Famous Last Words
My father has a whole storehouse of maxims, which he draws from when he needs to either nag me (the natural duty of every parent) or commiserate when life hands me its lemons. When I was a teenager, the most common refrain was "MTV will rot your mind" - ok, so that's not a maxim exactly, but it should be - its every parent's national anthem. Another one (related when I am in need of sympathy) is "the man who has nuts has no teeth; the man who has teeth has no nuts". Its a proverb and really needs so explanation, does it?
But the most distasteful for me, a late sleeper, is - "no one who ever achieved anything woke up later than 7 O' Clock". Ok, so this also is not exactly a maxim - but in our household, it has been given the status of one.
You should now have a fair sense of my father, no sergeant by any stretch of the imagination but something far worse - the product of a South Indian boarding school. Which is why he believes in waking up at 6 am...or that when you ask JNU to mail you your transcripts, they will actually be mailed.
Although the serpentine path to registering and de-registering from JNU have taught me better, I nevertheless expected that my final transcripts would have at least been put in an envelope by now, four months after we took our final MA exams. It turns out that I must be more like my father than I realized - the transcripts appear to not even have been printed yet!
This news comes right after I had a dream (I kid you not) where I was back in the offices of my department, getting ready to (alternately) cajole and chastise the impassive bureaucrats to get moving on my papers. In my dream, I was trying to look as assertive and reasonable as possible, while standing in front of the stocky little paper-pusher we all came to hate. I was just about to begin my speech about wanting to speed up the process for handing out our degree (which usually only follows 2 years after the course is completed) when Mr. Grumpy smiled a rare and ominous smile, chuckling as he jeered - "2 years? Don't you know it takes 5 years now!?" - at which point, I woke up screaming, covered in sweat. Ok, not exactly. I did wake up at that point though (at 10 am).
And considering that we have a case of unprinted transcripts on our hands...or rather, not in our hands, the 5-year plan doesn't seem all that unlikely.
"When I wake up in the morning, I always have the same thought - how can I best serve the people in my community? I always try to be kind and good to everyone."
Right, service with a smile, eh? Or beauty with a purpose? If I didn't know any better, I'd think Mr. Grumpy was practicing for the question-round of 'Mr. JNU' (yes, there is an actual Mr. JNU competition and one of our classmates had won the title in 1999).
But the question that remains is - what time does Mr. Grumpy wake up? I wonder where my father would start with him.