Last Thursday Google Buzz had just got released and in my childish enthusiasm, I foolishly chided a good friend in the public domain for having reneging on a promise to meet up.In true spirit of Achmed the dead terrorist, I went so far as to call him an infidel. The good man, lets call him Keynesian Versus Moniterist or KVM, ruffled by the frontal attack replied with a gem of a mail explaining his frustrations with frequent business travel and the associated red tape.
Taking a page out of Google who violated my privacy by making me automatically follow people on Buzz whom I usually avoid by preferring to get diarrhoea, I am blatantly violating email confidentiality and pasting his mail below.
"O Master, the most merciful and the most beneficent! I was recently greatly alarmed to see, of all places on Google Buzz, that have you summarily declared me an Infidel! My numerous, exuberant, overflowing apologies! I am painfully aware of the unfulfilledness of my promises, my liege, and I only beg to humbly state, nay, whisper, that the current owners of my soul, Messrs. S******, are quite adept at making good use of their purchases.
Since the sale occurred, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, and unlike Mr. Macaulay, I have not a single observation that will be pillaged and plagiarized by posterity on rediff forums. All I have are arcane procedures to file Domestic Travel Requisitions and Post Travel Regularizations gambolling in my head when I sleep on bus journeys, and in a slight variation to the Kekule theme, I see myself eaten up by the bureaucracy I spawn.
Under such terrifying circumstances, O paragon of virtue, would you blame me for wasting away on Google Buzz? Arise into a thunderous tempest, O ocean of kindness, and send forth a gale of forgiveness my way, lest I continue with the atrocious vocatives and metaphors"
Reading this the first thing on Friday morning put me under tremendous pressure to send a reply at least half as good. But how could I match up to such brilliance? It had references to obscure Indian History, organic chemistry trivia, cult forums and read like the Koran at the same time! I asked my imaginary secretary to cancel all my appointments for the day and walked about the apartment sweating profusely and biting my nails to bits, thinking. Lunch was missed, gym skipped, facebooking shelved. But to no avail. Expectedly I gave in by late evening. Trembling in apprehension and drowning in self-loathing I sent this reply.
"Not even the recently Predatored Hakimullah Mehsud, while having a bad bout of indigestion would have been so ill-tempered so as not to be swayed by such a benevolent and munificent plea for exoneration. The beauty and the wonder of the entreaty lies in the fact that it delicately and yet convincingly makes the wronged feel guilty of his unduly harsh and substantially hasty step of having Buzzed his sentiments publicly.
Fear not the needless requisition forms! For in me you will find an equally maltreated victim of a system which revels in draping themselves in red tape. Disguised innocently in terms as Journey Management Plans and Travel Requisition Forms, the effort involved in traversing the world is half wasted while in the office premises itself. The heart yearns and the mind craves and the body aches for a world where red tape is just a technique to keep the masses away from murder scenes.
So go forth on your tedious missions, cross the borders which separate the barbarians from the rest of us, dazzle them with your mental faculties and the return with the aura of victory and triumph as city belles fawn over you and vie for your attention. It will be then when we sit and spin our yarn over tumblers of ale."
The overriding fear was this shoddy job of trying to catch up will prevent the good man from investing his talents in my inbox in the future. Till the time of writing of this post, my fears have proved to be well-founded.
PS: I miss IITM and her exceptional inmates.
Ten years since IIT and all that - In Dec last year, I attended the tenth year reunion at IIT. Technically it will be this year that I will be completing my ten years since graduation but ...