Friday, July 17, 2009
Two of my other friends had bike and we were five. We were already getting late and decided to hire a taxi. We left the other two bikes there and went to the reception. Reception was colorful and food was delicious. We could meet many of our college friends and got a chance to crack the old jokes again. On the way back we hired another taxi and it cost us around 500 bucks both ways. I was still thinking about my super bike which, i think, was having tough time in police station. It was already 10.30PM and i decided to get my bike next day. I went home and slept peacefully.
The next day, around 11AM, I went to ATM and withdrew some money and reached the police station. I could find my bike in police station. The rain in the night had washed my bike. Cleaned up bike put a smile on my face! I spoke to a police constable there and told him that I will pay the fine and asked him to release my bike. He asked me 300 bucks but told me that I have to collect the receipt in the evening. I was bit hesitant to do that. Because one of my friend was asked the same but never got a receipt. I learnt that only Sub inspector can issue the receipts. He gave me another option to give 200 bucks and take my bike. I said I need the receipt. He pretended that he was just trying to help me. He then searched his cupboard for receipt book. I knew that it wasn't the original receipt book. One of my uncle who is a journalist had caught a police officer issuing fake receipts and collecting money.
I told him that, "Sir, I thought the receipt will have three copies."
"What?, do you think i am cheating?".
"No sir, I just remember seeing those carbon copies when i had paid fine last time."
"Okay, I think you don't want us to help you. You can wait till 12PM, our Sub-Inspector will come and handle your case."
"Okay sir", I said.
Sitting in the police station and listening to their conversation was not really exciting. I saw another officer giving money to couple of constables there. You don't need to be a spy to know that it was a bribed money which they were sharing.
Sub inspector finally came and I politely said, "Namaste sir".
"haan, whats wrong with you?"
"Nothing sir, i just came to get my bike that you had brought here yesterday."
"Ok, you need to pay Rs.300 fine"
"Sure sir, will do."
He too was opening a receipt book which had no carbon copies, I told the same thing, "Sir, I thought the receipt will have three copies."
He just repeated what other officer had said, "Do you think i am trying to cheat you and police department?"
I (again) said, "No sir, I just remember seeing those carbon copies when i had paid fine last time."
He finally opened another receipt book (which was original I guess) and gave me the receipt for 300 bucks (100 for towing, 200 as a 'No Parking' fine).
When i was about to put my wallet back in the pocket, i did notice something and opened it again. I was shocked to realize that i left my debit card in the ATM! Blame it on Corporation bank ATM which takes the card inside until the transaction is over and also it was my 'ignorance' (for the first time, for this kind).
I rushed to the Corporation Bank branch and met the manager, he told me that the card will be taken back by the machine if i don't collect it in time and it will be sent to my bank by the ATM officials. I went home with lot of disappointment. I called up ICICI customer care to block my account and they told me that, since it was lost in non-ICICI bank, the card will be destroyed by that bank. I had to place a request for new card and wait for 10 days. Though there was an option of getting a duplicate card within a day, that 'instant card' wouldn't have my name on it. I thought, it's nice to have my name on the new card!
It was a salary day and I didn't have my ATM card. I had to borrow some money from a friend. Only later did i realize that i should have asked him some more money so that i could send some to my father. I decided to go to bank branch and withdraw money using my cheque book. The next day (1st July), i paid my broadband bill on the way to bank. I decided to pay my credit card bill there since my account was blocked. After withdrawing the money, i paid my credit card bill 'in cash'. Later in that day, i went to SBI and deposited some money in my father's account.
For the next two days, I didn't get any SMS on my mobile for paying credit card bill, so i decided to call up customer care and check with them. They told me that that transaction has never happened! I said, "I can show you the receipt". They asked me to check with the branch. I was not willing to go all the way to that branch and asked for the phone number. The customer care guy said that they don't have a policy of giving branch phone number to any one! "what the heck?", I thought. Coincidentally, I had not taken my bike to office that day. Since that office location is too far, i traveled by bus. That particular branch was 20+ Km away from my office. I took one of my friend's bike and reached the bank. The same guy who collected my money was there at the counter. I told him what happened and he asked to me to wait for some time so that he can search for my Pay in slip. He found that he had wrongly entered my credit card number (he had messed up with one digit) while making the transaction! I kept my cool, and asked him about how I can get back my money. He asked me not to worry and said he will ensure that, money reached my credit card account in 24 hours. I had my lunch on the way to office and was too tired to focus on work. Some how managed to finish off the remaining work and went home.
After couple of days (8th July), I called up customer care and asked the status of my debit card. The lady with a melodious voice told me that the card was sent to my office address and said i wasn't there at my location when the guy had come to handover my card! I was neither called on my extension nor on my mobile. I thought something is wrong with ICICI guys. I then placed a request for sending the card to nearest ICICI branch so that i can collect it from there. She said it will take minimum three days. "Okay", I said. After a day (9th july) I got an SMS saying that i can collect the card after three days and within three months. Sigh!
Exactly after three days (13th July) I went to the branch i had specified in my request and asked if i can collect my ATM card. "Your card has not yet reached our branch, sir", the good looking lady told me. It was really frustrating to go back home without my card.
After two days (on 15th July), I decided to go to that branch and collect my ATM card. It was cloudy and quite gloomy mansoon whether with some drizzle. Road to that branch was already wet. I was riding at around 40-45Kmph speed. There was a fast moving 'Pulsor' dude, who suddenly took a left turn from extreme right and the poor auto guy had to hit his bike. The auto fell sidewards and i had to apply both the breaks to avoid further damage. My bike was already skidding and went out of control. My knee and forearm kissed the newly constructed road and I managed to escape unhurt without any serious injuries. The lady sitting inside the auto was really struggling to get out of the mess. I ran towards auto and helped the driver and the lady get out of the fallen auto. Luckily no serious injuries had happened to them. The Pulsor dude was already eating unpleasant words from everyone gathered there. I had a sigh of relief for the unhurt escape and decided to move on from that place and reached the bank. I noticed that little bit of blood had come out of my knee and forearm, it wasn't paining much and I thought it should be okay after the first aid.
I waited for my turn to collect the ATM card. The same good looking lady confirmed that my card has reached the branch. I had to show my ID proof to collect the card. I did. Just before leaving, i asked the lady, "Ma'am when did this card reach your branch?". She looked into a register book and told me that it reached on 13th July (the day I last visited the branch). "Sir, I think we received on the same day you visited our branch, may be some time in the evening." It was really frustrating to know that; especially when i remembered that accident.
After collecting my card, I went to the nearest hospital to get the first aid. They sent me to accident and emergency department. I was asked to lie down on a bed there and a nurse brought some instruments. She was about to check my BP and I told her, "ma'am, I am perfectly alright, i just need first aid and possibly the TT injection."
"No sir, we have to ensure you don't have any internal damage", she said.
I asked, "How much are you going to charge for all these stuff?"
"We need to create a new case file and do preliminary checking, that would cost you around Rs. 400-500, sir"
Without wasting much time there, I said, "Thank you ma'am, I'll just get a first aid kit in medical store and treat myself."
She understood. A lady doctor came and told me, "Son, get a TT injuction from pharmacy. You must have that. I will cover your wounds with bandage."
"Okay ma'am, thats great!", I said.
I went to pharmacy department there and got what she had written on the piece of paper. That cost me eighteen bucks. She was generous to administer that injuction. She even gave the first aid to my wounds. I came out of the hospital and ate my lunch at the canteen there.
I was still contemplating on the whole mess after the "No Parking" episode. If I had parked my bike at the right place, i wouldn't have gone to police station. If i was not required to go to police station, i wouldn't have lost my ATM card. If i had not lost my ATM card I wouldn't have borrowed money from my friend, i wouldn't have had a mess with credit card bill payment, I wouldn't have lost the money for auto charges to reach police station, for police fine, for new debut card issuing fine, there was also 100 bucks fine for paying your credit card bill by cash! etc... etc... If I had got my ATM card on my first visit, i wouldn't have met with an accident!
"Ignorance is never bliss", I knew. Yet, it was my ignorance. Ignorance, of not parking my bike at the right place, of not collecting my card from the ATM machine, that made me walk in the hell. When all these thoughts were really making me get frustrated, one of my friend called me on my mobile (after a long time actually) and asked, "Dude, how you doing!?". "Still breathing", I said.