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one hour at RTO, Koramangala 
23rd-Feb-2006 01:07 pm
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.
He: Shchee.
( 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
23rd-Feb-2006 02:40 am (UTC)
RTO dept should be Privitised...
23rd-Feb-2006 03:31 am (UTC)
yes to that. These govt fellas think they own the world and all that live in there !
23rd-Feb-2006 10:26 am (UTC)
Hear Hear. The DMV in the US doesn't have the bribes part but the rest of it is just as bad and privatisation would be a welcome change.
23rd-Feb-2006 10:25 am (UTC)
This post brought back memories from long back where I got a driver's license by just starting the car!! It was the same deal - 10 girls from one driving school. I started the car, the next girl backed it out of the parking spot, the third one drove straight for a few feet etc. and at the end of it we all got our licenses minus the bribes of course!
23rd-Feb-2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
was it in chennai ? I would love to go and get my license from that place. Actually, I still have to get 100% confident with the clutch thing !

I think the driving school staff is responsible for the bribe. will check out with him again.

23rd-Feb-2006 09:03 pm (UTC) - Hey...
I keep driving around in koramangala..... i will watchout for u, better take pre-caution while u hit the road ;). just curious.... Are you single again.. we can grab a coffee some time.... Its quite lonely out here in bangalore...

(Just another blog hopper)

23rd-Feb-2006 09:22 pm (UTC) - Re: Hey...
>> I keep driving around in koramangala..... i will watchout for u, better take pre-caution while u hit the road
Heh, well its you who need to be careful, when I am on the wheels, bcos I have still not mastered the art of applying brakes at the right time ;))

>> we can grab a coffee some time.... Its quite lonely out here in bangalore...

my status is not resolved yet, lot of family matters involved in an arranged marriage. for a coffee, I guess the status should not be a prb, but it takes time for me to transform an online friend to a real friend.

>> (Just another blog hopper)
would be pleased to read your blogs to know about u. pls leave a url
23rd-Feb-2006 08:59 pm (UTC) - Accident or carelessness ?
But remember your last post when u drive OKKKK
23rd-Feb-2006 09:25 pm (UTC) - Re: Accident or carelessness ?
I do, I am driving slow and still have fears remembering about the blood scene that day :((
24th-Feb-2006 05:13 am (UTC)
did u see my brother by any chance? :P he went to the same RTO at around the same time yesterday.. he's the guy with a french beard and around 5'10.. ya he looks quite like a kid
26th-Feb-2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Ask your bro if he noticed a fat lady doing the hand signals all wrong plus giggling about it all time.. Well, thats me..

Btw, I don't remember I noticed anybody with a french beard.:((
27th-Feb-2006 11:47 am (UTC) - Hand signals
Have to do hand signals when you go for license, shoot it. What u did wrong u were signaling all the cars to pass by.
4th-Mar-2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
Cool... So all set to drive on the roads of b'lore.
29th-Sep-2008 06:43 am (UTC) - L
dats gr8
24th-Mar-2009 06:54 am (UTC)
Govt officials should be removed and all should be privatised and also govt should put enough fund to modernazation of RTOs.
3rd-Mar-2010 09:11 am (UTC)
LOL i got my drivers license in Bangalore - without even knowing how to start a car..and even after tha i never drove a car ... never ever.. but in NY i had to take the driving test three times before i passed....
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