Today went to the RTO office at BDA koramangala for getting a Learning License. Having heard tales of irritated govt officers, I was skeptical to get things done right by myself. Luckily for my roomie M and me, the staff from our driving school accompanied us to the RTO office. The scene was that of a typical govt office, all dirty chairs, stained walls etc.
We sat there for few minutes, until we were called in by the ARTO( Assistant RTO ? ) for document verification. The guy( an old bald one) was reading some mantra book and looked up after few minutes and turned pages of my application. Looking at my photo stuck on my application,
he asked me " why do you look different " ?
I : Sir, it was taken some time back ( actually years, me thinks )
He: But still, why do you look different ?
I : I think I lost some weight !
He: How many kilos ?
I : ( gives a puzzled look, wondering what it has to do with my Learning license), hmm, err, I think 10 kgs.
( I don't know what he meant by that sound )
Next, looking at my company address proof
He: So what is this *** ( my company name )
I : Its a telecom company
He: I am asking you, what is **** Pvt Ltd.
I : ( gives a lost look ) what sir ?
He: what is the difference between Pvt Ltd and Ltd ?
I remain silent
Well, his treatment to my roomie was almost similar, except he appended one more question to her .. " so when are all Pvt ltds going to be merged with the Govt"
So after the document verification and shelling out 200*2 rupees for some unwanted document clearance( in short bribe), the Driving school staff asked us to wait outside near a traffic-sign display board on the corridor in the second floor. There were 2-3 guys getting revision coaching classes from their instructors for various traffic signs. M and I stood there benefiting knowledge from their revisions. They also taught them hand signs -> right turn, left turn, slow, and stop. Out car driving school staff returned and explained to us 5 traffic signs and the same hand signs -> right turn, left turn, slow, and stop in the same order..
We were again made to sit and wait for our respective turns. When our names were called, I was shocked bcos 5 of us were called in together at the same time. M, myself and 3 other kids. We were made to stand like criminals front of the RTO. After confirming our names, he said, " okay start" Right turn, Left turn, Stop, slow. I was lost in my thoughts and after hearing the same sequence many times since morning, I stopped listening to his commands and did the signs mechanically until I noticed that after "left turn" it was "stop" and not "Slow" unlike the revision class commands. Heh, I realized that only when the 4 of them were showing the sign for "stop" and I was standing there swinging my hand for "slow" .. Well, he did call out the command for "slow" later, I synchronized my actions with the rest then.
Well, all our applications got approved and we were asked to go. I started walking out imagining the scene again and ready to burst out laughing with M. The guy saw me smiling and called me back in for a lecture. He advised me on how important it was to know hand signs etc etc. and to take driving seriously. Heh, I wanted to tell him " I take driving seriously, but its the thought about your funny folks, that makes me laugh". Well, fearing the status of my application, I nod my head and walk out silently, only to later join M and have a ROFL session together.
Wonder whats in store for the driving license test day