Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Tiresome Quest

It has been a horrid day.This I say out of feelings generated from the furthest bottom of my heart,which I sincerely doubt exists after all that I have gone through today.In India,we face administrative nonchalance everday.For people around me,it has become a thing normal.For me it is not so.I am a very headstrong and impatient boy.I am not proud of that,but I think that will aid you in picturing my this experience.

I went to college today.It had been a long time since I had been there and I thought it would do good to my reputation if I am spotted around attending lectures once in a while.I was half expecting my friends there,but was disappointed when none of those buggers turned up.Irked,I entered the college.Halfway up the stairs,it struck me to read the notice board.Call this intuition or anything else that you like,but it ws definitely no coincidence.The notice board is on the ground floor,right next to the office.I was casually glancing about when I came upon a seemingly harmless piece of paper,stuck on the right handside bottom corner of the board.It read

Dtd:16-12-2006

Students of FYBA/BCOM/BMS are hereby requested that they collect their Board certificates from the prayer hall and submit the same alongwith a xerox copy in the office before the 27th of December in order to obtain admisssion for the Second Year.If they fail to do the same,they are liable to lose their admission for the further year.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.I jumped back from the noticeboard like it were a livewire.The scream emitted by the jock behind me was the only thing that brought me back to reality.Before he could catch me and erase any proof of my existence,I ran into the office room."Excuse me sir.I am an FYBA student.I am here to collect my Board certificate",I said.The clerk did not move.By now,I am used to this reaction but today was different.I knocked on the glass impatiently.He looked up with the ease of a tortoise,"Yeeess???",he asked.I grudgingly repeated my question."Happy new year",he muttered,much to my surprise.But before I could mistake his greeting,he broke in,"Where were you all these days??In timbucktoo?".I could see clearly that he was enjoying my plight.I decided to keep quiet and put on my most pitiful face and pleaded,"Sir,I am very sorry that I am late but could you please tell me where I could get my Board Certificate?"He finally grumble,"Ok,Ok.Go to the prayer hall.They will be distributing it there,But only till twelve and don't....".I did not wait for him to finish the sentence.The prayer hall was a large room on the first floor.I rushed upstairs

The prayer hall ought to be renamed.Students never attend the prayer meets and what they do attend cannot be called a prayer meet,not unless your version of the prayer allowed people to shout loudly from the back.I approached the room,which was in absolute mayhem.The cacophony of it was utterly amusing.By the picture the clerk below had painted for me,I was of the view that I might be the only irresponsible scum on the face of this planet who was collecting his certificate so late.But the sight of so many students scrambling over each other to have a look at the bundles sort of calmed me.By the look of it the peons were having a tough time handling the students.I patiently awaited my turn(As if I had much choice)

I approached the desk.The clerk was busy poring over the list of students."what is your roll no.?",he quizzed.I handed over my I card."Hmmmm..." fearing that pause of his, I was about to say something that he handed over a bundle of certificates and ordered me to search for mine in it.Two hours passed and yet there was no sign of my certificate.By now I was desperate.I looked again at him.He was already packing up for lunchtime.I was pissed,I asked him about what further steps I could or should take.He graciously asked me my seat number on which I appeared for the exam.The question left me dumbstruck.I had no answer.I gaped back at him.He asked me to 'go get it'.I aasked him if there was a choice,he happily replied in the negative.I returned home dejected.

I have a weakness,that of a very short and temporary memory.I entered my house with a fear that I might never be able to find the documents required.I ransacked my drawer spilling out all its contents,causing the house to resemble mount olympus in chaos.Imagining my mom's reaction to this,I decided to put it back.As I was doing that honourable act,I found my file hidden in the most obscure locations in the entire world - Between my books( A place I hardly look for).I packed my bag and waited for the ordeal that was to come tomorrow.

I woke up late the next morning.With mom not being around to wake me up,its difficult to be punctual.I checked if my documents were immaculate.I didn't want to give them a chance to send me back home again.I gulped my sugarless cup of instant coffee and left on my mission.

It looked like I had reached college pretty early.There were hardly any people around this time,save a few unfortunate ones who,like me,had missed their documents.I got my chance about ten minutes later."I card",the voice asked.I handed it over."Seat Number",was the next question.I replied,loud and clear."Fee receipt",he queried again.I produced it.By now,I was beginning to lose it."Wait for a few minutes", was what I next heard.Yeah,right!!As if I was doing something else till now.I waited with bated breath as he dived into a old bundle.Just as I was beginning to lose patience,Voila!!the man springs out with my certificate.It looks a bit ragged ,folded in bad designs,but thankfully its in one piece.I sign wherever he asks me to.Thanking him I move on to submit the form.

The office is situated at the ground floor alongside a corridor leading to the girls' staircase(Enticing;-0).Though i had much serious businesses to take care of.I entered the office room,only to find it deserted.I instinctively looked at my watch.It was five minutes to one.Hmmmphh.Irked as I already was,I had to wait,nevertheless,for people to return.I won't bother you with the rest of the story as I think you already might be wishing for this post to end.Anyways,its quite insignificant.The moral of the story (I have to say this) is,never expect your work to get done faster in any administrative department-government or private.

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