This is an almost 100% reproduction of a telecon I had recently with an Indian Public Sector Corporation from which my father had retired in 1975.

Me: Hello, Is that Ms.ABC?

Ms. ABC. Yes, it is. How may I help you?

Me: This is Ramana Rajgopaul, son of late Mr. K. Rajgopaul, Employee number xxxxxx calling from Pune. I wish to inform you that my father expired on the 6th of September and you may stop sending his pension henceforth.

Ms. ABC. Sir, please send me an email attaching a scanned copy of his death certificate.

Me. Madam, the death certificate will be delivered to me only after four weeks. If I don’t send the scanned copy, will you continue sending his pension till I do?

Ms. ABC. Sir, those are the rules. Please send the scanned copy of the death certificate.

Me. Rightho! I shall send it to you when I get it. In the meanwhile, you may continue sending his pension.

Ms. ABC. Sir, how about your mother?

Me. My mother died 13 years ago Madam.

Ms. ABC. I am sorry to hear that.

Me. Why? She was not your mother!

Ms.ABC. No sir, I meant that the spouse is entitled to get the pension till she is alive.

Me. Now, I am sorry. She has been dead the last 13 years.

Ms. ABC. Sir, this is not a joking matter.

Me. No, death is most certainly not, particularly of parents. I shall send you the email announcing my father’s death, and leave you to follow your rules. Good day to you Madam.

Ranjan, hearing my side of the conversation suggests that I must have been the first ever in their experience wanting to stop a pension till the next “Existence Certificate” was due. Very likely indeed.

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