Antakshari and I are old buddies. I chase it, it chases me; I win it and sometimes if I don’t, it wins me. Where-ever I go, I invariably end up participating in it and hence the chase continues.
So it did, even here in Hyderabad.
On the 30th of Jan ’10, after a whole drama, I managed to make a random team of three and won, yea, came 2nd without doing too much effort and had a gala time. BUT, I had no idea that the last bit of my association with this contest would be the most frustrating one, requiring maximum amount of patience from my side; the part where I collect my prize.
First, they don’t give the prize-money / vouchers on the prescribed day because it is supposed to be centralized. So, hang on, it will come to you. We play safe, ask one of the organizers to collect and then pass it on to us. What I do-not know is that he is an ass who will continuously call me in the middle of a test [after telling him repeatedly that I’m busy till 5pm]. Whatever happened to ‘dropping a text message?!’ Flustered, I decide to deal with the other guy, choose to call him up and explain. Well, he turns out to be the sane choice; let’s call him A. By this time, it is 1st Feb. ’10. A gave me a date after inquiry, 7th Feb, Sunday, official prize distribution day.
Turns out it wasn’t.
I’m sure they had their reasons, but the postponing continued for quite some-time. One of these days, he managed to lay his hands on the cheque and the vouchers, but failed to pass them on to me. Then A and I played I’m busy-You are busy for another couple of weeks, had another blood-boiling experience with the 1st organizer guy and finally, on one of the worst days of my life, 8th March, I collected the glorious prize. Hang on, doesn’t end here.
First of all, the vouchers were bogus. I have an awesome hair-style, and they give me 200/- discount at Habib’s. I don’t wear jewellery, they give me 1000 bucks off, If I shop for 12,000 bucks. Are you kidding me?! There is more to it…
The cheque was an account payee, which I obviously knew would go in my account that might be in any bank under the sky; BUT while giving the cheque to me, A asked me to go to this prescribed bank’s distal branch and en-cash the money. Blind me didn’t read the cheque and took his word for it.
After this, begins the most annoying part. I am running around all day in the campus with the cheque in my wallet and when I get free in the evenings at 5, the bank is shut already! On the 13th Mar, it is second Saturday, the bank won’t even open. Unbelievable frustration
FINALLY, today, 2 days prior to my super-huge ultra-important presentation, I take time out to go all the way to Madhapur in this scorching heat, only to get a joke made out of me. The banker asked me to go back to my campus branch of SBI and deposit the cheque in my account and then, withdraw the money from my regular everyday atm. I insist on withdrawal, but as I’m not his customer, he is free to not entertain me.
Current status is that my cheque is dropped in the box. It will en-cash after 3 working days and then I get the money. If I was in US now, I would be filing defamation against the fest-organizers for being the sole reason behind absolute nuisance, tanning me 2 shades down, causing deep inconvenience and inefficient transfer of deserved currency. But I’m in India, and this happens every day here.
It gets on my nerves more because back home in Bombay, every time we had a fest, the winners got their prizes less than ½ an hour after they won, and here, the cheque was dated 22nd Feb. I still don’t have the money, but I’m ready to ignore all the drama that followed.
You might wonder what were the 2 of my group mates [one of them a guy] doing all this while. Nothing. I couldn’t face them because it was like I owed them money and yet, I didn’t! Of the Rs 500/- of my share, I have already blown about Rs 250/- in making phone calls, travelling, eating ice-creams to turn down frustration and the likes. Another grand would be spent in PARTYYY and treat-treat-treat chants. Grr.
A few good things that came out of the whole thing are that I won against someone I really wanted to show the ground, made another decent friend in Hyderabad and understood the value of a not-so-petty 500 rupee note.
Take home messages.
1. If you organize a fest, it is just not about the 3 days, it is about everything that happens before and after it. Act responsible.
2. If you have an enemy, ask them to participate in Felicity, organized by IIIT Hyd; and make absolutely sure that they win.