Cost of Chaai Paani

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“Are you ready with all the documents?”
“Yes Sir. Please look into it. A..n…d this is for you Sir to have some Chaai, Paani!”
“How much?”
“As you said Sir, Rs. 50,000.”
“Ok. Thanks. Do not worry Mr. X. I will take care of everything.” Saying that the CBI officer came out from the house of the Magistrate, who was charged for his illegal property.
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“Sir, I lost my Certificates. I want to retrieve it urgently. Please help.”

“It’s a lengthy process. You will have to fill up the form, make a draft of Rs. 300 from SBI, take a signature from the Secretary,  and then submit it here with your Registration and Admit Card and then come after a month to pick up or else we will send you by post.”

“Sir, please do something, I don’t have much time. Take something for Chaai, Paani, and help me Sir!”

“O…ok, let me see.” And the work is done in two days at Rs. 500.
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A kid below 14 was riding a bike in the wrong side. Two more kidoos accompanied him on the bike. Busy road, Busy in talk and bursting excitement made them uncontrollable.

“B..a..n…g!” Banged at a car which was in the right track and the driver was continuously honking, foreseeing the incident.

Kidoos were slightly injured. The man who was driving the car was helpless.

“Sir, kuch Chaai Paani ke liye de do aaur aap nikal jao. I know it’s not your fault.” Police said to the man. The man was thankful to the Policeman and gave him Rs. 200 and went away.

“Kiyu bhai, kiska bike hai yeh? Kisne chalane diya…rules pata nehi hai kiya tum logo ko? Chal , thana chal.”

“Sir, Rs. 200 rakh lijiye Chaai Paani ke liye….aaur hume jane dijiye ….aayenda aisa nehi karenge!!!”
And the boys disappeared…
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“Boss….this is illegal. Only three floors are allowed in this area for residential buildings. Not 4th and 5th Floors. You will have to demolish the top floors or else we will demolish them.” Officials for inspection said.

Prime and pricy land. Having land in this area means a matter of power and money. So, guys are building till 5th Floor and giving for rent or PG.

“Sir, have patience. Come inside Sir, let’s talk.” They had some deep discussion. The builder offered him good amount for Chaai Paani. And the officials went away coolly getting convinced with builder’s reasons.

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“You won’t be able to see the bhagvan Madam! Only a Panda can take you to the right place to have a proper darshan. You will be lost in crowd otherwise.” Said the greedy Panda at Jagannath Mandir.

“How much will you take Punditjee?”

“Madam. Rs.300. Non-negotiable!!!”

“Ok. Sure. Please take us.”

And then the Panda will happily take you to all the corners where you can get blessed with a ‘divine’ stick by paying Rs. 10-100, get tied a sacred thread by paying Rs. 100, get a Tika at the cost of Rs. 50- 100, take aarati at Rs.100 or get insulted. And if you want to offer prasad, bhog, the standard rate card (regulated by government as told by temple) shows Rs.1440 to Jagannath and Subhadra, whereas the minimum amount to offer prasad is Rs.220.

And after showing the temple, the Panda will surely ask you, “Madam, kuch tou de dijiye Chaai Paani ke liye extra!”

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That’s the power and cost of Chaai Paani. But does the actual settlement end here? Do our ethics, guilt, conscience let us get rid of it easily?
Doesnot Corruption seem to have become a part of our daily lives?
Politicians must share the major part of the blame. But, if we, citizens of India won’t change our attitude, then, will it be possible at all to control the corruption in our country? Also,  I think we should tackle our children/youth better so that they can develop better values of life. I am sure their positive attitude will bring a change in our society.

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2 thoughts on “Cost of Chaai Paani

  1. It has to change and it will when one would stop thinking that’s the easier way out when in the end it paves a toughest way for everyone including him. It has become the norm. Scarily enough, it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. But we can hope the chai paani to come back to sweet memories of school, college addas and quick office breaks 😉

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