Red Tape & All That Jazz

    Or How to Fool the College Authorities into Thinking You Are a Blameless Babe in the Woods

Four years in a college, and you’d think that the higher-ups would PAY to see us go. But NO! Our college authorities don’t want to give us up without a struggle. So, they have devised the perfect torture plan to make sure that 1 out of 5 students do not leave the College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
This seemingly simple yet devious plan is called, innocuously enough, a No-Dues Certificate. At face value, the form asks very simple questions indeed.
1) Name, (easy enough unless you are the kind that writes EVERYTHING from your neighbour’s paper).
2) Class and year in which admitted to CET. Now, unless you spent most of your adult life at CET, I am sure you remember the time you found yourself in the midst of the Acacia forest wondering “Mera number kab aayega?”
8) Reason for leaving: Uhm, they won’t have me anymore?! I wish they would, but they need the space for the juniors….

Once the poor final year student (or to be alumnus) is done with the third degree, he/she is suddenly faced with a mass of cryptic designations like Head Librarian, Hostel Warden, Bus Secretary, Supdt. A4, Supdt. G2 etc. Like a lifeline you cling on to Head of Department and Dean as someone you might recognise if you meet them in the lobby….
You’re told you need their signatures. Counting down, that’s around nine signatures and a smile creases your face as you start calculating what can be done with the spare time. When, suddenly, the trap is sprung by the gleeful other in the conversation,
“By the way, you need to get signatures from every lab and place in the college where you set your foot in.”
Frantically, some lovebirds begin to calculate if the long walks and the sojourns in the Acacia Park (also known as the Panjaara Kaadu) was costing them any.
And thus begins your long trek around the 145 acres of the College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
Any sane CETian begins with the Library, where it’s easy to get the four signatures and bid adieu. Any ECEian worth their salt then demands a no dues from the Machines Lab, (heh! imagine breaking a DC motor or a AC transformer), and the Mechanical Workshop Lab, (no breakages unless asked to use a large hammer and a chisel). Getting signatures from the umpteen labs you never remembered having done in the four years in college, from the component store, from your staff advisor and the HOD complete the quota at the Dept.
Ideally, the CGPU, the CCF and the CETAA ought to come somewhere in the middle.
I couldn’t bear to look as the sir at the Central Computer Facility punched a hole into my ID card, (which was falling apart with that final indignity anyway). Ideally, I did say. I forgot to get the no dues from the CET Alumni Association (CETAA), but got a signature from the HOD anyway.
That made for a funny conversation.
Friend: “I have to get a signature from the CETAA”
Me: “Now, I haven’t been to any of those reunions yet. So, I didn’t pay. I gave it off without paying THEM!”
Friend: “Hah. Now, you won’t be an alumnus of CET.”
Me: “Aren’t we all supposed to meet, like, in 2056?”
After one day,
Me: “Sir, I got my no dues approved without signing three forms in triplicate about joining the CETAA as a member.”
Sir: “Cluck like a chicken thrice and promise me you won’t repeat this again!”

Then, of course, there is the case of non-college bus using, day scholars having to camp outside the Hostel Warden and the Bus Secretary’s Office. Not to mention having to take a sign off the scatter brained lady that is the Dept. Librarian.

This process took three days. At the end of which, I cheerfully went to the UG Dean’s Office and asked for my TC.
The lady looked mournfully up and asked me to wait for three months, at the end of which the Dean would inform me I’d have to take a signature again since he used Emerald Green Ink to sign instead of Jade Green.

I hate red tape. And, no, not the shoes.

PostScript
This is my last blogspot from this address. This is because of proxy issues this blog page faces at most institutes, including IIMB.
Those cats who are curious about my further adventures are free to read on at …..

Frankly, I am curious to know too 😉
http://bstung.blogspot.com

PostScript to a PS
On the honour of a Fachchi from IIMB, I’ll try to keep the blog updated and as clear as the accounts kept by Anderson & Anderson for Enron.

See you guys, and trust me I enjoyed the Brain Freeze ride.

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7 thoughts on “Red Tape & All That Jazz

  1. Anjaan

    Now you have a story for a nice bollywood flick.. Pen it out.. cast some hot stars.. and u have enough masala in there to make a MOvie!
    Lets send it?

  2. mmrriad
  3. nithin ramachandran

    hey ….
    nice post …

    man i remember my old college days too…

    even durind admission in each sem…we had to run from end to end to get the no dues done….i finally bought off a bike cause i was tired running in the heat from the college mess to the deans office and where not…

    nice post …

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