Tuesday, 7 February 2012


     Well folks! Let me tell you about my formative years of my life.   It was very dull and uninteresting.  I lost my mom as a child and I got a step-mom, a proverbial one.  My dad was very busy with his work and had no time to attend me and my step-mom didn't care; why should she?  The result was that I was average among average in school and colleges.  I guess that many times I was made to pass; otherwise there would perhaps be very many to keep me company!  Nevertheless I was thinking that I was super brilliant!

     After I got an university degree (I really do not know how) I was in high spirits!  As I was super brilliant I thought that I would appear for the IAS and become an influential, very high profile and highly respected bureaucrat.  I consulted some seniors and more knowledgeable guys who advised me to get some previous years question papers and try to answer.  I got some question papers but answer.... Well that made me to revise the estimate of self as brilliant and NOT super. 

     Then I asked myself what should I do?  Then I settled for an executive post in Govt. or private.  I applied and applied and got no reply!  My step-mom started to heckle and ridicule me more and more.  Some of my well-wishers advised me to seek a clerical job?!??!!  They told me that many guys had risen to high positions from a humble clerk's post.  As there was no better option I started to apply for clerical posts and revised my registration at the employment-exchange to that of a clerk.  

     Well!  I was called for job interviews.  And what weird questions were asked?!
      In one interview the interviewer asked me whether I as arrested before?  I told him "no".  He then asked me why?  WHY?  Is it not obvious that I did not do anything illegal?  I was so angry I told the chap that "I was not got caught?!"
      In another interview I was asked whether I could climb  a tree?!
      I was asked whether I can dance? 
      In another one I was asked whether I can drive a bullock cart?

     My God!  At last through the Employment Exchange I got an interview for a job in a central Govt. Department.  The interviewer was a Bengali guy and he was quite sensible.  An oh! I was selected!  The job was at Pune!  It was called Poona in those days.

     Well!  I went to Poona and landed in an address I got through my dad's friend's, friend's, friend's, friend.  The gentleman was an elderly man and was very nice to me.  His wife, son and daughter were also quite nice to me.  He got me accommodated in a flat in the same building where the tenant was living alone; his wife was away for her confinement.  It was therefore, a very temporary arrangement and I had to get a permanent accommodation in about a month's time.  The tenant there was very nice to me.  I thanked my stars.

     The next three days were holidays.  Therefore I reported for duty on the fourth day.  The office was situated in an old building called "Sahus Palace" because it was the Palace of one nobleman called Sahu who was an aide to the ruler of Poona and surrounding area about three hundred years or so ago.  I was posted to a particular section and  was taken to the Officer in charge of that section.  It was quite nauseating to look at him.  In that room there were two officers.  The other officer looked quite  benign.  I learned later that he was a Maharastrian  and his name was NamJoshi.   My officer whose name I learned latter was Somnath Datt  and he was a refugee from Pakistan.  He was very busy, but it looked that he was pretending it to impress me! (I wondered why should he?).  He asked me my name and other relevant and irrelevant details about me.  He told me that he was very, very busy and that he will speak to me (what?) a few days later when he will be free.  He sent for for his Supervisor (i.e. his next below subordinate) and discussed what should be done to me.  It was decided that I should be an understudy to one Godse who will educate me on the office matters.   The supervisor was a tamilian guy who took me to the section and after asking me about me, told me to go to one Mr. Godse who called me to his seat.  I went to him and sat in a chair near his.  The name Godse was pecking my brain(!?).   I woke up when I heard some shouting!  Then I realized that it was Mr. Godse.  He was asking me what I was thinking about?  Then suddenly I got it.  It was he who shot Mahathma Gandhi dead.  Then a sense of dread passed through my whole body, from head to foot.  
       Then I meekly asked him "Do you still carry the Gun?".
       "What bloody gun?" he asked me. 
       "The gun with which you shot Mahathma Gandhi dead"  I whispered.  
       "What the hell are you blabbering, I did not shoot Mahathma Gandhi or anybody else.  What made you to think I shot Mahathma Gandhi?" he roared.  
       "YOU ARE GODSE, ARE YOU NOT?" I challenged him.   He looked at me with ... I really could not describe it - anger, pity, hate, despise, contempt,  humour, amusement .... probably all rolled together and said "My dear stupid young man (I was really young those days) My name is Godse and the name of the guy who killed the Mahathma was Godse, too.  By the way do you know the full name the fellow who killed the mahathma?" he asked me. 
     I thought for some time, actually quite some time, and at last I got it. 
     "Nathuram Vinayak Godse?" I shouted.  
     "Don't  shout you idiot, do you know my full name?" he asked me. 
     "I know it is not Nathuram Vinayak Godse as you say you did not kill the Mahatma"  I told him, patting myself for my intelligence. 
     "You are right, bright stupid man" said Godse.  I was getting very angry at being called stupid again and again.  At the same time I was wondering why I was not getting angry when my friends back at home (i.e. Madras - Chennai was called that those days) called me that.  I think it was the tone;  my friends called me "stupid" with affection.  There was no affection in the tone of Mr. Godse.  But I kept quiet.  
     "It is Ram Narayan Godse" roared Godse. 
     "Oh!  Very good!  Would it not sound better if it is Ram Narayan Govind Gopala Venkateswara Godse?" I asked him. 
     "Of course it would be!  You should have advised my parents before I was named.  Why didn't you do it?"  he asked me back.  
     "I was not born then" I told him.  
     "Then shut up and keep quiet.  I have some work to do"  ordered Godse.
     "One last question.  Do you carry a gun?"  I asked him.  
     "Nooo" he howled.  I kept quite.

     You may be wondering who Mahatma Gandhi was; particularly if you are a young person.  Perhaps oldies have forgotten him, too.  I give you a profile of the Mahatma, the father of our nation.  Do not ask me who is the mother of our nation; frankly I do not know.

Name :

Mahatma Gandhi

Gender : Male
Date of birth : Oct 02, 1869
City : Porbandar
State/Region : Gujarat
Country : India
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born in Porbandar in the present day state of Gujarat in India on October 2, 1869, and educated in law at University College, London. In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar, Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law practice in Bombay, without much success. Two years later an Indian firm with interests in South Africa retained him as legal adviser in its office in Durban. Arriving in Durban, Gandhi found himself treated as a member of an inferior race. He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the struggle for elementary rights for Indians.
Gandhi remained in South Africa for twenty years, suffering imprisonment many times. In 1896, after being attacked and beaten by white South Africans, Gandhi began to teach a policy of passive resistance to, and non-cooperation with, the South African authorities. Part of the inspiration for this policy came from the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, whose influence on Gandhi was profound. Gandhi also acknowledged his debt to the teachings of Christ and to the 19th-century American writer Henry David Thoreau, especially to Thoreau\\\'s famous essay "Civil Disobedience." Gandhi considered the terms passive resistance and civil disobedience inadequate for his purposes, however, and coined another term, Satyagraha (from Sanskrit, "truth and firmness"). During the Boer War, Gandhi organized an ambulance corps for the British army and commanded a Red Cross unit. After the war he returned to his campaign for Indian rights. In 1910, he founded Tolstoy Farm, near Durban, a cooperative colony for Indians. In 1914 the government of the Union of South Africa made important concessions to Gandhi's demands, including recognition of Indian marriages and abolition of the poll tax for them. His work in South Africa complete, he returned to India.
Gandhi became a leader in a complex struggle, the Indian campaign for home rule. Following World War I, in which he played an active part in recruiting campaigns, Gandhi, again advocating Satyagraha, launched his movement of  non-violent resistance to Great Britain. When, in 1919, Parliament passed the Rowlatt Acts, giving the Indian colonial authorities emergency powers to deal with so-called revolutionary activities, Satyagraha spread throughout India, gaining millions of followers. A demonstration against the Rowlatt Acts resulted in a massacre of Indians at Amritsar by British soldiers; in 1920, when the British government failed to make amends, Gandhi proclaimed an organized campaign of non-cooperation. Indians in public office resigned, government agencies such as courts of law were boycotted, and Indian children were withdrawn from government schools. Throughout India, streets were blocked by squatting Indians who refused to rise even when beaten by police. Gandhi was arrested, but the British were soon forced to release him.
Economic independence for India, involving the complete boycott of British goods, was made a corollary of Gandhi\\\'s Swaraj (from Sanskrit, "self-governing") movement. The economic aspects of the movement were significant, for the exploitation of Indian villagers by British industrialists had resulted in extreme poverty in the country and the virtual destruction of Indian home industries. As a remedy for such poverty, Gandhi advocated revival of cottage industries; he began to use a spinning wheel as a token of the return to the simple village life he preached, and of the renewal of native Indian industries.
Gandhi became the international symbol of a free India. He lived a spiritual and ascetic life of prayer, fasting, and meditation. His union with his wife became, as he himself stated, that of a brother and sister. Refusing earthly possessions, he wore the loincloth and shawl of the lowliest Indian and subsisted on vegetables, fruit juices, and goat\\\'s milk. Indians revered him as a saint and began to call him Mahatma (great-souled), a title reserved for the greatest sages. Gandhi\\\'s advocacy of nonviolence, known as ahimsa (non-violence), was the expression of a way of life implicit in the Hindu religion. By the Indian practice of nonviolence, Gandhi held, Great Britain too would eventually consider violence useless and would leave India.
The Mahatma's political and spiritual hold on India was so great that the British authorities dared not interfere with him. In 1921 the Indian National Congress, the group that spearheaded the movement for nationhood, gave Gandhi complete executive authority, with the right of naming his own successor. The Indian population, however, could not fully comprehend the unworldly ahimsa. A series of armed revolts against the British broke out, culminating in such violence that Gandhi confessed the failure of the civil-disobedience campaign he had called, and ended it. The British government again seized and imprisoned him in 1922.
After his release from prison in 1924, Gandhi withdrew from active politics and devoted himself to propagating communal unity. Unavoidably, however, he was again drawn into the vortex of the struggle for independence. In 1930 the Mahatma proclaimed a new campaign of civil disobedience, calling upon the Indian population to refuse to pay taxes, particularly the tax on salt. The campaign was a march to the sea, in which thousands of Indians followed Gandhi from Ahmedabad to the Arabian Sea, where they made salt by evaporating sea water. Once more the Indian leader was arrested, but he was released in 1931, halting the campaign after the British made concessions to his demands. In the same year Gandhi represented the Indian National Congress at a conference in London.
In 1932, Gandhi began new civil-disobedience campaigns against the British. Arrested twice, the Mahatma fasted for long periods several times; these fasts were effective measures against the British, because revolution might well have broken out in India if he had died. In September 1932, while in jail, Gandhi undertook a "fast unto death" to improve the status of the Hindu Untouchables. The British, by permitting the Untouchables to be considered as a separate part of the Indian electorate, were, according to Gandhi, countenancing an injustice. Although he was himself a member of an upper caste, Gandhi was the great leader of the movement in India dedicated to eradicating the unjust social and economic aspects of the caste system.
In 1934 Gandhi formally resigned from politics, being replaced as leader of the Congress party by Jawaharlal Nehru. Gandhi traveled through India, teaching ahimsa and demanding eradication of "untouchability." The esteem in which he was held was the measure of his political power. So great was this power that the limited home rule granted by the British in 1935 could not be implemented until Gandhi approved it. A few years later, in 1939, he again returned to active political life because of the pending federation of Indian principalities with the rest of India. His first act was a fast, designed to force the ruler of the state of Rajkot to modify his autocratic rule. Public unrest caused by the fast was so great that the colonial government intervened; the demands were granted. The Mahatma again became the most important political figure in India.
When World War II broke out, the Congress party and Gandhi demanded a declaration of war aims and their application to India. As a reaction to the unsatisfactory response from the British, the party decided not to support Britain in the war unless the country were granted complete and immediate independence. The British refused, offering compromises that were rejected. When Japan entered the war, Gandhi still refused to agree to Indian participation. He was interned in 1942 but was released two years later because of failing health.
By 1944 the Indian struggle for independence was in its final stages, the British government having agreed to independence on condition that the two contending nationalist groups, the Muslim League and the Congress party, should resolve their differences. Gandhi stood steadfastly against the partition of India but ultimately had to agree, in the hope that internal peace would be achieved after the Muslim demand for separation had been satisfied. India and Pakistan became separate states when the British granted India its independence in 1947 (see: Tryst with Destiny -- the story of India\\\'s independence). During the riots that followed the partition of India, Gandhi pleaded with Hindus and Muslims to live together peacefully. Riots engulfed Calcutta, one of the largest cities in India, and the Mahatma fasted until disturbances ceased. On January 13, 1948, he undertook another successful fast in New Delhi to bring about peace, but on January 30, 12 days after the termination of that fast, as he was on his way to his evening prayer meeting, he was assassinated by a fanatic Hindu.
Gandhi's death was regarded as an international catastrophe. His place in humanity was measured not in terms of the 20th century, but in terms of history. A period of mourning was set aside in the United Nations General Assembly, and condolences to India were expressed by all countries. Religious violence soon waned in India and Pakistan, and the teachings of Gandhi came to inspire nonviolent movements elsewhere, notably in the U.S.A. under the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and in South Africa under Nelson Mandela.
     It would be seen from the above how great he was, and is.
     Now back to our dear Godse, NOT Nathuram Vinayak but Ram Narayan.  He was engrossed in reading some fiction in Hindi or perhaps Marathi.  Realizing that he cannot be disturbed I turned my attention to the other persons in that section.  There were three tamilian  guys.  There were two Keralites, three Kanndigas, one Andhra and of course four, I think it was five Maharastrians.  There were a couple of Punhabis and Sardarjis, too.  I started making friends.  I learned that our officer's name was Somnath Datt.  But I was told in strict confidence that as per rumors his real name was Ramnath Datt.  Somnath was his cousin.  Both of them 
were born in that part of Punjab which is now part of Pakistan.  Both of them were employed in our department there (i.e. West Punjab).  Somnath was senior and better educated.  He was working as a Supervisor.  Ramnath was only a clerk.  When Pakistan was formed they, along with very many other Hindus were driven away from their home.  The had no alternative but to come to Delhi for asylum. On the way Somnath was killed and Ramnath took the identity of his cousin.  As all records were lost, (or destroyed deliberately), Ramnath was accepted as Somnath and he became a Supervisor without passing the Departmental Examinations.  In due course he was promoted as an officer and was posted to the office where I joined.  As he resembled Mundra of the then famous Mundhra scam, he was nicknamed as Mundhra by the people in that section as well as by others.  Wondering what is the Mundhra scam?  I give you below a brief sketch of the same.

      Haridas Mundhra was a Calcutta-based industrialist and stock speculator who was found guilty and imprisoned in the first ever big financial scandal of free India in 1957. The Mundhra scandal also exposed the growing rifts between the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his son-in-law Feroze Gandhi, and also led to the resignation of India's then finance minister T. T. Krishnamachari. Haridas Mundhra scandal is the biggest example - that the branches of corruption grows thicker if their roots are not destroyed at very beginning.
In 1957, Mundhra with his nefarious intentions got the government-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest Rs. 1.24 crores (about USD 3.2 million at the time) in the shares of six troubled companies belonging to none other than Mundhra: Richardson Cruddas, Jessops & Company, Smith Stanistreet, Osler Lamps, Agnelo Brothers and British India Corporation. The investment was done under governmental pressure and it also bypassed the LIC’s investment committee, which was informed of this decision only after the deal had gone through. In the series of events of the first scam of India, LIC suffered loss to most of the money.

During Investigations, the Justice M.C. Chagla (a one-man committee  for Commission of Enquiry) determined that the then Finance Secretary of India, Haribhai M. Patel, along with two Life Insurance Corporation of India officials, L S Vaidyanathan, may have colluded on the payment, and should be investigated. Subsequent inquiry committee headed by Retired Justice Vivian Bose cleared the names of two civil servants but passed strictures against finance minister for “lying”. The Finance Minister T. T. Krishnamachari, in his testimony tried to distance himself from the LIC's decision, implying that it may have been taken by the Finance Secretary, but Justice Chagla held that the Minister is constitutionally responsible for the action taken by his secretary and he disown his actions. Eventually, Krishanamachari had to resign. The Nehru government suffered considerable loss of prestige with the exposure of this incident.

Haridas Mundhra was arrested from his luxury suite at the Claridge’s Hotel in Delhi, and sent to prison.
It turned out that Mundhra’s manipulations were not restricted to LIC. The income tax department had curiously withdrawn certain notices pending against him having entered into “some understanding” about the payment of arrears.

In recent times, Mundhra is often noted as the forerunner of other financial scamsters of modern India, including Harshad Mehta and Abdul Karim Telgi, who also operated with considerable political connivance.

     You see that the amount involved was a mere Rs.1.24 crores.  Look at the amounts involved in the present day scams  ...  Thousands, perhaps lacs of crores rupees.

     Well!  My first day at my office passed in this way.  Next day I reached office early at 09:30 A.M. - the office hours were from 10:00 A.M. to 05:00 P.M.  No white-collared employee was there.  A sweeper was cleaning.  About five minuted to 10AM people started entering the section.  I was looking for my mentor Mr. Godse.  At about half past ten Mr. Godse entered.  I eagerly went to him for lessons.   He told me that he was very busy;  he had to complete the latest books (fiction) written by the then famous Hindi and Marathi writers.  He borrowed them from a library and had to return them within ten days.  He therefore asked me to help other clerks in the section.  As my mentor was very busy, my officer was very very busy, I looked at my supervisor.  It seemed that he was very busy, too.  I therefore, spent my time by chatting with my colleagues in my section as well as in the adjoining sections; by going to the canteen for coffee and chatting.  One of my busy days in my office one guy came to my section with folded hands and going to each seat and telling something and shaking hands.  I thought that he was contesting some election and therefore was canvasing.   I was curious to know what he was contesting.  I therefore went near him to hear what he was canvasing.  Oh!  He was telling every one that he was retiring in a couple of days and was taking leave from everyone.  I asked him whether it was necessary for him to take leave from everyone and if he does not do so would be not be allowed to retire.  Some sound like an electric bulb busting came from him.  I was a bit scared.  I looked askance at my colleague next to me.   He explained that it was how our visitor laughed!  He (i.e. the visitor) told me that it was just a formality and also he can avoid doing any office work in that way in the very last days of his service.  He then asked me my name.  I told him and asked him his.  He told me that it was Chote Bhai Sandhu.  I remembered that there was a Bade Bhai Sandhu in my section.  I therefore asked him if he was related to Bade Bhai Sandhu.  He said that Bade Bhai was his elder brother.  I was perplexed.  Seeing  my confusing Bade Bhai Sandhu explained that they both were serving in the west Punjab and when it became part of Pakistan we were driven away.  On reaching Delhi Bade Bhai told the authorities his date of birth which was a good number of years later than the actual date of his birth and Chote Bhai, an idiot, told his correct date of birth.  Thus officially Bade Bhai became younger than Chote Bhai.

      One of the Maharastrians in my section was one Mr. Hari Prasad Purandhare.  Everyone called him Punditji.  The reason, I learned was that he was a very orthodox brahmin with a tuft of hair on the top of his head (i.e. குடுமி).  He performs marriages, upanayanams, and Pujas for Maharastrians.  I noticed that he brings his lunch (chappathis) in a very small box.  One day I noticed that be brought a tiffin carrier of about three feet tall.  At lunch time I stayed back to see what was inside the carrier.  Sabudhana Kitchidi  (cooked sago with spices, salt etc.), Ding Ladu (Gum balls with sugar, cashews, and some other thinks to make it quit palatable).  The rest of the boxes were stuffed with banana fruits.  I asked him why did he bring this (or these) instead the usual stuff in a small box.  He told me that day was a fast day.  I was absolutely flabbergasted .
     A couple of days later my mentor Godse entered the section in a very joyous mood and after signing the attendant register shouted at me to come to his table and sit on the chair adjoining his table.  He didn't have any books of fiction.  I asked him why?  He guffawed  and told me that he had read all the books of fiction he was interested in and only after a week or so the library will get a new lot.  He further added that he decide to educate me on office matter.  He asked me whether I knew the Ten Commandments.  I thought for quite a while and told him "I think I know".  He guffawed again more loudly and asked me to reel off the same.  I asked him why that second guffaw?  He told me that  because he did not know the ten commandments himself.  Then I became bold and told him that the first five were not relevant for us (Hindus) and the sixth to tenth are
" 6.  You shall not murder.
  7.  You shall not commit adultery.
  8.  You shall not steal.
  9.   You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10.  You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”

Mr. Godse was completely nonplussed.  He said with some respect in his voice "My dear boy,  I have heard about the ten commandments, but I really do not know what they are and who said it.  You have told me the ten commandments.  Please tell me who said these."
I told him  "They are in the Bible.  I think God is said to have told these.  Frankly I do not know the details."
Godse said "Never mind! My lad!  I will tell you some office commandments.  If you follow them you can have good time in the office.  Otherwise you will be crushed with work and work and work.".
I said "Yes Sir!.  I am all attention."

Mr. Godse said "1.  Do not show your superiors that you you are clever or intelligent.  If you do so you will be dumped with all kinds of work.  Play that you are an idiot.
2.  Do not come to office early or sit late FOR OFFICE WORK. (You can of course do your personal work or gossip.)
3.  Never complete your work within the allotted time.  If you do so you will be given more work.
4.  Keep complaining that you are loaded with lot of work.
5.  Keep complaining that quota fixed is very high and it is highly impossible to complete them within the allotted time.
6.  Do not attend telephone, particularly when you are alone.  It may be from some big boss and you will have to do the work he wants done if there is nobody else is available to pass the same on to him.
7.  Do not volunteer for anything.
8.  Exhaust all your leave; and try to take some French Leave, too.
9.  Do not do you work perfectly; commit a few mistakes deliberately.
10.  Do not be too obedient to your bosses.  If some extra work is given accept them without grumbling, but do not do them.  When asked tell some excuse."
     I heard Mr. Godse's ten office commandments and I was dumbfounded.

     Next day morning shortly after the start of the office time My officer sent for me.  He asked me
     "Well my boy what were you doing all these days".
      I simply mumbled.
      He then asked me "Can you write in English".
      I nodded in the affirmative.
      "Then write something and bring it to me tomorrow.  I want to see how good is your English and your handwriting" he told me.
      As I do not have any imagination to write something, I asked him "Can I copy something, Sir?".
      He nodded and dismissed me.
      I didn't know what to write.  Copy from Newspaper? Or some book?  After dinner I opened my trunk (the one I brought from Madras for carrying my dress and other necessities) to take my writing pad.  I found some book was clipped to the writing pad.  Oh! that was my SSLC English text-book.  I took it and opened.  It opened the page which had the "The Gettysburg Address".  I copied it.  It is as under:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

      Next morning I showed it to Mr. Godse and told him why I wrote oh! Sorry, copied it.  He advised me not to take it to the officer until he(officer not Mr. Godse)  asked me to bring the same to him.  Mr. Godse further added that the fool (meaning our officer) might completely have forgotten about this.  My officer did not sent for me for the next five or six days.  Then one morning he sent for me.  I went to his room with the paper containing the Gettysburg Address with me.
I wished him "Good Morning, Sir" and gave the paper to him and told him "Sir, You wanted me to write something so that you can see my handwriting and also English."
      He glanced at it and asked me "What is this?".
      I told him that was The Gettysburg Address.
      He seemed to have been annoyed and said "I told you to write some English and you have written some address!  What a long address!  Whose address is this?".
      I told him that it was The Gettysburg Address.
      "Who is this Gettysburg?" he asked me.
      "It is a place, Sir" said I.
     "Please explain, I do not understand anything" said my boss.     
I said "The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history.  It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg."  I reeled out the above from the notes my eleventh class English teacher gave us in the class.  I had pasted it on the page where the lesson "The Gettysburg Address" was printed.
     My boss did not seem to have heard what I was saying.  He was thinking very hard and asked me "What is his name?".
      "Abraham Lincoln, Sir." I saidi.
      "He has such a long address!  Who is he?".
      "He was the 16th President of the United States of America".
       "Why such a long address?  The President of United States of America, New York, should be sufficient".
      "Why New York? Sir".
      "Beewagoof!  It is the Capitol of United States of America" said my boss with a benign smile.
       "Washington D.C. is the Capitol of the U.S.A., Sir".
       "Have they changed it now?" he asked me.
       "As far as know Washington D.C. is the Capitol of the USA from the beginning" said I.
       "See Nam Joshi Saab!  This boy does not know and he is adamant that he is correct.  You please tell him what is the Capitol of the USA" said my officer.
      Mr Nam Joshi looked at Mundra and then at me and winked at me and said "I vote for Washington D.C.".
     "Let anything be the Capitol.  Why should I care?" said my officer with irritation.
     I kept quiet.  He then looked at my writing and exclaimed "You said it was an address and you have written something else." he asked me.
     "I was the speech by Abraham Lincoln, Sir.  I already explained all these to you" I retorted.
      He then was staring at me for a long moment.  His face which was already ugly turned more ugly; he seemed to be very angry and very sour at me.  Then he sent for my supervisor, and when he came he (my officer) asked him to allot me some (actually he specified names, but I did not understand them at that time) items of work.  My supervisor looked at me pityingly and nodded me to follow him to the section.  At the section he asked me to sit on the chair beside his and asked me what happened in the officer's room.  I told him.  After hearing him he said "Mundhra is very angry with you.  He asked me to allot you the most difficult items of work which even a very experienced clerk will not be able to perform to the satisfaction of superiors.  i am sorry, I have to obey his orders".  Then he announced loudly the items of work allotted to me and asked three persons to hand over the papers pertaining to the work which from that moment became mine.  He then  told me that the items of work allotted to me were very important and urgent and therefore to be done on day to day basis and if I could not finish within office hours I have to come early, sit late and perhaps will have to come on holidays, too.  He comforted me by saying that he and my colleagues in the section will certainly help me.  All my colleagues looked at me with pity in their eyes.

     While returning from office that day my friends consoled me by saying that if I worked very hard I could finish my work in time and after some days I will get used to hard work. 

     After dinner that day I was lying on my bed and thinking and praying Him.  Next day morning I took bath early and went to the nearby temple and prayed Him for guidance and strength.  He was very Graceful and He did give me those.  After some days of very hard work i learned all the work allotted to me and was finishing them before time.  Of course I threw Mr. Godse's Ten Office Commandments into the trash.  Hard work gave me quite a lot of knowledge (particularly about official work) and my colleagues, not only in my section but in other sections, too started looking at me with respect.  Then I learned what is meant by "knowledge is power".

1 comment:

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