July 21, 2006

Functioning like a dagger

(Names changed, but otherwise verbatim copy of real letter. I swear.)

R.Y. Pimpre
Sanjay Nemish Jhaveri.

14-A, Sleater Road, Jamal Mansion, Bombay-7 (INDIA).

November, 20,1966.

The Chairman,
B.E.S.T. Undertaking,
Bombay Municipal Corporation,


By way of this letter I wish to bring to your notice the flagrant disregard of the Maintenance department of your Undertaking which directly function to the detriment of the travellers.

I had the misfortune to travel by bus No.375 (BMS 3175) on route No.130 this day. When I got myself seated on the left hand last but one seat on right flank of the upper deck, I had to immediately get up with immense pain because a pointed nail was functioning like a dagger, manifesting an attitude of scant respect of the Management towards the public. The nail had come out off the torn off portion of the back cushion and it was surprising that the bus was allowed to ply in such a condition. Apart from the physical pain, the dagger of your Undertaking has also caused inroads in the back of the pant which makes it useless for decent wearing purposes. It was a Khadi pant, purchased from the Khadi Emporium for Rs.10/- just two days before. I had brought all the above things to the notice of conductor no.13309 of the upper deck of the bus.

I would like you to do the following things:-

a) Tender an apology on behalf of the Undertaking.

b) To compensate me the cost of the pant.

failing which I shall be constrained to take further steps in the matter.

Yours faithfully,
(signed) RY Pimpre


gawker said...

apart from the quite legitimate complaint which deserves our whole hearted sympathy, Jesus Christ that was funny. "the dagger of your Undertaking" good lord.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find this gem?!

Dilip D'Souza said...

G&S, amazingly enough, I have a whole file full of them! Had them for years. Tell you more via pvt email if you like.

I love this one, but there are others equally good too.

Anonymous said...

1966??? Really??? WOW! How did you come across them?? Lovely it is!!

The Talkative Man said...

Interesting letter. It reminds me of letter dashed off to the Hindu in the 1940s by an agitated passenger. His grouse was that the train had taken off while he was busy "making dung", forced to "expose shockings" and demanded action against the station master!

Anonymous said...

mtnl thinks my mail is spam, a "dagger " of their undertaking. But do write more to inform the curious.

Anonymous said...

Died Laughing. When are you going to share the rest of the file?

ori0nis said...


Dadoji said...

What was the outcome? I see this was 1966.

Unknown said...

cannot be true... how in mumbai has time to write such letter..!?))

Anil P said...

Ah :) Those were the days indeed :)

The advent of the Corporates, and their two-penny style of dead-pan letter/mail writing meant a generation of people who passed through the doors lost the art of writing letters that evoke any kind of emotion, let alone humourous ones.

Folks call it to-the-point writing, and precisely so, 'coz there's all there is to it - point, nothing else.

This one was a breath of fresh air . . . If you've more of these kind, share them . . . please!!!! :)