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Friday, June 06, 2008

Sarkar Raaz

Being a sucker for diversity, here's something to lighten up the mood after all the ethical and moralistic soul-searching that I led my readers to do, after my previous post.

One fine day, sometime in the month of February 2006, we notice our protagonist, a guy named Suvro Sarkar walking towards the office of a guy (well actually, respected Professor) named Sahadeb Sarkar, then Dean of PGP, IIM Calcutta, accompanied by a certain PGP Representative who later became famous as the private statistics tutor for the damsels in distress of our junior batch - but that's an entirely different story and hopefully, the damsels in question may someday add more colour to the episode. At this point, we stop to ask ourselves - what is our protagonist doing here? He has not been seen much to hobnob with the academic faculty, and today he's headed towards the most feared and viled dungeon of all - the PGP office! We asked him later and we reproduce the contents of his reponse verbatim below:

Top Secret Mission: To secure a fresh date for his STEP (Student Exchange Programme) interview, which he had missed, having been away from campus for a week to attend his brother's wedding.

He goes inside the Dean's room, and the PGP Rep decides to abondon him at this point, having more urgent matters to look into - or so we suppose - and so from here on, its a battle of the Sarkars.

Sahadeb (SDS): Yes? Who are you?

Suvro (SVS): Sir, I am Suvro Sarkar (stressing on the Sarkar part, to emphasize possible kinship), 1st year PGDCM student, Sir.

SDS: So what can I do for you?

SVS: Sir, I have a request. Sir, I missed my STEP interview...I had my brother's wedding to attend, Sir. Is it possible to reschedule my interview to today or tomorrow?

SDS: So you were away to attend your brother's wedding?

SVS: Yes sir.

SDS: Which day to which?

SVS: (calculating fast to reduce the number of days as far as possible) 1st to 5th feb, Sir (feeling pretty sure he can bank on senior Sarkar to feel nostalgic about Bengali weddings and let the point drop)

SDS: So, 5 days.

SVS: Yes sir! (feeling inordinately proud of his institute, now that he is sure his Dean can count).

SDS: Have you read the PGP rules book?

SVS: (trying best to appear truthful, unsure where all this is leading) Yes sir.

SDS: Did you miss the point that you have to inform the PGP Office if you are out of campus for more than 2 working days?

SVS: Oh! is there such a point Sir? (oh, that did not come out the way he would have ideally wanted it to - more of a spontaneous reaction he might regret).

SDS: So you did not think it important to read the rule book? (and regret he does)

SVS: (on the backfoot, well and truely) No Sir, I've read it, Sir. This one skipped my mind, Sir.

SDS: So you think you are above all such rules eh? If you good students do like this, what will happen? Eh?

SVS: (taken aback at the assumptions of moral and ethical standards of "good" students) Sir, good sir, I am sorry Sir - I have read the rule book - just missed that point - won't happen again, Sir - I'm very sorry, Sir.

SDS: So you missed 5 days of classes I see.

SVS: Unfortunately, Sir.

SDS: Hmmm...who did you ask to mark ur proxies?

SVS: (aghast - trying to look like someone who has never heard the word proxy before in his whole life) What - me sir? Proxy- sir? No no, I don't believe in proxies, sir.

SDS: Oh is that so? (calls out to one of the clerical staff) Udayyyy (or watever the name was), bring me the - what section are you? - section C - attendance files for 1st to 5th feb...

SVS: (hoping that his over-enthu classmates had not been foolish enough to mark any signatures against his reg number) No problem, wont find any proxies, Sir (trying to sound belligerent and brave)

SDS: (flipping through one or two sheets and not finding any proof against our protagonist) Okk I'll ask the PGP Office people to go through all the sheets in detail (proof of how jobless they are, usually) can go now - and give me the application you brought - I'll sign it.

SVS: (relieved) Thank you, Sir! and I'm very sorry, Sir about not informing PGP Office.

So our protagonist went on to live another day and sat through the STEP interview and then opted out of it - all this for nothing! - but that again, is another story. There were some other side effects, though, of the above episode. The attendance sheets were indeed checked - no proxies were found against his name (for the benefit of doubting Thomases, he had categorically instructed all his friends not to mark any before he left for his brother's wedding, having calculated that he was reasonably above water in terms of attendance in all the subjects) - but a pattern of regular proxies were found against many other names and as a result, attendances cancelled en masse, students summoned and warned- sparking large scale rows and debates, and putting an end to the mass-scale proxy signature campaigns as had been practised in the previous two semesters at Joka.

Friends, Romans, countrymen - I believe you will herewith bless our revered protagonist for accidentally removing one of the most widespread social evils in Jokaland, which was threatening to erode the very moral fibres of one and all. Hail the protagonist!