Even when the whole world goes berserk out of economic turbulence or a sudden onset of apocalypse or even a nuclear holocaust, some blessed lazy souls never give a tiniest of a botheration during their half draped blanket and a humming AC, cradling them to an eternal sleep on a Saturday morning. On one such occasion of my serendipity in travelling to far off places with chicks around, I felt a sudden tap on my bums, yanking me into the naked reality from my dream, flipping me to my back, left me gaping at the ceiling fan which gave me back an irate stare. Only moms have special privileges on their kids to tap on such ‘awww’ places.
My mom in her mission to shoo away the sleep monster, had her presence in my room equipped with broomstick. Her innate ability to wake me up was commendable. It was 10.30 am when I felt it’s too early to bid adieu to my bed. We spend most of our ‘precious’ time in bed, sometimes in the couch and the in dining table. I felt such preciousness is less valued by moms and dads when they wake you up for getting Odonil or Urid Dal from the nearby departmental store on a Saturday morning.
This time it was a different scenario altogether. I disengaged myself from my bed, brushed my teeth, performed my morning ablutions sincerely, drank Boost flipping the pages of TOI (Yes, I read TOI and I can still tell you that Pranab Mukherjee is the recent president of India, Mary Kom won bronze in the ongoing Olympics for India and also discriminate between the amount of fairness ranging from lowest value of school uniform washed in Tide Detergent to the extremities of Anushka Sharma’s underarms, courtesy Nivea White, without reading The Hindu newspaper!)
I kick started my bike and my dad hopped into the pillion seat.
As I parked my bike in front of the old dilapidated building situated in the intricate corners of the road, with murky waters by its side, bearing the name board – Life Insurance Corporation of India, I recollected the number of times I had asked my dad to open an online account in the bank for the ease of all financial transactions. I still go blitzkrieg on the idea of standing in the long queue in a building with puddle walls and messy counters.
The large hall was uncomfortably pregnant with umpteen number of paper files all over the tables, old computers running Widows XP with CRT monitors, the noisy fans suspended from the high ceilings, bespectacled large bindi, nose-ringed women, men in their dullest of the formal shirts and pants with slippers, their forehead adorned with markings of all colors covering most of the wavelength of a light spectrum – connoting their religious inclination towards all gods, caged in each counters with stuttering printers and monitors, counting the currency notes – frequently salivating them for friction. My dad appended himself in one of the queues and I was asked to join another – age old technique to advance faster in the concurrent queues!
I sometimes wondered the advancement of IT in our country and its reach to common man. My own dad was a standing example of how few people are still not comfortable with the IT and other utilities. One online banking account and one debit card – could have solved this weekend agony. I was slowly advancing in the queue and my dad was still in the same position in the other one. I had never given company to my dad for such visits. He still does all the electricity bill payment, Insurance premium or sometimes money withdrawal by paying a visit to the offices/banks located in the oldest of the buildings in the city.
“Why don’t you just pay it online using net banking or Debit card payment?” This must be my all time declarative mood when in confrontation with my dad on such matters. “I don’t know how to use it”, should be my dad’s all time reply when in confrontation with me on such matters.
As I handed over the cheque along with the premium payment letter to the lady in counter, with the details of the premium such as the policy number, policy maturity date, amount assured and next date of premium payment etc etc and etc, she gave a quick look into the letter noting down the policy number and started updating my details in the computer having a policy management software which had the boring grey application interface developed in Visual Basic 6. I know they couldn’t afford to procure softwares developed by CMMI level 5 firms. Such is life in government offices.
LIC premium successfully paid.
As I entered my room after an hour drive, in the scorching sun of 1.00 pm, I released myself from the Tee and jeans, leaving me just in my jockey, in front of the mirror. What I witnessed in the mirror couldn’t match euphoric cosmic display of celestial bodies.
Half of my arms covering the elbows to the fist have taken a dark form compared to the other covered regions of my body. Exactly at the point where my Tee’s sleeve ends, I could find a clear demarcation line. The skin tone above the line heading to my shoulders and the torso were as clear as milk (!) – Fair and flawless. The region below the sleeve line including the elbows, leading to my wrists and fingers were dark and shadowy. It looked as if I had dipped both my hands into a drum full of black paint, just above my elbow and had pulled it back. The afternoons are just effing hot that it tans your skin so badly and now I have to keep my sleeves covered for a week or so to get back the uniform distribution of my skin tone in the arms (Yes, guys too worry about this at times!) I didn’t want to feel like a zebra when roaming around in any of tam-brahm functions topless!
I’ve decided to wear my full sleeved Tee whenever I go out in the day time.
With advancement in the technology, there should be a better way to convince parents to chuck off the age old methods of financial transaction by filling out challans to withdraw money and to deposit in cheque to transfer money to someone and maintaining a passbook for all those transactions. The ease of net banking and fund transfers should be imparted to them somehow. Though I strictly adhere to internet for almost everything – booking tickets – for bus or a movie, to transfer and receive money from friends or colleagues, I am somehow finding it a herculean task to cascade it to my parents as they are so insecure about the online frauds and malpractices. Thanks to the Dina Malar, Dina Thanthi, Mangayar Malar tamil dailies/monthlies which inflate such news and present them in a form of articles.
My mom warned me one day, ‘You are using Facebook right? Be careful in Facebook, it seems girls are conning guys by putting ‘beautiful photos’ and in the end killing them in a remote place. I read in this magazine. These days guys need to be careful’. I didn’t know whether to appreciate her affection towards me or to curse the non-awareness of her social networking usage. I remember my sister being warned for FB usage sometime back as putting a girls’ photo in the internet may invite more guys. I accept their concern but the way the information is falsely reported or incorrectly projected is definitely creating a false paradigm on things. One or two bad examples are subjugating the whole system in gutter. Exceptions cannot be examples.
Such cases have left a subterfuge in them about the internet way of doing things. I showcased my dad how it is easy to pay online and would take just 5 minutes for the whole process, by paying property tax online from the website’s net banking facility. My dad was also kind of elated, seeing the payment receipt which was generated in PDF and was available for quick download.
When will they learn and not disturb my weekend sleep!? 😉