Monday, June 8, 2009

BEST, c'est le meilleur!

If you're the owner of a flat that's been given out on rent, what you don't want to receive first thing in the morning is a phone call from the building manager informing you that the electric meter of the flat has burnt out. The call evoked visions of irate tenants, slow repair services and one or more wasted days. But that's not how things turned out at all.

For starters, my French tenant was more than understanding. He volunteered to leave work and return to the flat if that became necessary. His partner, a journalist, found herself trying to meet a deadline for an article without an internet connection and without even a fan in this sweltering weather -- so she went off to an air-conditioned cafe with wi-fi where she quietly got on with her work. And someone from the ever-impressive BEST (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport, with Bombay now replaced by "Brihanmumbai"), showed up at the building, took my mobile number from the manager and phoned to let me know they were working on the problem. By evening they had installed a brand new meter and hesitantly called again to ask if I could come to sign a document acknowledging the work. The man was genuinely sorry I had to leave my office for this! It took me ten minutes to get there, sign the document and slip him a 100-rupee note in gratitude (which he accepted gracefully after telling me it wasn't really necessary).

In another world, my tenants could have started off by screaming at me -- they're paying me so much and now no electricity! And the electric supply company could have been unreachable, then claimed it would take them a week to fix the problem, then gradually drawn me into a situation where a sizable "gift" had to be parted with before they would do anything. Happily, all that happened in a parallel universe unconnected to this one.

Well - this short posting is to publicly thank my tenants as well as the BEST. What can I say but "merci beaucoup, phaar aabhaari aahe!"

1 comment:

Niket said...

Yes, I miss BEST. Nothing in India comes close.