Friday, April 2, 2010

Atithi... Tum Devo Bhava!

There are some things in life that happen unexpectedly and you feel lucky enough that you could witness them. I was witness to one such thing.

My parents are planning to go one a religious tour in the month of May. So I was told to go to the reservation counter to get tickets for them. I was at first put off by the whole ordeal but studying in a college in Pune, I'd got very well used to the concept of standing in lines for ages. In college we used to stand in lines for everything... Getting the form, Submitting the form, attesting documents, paying fees, getting the library card, getting the ID card, getting the Report card etc etc...

So I'd prepared myself for the long wait. Surprisingly, when I reached the place, there was not a soul in sight. I was wondering whether I had come to the right place when the guy from beyond the counter called out to me. He asked me whether I'd come for a reservation to which I said Yes and went towards him. Frankly speaking I was not expecting such kind of hospitality from a govt. employee coz we rarely see some of his kind these days. 

I once went to a bank where they had a strange way of giving direction by pointing noses towards the counter. If you asked for a certain person they'd just turn their head toward a certain direction and tell me to go over there. I'd have understood that their hands were tied up with work I could see but one of their hand was busy holding a cup of tea. Why can't you tell me the friggin counter number? Reminds me of those Pointer dogs that I saw in cartoons... (The ones that go TOINGGGG!)

So back to the reservation counter... This fellow asks me in detail where I want to go and further goes on to tell me the fares and answers all my stupid questions with utmost patience. Now its really freaking me out. C mon man... I'm not used to this stuff. He is supposed to make random noises, spit some paan, take breaks and do all the stuff that people of his type love to do. I continued eying him suspiciously...

Just then this Firangi guy (am I being a racist here?) comes for some inquiry. He wanted to know the times of the train to a nearby hill station. To my utter bewilderment the railway karmachari starts referring to books and schedules and gives the correct info to the Atithi! I'm staring with disbelief, unable to breathe, blink or do anything else. Further the firangi asks for change and hands over a 1000 Rs. note. Railway babu gives him all possible denominations and even asks me if I have 2 fifties. Now I'm almost choking wondering whats wrong with him. Reminds me of the Good Day advert about the railway station. I check around his table but there are no Good Day packets around. Its early in the morning and this guy has given up all his change. The firangi thanks him and does the 'namaskar' thing that they like to do to 'get in'.

Now I'm staring at the railway guy with a wicked look. Coz now if I (son of the soil) don't get change with my tickets, all hell is gonna break lose! But it was not to happen... He digs deep into his pocket and comes up with the change. I thank him with a sweet smile and wonder if I should tell him that I'm gonna write about him...

Concluding the post by repeating the first line...

"There are some things in life that happen unexpectedly and you feel lucky enough that you could witness them"

Kya yeh Mamata ki Mamata hai?

20 comments:

Manjari Singh said...

Meee first !!


Chalo, It least they are respecting firangies...

Mahesh Kalaal said...

hope its not among those apr1 combos.....
and seems like India is on tracks for some times atleast....

Nethra said...

U guys have problem with everything...when they are not doing their duty, you complain and when they do, you complain. What they are suppose to do to make u stop complaining?
I have witnessed many such incidents. I guess I'm pretty lucky according to you, right? :)

Megha said...

wah...wah...tu tyache pay nahi dharles ?

chalo good to see that 'good' gov employee character is not a fictitious

Saurabh Panshikar said...

@Manjari
You are always one of the first to comment! Thanks a lot...

@Mahesh
Thanks man

@Nethra
You are very lucky! And you should chill... Shaant ho ja...

Saurabh Panshikar said...

@Megha
to counter cha palikade hota so...
Ani me pan ata Govt. employee honar ahe :P

Anonymous said...

Haha interesting post!
Chalo atleast if I do come to India I can "hope" to meet some "kind" people like him who are helpful in some ways or another lol...(Not saying I'm a firangi or anything but just thought of giving my two cents... a NRI point of view) ;)

Keep up with the good blogz!
Jai Mata di! (oh n yea "NAMASKAR")..

ps: I can picture that firangi doing Namaskar "to get in" LOL!!! =p

.::Shnaz::..

Magali said...

Wow, you are soooo lucky to have met a guy like him. Why do I always encounter the stereotypical railway personnel?

uchiha teee said...

are you sure you werent dreaming ?

megzone said...

/TOINGGGG!)/
kkiieekkiieekkiieee :D [zyada mat soch thats my girly giggle :P ]

that was the first word that caught me :D
sahiiee ekdum mast postu likha hai :)

its really nice to know that we are treating them well :)
and yes my experience with Govt employees has been pretty much the same.. they make u wait n wait n wait..
grrr... stupid dodos..
bahut footage lete hai... hmmppff...

Chatterbox said...

It must have been your lucky day to not have to wait in a queue and everything went smooth like knife through butter :D :D

You never know, the employee might get to read your post someday ;)

Cheers!!

Sorcerer said...

haha..nice post
thats what happens when you wake up at the right side of the bed

Karan Shah said...

dats really nice...
@manjari: he was even nice to Saurabh (Son of Soil)...so its changing..

Siddhesh 'Ravan' Kabe said...

acha hai....hacha hai...sometimes...in life you do get shockers....:P

Roshmi Sinha said...

Govt employee and such an epitome of politeness... unimaginable!

Saurabh Panshikar said...

@Shnaz
When you live away from Indyeah for that long, you tend to be deemed a firangi by us desis! Thanks for dropping in

@Magali
Maybe good luck will be showered unto you soon...

@UT
No I was not... Or was I?

@meggie
Thank you for commenting on my blog! My blog is honoured!
Chal ab natak mat kar... Comment on the other posts

@CB
I really hope he reads it... and beams with pride...

@Sorcerer
I slept on the couch unfortunately!

@Karan
Dude it OUR railway station!

@Ravan
Feels great to have such shockers in life... Thanks for the comment

@Roshmi
Even I din believe at first! :-)

Disha Shah said...

Your experience sounds too good to be true.. But I m glad you experience it.
I would Love to experience this too ")

Saurabh Panshikar said...

@disha
thanks for the comment, and chal now comment on the rest of the blog too

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Well we can't generalize ... I too have got many a pleasant shocks dealing with people in government agencies... right from banks to railway station to election commission. That goes to remind us ... there are still hope for a better future :) and yes, miracle does happen only that we need to be at the right time at right place and meet the right person ;)

Saurabh Panshikar said...

@LR
Well this was a first for me... So had to write about it...

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