March 08, 2013

A morning at the RTO

I'm just back from the Andheri (W) RTO, where I gave a driving test to get a permanent license to ride my scooter, and since it was an ordeal, I'm just writing this down in case it helps somebody.

Of course, I cannot resist taking a few potshots at the way it is run...

In all fairness, most officials I dealt with were polite and reasonable. But the place is a mystery, because it took me quite a while to learn where to go, and often people at the counters were blank about where one had to go next. The biggest signboards lead to the Ladies Toilet.

Sheep and chicken abound; whether they were giving driving tests too is uncertain.

So I spent a considerable amount of time figuring out where I had to go. I already had an LMV License, so I started with filling Form 8 and submitting it with photos at counter A-7 (back of A block). I paid Rs. 300 and collected my receipt from the next window.

From A-7, I went to Mr. Nerkar in the D block office, who verified my vehicle registration papers and added details from them to the form.

After that, I went to the G Block, which is the shed next to the test area. There, my documents were verified and I was then asked to take the test. The test officer again looked at my documents and told me to bring my scooter to the test area.

Clearly, if you can find your way around the RTO, you are sane enough to drive a vehicle. I drove my scooter into the test area, and went up to the inspector, and he gave me his seal of approval.

Having passed my driving test, my headache was washed away by relief. It was too good to be true. I then had to go to A-5 (front entrance A block) and submit this sheaf of forms. That alas, is yet to happen, because the person concerned was on leave. The bald man staffing the window was the first rude person I met in the RTO, who refused to even tell me when the office would open tomorrow. Of course, if they had signboards somewhere, I wouldn't have asked him in the first place.

I live less than a mile away, and the temperature difference was startling. Please cover up, wear sunglasses to avoid the dust clogging your eyes, which happened to me. There's so much smoke, and no concrete tracks, so the smoke and dust literally hang in the air like some manifestation of Voldemort. That thing called smog.

Fingers crossed, and hope the goddess of A-5 is in her seat tomorrow.

March 06, 2013

Video - Interview with Kumkum Lal

The video interview with Kumkum Lal, complete with transcripts, is up. To watch and read simultaneously, go to -

Else, you can also watch it here...