The Park Bench

– which as per the rules of this peculiar game meant idling around for 20 odd minutes and surrendering a good deal of chances of winning the game overall. This very term, ‘Park Bench’ I mean, roused a certain kind of nausea among all of us and with the passage of time we certainly identified situations with this phenomenal term. Almost twenty six years have passed and I had no recollections of ‘Careers’ until today, when a certain incident I met brought back the memories and the nauseating feeling of having to wait on others while they stole all the fun.

I was supposed to meet a very respectable government official this morning and the appointment was scheduled after having been postponed yesterday for 10:30 AM. I am a little precariously paranoid about time and always try to make a head start. I landed on the porch and asked around for the gentleman and I was informed that he was running late. I checked my watch, idled around for 20-30 odd minutes and then decided to give the gentleman a call. “I will be there within half an hour”, the gentleman shot back. Not too much to ask, I told myself and took off for a brief walk. With the half and hour wiped off the watch, I bolted back to the scheduled meeting point and much to my dismay and disappointment, I learnt shortly afterwards that the gentleman I was supposed to meet had not showed up. I called him up again and was told that we would be meeting within the next 10-15 minutes. I breathed easy, but little did I know that the cycle had been set into motion. I would be calling after decent intervals of time and be told that we would be meeting up in another 10 minutes. The thing went on all day and I swear I was not even offered a chair to park my butt, and while I was at it, a certain kind of nausea crept up from inside my gut and the term ‘Park Bench’ banged inside my head. I had landed myself in a ‘Park Bench’. I had lost my whole day, in other words my whole chance of winning the game.

The idea of ‘Park Bench’ is rather peculiar due its conspicuous absence as well, when we talk of government offices. I never fail to notice the ‘liturgical’ apathy of our government offices towards the general public. The government officials and their ‘battalions’ of employees do not even care to offer you a chair. You just have to lurk around like a soulless figurine, and watch the ‘babus at play’. I am a frequent visitor to government offices and have never even by chance met with the sight of a proper waiting room for visitors and if I should be precise not even a chair. The government functionaries function and that’s all they do without ever bumping on the fact that they are public servants. I say the whole system is rotten and democracy is sham. Nausea again! I think I need to throw up.

 

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