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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where "Habena" is the keyword...

Ever since I landed in Kolkata, the most frequent word I hear is "Habena" - means not possible:)) Who says impossible is a word written in fools dictionary - it is here; adopted by the young and the old; the wise and the ignorant; the rich and the poor - alike. Now, this is not a Kolkata phenomenon alone, the whole nation rides by this doctrine. You go to a govt. office, the first response is "this will not work". If you are desperate and don't have enough time, then you go and offer bribe money and get things done. I feel the basis behind this "habena" business is "pay me under the table then I will make it happen". It is frustrating yet there is a silver lining to it. We can change it if all of us act together. Be persistent, ask for the rule book, ask for the complaint number, ask more questions and refuse bribe.

I will give a positive example here. When I shifted to my official accommodation, I asked for an extra light point in the room that I planned to make my office. The electrician as usual said "habena". I asked him why? He said coyly, because the light points are very far off and there is no scope. Then I showed him a point nearby and asked him to draw wires from there. The next explanation he gave me was since no one has it in this entire complex, you should also not have it. Then I said, why can't I be the first one to have it? Then he thought for a while and said he will do it and finally did it also :-D

Now, I am working on a project (Not my real work project, but a silly one), where I have to get my gas connection agency transferred to a newer location. The gas connection is in my husbands name. The earlier agency gave a transfer letter in his presence, with all the requisite documents. But the new agency will not accept the letter stating that "the person has to come personally". Now what is the rationale? Is it that you fear I get a connection which is in someone else's name? How is it possible? The person stays in this household as evident by the postal address proof. Person 'X' living in house 'A' can only transfer the gas to house A. So where is the scope of fraud here? If fraud is the only objective, then in this internet era, one can skype, get the digital signature and get it done...

I am in  the middle of this, amidst my grant deadlines, my paper deadlines, students projects, research  problems and host of other issues to get the gas connection transferred to my new location - where it rightfully belongs. In my todo list the next thing is to get to know the rule, call the main head office and find out if there are any exceptions and the last but not the least is to file an RTI to know if they have transferred any connection line in absence of the person concerned...

6 comments:

  1. s mam really here whatever we say they say no, i experienced alot here and have to come up with all challenges .... hope i wish u should get the gas connection soon....

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    1. Thanks Madhu, but you have crossed the Hobena boundary to Hobe in several ways, including finding accommodation and taking up tuition. SO proud of you.

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  2. Yeah Ma'am very rightly said and nicely written too. I am also experiencing the same problem with this golden word "HOBE NA". Lets stand together and try to change it to "HOBE".

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    1. Thanks Lubna! It needs every one working together to make the attitude change :)

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  3. v.true ma'am! I liked the light point incident a lot.. it actually happens; people hesitate doing things differently but somebody has to be the first one.

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    1. Yes Deeksha, the silver lining is always there if we dont give up - even though we have to go through bit of turmoil...

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