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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Return to the University

Before any of you jump to conclusions that I have joined any course at this ripe age by calling this post as a return to the university, let me straighten facts .
True I  did return back to The Madras University which conferred me the degree on which I live ,
The hospital I work in needed a verification certificate one of the on and off  formalities which occurs  in any workplace ,We have doctors from more than 70 nations there and many of them were required to do the same .
so I did the mandatory request to the Madras University and was told that it was dispatched to my hospital by snail mail as verification certificates are always sent directly ..
The sent certificate is still in uncharted waters as it never reached my hospital
It  should be somewhere in transit between India and UAE maybe in the  the Arabian gulf , maybe it is in a ship or even in a camel weaving through the dunes
so I was keen on making a visit to the University on my India visit this occasion and I did it today .
By the end of the day the experiences I went through made me feel it  deserved a blogpost .

My daughter studying in Chennai came with me as she was the liaison person for me in Chennai and knew whom to approach .
So we weaved our way through dark corridors of red brickwork ,huge halls reverberating with history  the walls almost spoke of the years of learning that has gone through them over the years .
We reached the certificates section and cornered the Divisional head who knew about the problem
Sruthi my daughter  was very sure I would get into one of my famous tempers and lose my cool at the
 nonchalant attitude Government servants in India have .
,I was wary of this but also was bent on changing that image at least for the day ,
so very softly I recounted how I needed the certificate as early as possible and I also wished it would be handed to me in person and I  had to return by that evening too ,he listened patiently and told me it was not possible  verifications are usually not handed over and  they are sent by post ,I lamented about the previous experiment and how no certicate had ever reached in time
,suddenly Machiavellian diplomacy rose in me and i practiced local detente by telling  him that if it could be done it would be done only by somebody like him
 this cooled his cockles and he asked me to reapply with a demand draft a copy of my certificate and a covering letter and all this within an hour as the afternnon that day none would be on work as it was teachers day and they would all go for a public meeting
Tall order impossible  feats
My first task was getting a DD from the bank in the University where a long Que of students standing  for the same purpose, it would take at least half a day for this alone so I went to  the manager and again recounted how I had to leave by evening
this was turning into a habit but strangely was working well
He  too was convinced and saw it that- I got the DD immediately

now I had to have a copy of the certificate and I found to my dismay that I had brought the wrong original
So I  called my wife in kochin to send it from my usb by mail ASAP and it was done  immediately .
next task was to    open my mail and take a print out but  there are  no online facilities for the public nearby .
suddenly I  saw a room with a board saying  E governance  Madras university I walked in and once again recounted my need for leaving by evening
 this was becoming a habit but  working all the time so they gave a computer and I  downloaded the certificate and clicked print but nothing happened and then they realisaed the printer had not been working for some days and thanked me for reminding them of that matter ! but they were also helpful he sent it to some place on the second floor to be printed and sent a boy to pick it up and he came back wiht it victoriously after half an hour my flight was at 4.45 pm and it was already 1pm and I had a long way to the airport .
I went back to our central character of the post and gave him all the things he wanted he said we area ll going for lunch and he had to type it get it signed and give it to me in  a sealed cover which could all take time so he told me to have lunch and come after 2pm,by now  started feeling all he was asking for was for the right push and made a monkey of myself by telling him I could give him something which would push along matters in the right direction  as I was desperate he smiled and said all us bureaucrats are not like that doctor some of us still want to help with no strings attached and walked of for  lunch with a good appetite spoiling whatever was left of mine .
2pm came and i was in tenterhooks as I waited for him and his gang
 slowly they trickled in and by 2.30
he too came in time  got the document typed signed covered and sealed and handed it to me with a flourish
I did catch my flight as planned with my certificate  safely in my brief
hats off the our Government staff I thought
some of my prejudices got shattered this day
there are many among st them who are sincere and hard working
 thus this is how  I went back to the University


Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

What a warm, full of life post that I could totally relate to! I was smiling while I read it because it seemed so visually alive, as I could see it happening in front of me...but I disagree about one thing...I don't think you could ever be short seem to be the calmest person lets always keep it that way! Cheers!

harimohan said...

thanks swapna for your confidence in me but you are bound to be sadly disappointed as far as my hot temper is concerned !

Harimohan said...

Very nice. Good to hear such stories. We need more of them and less of the ones that make us cynical. Thanks for sharing Hari, and lovely, honest piece of writing.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

MUKUND said...

Nice to read but you have forgotten that your friend is a PRO with a bank and things would have come to your room if you had told me the previous day. anyway, good experience!!!!!!!!! But next time you require something like this either contact MUKUND OR JOSEPH.

harimohan said...

Nice 2 hear that mukund

nishi said...

Don't you think its far better compared to Kerala. When I lost my 2nd sons birth certificate I spend the first half of the day in the municipality office running around each tables, meanwhile i had a local friend of mine who wears only mundu while off office hrs since his uniform is coat & suite in the hotel industry, one person from the muncipal office approached him & said ask that lady to wait outside since she is smartly dressed & such persons will be only made to roam around & my dear friend who was in mundu approached each table again with Rs.100/- as kaineetam to 7 govt servents & finally came out of the office with the birth certificate.

Dear Dr, next time you are in Chennai, pls drop in to my office too


mohan mathew said...

Dear Hari,
I had such an episode at the Mahatma Gandhi University office at Kottayam.
This was about 8 years ago.
Since i was being inordinately delayed i put a note of Rs 500/on the clerks table.
The reaction was so alarming that he said he was not going to issue the certificate & i get it from someone who would take this money.

My daughter who was with me said, Dad ,you should not have done that.

I felt like retracting my head but realised i was not a tortoise.
I was out of the office & thinking what next to do when a female walked up to me & said , sir, here is your certificate.
A few Anna Hazares do exsist.
Mohan Mathew

harimohan said...

True nishi very intresting didnt know u were in chennai shall drop in nxt visit

Maddy said...

very very rarely i have come across such miracles. usually, they are hell bent on ripping you off if they know you are 'outside'. but as our man said, all are not like that!!

great recounting..
hope you had an enjoyable onam..

Vimala said...

Well at least you got the required MATERIAL ... Great indeed Hariettaa.

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