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