady is based on a web of deceit and lies ? Will the real "D" please stand up and take ownership for what she owes to India?

The puzzled amblingindian.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The rise of Babudom

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.

Aina - deep in thought, trying to navigate Babuland
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.