For the second time in one month– regulation par extraodinaire has gotten the better of me. The first time was when I decided to bring my computer on a train back to the capital city. I was curtly informed that I would have to book it in the ‘Luggage Brake-Van’ of the train. The brake van now is the most ill-treated compartment of an Indian train.
I was given a prompt refusal when I asked for a guarantee that my computer would reach Delhi in one piece. Apparently, if I wished to travel with my computer it could only arrive broken. Finally I ended up paying a ‘pre-penalty’ worth 600/- rs to carry it in my coach. Legally sanctioned corruption?
Some weeks later I find myself unable to attend a vital conference in Nagpur because a government bank run ATM-machine decided to swallow my ATM card and a bank refused to cough up funds. The bank refused to give me a guarantee that my card would not be misused if I chose to leave it behind and tried to catch my train.
Without the slightest trace of remorse I was informed that I could either wait indefinitely for a mechanic to arrive and dismantle the machine or write a complaint to stop payment on the card which would be processed at ‘express’ speed all of TWO days later! I then spent three hours on the roadside to retrieve a now very bent and battered ATM card, missed my train and a golden opportunity, lost 50% of my money as cancellation charges on a train ticket and am now trying to get compensation.
The icing on the cake was ofcourse when I was told that I could NOT use a withdrawal slip to get money from my account- because it was an account based in another city! The lack of the cheque book ofcourse was a procedural delay on their part. Funny! I wonder with what pride they manage to label it the phenomenon of global banking…
Such is the tale of regulations in this country. Need I say more?