It was that time of the year when all the house owners of Bangalore rush to pay their property tax to BBMP so as to avail of the discount offered if paid before Apr 30th. There was a tremendous response from the computer savvy citizens of Bangalore.
Raghavan also wanted to pay the tax for his flat recently inherited from his parents. Just a couple of months earlier, he had done enough rounds of BBMP to get the ‘khata’ transferred to his name. He asked his wife Saroja to pay the tax online for their house no. 18/6 (as entered in the khata), 15th cross, …HehH
When Saroja generated the partially prefilled BBMP form online, she was shocked to see that the house no. had been printed as 318/ 6! She refused to pay the house tax till the error was rectified, even at the cost of forfeiting the discount.
Raghavans checked up with the fellow residents of their complex. No, only their number had been preceded by 3 and thus changed to 318/6.They decided to take up the issue with their ward office.
Another surprise was waiting for them there. In the reshuffling by the election commission, their posh locality had been allotted to the unheard- of ….palya ward. They took the long, narrow serpentine road to their new ward and finally managed to locate the BBMP office. As is the tradition in such offices, they were made to come 3-4 days before their case could be heard. But on the fourth day they were told to come well after the Karnataka Assembly elections as all their staff had been deployed for election duties. When they made the trip 3 days after the election results were announced, there was only one person in the office. He recognised them and remembering their case instructed them to come the next week when all the relevant files would be collated and verified to justify the correction.
In the meantime, Raghavan’s son (IQ 150+) had figured out why the mistake had been made.
On the computer keyboard, to economise on space, an additional set of symbols are located on the numeral keys. For example, the numeral 1 has the exclamation mark (!) above it. Numeral 2 has the symbol for át’ (@) above it. Numeral 3 has the symbol for hashtag (#) above it and so on.
In order to print the upper thing, the ‘shift’key has to be pressed. If the shift is not pressed, the computer types only the numeral and not the symbol above it. Thus, for #18/6, the all too human finger of the data entry person had not hit the shift and thus instead of the #, numeral 3 had been typed, making the house number 318/6 instead of #18/6!
So, Heaven knows how many trips eH H Raghavans have to make to the BBMP office in the God-forsaken congested ….palya area, far from their house #18/6 before the typo is rectified.
ps- picture courtesy Shuttersstock.com