Monday, 20 October 2014

On monkeys and on mid terms

A distinguished, decorated and senior ex-police officer visited the academy to deliver a lecture on leadership. The part of the message that resonated with me the most was when the visiting dignitary exhorted the OTs to be anti establishment to an extent possible. Here is a civil servant who even after 37 years working inside the 'system' did not become jaded or turn a cynic. Contrast with the outlooks of civil servants of some vintage (say 10 years) as expressed during the literary festival.

An exam chill has descended on the batch. Conversations among the OTs begin and end with the customary query of how far down the preapration lane one has gone. There are hushed whispers of answers of the extent of one's preparation. There are remedial classes by few kindred souls specializing in hard to understand subjects. The KTPs may be sharpening their knives (pens, same thing) to go in for the kill. Then there are the clueless and the give-up (gibbups) types who for some reason feel they have transcended the levels of exams and other methods fo testing one's intellect/memory power. These gibbups may have the added disadvantage of an unfavourable age on their side. A civil servant, the calculative, manipulative, oily character that he is, would have figured out what needs to be done to survive in this OT eat OT world. Or he may genuinely be clueless.

The OTs take a tumble from time to time when not studying like it is the end of the world. They may drop off a horse while riding or be attacked by a troop of monkeys while minding one's business. These are occupational hazards for civil servants. Especially the monkeys. The langurs when they dash across cobble stone paved open spaces make a thundering noise as if they are arboreal equines, sans the horse shoes. They are powerful creatures that need to be given a wide berth. The monkeys, on the other hand, while only a little lesser disagreeable than the langurs, are nevertheless dangerous if the troop has infant monkeys. All said and done, our simian relatives and neighbours tend to be uncivil towards the civil servants. One finds the incline and the steps up to the academic area from the hostels often strewn with monkey faeces, a singularly unpleasant sight when one is proceeding for breakfast.

If a monkey hits random keys on a laptop keyboard for an infinite amount of time, then it will most surely type up all the rules governing the conduct of civil servants or, better still, a blog chronicling the lives and times of civil servants of the 89th Foundation Course batch. Alas! I do not have an infinite amount of time. A second rehearsal 10k run is scheduled in place of tomorrow's PT. A monkey off one's back with this PT substitution.

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