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Posts Tagged ‘Experience’

I was an atheist. When I reached the city of Bangalore with a job at a bank, earning hardly enough to sustain my own life, I badly needed a place to live. Nothing mattered, as long as it provides enough space for a man to sleep. Soon, I met a few more, from my bank, who share my own idea of a dwelling place.
There we are, a group of four ‘bachelors’ hunting for the cheapest place to live, in the heart of Bangalore. On the third day of the hunt, our search yielded results. There is a PG accommodation, near BTM, still cheap enough. It was a group of flats, a four-storeyed building, which is converted to PG accommodation centre. We went there, and were astonished to see that the rooms are all excellent and well maintained. We met the owner who told us more, which added to our astonishment.
• 3 times a day, you will get pure Kerala style food.
• Twice a week, you have the option for non-veg cuisine.
• Including food, the rent will be 2500 per person!
All of us were in a state of “Ohhhh… Myyyy… Gooood… God…. ” , when we came to know these. Where can we get a better option in Bangalore? We all agreed instantly.
We were introduced to the cook, who happened to be a pious orthodox christian gentleman from Kottayam. His name is Joseph, everybody calls him Joseppettan. He felt to us as a typical character, with numerous chains and cross on his neck, and always speaking about the greatness of almighty.
So, we shifted to the PG on the very next day. We got rooms in the second floor. The beds are double decker type, and I got the upper deck, as my friend chose to stay closer to earth. At almost midnight, there began noises coming from the third floor. Somebody was beating beds on the floor, sliding chairs, banging the windows… I woke up at midnight, cursing those who stays on the third floor, and could not sleep again that day.
The next day, we asked our owner who is staying on the third floor. He answered – “No One!”
“What? No one? Then who is making noises at night?” I asked
He laughed. “That noise is not from the upper floor, there is some piling taking place at somewhere near.”
I got convinced that there is something fishy about the whole happenings. I discussed with my friends, who happened to think the same way.
“I think I heard someone murmuring and groaning, too…” Said my friend.
“Definitely something illegal is taking place there. This PG must be a blind to all these…” Suggested another.
“We have to find out what’s really happening.” We decided.

The next day!
We got the key from the owner and got ready for finding out the reality. By evening about 6, the noises had started. I decided to go and take a look. So, I went to the third floor, opened the door, and peeped inside. There was no one! I entered the flat and had a look inside. The lights were turned off, and I tried to switch them ON, but they didn’t. Maybe the bulbs were damaged, I thought. I still saw no one and heard no noise.

I went back, to our room in the second floor. My friends greeted me with astonishment.
“You went to the 3rd floor? The noises, still they haven’t stopped… Listen…” Said my friend!
A creepy feeling filled my mind. I felt a chill going through my spine. I was there a minute before and still I saw no one, heard no sounds.
“What happened?” asked my friends. I told them what happened.
Though everyone was frightened, our egos didn’t allow us to believe in ghosts. At last, we decided- We all are going to spend the night in the third floor flat, together. Hence, after food, we all set out for the third floor. I tried to open the door. To my surprise, it didn’t open!
“Why? You took the wrong key?” Asked my friend.
“No! I opened this lock with the same key today evening.”
“Let me check the serial number on the lock and the key.” Said another friend, and he checked it with his flashlight.
“It is the same! Why is it not opening?” his voice was clearly frightened.
We retreated back to our beds. This time no one spoke anything. At last, one of my friends broke the ice and said.
“Da, I asked Joseppettan. He said he was an atheist when he first came here!”
I knew, I too, cannot remain as an atheist any more.

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“250 is fixed rate. We don’t allow bargains here…”

Guess who said this? Not any silly shopkeeper, but the officer in charge, of a Police Station!

What got me there? Here’s the story:

I lost my old BSNL SIM card, and I needed to take a duplicate. For any other service provider, it’s enough to submit your identity proof to a customer service centre. For BSNL, the ways are different. You have to report the missing SIM to the police station, and get a certificate from them, to prove it is reported!

“You need not lodge a complaint. you just have to report it.” It all seemed a piece of cake when the lady at the customer service centre told me.

Well, so I found myself at the nearest police station, still ‘perfumed’ by illicit spirit caught last day, to ‘just report’ my missing SIM. A short, pot-bellied man (Oh God! Who took him on the force?) with a large moustache welcomed me with a glance of suspicion. I told him my objective, which triggered a series of questions-

“How come only SIM got lost?”
“What happened to the cellphone in which it was used?”
“Is this the only SIM which is lost?”
“Whether this is the first time this SIM was lost?”
“When did you last saw the SIM?”
“Were you alone when it got lost?”

He seemed convinced that there is no way that a SIM can be lost, without a handset. After a lot of questions and answers, he sceptically accepted that there is a chance for that too. Then he called me closer and said in a low voice:

“250 will do. 200 for the SI to sign the certificate and 50 for me to write it.”

I was stunned. “Sir, A new SIM will cost only Rs 49.”

“Whatever”, he replied: “That’s how things are here. For any certificate, 250 is fixed rate. We don’t allow bargains here.”

I pretended to recieve a call on my mobile (Which doesnot have a SIM now!), and slowly walked out of the station; and escaped with my life.

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