There are times (about four instances in a day) when I am stupid and then there are times when I am outright DUMB (about once in four years, pretty much like the leap year), and this weekend was one of the latter.
It began on a Friday morning, when I ‘accidentally’ chucked my office id card into a dustbin: a sure sign that my subconscious was rebelling against my current employment status. Anyway, the damage was limited except the minor embarrassment of me diving into the garbage can to recover the card. But this was only a precedent to the great tragedy that would befall me the very next day.
Little did I know that an innocuous Saturday lunch and street shopping in Colaba was going to cost me EVERYTHING. Literally. There we were, sitting in Jimmy Boys, enjoying the mouth-watering Parsi delicacies, where I saw the last of my precious black wallet, which defined who I was. It had everything that made Nefertiti, Nefertiti: cash, cards, PAN card, Driver’s License, my sole house key, not to mention the brand new sodexo booklet which I had received just the previous day.
Two hours later, after a frenzy of street shopping (alas, for a change I was just a quiet observer, while S&S went gaga over shoes, clothes and accessories), I discovered that my handbag felt unusually light. By then it was too late to figure out if I had dropped it (unlikely since I didn’t even buy anything and therefore had not taken it out at all) or it had got flicked. And I panicked like I have never panicked before. After another couple of hours of complete chaos and frenzied phone calls, it hit me hard: now I could very well be the homeless migrant with no id proof or address proof. S&S didn’t know what to do, so very smartly, they bought me bangles (which I love in the hindsight). If that wasn’t enough, I had to break into my own apartment.
The next day, the agony continued as I was harassed in the police station when we went to lodge an FIR. This being my second trip to the Powai Police Station in three months, I was visiting it more often than I would like to. As I struggled to keep my temper in check and answered the inane and irrelevant questions, JB1 was a picture of calmness and patience, as he managed to stop me from flying off the handle, while coaxing the signature out of the Inspector. After one and a half hours, we were out of there, me letting out steam ‘against the system’.
As of now I am struggling to restore sanity, only getting more caught up in the web of administrative hassles: to reissue the PAN (i.e. id proof) I need an address proof (i.e. my license) and to reissue the address proof (i.e. license), I need an id proof (i.e. PAN). Also, the Kolkata-Mumbai/no rent agreement/old-house-new-house complications only add to the mess. Thankfully, my passport is still intact, though permanently disfigured with MY.UGLIEST.SNAP. EVER. I am embarrassed to display it publicly, but right now, I don’t have an option.
But at least I have new bangles…