Most of us hate going to a government office of any kind in India. The snails pace at which the employees discharge their duties, the importance they give to chatting amongst each other rather than attending to people, the lack of concern towards our time or energy and so on. And the thorough mismanagement of affairs. No one knows what the rules are, most don't know who is in charge of what and the one you go in search for is on a week's leave!
I came across such a thing when I was travelling home two weeks back at the Chennai Central. Having been suffering from severe backache further aggravated by my use of the prosthesis, I had decided to engage the services of the golf-cart like carriage within the station meant for the physically challenged to get to my coach rather than walk as I was advised rest. I went to the enquiry counter and I was asked to wait. I asked them if they had a phone number by which I could request for this service once I alighted at the station to which they answered in the negative. After having to stand with my luggage for over 15 minutes, I asked them by when the carriage would reach. They nonchalantly went on to reply that they had only two such carriages and one cannot be sure of their whereabouts. I waited vainly for a few minutes and I approached the senior person and told him that I was quite unwell and that if I had to walk I would have to leave right then in order to reach my coach in time. He waved his hands and said, 'Well, that is a risk you will have to take.'
I picked up my bags and started walking. My bogey was at the far end and by the time I had walked past the first five, I had been sweating profusely and was in excruciating pain. Just then a young gentleman asked me if I needed help carrying the bags. (Not a porter had been in sight either.) Not being left with much of a choice, I handed over my bags to him. He told me that he travelling by the same train and in the compartment we were standing beside. He didn't ask me much after that; only inquired if I was in a position to walk till my coach. I told him the earlier issue and that I was wondering how I'd manage walking all the way. When we reached my coach I asked him his name to which he replied, 'It doesn't matter.' Then he came up to my berth, placed my luggage beneath it and asked if I was fine then. This time he gave his name. So thank you, Shaiju/ Shyju for helping me that day and for the reassurance that despite a bad government or bad public services, good human beings are always around. God Bless.