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E-Pao! Education - My Unfortunate Experiences at Home

My Unfortunate Experiences at Home

By: Salam Nabakumar Meetei *


A friend of mine, an IITian , used to tell me to ride his pulsar whenever we go out together as he does not have a driving license. Even then also he was hesitating to take one, thinking of the headache which he has to take up. It seems it takes almost a month to get it.

In Manipur, my friends told me there's even no need for the person to be present while applying. Hundred fifty bucks or so does the job, or a little more if you are a stranger to the office, that also in two or three days. The license is not only for two wheelers alone, you can also drive a four wheeler also without any tension.

With great difficulty and lots of effort, I finally managed to get a few days break for my trip home. Even though it was quite a brief period, the stay was like in the seventh heaven. The menu for the entire stay was prepared. Eating, freaking and sleeping was my daily routine.

I asked my father how many houses pay water bill in my locality. He said, four families pay water bill though at least there are 21 holes already bored in the main pipeline in my locality alone. Ironically water does not reach my house and we are among those four.

Now comes the power menace. A young lady comes to a Xerox shop and said I need these documents get Xeroxed. The shopkeeper replied as power is not there we charge 3 Rs. per page. She agreed to that because there was no other way. He started the generator from outside his shop, quickly get it Xeroxed and turned off the generator immediately.

That was not his fault too. He has to recover his expenses for the kerosene and petrol to run the generator. I bet the monthly electric bill will never cross the minimum amount even if you use all your appliances at the maximum.

Don't worry about the electric heater, you may use it as you want as electric heater is not connected through your watt meter hour. I would pray that there are no candle light operation theatres in Manipur.

Many cellular players are flocking in Manipur nowadays to grab the new market. Its good news but beware, before taking your SIM card, just make sure whether that service has local incoming call facility. This is a very common problem there.

But this is for sure that none of the services in Manipur allows STD calls in the evening . You will either get "network busy" or "error in network". One very popular mobile service has its automated voice in three languages, English, Hindi and the other one I don't know, but seems like Burmese!

Our landline telephone was out of order for almost 2 months. The automated voice says "Your connection is temporary out of service. Please contact the accounts officer".

Counter No. 6 is a very popular term in Manipuri telephony. This counter in the main telephone office registers any telephone complains. You go to the accounts officer and before you complete telling your grievance, they will redirect you to counter No. 6. You may register your complain there but this is not the end.

There are two ways to solve your problem .The more decent and simpler way is to grease their hands. The other way is that you should have bouncers in your family, of course for the line-man.

It is learnt that families with fathers and brothers with angry young man style never have their connection out of order. I feel pity for those people working as line-man as government do not give them their salary in time and they have to support their family with the goose money that they get from their cut-earn-join business (I mean the telephone wires).

This is what our sanaleipak Manipur is.

We ourselves are solely responsible for it. We keep pointing fingers to one another but nobody has the courage to come forward and demand justice and even if he has , he will be the odd man out. People in other places can sit for dharna, stage protest and avoid eating potatoes just for illegally raising the potato price by 25 paise.

But we people don't have that gut. It is often said that the Manipuri people are one of the highly talented people in the entire north east. But if the talents are used in the wrong way then it will only lead to self destruction and lawlessness and this is what is happening now.

Its high time we all should come forward and make our land a civilized state and make it highly immune to lawlessness.


Salam Nabakumar Meetei contributes for the first time to e-pao.net
This article was webcasted on May 23rd, 2006

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