Getting connected

Having recently bought a house, I’ve had to run all over Chennai trying to get things sorted so I can start living in my house. There were plumbers and electricians to hire, labour to find (I found out that workers hang around bus stations int he morning, it’s sort of like a ‘meeting point’. If an engineer needs people he either goes there to find them, or he has a worker guy go for him. Simple).

Since I am no engineer, and have no worker guys to do things for me, it makes life harder. I had to get a gas connection (have, actually – I never managed to get one!) and it was the definition of impossible. My grandmother sent over her papers so I could just transfer her connection from Bangalore to Chennai. Sounds easy, I thought stupidly. Once I got her papers, I went down to the gas office and asked them to transfer it over. Instead of just doing that, they ask for proof that my grandmother is actually my grandmother. What do they want? A DNA test? I’m later told they need her passport information, her proof of address, her ration card info, and a letter from her saying I am authroised to transfer her connection. Alright, so I leave, give her a ring, and a week later, go back with all her documents. Now they tell me I need her signature on some new forms. Well – excuuuuse me, but she is not in Chennai, how do you suppose she’s going to do that? Why else would I be here without her? Anyway, after 30 minutes of arguing, they decide that yes, she is a family member, and yes, her letter of authorisation does let me handle this stuff myself. Good. No….not yet…They walk off with my papers, and come back saying that they’ve made a mistake on the form, and now can’t process my request. To correct their mistake, I will have to go to the office in Bangalore and sort it out there. They add that if I had family in Bangalore, it would be great for me. I don’t.

After more arguing, they ask me to go to another office, where I have to deal with a really grumpy old hag. She asks me why my situation is so fishy, then calls up her friends in front of me and gossips about my “fishy” situation with them in Tamil. When I mention my grans health issues, she says it’s not her problem and says I need a doctor’s note for proof. Half an hour later, she decides that I’m hardly Indian, and that my grandmother story is a fake. She asks me to get my fake grandmother to go to Bangalore from Kerala to sign some forms, and then travel with those forms to Chennai, where she can transfer her own damn connection. Oh, and don’t forget the quick trip to Gujarat where her doctor can give her that note.

Yowzer! So now, I have no gas, since I

  1. Have no ration card and don’t know how to get one (I’m sure it’s just as complicated…)
  2. Have no Voter’s ID
  3. Have no Indian identity

I hope I manage to move into my own house some day…

3 thoughts on “Getting connected

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