The officer gestures for me to sit down and a tea immediately appeared, as if by magic.
That’s a good start.
I’m at Mysore City Corporation bringing a letter for the Commissioner. Her PA is the first guy I meet.
“I have a letter for the Commissioner”
“Please do sit down”
“I’d like to introduce my wife and here’s my letter”
I handed him a photo of Manjula and a letter.
‘I’m asking for permission to pay for and site a bench in our local park in memory of my wife who died earlier this year.”
‘That’s not possible”, he declared.
” We’ve never given permission for this as so many people might want to do it. It would have to go to corporators.”
By that he means it’s a council or committee decision
“So it’s not a delegated power?” I asked? “Would it not be possible to get a straightforward policy allowing people to buy a bench, exactly as you already install with simple wording on it?”
I showed him a picture of the park opposite our house which had no benches together with a picture of the benches found in some of their other parks.
He asked me to give the letter in the next office to be passed on to the Commissioner and to go and see the senior engineer.
I did, let’s see what happens.
I had flashbacks to the endlessness of dealing with officialdom for Manjula’s IDs, passport and with the Brits to get her visa. Our preoccupation with health matters, another form of endlessness, we’d had to deal over the past two years had taken its place, so I’d forgotten.
I’ve learned one lesson.
Don’t try and do too much, especially when dealing with government bureaucracy, and have an additional simple little job so that you can still feel you’ve achieved something.
I also went to pick up a framed picture of Manjula.