Musical Chairs Part 2 at Ajmer

Author: 
Subhash Mathur

Subhash Mathur was born and brought up in small towns in Rajasthan. During his school and college education at Jaipur, he was keenly involved in sports, journalism and public speaking. His civil services career has given him a platform for spreading his ideas about modernising tax administration to benefit the commmon man. Post retirement he is devoting his energies, along with his wife Tilak, to public and humane causes.

It's Jolly (The Good Fellow) times again.

Even Stevens

Surely retribution will follow the cardinal Sin! [There are no independent Umpires!] And sure it did.

In October I joined Ajmer Division. Inspection of Ajmer Division was announced for 10th November. So sweet! By Collector himself! Jolly no less.

I knew my 'achhe din' at the Division were coming to a premature end. Surely this would be an Inquisition!

Came the appointed day and Jolly and Missus left Jaipur by 9 am in their personal Fiat car! Vintage '79. Driven by office driver! How unusual! Never understood why!

Jaipur control room to Ajmer control room, "Expect the Sahib to be at circuit house by 11.30 max."

A full Platoon in freshly pressed Uniforms with glittering stars gathered at the scenic hill top Circuit House. Welcome party. Over looking Anasagar Lake: Pride of Ajmer. But the wait became endless.

From the Verandah we saw many cars come and go but no Fiat '79! By 1 o’clock I was perplexed! No Show! Sadly no cell phones! No info! Safety issues began to swirl my mind!

The welcome tea had gone cold. Biscuits, Wafers and Cashew Nuts soggy! The lunch was headed the same way!

Then suddenly the Lamp lit! Executive qualities in me came to the Fore! Inspector Headquarters with a Gunman were despatched in the office Jeep to the Highway to locate Jolly, Missus and his vehicle. Search Squad! It was simple in those days because the roads were single lane! [It's a 6 lane Highway today.]

Sure enough the search and rescue party found Jolly and his car about 25 km from Ajmer by the road side. The axle had given way and there was no work shop nearby! And, no way to send a message. They did request a passing driver to inform us but I suppose he simply forgot! Or just ignored!

Boy! Were they delighted to see our Jeep with the entourage! Broad smiles and happiness writ large on their faces were reported.

Of course the seating became a issue as neither Jolly nor Missus could sit in the back of the Jeep! With Hoi Polloi! So Jolly took the wheel with Missus besides him. Ajmer PRO, Jaipur driver, Ajmer driver, Jaipur gunman, Ajmer gunman squeezed themselves in the back.

Jolly drove upto Circuit House steps with dignity intact! Salute! Salaami De!

They were obviously delighted with the turn in the fortunes but didn't say much openly. Still angry! Who cares! For the Republic Day fiasco! But Missus was openly happy and relieved. Someone cared. Enough!

The Inspection party settled down for lunch past 3 just before the Chief took off for afternoon rest!

But the delay in arrival gave me sometime to plan out a few more things! I put myself in place of the Lady. What would she expect in the room while the husband went off to work? She would certainly like something to read! So. I bought Hindi, English magazines! Filmi, non Filmi. Both. Femina, Manorama, Saheli, Stardust! Chacha Choudhary – for the child in you? Why take chances!

Then she would expect some music! No iPods, No FM Cell phones! So, we borrowed a dozen cassettes and a Two-in-One from a Licensee under Chapter IV A. How we miss these guys now a days! Filmi / non Filmi? Chitchor/ Munni bai/ Pandit Ravi Shankar/ Boney M. Spread it wide!

Missus was thrilled and so Jolly fell in line! She couldn't thank me enough! Our scores were settled! Out in round one was neutralised!

EVEN STEVENS! We were.

But what about the Inspection? Or Inquisition! I handed over the filled out Inspection proforma to Jolly and gently suggested he should relax in his room! After all it must have been tiring. For something to happen for rescue. He could always examine it in Jaipur. Instead of paying a visit to the office! With a happy Missus in tow Jolly did not demur!

So I managed a pro forma Inspection. And, averted the Inquisition. The Axle – our best friend.

Jolly and Missus left at 7 the next day morning in the repaired Fiat '79. And we made sure to call and check arrival from Jaipur Control Room. Just in case!

PS: Jolly issued the Inspection Note without any fuss!

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