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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Pink Umbrella

We had two LPG gas connections and therefore 4 cylinders.The recent govt., order has made us lose one connection.

What's the Govt trying to make by releasing only  6 cylinders per house old  and that too for one connection ? What would be the condition of families like ours - a joint family? It keeps haunting me quite often and I am trying to convince my cook and keep warming things in microwave oven  and using the electric kettle for boiling water.I can't imagine the gas running out even before a month and  managing  with 6 cylinders throughout a year .

Do we have to go back to earlier days of munching salads and half cooked vegetables?
At least if the Govt rolls back to one a month would suffice.
Hoping against hope with the fingers crossed. 

I was procrastinating the surrender of my connection fearing my lack of management skill to manage the cooking with mere 2 cylinders. Everything has a limit, so the newspaper came in my way and I half heartedly went to surrender the two cylinders tomorrow being the last day .
My preparedness never made me come back citing an excuse of having forgotten something so far. But everywhere you have an exception!
Here I went- first the difficult task of moving the two empty cylinders thro' the lift and then outside my apartment, looking for an agreeable auto man to ferry me to the Gas agency which is a km away from home. I could see only one fellow and he wanted Rs. 50 and reluctantly he agreed for Rs. 30, he brought the auto inside the building and refused to help me to load the two cylinders inside the auto.
I explained to him that I thought  I needed his helping hands .He pushed them inside and here a sari clad woman trying to squeeze herself inside and keeping her one foot jutting out ! How strange!

Difficulties always find a way to cluster together  'to get her ' just I reached the 'T' junction, I could see the choc-o -block, then I remembered 'oh, today's Thursday' .The gas agency shares the road with the Infant Jesus Church, and Thursdays one can't venture out on  that road at all, the  Church pulls crowd from all over the place and all sects come to pray here. 

Wrong day and wrong decision.The autos normally are allowed on that route , but not on Thursdays, moreover with Christmas around the corner, may be the present Govt to  cash on the vote bank suddenly decided to lay the road? So the road had potholes and boulders, parked two wheelers ,vendors on hand carts, people scurrying thro' the gaps left out among all ..... 

It was a difficult task for me to even walk in that area , leave alone depositing  the cylinders. 

The auto fellow stopped in one corner and even requesting the traffic police  to allow the auto to pass thro' to the nearest area to the agency went futile. I had no option but to get down from the auto, and dump the two cylinders in a nearby place and pay that auto man. He refused to help me . I asked the labourers working there to watch the two cylinders till I fetch some help from the agency. 
The ordeal did not stop here, as I reached the office, I was directed to A,B,C and D and finally D obliged me to bring the cylinders from the road end, and he asked his fellow people and out of three one agreed,though they had a cycle , they could not take them out due to  the road  being under repair. Both brought the cylinders and I went inside to surrender them. I showed my gas book, the gentleman verified , he made me approach another employee to open my blocked account so that he can do the needful.He verified.

He had one look and expressed his concern that such a good ,old Tamil name  fading away. I told him it's not that people do not want to go for beautiful names, it's the process of getting the railway reservation done  in a minute, and by the time you keep typing your 'beautiful name,' your status would come to RAC and next is getting a passport with a long name sometimes makes the place or house name becoming you first name or surname, so it's better to go for short and sweet name whether it coveys meaning, beautiful or can be pronunced. 

After 10 minutes, he asked for the regulator, lo! I looked for it and it was not there in my handbag. Then I remembered I did not take it at all, I just kept it on the shelf. It did not even strike when I cross checked the gas book, the receipt given at the time of getting the connection, the xerox copy of my ID with residence proof, and an ID card to say that I am so and so... in spite of my photo affixed on the book.

What next? It's already 11:10 .Time is running out as between 12 pm and 2 pm is lunch time ,heavy rush and if I show slackness , I am doomed, who knows if tomorrow suddenly the Govt decides on a bandh... everything comes to a stand still. So I decided to walk back and get it, I opened my pink umbrella it was so hot and I came home drank  tender coconut water,  took the regulator, again went back not bothering the way Sun God trying to keep me in the hot seat for an extended time as if favouring me?, my only concern was the two cylinders should remain there in the place where I kept inside the office, the same gentleman should be there and I should finish the procedure at one go. I left  at 11:10 to collect the regulator and I was at the counter by 11:40.  I was second in the queue. I gave the regulator and he read out aloud the number written on the regulator and  checked from the receipt .
Only then it dawned on me that there is a  serial number for the regulator!I never knew, and when I asked him he said , if the numbers do not match they do not take back and neither van I surrender.

This is a warning to one and all who keep giving liberally their extra regulators to others and do not bother to check while taking back. 

Fortunately I got  my deposit money  back that too  after the cylinders were physically verified and  after foregoing Rs. 45/ as documentation charges- mind it no receipt for this !The time was exactly 12 pm . 

Having come I purchased some vegetables, books for my grand kids and walked back home. The thought of posting on my blog blossomed and the caption. 

Keep wondering why I captioned this ' The Pink Umbrella.'

 In spite of  all the problems I encountered, I did not get irritated, lose patience, did not sulk,  rather found a solution , an alternative  and not arguing with anyone, took it as a part of my life and it was my bad luck that I had no one to help me at home, a wrong day to choose and that too waking up after seeing in the paper about the deadline !
Do I have any alternative, when they insisted that the same person has to appear in person to come and  surrender and cancel the connection? Rather I better do it or else they won't release the refill for the other only connection.
All thro' this my Pink Umbrella made me remain cool and I could see everything in pink- a  cool , refreshing color and gave me a sense of achievement!

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