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Piyush Tainguriya
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Dec 28, 2008

The Right Job

We met at a roadside restaraunt. I ordered coffee, adi ordered tea. It had been a hard six months after the completion of the college. Adi hadnt got the call he was promised in the campus interviews. I had called him to discuss moneymaking.

Here I'd like to add that when the two of us talk about moneymaking we make it a point not to utter the words 'morals', 'scruples', or any other assosiated words. Its just too embarassing.

"Whats the plan?" Adi said and looked me over from above the rim of the glass. The steam emanating from the tea did not conceal his "I know everything you asshole" smirk. Did I look that excited?

Did I tell you that I have a job? Yes I am a teacher. No more comments. lets get on with the story.

I told them the plan. Adi liked the beauty of the plan but was cynical about the feasibility. I expected him to. Now I had to convince him. He started firing questions. " why will he be weak in front of us?". "Because he is stuck between being left high and dry and staying safe and dry". "Why is capitulation the only way out for him? why cant he take care of us the dirty way?" "That is a concern" I admitted. "But there are ways.We need not come forward and even if we do we can checkmate them. I have thought of everything. I could see he was tempted. I needed him on the team. He stared at the ceiling for a minute and then smiled." Lets do Mr. Sharma". He gave in as we clinked glasses.

Mr.Sharma is a meticulous, careful, suspicious, and thoroughly dishonest civil servant.Presently Placed in the PWD department as deputy engineer in charge of the bypass road construction in our sweet little city. The day we met him he was his usual arrogant self. "So the young warriors want to cleanse the system"." Yes I was responsible for the construction of the first five kilometres,personally so?" "You wont get any papers from this office."

"We have lodged a Right To Information* application to know who was responsible for that patch, sir. You are under obligation to tell me that out of the three crore forty lakh grant that was passed by central government for the construction of that road to facilitate the arrival of multinational IT companies in the city only two crore were spent on the road,the depth of the road is only half the specified depth, the material third grade and duration overstated in the documents. And you sir will also provide me the office files pertaining to that project so that I have ammunition to attack you in court and in press. If you refuse to do so under 30 days you will be liable to a fine of Rs25000 and still you will have to provide the information. There are drawbacks in being the information officer. " I explained as cooly as possible, not that he didnt know it already. The application had created quite a stir and he had called us to discuss the matter in private. He was trying to persuade us to take the application back before 30 days were up.

"Look son this is how the system works. Everybody takes their share. You know how it is." Adi had switched on his directional recorder. He was an electronics engineer. And a very resourceful one at that. "Do you think we can take care of the matter between ourselves?"He was sweetness personified now. Adi acted innocent "Like what sir?" See one crore sixty lakh has been ditributed form up to down. Why dont you take a share and just forget about it?.

Adi switched off the recorder now. "ok sir now that you have offered money to me to keep quiet, that too on the record now lets decide how much we're gonna get." I said as Adi showed the recorder to him as if teasing a dog with a bone.

First a triumphant smile came to his pudgy face and when the significance hit with his full force he paled like a two day old omlette. Get out of my office. You dont know MLA sharma has personally contributed to it from his constituency money. I hope you understand what he can do to you. Adi allayed all misgivings, innocently again. "Sir, please do not resort to threatening, what we're doing can not be legally called as taking a bribe* so law cant touch us and anyway its your word against ours. About MLA Singhvi, our letters to all the leading newspapers,Radio stations and a PIL for the high court are sitting with our lawyer right now to be used in the event of any pysical threat or our suspicious death.

I decided to sum it up for our poor Mr.Sharma. Sir You will have to give us the information with proof about the corruption that is rampant beacause of the RTI application, there is no way out of it unless you convince us to change our minds. In other words you are fucked.

Next month the electricity bills, travel bills and other expenditures of that particular office came to be about 10 lacks more thanthe average bill and the road construction expenditure was also upped by another 10 lacks owing to adverse weather conditions.

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*RTI act:- It includes the right to -
1.inspect works, documents, records.
2.take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
3.take certified samples of material.
4.obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any 5.other electronic mode or through printouts.[S.2(j)]

Information means:-any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force including "file notings" [S.2(f)].

*Bribe:-1.A secret payment to a public officer in exchange for preferential treatment
2.A misappropriation of public funds by a public officer.

(note the word 'public officer')
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The events described in this story are totally fictitious the author and his friends have never even thought of such horrid things and the author is not suggesting anything to anybody....Ok you can stop laughing.

8 comments:

ADITYA said...

page scroller attempt.......
writing on right
not at all horrid...
adi

Comfortably Numb said...

Laughing? Not really.

But yea its the core of the reality.

Cheers!!

Afaque said...

Had the recording episode took a lil longer Mr. Sharma would have been in real trouble... lol

Afaque said...

its the same man.... :S

T-REX said...

yeah...lolz

Raj said...

:D
laughable but not hilarious.

T-REX said...

@raj... thanks dude. but actually it aint a comedy story. Its actually a plan I and my frnds made while largely unemployed.

Raj said...

largely umemployed :P
thats the reason it was fun. now you cant deny that, the thought does bring a smile.