I pay Rs.67 and scurry off with the receipt, having been told that the PAN card will be delivered by post to my home.
Next stop: SBI (The State Bank of India) for my PPF app. I park the vehicle in the Nasik sessions court premises and walk it down. Sneeking a peek into the court rooms, I am pleasantly surprised to see that they are clean, well-lit and with spiffy looking computers at hands reach of the officers.
At the SBI office, I am directed to the person in charge of opening PPF accounts. He seems to have a permanently flexed elbow, as if he were born to sign cheques and other complicated looking documents. I take an app form and am told that an attested copy of my drivers license and PAN card app from would be needed. Rush to the copy guy and get three (not one) copies made.
I find out to my pleasant surprise that there's a place called the "Shatu bhavan" where officers attest your copies, quickly and free of charge. I go back to the guy with seemingly permanently flexed elbow (i'm going to call him GWSPFE from now on) only to be told that i need to appoint a nominee AND get signatures from two witnesses on the form. I rush out, do the needful and come back.
GWSPFE tells me the nominee and the witness can't be the same. I strike out my father's name from the nominee box and write my sister's name. GWSPFE asks me, "that's your sister's name ?", as if he never heard of such a thing. I assure him that it is indeed. He finds it hard
to believe that my sister and I share the same last name(wtf?). I notice my arm sneaking towards a thick file lying on the table(planning to bonk him on the head with it) and hastily push it deep into my pocket. He takes off his glasses, cleans the lenses, and peers at my signature.
Seemingly satisfied(phew!) he signs at the top and directs me to pay the money at the cash counter.
I run away as fast as i can with the receipt in my hand. And so ended my tryst with the SBI.
Thoughts on the blasts and "bombay spirit" and India in the next post.