Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Art of Complaining

Being mugged and robbed was like opening Pandora's box. I have now become aware of a slew of things I would have otherwise overlooked. For instance, the art of filing a police complaint in a place like India. Law enforcement in India is preceded by the reputation of magnanimity its officers bear.Owing to previous instances where police officers have refused to accept complaints filed by civilians,it is now illegal for the cops to refuse the same.The cops have decided to overcome this tiny glitch by altering the nature of the complaint.

I initially filed a complaint for theft.My complaint contained a detailed description of all the stolen items,the incident and that of the offender.The subject of the complaint read 'Theft of purse containing the following'.While I was busy writing things down,the cops questioned my dad about what he did for a living and what I did for a living.The moment I was done, the cops politely refused to accept the complaint."No madam, this is not the way. Don't write 'theft of purse', write 'missing of purse'", said the clerk(complete with the grammatical error).I soon realized that since I am devoid of any kind of pull or clout;I cannot coerce law enforcers to listen to me unless I have the government of India sitting snugly in my pocket.I duly wrote 'missing of purse' in another version of the complaint,which was sealed, accepted and filed by the officer on duty.

It gives me a sense of cold comfort that he overlooked the use of the word 'stolen' in the body of the modified complaint.

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