Saturday, June 09, 2007
The old dhoti clad ‘babus’ of the government offices of UP and BIHAR have long back disappeared from the face of what we now perceive as the modern India. But there’s not much that an old enthusiast would miss in these offices. Some reminiscence of the golden days still hover around in the present day offices, ‘paan’ being the most significant of all and obviously the most conspicuous.
31st of May was ‘anti-tobacco day’ and all those who are going to read this blog of mine are totally aware of the ill effects of tobacco and the other addictions (I sincerely hope none of you are either smoking your life away or dirtying it with the hues of paan). There’s one social angle to the whole paan story. The fact that the once considered ‘cool’ addiction is the cause of a lot of nuisance to the people who like their environment and surroundings to be clean! The paan stains cost the exchequer dearly either in terms of the money spent to clean them or the loss of reputation (especially in the service industry). The work is drastically slowed down as the work and jawing time overlaps at almost all times.
But, all said and done, there remains one fact almost untold in all articles which criticize the paan chewing babus of India. The job of most of these babus is synonymous with boredom and monotony. While jobs with comparable monotony in the private sector provide room for HR activities, a government official can hardly dream of any such provision.
Posted by Prasoon Joshi at Saturday, June 09, 2007