Can’t really accept that I’m 18, now! I got my learner’s license by last month and today I went to the Chengalpattu R.T.O office to get my test done. My morning started exactly by 6:40 a.m. and I had a good bath and then noodles, an easy and light breakfast. My father having noticed the 100 INR in my purse and gave me 50 more INR to spend. I started my journey with my T-Shirt on, quoting “Some people call it laziness, but I call it deep thinking”. I missed my first bus but didn’t miss the second. The bus was quite full and I had to stand. The bus conductor came late to me and so, I had enough time to plug my ear phones to my 5600 Xpress mobile and listen to the same old Mungaru Male and 50 cent’s songs. Later, I got my tickets to Thirukalkundram, a small town near by, where the driving school had one of its main branch offices. I got down there and took attestation in their office and started towards Chengalpattu. This time the bus was crowded, but I had no other option than traveling in it. I had a 10 INR, but the conductor wanted me to give exactly 4.50 INR. Finally he came to a compromise and gave me back only 5 INR in the end. I didn’t mind for that 0.50 INR cause, it could at least help him with a tea if he did the same with 4 more people like me. I got down by the railway gate and went straight down the road connecting the R.T.O office. 8:00 a.m. was not so early. I didn’t see any shop open by the road side. I was quite surprised and continued with my long walk. Going further I could see a lot of men standing and crowding like the housefly does! Never mind, that was the R.T.O office. The representatives of my driving school approached a dozen of their clients (includes me too…) and checked for the correct details in the learners’ license. After checking, they asked us to stand by the ‘second left’ where the test for two wheelers would ‘commence’, ooh! It was like a circus but people had wet faces as though they were attending some public exam. Even I was afraid too as I had not known to drive a geared two wheeler. I pretended to be cool headed but. Then there was one such man, a representative from another driving school. He gave practice to his clients with the Kinetic Honda which he had. Seeing people doing miserable job with that Kinetic Honda, even I asked my driving school representatives to give their vehicle for my practice. But they had their own reasons to deny it. Later then, it was like the Park Sheraton’s fashion show. The judge – R.T.O was in one end and we candidates in the side. The co-ordination and the time keeping were very perfect with that of the “name callers” and “senders”. We were asked to make a U turn in front of them without keeping legs on the road. Some made it perfect. But some others didn’t mind having their legs down for balance. There were some people too, who fell on the ground without even being able to balance the two-wheeler. After some time, loud came the noise calling, “Sanjeev Gopinath”. I took the kinetic Honda, raised the accelerator and made a big U turn to end up with a perfect drive. After then, I sat in the TATA Indica which they provided and made a perfect start. The R.T.O sitting near me asked me to stop. That ended my tests. Now I’m a tested citizen of India to drive on any roads across our country with any two-wheeler or four-wheeler. But this didn’t end the game. I was asked to wait behind the R.T.O office in order to check my details and give them a “cheese-smile” for my license. I came to the spot and to my negative surprise; I saw the whole of Indian population waiting there. There were different sets of people, rich-poor, literate-illiterate, male-female, young-old, bathed-not bathed, etc. The license officers took around 3 hrs to call me. Meanwhile I had no place to sit. So I was wandering over there and somehow had a time pass with my counterparts. To the heat waves of the sun thrashing me, even my cell had got switched off. I discussed politics, corruption and things of that sort with some minds there. There was a big well just outside the office where there were lots of fishes. I even watched them to pass away my time and can’t say, there were many photos and gum bottles in the well. I thought, oh! God, hopefully Sanjeev is only the best citizen; he doesn’t do such things. I was called by around 1:10 and I completed my processing there. I was asked to sign using a pen connected to an input device which directly displayed the handwritings on screen. I thought, oh! One day I could program for the updated device drivers for this hardware! Huh, readers! Where will my mind go? After all, I’m a computer Engineering student.
I started to home and reached by 3:00 p.m. My day, though very tiresome was exposure giving. I could understand the underground works going on in many of the state government offices. I came across different sets of people and I could understand the population explosion of India. Being in a township, I never had any difficulties of standing in a queue, hearing words of the frustrated under-treating officers. Around me I had only seen a developed India, but today I had an eye opener. Hence, it was a very different day.