Get your father along, he just needs to sign some forms – they said at the bank. So I drove my father along, letting my mom deal with things at home. There was the matter of a couple of DDs landing at home by courier so someone had to be there. Be back in just over an hour. We turned up at the bank and were promptly accosted with a bunch of forms where he marked out places to sign. So we went – sign, sign, sign.
Take these 2 forms and go to the registrar office and get them stamped – one for Rs. 200 and the other for Rs. 2400, he said. Wait, whatever became of just sign and go home? Apparently not. So I ran along to the Jayanagar Registrar office, some 5 minutes walk from the bank. I went in to the ground floor office and they did the 200 one in a minute. I offered the 2400 in cash and was refused. Get a DD in the name of Sub Registrar Jayanagar and bring it to the first floor they said. Now this was new. I could as well have started with it if the guy in the Bank had told me in advance. I ran again to the nearest bank – Vijaya Bank. I filled in a form and was told that there is no DD today. Try the bank next door – Karur Vysya Bank it said and the standard language in there seemed to be Telugu.
They had two sets of tokens – one for Senior Citizens and one for normal folks. I helped one elderly person negotiate the touch-screen menu and get his token. He seemed to be trying to swipe at every button while they needed to be pressed. I shelved all thoughts of unfriendly, un-standardized UIs and helped him. Then I took mine which said 92 and waited. Now, there is something called preemptive priority scheduling and one of its pitfalls is called starvation where a lower priority task can never get the resource it is waiting for. Yes, their implementation of a Senior Citizen priority meant that any Senior Citizen would pretty much walk to the front while the normal queue languished at some 78 while mine was 92. I tore up the form I had filled and the token and went out to try my luck at a bank with a fairer scheduling. No truck with bad scheduling algorithms for me, thank you!
Then I ran to, yes literally ran to, BOI which is Bank Of India. I signed one form which someone behind a counter nodded as being the DD form and handed it over to the teller. Green form, she said. Am colour blind, I countered. You cannot keep colour-coding forms so badly, I complained. She screamed at an office boy asking him to get me a Green form. The form came and didn’t look any greener than the one I had filled. But the DD was obtained in 10 minutes and I ran back to the registrar office.
Do you have 50, she asked there. I gave her the change in cash and the stamping was done without a receipt for the 50. I ran back to the Bank and he took the forms. Tomorrow morning, come over and I’ll finish the processing and hand over the DD, he said. You can get the other DDs done here, he says, What is ‘Can’ I ask. He doesn’t answer.
I came home to notice that the courier with the other DDs hadn’t arrived. I waited and waited and at 4 called up the bank who gave me the tracking number and then the courier guys who said that it is out for delivery. 5 PM came and went. 6 PM came and went. It got dark and there was no power and hence no street-lights. Anxious, I called back again at 7:30 PM and was told that the guy had come to the premises, not found anyone and returned. I let loose a volley but realized that the connection had dropped. Call again, wait 5 minutes in the queue and then repeat. Realized that screaming and letting loose completely is strangely relaxing. This time, after stressing that the DDs were absolutely important and offering to collect from their office, was given an address. 15 mins way. I land up there and collect the DDs.
End of the day. Or not. Call from the seller. Can you transfer the amount instead of a cheque? It takes 24 hours before I can transfer more than 30K I tell him. I offer to give him a DD, change in plans. I call up Citibank and find that a DD can be done there.
Morning comes. I leave early. IIWC library to return the book. Then on to Citibank. 30 minutes for the DD to be done including the form filling time. I rush to the other Bank for the other DD. They see my face, start the processing and give me the DD number and let me take a photocopy of the DD. This is not what you promised. Yes, but get the sale deed and we’ll give you the DD they say. A change in tune every day. Such it goes.
I land up at the registrar office. The deed getting done, corrections I had asked for done. The sellers arrive. We move up to the floor of action. Some small-talk. Realize that if you are single, your personal life can be a point of discussion with mere acquaintances. But then maybe marital status has nothing to do with it, just the Indian way?
Deed turns up. Sign here. Sign here. Then a seat, photos and fingerprint. Wait downstairs. The DD handed over, the other one promised. The sellers not happy. The deed comes down. Photocopies done. We head to the bank. The DD released, the deed given to be locked in during the loan time. Keys handed over. Handshakes and all the bests exchanged. Instructions given for EMI to the bank.
I pack everything in and ride on. A can of KF, chilled. The designated parking spot. I go up, enter the apartment. My apartment. Sounds all weird. The balcony and the view of coconut trees that I fell for. The can of beer. The house-warming.
The next day. Still not sunk in. I have a place that I own. Oh well…
Grown-up years, eh?