Quite a few people have been asking me about this status msg of mine on gtalk for the past few days...Wondering what the topic is about?? and whats with the strange timing?? Then obviously you are not from my college..No doubt, i loved college, and it was a great place and i had loads of fun.. But here's the education we got there..No, not abt the academics(which are anyway scarce in an engineering college), i'm talking abt the real-world training we got there about how sarkari procedures work..or do they?? Here's an example, that would be like a drop in the ocean of incidents...But i suppose they'll give you the message...
To all sarkari officers, at least in our college , certain conditions apply.. They would be
Sarkari officer Condition1-> If person not at seat, ask all the ppl from the administration you can find to find that person. He may be sleeping at home, sipping tea in the garden, basking in the sun clearing out ear-wax, or just plain invisible.
Sarkari officer Condition 2-> Everywhere, where a correct person is located, a queue shall be formed..Once a queue is formed, you cannot get to the head of the queue to find out what it is for. You just stand based on what ppl in front of you say. And like all other places, the information may slightly change every time it is passed from one person to the next..So in a line usually of more than 50 ppl, you have no way to confirm what the line is for..
Sarkari officer Condition 3-> The fact that the officer was sitting in one office on one day, in no way suggests that he'll be sitting there on next, (assuming he's sitting somewhere)..He could've changed because of some rearrangement of tables, or rearrangement of offices, maybe shifted places cos of the cooler/sunlight, or maybe even shifted cos the vaastu/feng shui in that room was not positive..
Sarkari Officer Condition 4->Any time can be declared as tea time/lunch time regardless of any prior events or their timings.
Cardinal Rule of All Sarkari Officers-> You can never argue with them and never question any statement they have made even by crosschecking them with previous statements by the same person. If you do, your work shall NEVER, EEEEVER get done until that officer retires or changes post..You just persistently have to persuade them. If u seem like u dont absolutely need them, they wont even bother remembering your face..
Dateline-> Once every 6 months in college(2004-2008). once in jan and once in jun.
Before every semester, we had to get ourselves registered for that particular semester, specifying which courses we would be taking. A fairly standard procedure in most places. You could have a counter to fill up the fees with the particulars where a person who has a list of everyone's arrears sits, a form to write the course names and get over with it. To increase efficiency,,just increase the number of counters, and its done..Rocket science, is it? Apparently,,yes...
This seemingly simple and mundane procedure was divided into several steps carefully chosen to make sure we take a few rounds of our HUGE campus to ensure exercise for all the students. You know, after coming from home they all gain weight, so this procedure is a step in the direction of fitness. Basically the procedure is divided into a few steps..To all these steps,
Step1-> Go get the basic forms. One for academics(course selection, etc..), one for hostel allotment, and one for fees..All may or may not be at the same place, even if they are supposed to be at the same place, they are usually short of supply of one form or the other. Waiting for college to provide more?? BAAAD idea.. Walking half a km to outside college and getting a xerox of the forms from outside is the only surefire way to get them..
Step2-> Go find out how much of a mess bill you have. For this, a big line waiting(initially at the dean office) for the one and only all powerful fat sarkari guy in his office who has the records of the mess bills. This fat sarkari guy could be a person from the dean office, or from the hostel office(abt 1 km away from the dean office). If the guy is not there in his office, you even get to solve a mystery of where he is, refer to the conditions stated above for this purpose..If u finally do find him, maaaaaybe he can be asked to grace the students by providing the info...But then,,there's no fun in that, you've just started the day,, so now the next step would be to find out if this fat sarkari guy can give the information or not..If he's not, then he'll just spout out some other name and point in some random direction saying that person will give the details..And then 'mystery' repeats itself...If by any chance u do find the right guy, soon, in around 5 min, the word spreads like wildfire, and a looooooooooooong queue forms outside his office..
Step3-> After getting the required information about the mess bill, this person has to make a bill for how much money you have to deposit in the mess account. If you have no dues(which somehow, NEVER happened), then you're lucky and you just need to get a signature from him over a few forms about it.. If there are mess dues, then pay them in the bank and come back and stand in the looooooong queue to the fat sarkari guy, to get him to sign the forms..
Step 3-a-> This is for those who have to pay the mess bills, which inevitably includes everyone..Go to the chom bank!(The Bank of Rajasthan)..keeping fitness in mind, this is another half km away from dean office..Fight to get the forms for deposit, if ur reeeeeeally unlucky, then they wont have them, and then go ask 20 ppl in the bank who are not listening to you where you'll get more, you may actually get em a few hr s later..If u do get the form, then get to the back of the line thats pouring out of the tiny bank gate..Try to find someone you know to cut the line and get to stand where they are..About an hour later most probably you will reach the counter and pay the mess bill. This assuming the counter does not close for lunch or the guy disappearing for some unknown reason..After completing this sucessfully, go to step3 again.
Step 4-> Run to your department, (walking distance anywhere between 100mtr to 1/2 km.) Find the list of your courses and so called 'electives' which can almost never be elected for. Write the course codes, course names etc etc and then run around to find the course coordinator, who's usually some faculty. If they happen to be in office, get in and get the course form signed. Assuming the faculty is not in mood of having fun with you, they'll do it immediately. Now one strange thing here is, on this form, your father, mother, your name has to be written EVEN IN HINDI !! This would be the easiest step of them all.
Step5->Get the form to fill the fees. This is really tiny form, basically a bank slip of 3 inches by 10 inches. Your details and the fees details have to be written on this with a sign and amount in words etc etc..There's another fitness measure here..This is to ensure that once you have returned from home, you get the habit of writing back, since you haven't done any in the hols..Sooooooo, this form has to be filled out upto 6 times!!!!! repeating the exact same info over and over again on each one...
Step6->Hopefully all the other formalities are done properly, and you have to get into the final lines to go pay the fees.. If u dont have a DD, a process in the bank similar to paying mess bills again. Only this time, the wait is almost half a day...So in this monstrous line which extends abt 100 mts with abt a person fitting in every couple of inches almost stuck together by the pressure..This lie may be split into 2-3 lines of similar types for parallel processing if more than 1 set of officers feels like working at a time..At the end of the line are a few ppl, each of whom collects one of the numerous forms you have, may put a stamp on one of them, or maybe sign on some form..Basically here is the place where u keep doing what the person in front of you has done no questions asked..
If u dont have the DD of the correct name or some other small problem, or maybe at the end of the final line if someone says some X's signature is missing from some corner of some form, you're in luck, u get to repeat any/all of the procedure again!!!!
At the end of this adventure, you are finally (hopefully properly) registered for the semester!! YAY!
This was the procedure in the first year..Over the years, this procedure was tweaked in many ways. Pretty much every time the locations of each of the offices/queues was changed. Sometimes this was done during the day, just for kicks, to add to the chaos!! Some times the number of leaflets to be filled was changed from 4-5-6-7 etc etc..The only proper change in the whole system, was brought abt by the students, thanks to a group headed by one of the most fundoo guys of our batch, who we used to fondly call kix. For our department, he made the course selection automated..This saved us loads of time and the whole step 4, cutting about an hr from the total registration time.. Apart from this, well,,no change was for the positive.. And strangely, despite introducing a system of automatically deducting the money for the mess from the bank account, at the start of every sem, mysteriously, there were always mess dues of the last sem to be paid!!!
After all this, started the running around to get hostel rooms...Another seemingly simple task............
Lots of incidents like that all through the years..
Getting out of college was no easier, with a slightly longer procedure stretching out over 3-4 days with even more intense mystery solving to find people!!
Finally, after it was all done, there was a sigh of relief from everyone that we wont have to do all this ever again...But then came the convocation date.. Strategically picked out to be the day before CAT, which they selected for many purposes(i wont go there now..)..So lots of people (including me) decided not to go, and get their degrees just mailed to them.. But no, this cant be that simple..Even for this there was a procedure, which was graciously done for me by jobin, a batchmate of mine who's in archi, which is a 5 yr course..
Even after all this, for more than a month after my convocation, i didnt get my degree...I started having nightmares about how i might have to run around the college administration to get the sole proof that i got a degree from there...But at the end,,and to my surprise,,last week, i finally got my degree at home..It presently lies put up for display in the drawing room within the safety of my home...
So now,,Finally,,,i can say it with pride and joy,,
I'm Certified a B.Tech!!!!!!!!
(i've definitely earned it)
Kix-> Originally KillerX from The clan The Ghosts(TG), now a fellow member of the prestiged gAp. A guy with passion for what he does, and a trendsetter in college, he will be one wherever he goes. He's one of the most fundoo guys i've ever met. Mark my words, this guy will do great things.
Jobin-> This mallu's been with me since the first yr in college. Has some slightly strange tastes for a guy, but a great guy all the same, and one of the best artists i know. Another guy with passion for what he does..Also famous as thunder thighs and the mallu porn star. He even has a dance in his name, the jobba-bobba dance, and his very own creation, the kattar-kattar dance.(it is said that even some hi-tech dvd writers work on the theory behind dance!!)