Friday, 31 October 2014

On Wardrobe Malfunctions, High Table Dinners and Science Day Celebrations

It is late in the day. And it was a long day. There will be times in the FC when a day just does not seem to end. The day starts with the PT. Even the most optimistic, rationalizing human being would find it hard to wake up early in the morning and trudge down to Polo grounds in the increasingly biting cold, day after day after day. What may be an unequal compensation for the disruption in sleep, comfort and warmth? A glimpse of the sky shy of dawn and full of stars.

Then there are guest lectures. Thanks to small and very rare mercies like documentaries/short films/clippings being shown in auditoria. If the support staff supports by dimming the ambient lights one can catch up on few much needed winks. Even if one tries sincerely not to sleep in the class, taking such extreme measures as skipping breakfast etc, one can be assured of a visit by the Nidra Devi. 

This day was celebrated as Science Day, commemorating the 105th birth anniversary of Homi J Bhabha. There were couple of lectures on implementation of innovative technologies by government agencies. Contrary to the commonly held belief that the abundant number of government run labs and scientific organizations do negligible work, there are few such government run organizations headed by passionate, knowledgeable, courageous civil servants doing commendable work. However, they may be more an exception than the rule. We still have a large number of autonomous, semi-autonomous, deemed autonomous, wannabe autonomous and other manner of organizations purportedly researching weighty matters in science and technology, guzzling public funds like many fat caterpillars and nothing to show for their years of existence. Instead of a bias for action, the bureaucrats and technocrats of these organizations have a bias for status quo.

 As a part of the Science Day celebrations, a declamation contest was held on whether science can be an equilibrium between development and sustainable existence.

The 3rd Cultural Programme was a qualified success. I must clarify, the qualification is of the highest order. Why do I put everything in bureaucratese? The highlight of the show, in my juvenile opinion, is that of the image of an affable gentleman officer trainee holding the dhoti up by both hands, protecting his modesty with admirable ease. We need more near wardrobe malfunctions to spice up the staid proceedings of the FC once in a while. There were glitches in the programme but considering that the OTs were quite hard pressed for time, even the effort of putting up the show was admirable. I always believe that trying one's best despite adverse conditions shows one's character. 

The evening does not end here though. The highlight of the evening was the lecture by Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has had a distinguished career as an economist and academician. It was interesting to listen to his experiences in navigating the political and bureaucratic maze in India. The lecture was followed by a formal dinner with the chief guest. It was an awkward sight, the chief guest and others at the high table and couple of hundred OTs gawking at the admittedly handsome alum of IIT D and IIM A. One needs to get used to more such awkward sights I suppose.

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