Monday, 26 December 2011

Taking the Next Step - Part II

Starting from where we left off in Part I...

The date is still Tuesday, 20 December 2011 and the time is about 11:00 AM IST:

We reached our friend's place at K.R.Puram and got Jane's gas connection documents. 

"What happened? Why are you guys in such a hurry?" He asked

"Do you know where the K.R.Puram sub-registrar's office is?" I asked

"Really? You are going ahead with it? Wait, I will come with you, in case you need any help!" He said and raced of to get his bike keys.
K.R.Puram Sub-registrar's office lies inside the K.R.Puram market. If it wasn't for our friend, we would have never found it. Simply put, the office was inside a shithole!

We parked our bikes in the heart of the market, not knowing whether it will still be there when we come back, we head to the office. On the way in were brokers on both sides, neatly seated with a desk in front of them. They looked like government employees themselves. They probably made more than Govt. employees!

We approached one random desk, his name was Gangadhar, and told our issue. 

"Special Marriage Act? O.K. What documents do you have?" He asked in Kannada

We gave everything that we had, he selected a few from the whole pile and looked satisfied. 

"We have to pay some extra cash! You don't have the proper documents!" He said with a smile.

We knew that we didn't have proper documents. "How much?"

"Rs. 1,500 now. Another 500 after one month when you come for marriage!" He said.

To be honest, we were expecting around 5,000 bucks for this. So we readily agreed. He immediately looked disappointed that he hadn't ask for more.

Filling the forms took another half an hour. My back and hand were aching by the time I finished filling them up. Then we put in our signatures at respective places for "Bride" and "Groom" and went up to meet the official.

The wait was long as our broker tried to convince a grumpy lady to accept our request. Then she called us in, made us sign a few more documents, put in our photos at 20 places and sent us to another (nicer) lady in front of a PC to feed our information into the database. She then gave a printout, got it signed by grumpy and she told me that my form will be sent to the registrar office in Kerala, the one near my home. 

We paid the Rs. 1,500 as promised earlier (the actual cost of registering is Rs. 33/- only), shook hands with Mr. Gangadhar and departed. "Be here by the 25th of January. Call me before coming. Also, call me in between to find out if someone from your hometown has objected to this marriage." he said.

As we walked out, relieved - "Take a pic of us please" Jane told our friend. 

"In this shithole?" I asked her

"Ya, I wanna remember this day and this place forever!"

We posed for the pic, with a 1 million people running around us and even a few cows chewing on all the market wastes!

Thus is the journey of our marriage registration. Now it is 1 month of nail-biting to see what happens. Will someone from my family find out from the registrar office there? If they do, will they find some way to object to it? Two of the witnesses (my closest friends) have not yet booked their tickets from Kerala to Bangalore to be here for the wedding, will they make it on the right date? Will some other problem crop up during this one month waiting period?

All we can do for the time being is wait... and pray...

"Thank god that Anna Hazare is not successful in getting rid of corruption yet!" said Jane when we reached home. "Or we would have to go to Kerala to get married. And that would never have happened!" It is true! Thank you Corruption!!! ;)
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