Venue : DA-IICT
Time : One month before Synapse
“..aur padhai ka mat bhoolna”
“nahi bhoolonga mummy”
That was me reassuring my mother for the millionth time that I would study no matter how much work I had to do for my college’s annual fest. With the fest only one month away, I had stopped attending lectures, labs and tutorials. If my mom came to know this she would have asked me to pack my bags and return back to home and take over my ancestral business – farming in Kerala!
“Achcha mummy, I got to go. Lecture ka time ho rha hain”.
I hung up on her and went to Anand’s (Fest convenor) room.
“You wanted to meet me ?”, I enquired.
“Accha hua jo tu aah gaya yaar. Bohot urgent kaam hain. Mujhe Synapse ke passes chahiye. Abhi ke abhi!”
“but how’s that possible. Atleast give me two days time”, I retorted.
“Main kuch nhi janta. Mujhe abhi ke abhi chahiye. Main aaj printer ke yahaan jaa rha hun. Abhi ke Abhi laa ke de !”
“Ok. I’ll do it”, There’s no point in arguing with him for two reasons :
- He just wouldn’t listen.
- Since he was the one who was going to the printer, i knew for sure that it wont happen in the next one week.
The passes can wait, I thought to myself. I had to do more important work. I needed to make the poster for Synapse, the Slides to be put up at nearby multiplexes and newspaper ads for DNA newspaper.
While I agreed to become the Head of design department, I pictured a bunch of sorry designers working under me and me giving out instructions to them, hurling abuses at them and having a good time. But contrary to my vision, within one week of my tenure, I knew that I wasnt the Head of the design department, instead I was the Head designer himself! Those are TWO totally different things if you must know. My creativity is highly questionable but when you need things to be done ‘Abhi ke abhi’… then what can i say, Desperate times call for desperate measures.
So here I was in my room sketching out a few drafts as to how the Synapse poster should look like and my cell starts ringing.
Neelim calling… Neelim calling
Neelim was the head of PR department but he handled a lot of Sponsorship affairs too.
“Neelim meri jaan! Kaisa hain ?”, He was one of the few guys I liked working with in the committee.
“Denny maadarch*d!!!” He exploded on me, “Ch*tiya hain kya tu ?”
“Calm down man, what happened”, I was baffled.
“bh*nsdike! jo letter head design maanga tha tere se, sponsors ko bhejne ke liye usme spelling mistakes hain”
“Oh f*ck !”, I was upset at myself for this too. The one thing I learnt working for the committee was that you just can’t mess with the sponsors. “When do you have to go to the sponsors ?”, I asked.
“I’m leaving in one hour”, he replied.
“I’ll send the corrected thing right now”, I assured him.
“R*ndi saala! Ek kaam dhang se nhi karta”, were the only comprehensible words i heard before he hung up.
Poster, slides, ads, passes can wait. Lets get the letterheads perfect. I realized my blunder at once. I had mispelt sponsorship as sponsership. Now the fact is that not many of the sponsors themselves would realize it but as i said earlier, you just dont mess with the sponsors. It was an image file so I had to take the pains of doing the whole job in Photoshop. As i was about to begin, my cell rang again. Busy on my computer, I put the phone against my ears and began the conversation.
“Hey Denny”, said the voice on the other side. The seductive tone echoed in my ears for 5 nanoseconds. It was like a drop of water in a desert, the only reason to be happy in this committe, to be more precise, it was the only girl in the 15 member committee, It was Ruchita (Marketing head).
“Listen, I need to get this done urgently. Are you by any chance going towards Ahmedabad ? ”, she enquired.
“Oh, yes. I was just gonna leave. Do you need something ?”, ‘How sweet of you’ was the reply I was expecting.
“I have an MOU with me. Get it signed from the ISCON Mall manager, will you?”, this was the reply she gave.
“Sure, why not. I was heading there anyways ”
Now you dont mess with the sponsors, but you don’t offend the ladies either. Most of us join the committee for girls. The fact that none of us end up with girls is a totally different issue, to be pondered upon at lengths. But what the heck, that doesn’t stop us from trying, does it. HELL NO!!!
Poster, slides, ads, passes, letterheads can wait. Lets get the MOU done first.
I met Ruchita in the college cafe. The conversation that I fantasized in my mind to be of half an hour ends in 5 minutes and I end up with the MOU in my hand on a god forsaken van filled with 15 people heading toward Ahmedabad. All the committee members go to Ahmedabad on bikes but people don’t think Design heads to be worthy of a bike.
While I was waiting for the Mall manager, A constant fear kept bugging me. I had to meet deadlines. A lot of my work was due. I knew that the whole committee was behind me. And if they even got the slightest of hint that I was here working for Ruchita, they would have killed me. Not because I wasn’t doing their work, mainly because they too wanted to do Ruchita’s work. So I did what a responsible member should do at such a critical state. I switched of my mobile phone. Saala Jhanjhat hi khatam.
By the time the Mall guy came and I got him to sign the MOU, it was already 6 in the evening. I had to take a jeep on my way back. I entered into a jeep that was already waiting there from a long time. I was the last one to get inside. I was sure that I wouldn’t fit in but the van driver assured me that he would be able to stuff me in. He did succeed. He locked us 10 people in the back of the van and steered away on the road.
Ok. Its not that bad, I thought, I’ll be able to reach by 7. Then I could start working on the left out assignments and still be able to set things straight.
Just as I reassured myself that everything’s fine I sensed that I was being watched. As I tried to look closely, it dawned upon me that Vibhor (Deputy Convenor) and Shaunak (Sponsorship head) were sitting in front of me. Apparently there bike had broke down and they had to take the layman’s transport vehicle.
“Kahaan tha pure din tu ?”, asked Vibhor.
“Woh.. woh mera bhai aaya tha aaj yahaan. Toh usse milne aaya tha.”, I lied.
“abay saale! Fest kya tera bhai karaega ?”, Shaunak seemed particularly angry at the mention of my brother. All his brothers were musicians of high regard in Indian as well as International circles. Every body else’s brother were pieces of shit for him. And evidently my brother belonged to the same niche for him.
What followed was a round of abuses against me wherein each one was trying to better the other by increasing the intensity of the abuses used. Most of the people sitting in the van were from the labour class and I could see them sympathising for me. They could relate themselves to me. They felt sorry for me. They knew I couldn’t do anything in retaliation. We shared the same pain. We just looked at each other and assured each other that this would get over one day.
I reached my room at 9. I looked at all the work that was lying infront of me and gauged that It would require another night out for me to meet the deadlines. Well that’s not a problem anymore anyways. So I sat down on my PC with a fatigued body and equally fatigued mind to do, perhaps the most creative job. I was the head designer, remember ?
I switched on my mobile phone. A string of messages followed from Neelim, Anand, Vibhor, Ruchita and Shaunak. I chose to ignore them. And got started on my work.
My cell rang again.
Mummy calling… Mummy calling
“Hello”, I answered.
“Hi beta, why do you sound so tired?”
“Nothing mom, had a lot of work to do today.”
“Take care beta, don’t overburden yourself. How much longer is it going to last ?”
“Just another month.Its over then. I am not joining any committee next year”
“Good. You could then focus on your studies.”
“Exactly mom. I need to study now. Bye”
I hung up and realised what I had just said I AM NOT JOINING ANY COMMITTE NEXT YEAR!!!
I’m not sure that if it makes any sense to those who aren’t from my college. I doubt if it makes any sense to my college folks either 🙂
All the people mentioned in the post have been like a family to me during the previous one year. This is just a tribute to them. 🙂
And as always, your comment, in whatever form, along with your name is welcome 🙂