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(Note: Last week a principal of one of the better known colleges in Mumbai decided that he was going to enforce a dress code right in the middle of examinations. He picked up over 100 students and booted them out mid-exam. Another 250 or so walked out as a sign of solidarity with the ill-dressed folk.)
It is a typical bright, sunny and humid day in Mumbai. The clock has just struck eleven and Principal Malhotra of the prestigious KLPD College of Science and Commerce walks into his room all set to embark on a day of hard work and advancement of education.
Moments after he enters his office his peon, Mr. Nair, the longest serving member of the college staff, walks into the room quietly and places a cup of tea on Malhotra's table.
"Good morning Nair!"
"Sir, good morning!"
"Hot day again. So what all needs to be looked into?"
"Sir your daily report is here with me. I have listed everything important and we can go over it one by one. Which section do you want to start with?"
"What sections do we have today?"
"Sir we have some problems in Administration, a few issues in Accreditation, severe trouble in Finance and Accounts, backlogs in Housekeeping and Maintenance, impending gloom in Placements and certain catastrophe in Academics. Where should I start?"
"Nair Nair Nair! Must I tell you every day? What do you think we are? A shady outfit merely run to siphon off funds? A platform for political manipulation? Some sort of ragtag institute run by the principal like his personal property?"
"Sir. Why do you even ask such questions and insult me? Of course we are."
"So then start with Finance and Accounts right away Nair!"
"Yes Principal. Sir the audit committee has detected a problem in our Research funding. They want to talk to you about the usage of the research allocation for last year. They want to know where the money went sir!"
"Oh! Not a problem. Tell them we are using it for advanced studies in urban transportation. Especially looking at international trends."
"Which would explain your Skoda Octavia in Turquoise Green! Very good sir."
"The board of trustees also want to know what is the progress with the new building for the Microbiology Department."
"Err. Nair what IS the progress with the Microbiology building? I have been meaning to ask."
"Sir we don't have a Microbiology department."
"Oh! Now I remember! At the last moment we used the department money for the emergency high-impact faculty development program in Goa [Images] last year."
"Don't worry sir. I have already asked my people to immediately convert the new Indoor Stadium into the Microbiology Department during the Trust Meeting."
"In that case we must ban all extra-curricular activities for the next three months so that nobody notices."
"Already done sir."
"You have sent a note to the parents telling them that this will help our students focus on studies?"
"Already posted sir."
"Very good Nair. Then?"
"The students are complaining that the professors are not able to speak any English sir. They are saying it is impossible to even understand what Prof. Dixit is saying."
"Arrey English hamara language thodi hai. Dixit ko thoda time do. Theek ho jayega. What does he teach? We can send in an Assistant Prof. to help him."
"Contemporary English Literature sir."
"Oh. But Dixit is a good man. He is important for the future of this college. His uncle is a sitting MP no?"
"Yes sir. I have told the students that an enquiry committee has been set up with immediate effect! With Prof. Singh heading it."
"Prof. Singh? He retired last year no?"
"Masterful. What is the next issue?"
"Sir, attendance in Second Year Physics is very bad sir. The students are saying that Prof. Iyer knows nothing and only got his job here because he bribed you sir."
"No, sir, he omitted to do so. I checked your diary."
"In that case fire him, and put out an advertisement for new faculty immediately!"
"Already gone to press Mr. Malhotra."
"Good, Nair. One day I will make you Dean of Research or something or the other. Very good. Ok next!"
"The Board of Accreditation is coming here on Wednesday sir to check the computer laboratory facilities. I have already made their itinerary Sir"
"Nine o clock land from Delhi. Breakfast at Taj. Then half day sightseeing of Mumbai with stop at Siddhi Vinayak, St. Michaels and Haji Ali. Followed by long drive around BPO company office in Goregaon."
"To show many people working on computers?"
"Correct. Followed by dinner at Leela and then flight back to Delhi."
"Outstanding plan. I like it. Today is a very productive day no, Nair?"
"Remarkably so sir. Complaints have been received about the canteen food sir. Apparently the food is stale and the contractor is charging very high prices. One student is apparently down with food poisoning!"
"This is terrible! And completely unexpected! I will immediately get to the bottom of this! Protecting our students is top of my priority list! I will speak to the contractor immediately and fire him if required."
"Very convincing no? I will say this only at the student body meeting tomorrow!"
"Outstanding sir! Too much!"
"Don't mention it, Nair. Continue."
"Sir the librarian wishes to inform you that she can no longer tell people that AC is under maintenance and keep the library closed. We have to open it one way or the other. It has been closed for six months sir."
"Even I want to. But we need to buy books no?"
"As you wish sir. Otherwise we can put in a few plants and make it a creative space for students to interact and do plays and dance and things like that. "
"No. We already did that to the gym no? I will figure out something."
"Then that's it sir. All issues are done. Our exams are starting today sir. You might want to check the exam halls and supervise proceedings."
"No Nair you only do that. Tell me if there is a problem anywhere. Inform me and then I.. WAIT A MINUTE! WHO IS THAT GIRL OUT THERE AND WHY IS SHE WEARING A T SHIRT?! WHY IS NO ONE ADHERING TO OUR NEW DRESS CODE?! OUR BOYS WILL GET DISTRACTED FROM THEIR STUDIES! THEN TOMORROW THEY WILL GO INTO SOCIETY CORRUPTED BY THIS IMMORALITY! CRIMINALS WILL ARISE! GRAFT AND VIOLENCE WILL GO THROUGH THE ROOF! IF THEY BECOME POLITICIANS THEY WILL REFUSE TO HAND OVER POWER AS PREVIOUSLY AGREED WITH A COALITION PARTNER! NAIR DON'T YOU SEE WHERE THIS WILL TAKE OUR COUNTRY TO??!!"
"Sir should I ask her to meet you sir?"
"No Nair. This rot in our youth will ultimately lead to their downfall! If people like me, leaders of the educational system, flag bearers of our great cultural heritage, nurturers of tomorrow's leaders and model citizens, guiding lights for the India of the future, do not step in to save this malaise then what will happen to the citizens of our country tomorrow?"
"Sir they may become corrupt, fraudulent adults without scruple or conscience."
"Exactly Nair! I will not allow this! I will not allow the influence of western culture among our youth in this fashion! We must put an end to this RIGHT AWAY! Let us immediately go and throw out everyone who has come for their exams in illegal clothing. Come with me Nair!"
"Sir but the exams will get disrupted. It may become a problem and affect our timetable and curriculum coverage --"
"NAIR! If the colleges in our country ONLY worried about imparting education and knowledge to our youth along with a rational and well designed examination and corrective system where would this country be today! Don't you have a single social and moral fibre in your body!"
"I do sir!"
"Then come with me right away and put an end to this nonsense that will one day destroy our college!"
"Yes principal sir."
More adventures of the Vadakuts, mister and missus, can be found at Domain Maximus.
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