Vantage point

Sunday, May 07, 2006


For some reason, this "blast from the past" struck me yesterday.

On a day three years back, when I was a young, impressionable and promising youngster pursuing my MBA at IIM Lucknow, I was sitting on the third bench as my head grew heavy and my sat grew dim, and I had to stop for the night. Except that it wasn't night. It was day, and the MIS class was in progress. The official version for public consumption is that I had been working hard on 3 projects and 4 paper submissions the previous night and had not slept a wink. Just as the twain eyelids were about to meet, the Professor pointed at me and said.

"Kaam hiyaaaar!!" That's Bonglish for "come here". Our Prof, while being a splendid teacher, had an accent that was as Bengali as it could get.

I obeyed him and walked towards the blackboard where he had been drawing some flowcharts or some thing. I vaguely remembered that a case study regarding Hospital MIS systems(redundant?) was being discussed.

The Professor boomed,

"Draw Abhijit!"

That well and truly woke me up. Abhijit? Draw Abhijit? Am I dreaming? Abhijit who?

"Pardon Sir" I mumbled, trying my best not to let the sleepiness reflect in my voice.

"Draw Abhijit!" he re-boomed.

That was a rather curious command, made curiouser by the fact that there was no Abhijit in our class. At least I thought there wasn't. I cast my eyes on the first row of the class, since we were seated alphabetically. Sure enough, there were Abhineet and Abhirup seated towards the left, but no Abhijit. Even more disconcerting was the fact that the entire class was poker-faced. No one seemed as confused by the command as I was. They seemed to have taken the proceedings as perfectly normal. As if we were asked to draw unknown people on a daily basis.

The Professor was glaring at me, so i felt compelled to say something.

"Who, Sir?" I queried, wishing to ascertain the identity of this mysterious Abhijit.

"Whoooooooooooooooooooooo????" he asked in an irritated yet lilting tone, not unlike an owl I know.

The question seemed preposterous to him. Even the class was looking at me suspiciously, definitely wondering whether I was the beneficiary of an undetected CAT paper leak in the previous year. How could I not get something so simple. A couple of guys clucked their tongues, and the CP-Addict (you know who you are ;)) was almost itching to raise his hand and volunteer to render an exact image of Abhijit.

I looked at the blackboard, and two innocuous words struck me like a bolt of lightening and enlightenment dawned at once. Written next to a hospital, a patient, a doctor, was the protagonist of our story -

a visit

Joi Bonglaaa!