The Official Ladder
I remember giving my final B.E. vivas for a project I developed using Jogl – Java’s binding to OpenGL on the 28Th of May. It was a relief, we were engineers and all the slogging had ended on that one fateful day.
It’s 26Th February, Monday, a day-job at my disposal, immense boredom, lot of happiness followed. It, however, was not before one and half hours of slogging in a queue of the dilapidated building, now being renovated, of Gujarat University on the University road here in Ahmedabad. Confusion, excitement, tiredness, thrill was the nature of the atmosphere. They segregated the Commerce and Art Students but Science students were ‘others’. The clean shaved, heavy voiced, khaki guy kept a check on queue. It was damn slow, though I must compliment ourselves for getting near the window after an hour of bantering, poem reading, screaming puns, making weird faces, painful legs, and with confusion up to the last minute whether we were standing in the right line.
Bingo! 15 more minutes and we are enter the room only to find out we are to get the token, the serial number of our certificate, from here. I kept saying B.E. in the room and they would reply ‘token for M.A., B.Sc.’ and I figure out that a heavily built women barely sitting on the narrow chair was giving away tokens for B.E.. Is that what we become after sedentary jobs? I have nothing to wonder…Anyway, a token means yet another queue…sob sob! But we soon learn there isn’t.
We are told to collect the certificate at Room No 42. Enter top floor and what the hell? The room’s locked. I express an awe.. another khaki dressed watchman tells me to go to 41 and says “42 is 41″…Yeah, sure say whatever you want, change the number sequence, call day the night and whatever you feel..just get us the official ladder!
We enter and go on looking for the hanging boards for B.E. and muttering “B.E, B.E”. A guy with a board hanging laterally over his head said “Bolo“.
Our certificates, laminated nicely were digged from millions of other certificates. We were lucky to get our papers from this pile of government work, how do they manage that?
As it turns out in next few minutes, they cannot manage. Harpreet’s certificate is misplaced and she has to return back at 3 in the afternoon. No celebrations, no joy, no tears, just an exhausted mind, angered soul and curses for mismanagement.
There is, however, an inner joy waiting to explode soon after Harpreet gets her official degree.
I am an Engineer!
Hip Hip Hurray!