On a very sunny Wednesday I climbed the last few steps of the tirumala sapthagiri and reached the Lord's own land. I did not have any ticket and so made my way to the special darshan Rs. 300 ticket counter. Alas! the ticket counter was closed! Apparently on Wednesdays and Thursdays  the devotees are allowed very close to the Lord and hence the crowd is always more on these days and the counters close at 2 pm.

Now, had I properly climbed the steps to the top of the hill I would have got a free darshan and would have been sent into the middle of an endless queue of free darshan devotees. For that we need to get registered at the bottom of  the hill and have to submit our fingerprint at  three other places on the way to the top. But I was disqualified as I had got a free ride in a vehicle which broke down half way!

Still, I didn't lose hopes and make my way down because I know of many ways to get in with a little help from the TTD officials. Corruption has spread everywhere folks!

1. Got a heart operation done? Walk through the front gate!

Every few hours senior devotees, physically challenged people and people with a medical record are let into the temple through the front gate. You are not ill? So what?! Got a family doctor? Get a medical record from them stating that you recently have had a heart op. The officials are not going to rip open your shirt to check!

2. Walked up the hill? Get in the queue at the halfway mark!

Ok so you didn't actually walk up the hill? No problem! With a little luck you can find an official who, with his pocket filled ( not too expensive!), will furnish the required documents saying that you HAVE walked up the hill!

3. Nothing working? Be direct!

Find the most senior official( with a shifty eye) ,you can, and you can buy some seva ticket which will admit a certain number of people into the temple! So, why can't you just buy the seva ticket at the counter? Because the seva is already over and no tickets are being issued. But some officials will still have a few tickets "left"!

So have a good darshana folks and try to find new and better ways to get the Lord's darshan!