Thursday, November 26, 2009

Taking Stock

Last weekend, I was supposed to be in Chennai but ended up canceling the trip. Was not really feeling too great to travel for the weekend. Given that i had been out of Bangalore for 6 out of the last 8 weekends (dragging throat infection along spreading across the state borders). Hmm, not that i got rid of the throat infection over the last weekend :). The doc visit didn't seem to help (even though it was ages back). Got a free flu shot from the company. Hopefully that will prevent complications in the current Flu season.
Weekends in Bangalore remind of the innumerable pending chores. Property tax was one of them and it was supposed to be paid by July this year. "Better late than never" being my motto for life, i decided to drive (ride!!) to the BBMP setup near my house. The moment i entered in one fellow was interested to fill up the Tax form for me (Damn, i always end up with the Kannada form). Lucky me, the officer who sells the forms had gone for pre-lunch meal and i had to wait for half an hour. In the meantime, i kept disturbing the other officers(/agents??) sitting there to find out if i could get the form and get going. It took me 4 months to visit this office which is 3 KM from my home and now, it looked like further delay was inevitable. Phew, somebody rightfully said "You don't get it until you sweat it out". Yeah right. Just when I was fooling around, I lost the lonely chair which i had reserved for myself. Wonder what happens to people when they step into govt offices. They seem to lose their integrity. I just stood up and one supposedly "well-educated" lady snatched the chair and sat on it. I didn't want to create a fuss about it. Move on buddy, its just a chair!!! After losing the chair, I lost interest in waiting for the ever punctual and duty conscious officer and decided to leave. Hopefully next weekend or some other weekend in the future will be a better one. Near the entrance, I saw a couple of Software folks talking about paying taxes online and were looking confused. I pinged one of them and asked him about online payment. He said he didnt take a chance and indicated that one of his friend's dog's friend's owner's relative's cousin had tried it and it was very simple but it had some issues. I was happy to hear that people have tested the site and rushed back home. I switched on my machine and decided to explore the tech provided by the Govt body (BBMP). Of course, the first thing you do when you are entering unexplored territory is "google search". There are lot of nice angels who curse, swear and sometimes praise the available facilities on the web. The site from where the Online filing and payment is supposed to be done is I was not too keen to do online transactions via this "nameless" site. After reading a couple of blog posts and articles, i decided to give it a shot. The only input which i needed to enter was the previous year's application number and viola, the new form filled with all the necessary details and amount due shows up. At every stage of the process i was printing out the page to pdf file for reference. You never know when the dark angel attacks. AS usual, clever me, was trying to pay taxes online without credit card in vicinity. After hunting down the Key to life, i completed the payment procedure smoothly. I saved some 50-100 bucks by not letting some agent fill the form and do some magic math which i never understood. I vaguely remember somebody telling me that you end paying more online because the calculations are accurate ;). I would prefer paying the govt rather than some fella who does magic. Anyways, given the process is so simple, i would advise people to follow this route rather than standing at the govt office's door waiting for your turn and the irritating mid-meal and mid-snack breaks taken by people there. Way to go BBMP. I am very appreciative for this feature. I guess, we just need to open our eyes to such technological advancements made by the govt and start utilizing them. (Else the govt may decide to stop such advancements for poor response). "Trust in Govt" eh ?
Not sure how many more chores are left.
Let me count:
1. Need to call the Electrician.
2. Need to call the Plumber.
3. Need to call the Carpenter.
4. Bike servicing
5. Address change for Demat
6. Bike Tyre change
and many more :(

Huh.... somebody said haircut !!!