Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chakku Ka Chakravyuh

The situation goes like this, it’s the last week of the month and I need to get a paper signed by my mentor for sanction of my stipend. And this marks the start to grueling exercise to break the code which we DuDeS like to call “Chakku Ka Chakravyuh

Knock Knock! “May I get in sir?”
“Yes, Come in”
I open the door and a cloud of cigarette smoke comes out. Controlling the urge to cough I step in.
“YOU!!... get lost I don’t even want to see your face, what do you think of yourself, you will come whenever you want and I’ll be waiting for you.”O boy there you go again.
"Where were you all the days?"Huh! Like I’ll tell you the truth that I had been sleeping in my room, watching movies and pumping iron at Gold gym.
“I don’t want to guide such an insincere student… Just get out now..”And I returned without getting his autograph, in fact without even having a single word being said about it.
Are you thinking my plan flopped? Hell no. This was the step 1 to break “Chakku ka Chakravyuh”, this is how you reduce the pressure from a pressure cooker make it whistle, make it spit out some of the hot steam.

Knock Knock! (I don’t utter a single word coz my voice might upset his mood)
“yes”I take a deep breath to dive in ocean of cigarette smoke.
Lord chakku see me from the corner of his eye but this time he doesn’t say anything or even looks up. He shows like he is not aware that it’s me in his room.
“Sir, I wanted to discuss this research paper.” Note the technique; I don’t mention a word about scholarship form.
Then I take a deep breath and start “It talks about Multi user interference and Multipath Interference for Direct Sequence and Time Hopping UWB and compares the results for Optimal and Suboptimal receivers”, only to stop for taking another breath before my lungs run out of oxygen. I continue saying some sentences which I could remember from the abstract of that paper, having read just before entering the room. During all this time he doesn’t look up, continues to read some book, showing complete indifference to me.
Then I pause, waiting for the cooker’s second wistle.
This time it’s lesser in intensity, “Do you think I don’t have anything else to do but to wait for you to come and then discuss your project. I have three second year M.Tech students, three first year M.techs, four students and all of these are regular and sincere to their work, main unko pehle time dunga ya aapse discuss karu jinka pichle bees pachchis din se kuch pata hi nahi hai”Man to kar raha tha ki bol dun, vo saale sab ghissu hain to unke kiye ki saja hume kyun mil rahi hai
“Aur vo aapke do dost kahan hain, dual degree vale apne apko pata nahi kya samajhte hain”As expected my other two “Chakku bros” also didn’t meet him, lately DuDeS (dual degree students) had become some sort of common villains for all Profs in my dept.
“I don’t have time now, come later”
And I come back without sign again.

In chakku’s den.
This time he speaks, he doesn’t shout, he just says “Abhi to main bahut busy hoon, I have to finish this whatever-whatever report, then there is this meeting in senate…” He goes on to tell more about his tight schedule.. “..DUGC..” “..Senate..” “..something-something evaluation..” etc etc.
“ek kam kariye, come on Thursday.. not in noon.. hmm.. aap aaiye sham ko 7.30 baje”
7.30 in evening!! WTF!! What kind of time is that? But with chakku you have to expect the unexpected.

After he reads the research paper in 2 mins, which I read for more than an hour and asks me some questions, not to test me but just out of curiousity.. “…what code are they using for spreading?..” “ many fingers does their RAKE receiver has?”
Shit! I didn’t remember if there was any mention of these things in the paper..
“Sir, they haven’t mentioned anything about it”
He’ll open a page in paper n start reading some para which I probably skiped coz it was too boring.
“ye kya likha hai.. theek se padhte to ho nahi.. aur chale aate ho..”
Here we go again, the lecture starts again and my brain goes into power saving mode, now I was just standing with my head down, without trying to listen at all, however occasionally nodding my head like I was totally listening.
All I could hear was some words occasionally “.. dedication… M.Tech..sincere... dual degree.. insincere.. expectations… JEE.. talent.. waste.. bad.. not good.. disappointed…” etc etc.
Finally he’ll say the words which I had been desperately waiting to hear.. “jaiye ab yahan khade kya time waste kar rahe hain.. you need to study 16 hrs a day”
16 hrs!! ya sure!! Over my dead body. Never even studied that much during JEE preparation days.
I was just glad that cooker gave its last whistle. In other words, khichdi pak gai hai.

Next day of last whistle of chakku pressure cooker. I am ready to eat my hard earned khichdi, prepared a day ago. With no words being spoken I slide my papers on his desk, with “Monthly Status Report” over the schol form. Chakku mahaprabhu reads the status report word by word, marks two three red circles over spelling/grammer mistakes (this includes word Chakarvorty/Chakravarty/Chakravarthy” never wrote it correctly), underlines a sentence, asks to correct all these stuff and finally signs off my school form with a warning “If you don’t start working sincerely, this is the last time I am signing your scholarship form”

The day on which I got my schol form signed was usually the next day of the deadline for submitting it, so after breaking “Chakku ka Chakravyuh” I had to face another problem “Pomerian of Mugambogambo”, but about that later. Bottom line is I rarely got schol.

After a few months of me following the DuDeS motto “Hum Nahi Sudhrenge” Chakku sir did what he warned me of, He stopped signing my schol forms (Although he did sign all of them together after I finished my thesis but bloody ECE dept never gave me my hard earned 30k).

Finally let me clear one thing in spite of all his scolding and everything, Chakku is still my favorite person at IIT-R. He is one of the brightest minds I have ever met in my life. I miss my IIT, I miss my friends, really miss those days a lot.