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Scarier than the underworld

entertainment Updated: Jul 25, 2010 01:01 IST
Damini Purkayastha

Who would have thought that no one would come on record for this one? The Person, who was too afraid to let me give out the slightest clue to his identity, has been scouring the DU website every hour. As he clicked ‘refresh’ for the 100th time, I finally asked what the deal was. Apparently, the Person is awaiting his MA results and is unsure whether he will pass. But, it’s not the trauma of failure that bothers him; it’s the thought of going through the nightmare of form-filling in order to retake exams. “God! I’ll go from X college in North Campus to the Arts Faculty hundred times, and if I’m two minutes late or have one signature less, I’ll have to do it all again!”

As he spoke, a strong sense of deja vu enveloped me. I knew this nightmare; I’d lived it, too. In my case, I spent days running from South Campus to North Campus before I could complete all the pre-exam paperwork. Wow, it was as though time had forgotten DU. Could it really be possible that Admin Offices were still wearing their sarkari-daftar garb, even as sarkari-daftars were trying to step into the 21st century?

In most cases, I got my reply the minute I stated my query. “We’ll talk to you, but don’t write our names,” was the unanimous appeal from students. The Admin, you see, seems to be scarier than the Mafioso. Student 1, who’s studying Economics in a North Campus college, recounts her horror. “I had to sign up as a Commonwealth Games Volunteer, and all I needed was one signature. They first said Mr Y would sign it. I waited for 45 minutes and Mr Y said Mr G, who was on leave, would sign it.”

Student 2, who almost lost a year when he lost his library cards, says, “I had to pay a fine, but before they accepted it they wanted some 100 signatures, apologies, groveling… They had the power to make my life difficult and they did.” Student 3, who’s studying somewhere in South Campus, says: “If you have work with admin, walk in with patience and zero self respect.”

Even as I write this, my phone is buzzing with SMSes reminding me to keep identities anonymous. Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me. Unless, of course, I have some work with the Admin Office and your names work as a bribe.