Monday, December 05, 2016

Locked By A Loiness

I had started taking classes at IMS, Bhawanipore, Calcutta, in evening time slot for my MBA preparations.  I left the classes, mid way, since they had shared most of the study material and I realized, if I can take care of the fundamentals, self study will save me travel time, gossip time and the embarrassing class test time and it's even more insulting result time.  Miraculously, I got calls from three MBA institutes. I sat through the GD/interview rounds for all. The sequence of final letters had made me think I will need to go back to University to finally become Master of my fate. The first letter was from an institute thanking me to appear for the rounds and stated I was put in the “waiting list” for top 15 people. I did laugh that i am in the top 15 of some list! The letter from the  next institute was a regret letter. The fair assumption was to wait for the Top 15 to shorten to Top 1, for me to get a final call. The day the third letter had come, I was told about it coming in and kept on the fridge. I didn’t even open it the entire day, assuming, it’s a regret letter so will read it at leisure with the last smoke of the day after dinner. I had moved out of my grandmother’s place and was living with one of my school batchmates in my parents’ flat in Calcutta. I opened it, read it, mind still programmed that it’s a communication, starting as “with regret, we inform you…….” . I gave it to my friend to read. He read it out loud is when I heard, “with pleasure to inform you……. “

We were supposed to report to campus on 1st June.  In the early hours of 1st June 2001, Karunanidhi was woken up from his sleep, apparently dragged out of bed and arrested on grounds of corruption. I never had much interest in politics. I still don’t. But the news was “super se bhi upar wala” fun! A former CM dragged out of bed by the current CM!! And all this had happened while she could not hold office due to major chaos over criminal offenses and guilty charges of corruption etc. I had only heard of the southern part of India and its fascination with living (and dead) legends. She surely seemed one to me. That was perhaps the first time I could feel, in some odd way, what, how and how much could Ms. Jayalalitha do when she meant business. People from the northern part of India who were to join with me in my batch had already landed on campus, a day or two prior to 1st June, fortunately, or unfortunately. Post this historic lock down, the state was closed for almost 2-3 days. Paralyzed, it took a week to get back to activity and almost a month before normalcy returned. The formal joining was delayed and happened ten days later. But that first week with only 5-7 of us in the entire campus was another great lovely, lazy and enjoyable wasting of time.

During my stay in Tamil Nadu, there were other episodes which made me like the lady, love the scents around and get fond of Chennai. I spent four good years in Tamil Nadu. I love Chennai. After Lucknow, the only city I would love to settle & die. And I believe, Amma is one of the prime reasons to make such a statement.