Empty thoughts and mutterings

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Grad school memoirs - I

After being through high school, college and grad school, I have been lucky to make some great friends and some wonderful memories along the way. I am sure each of us has a favorite time that we’d like to go back to and re-live, to our heart’s content. To me, college and high school were fun, but grad school was when I had the most fun. Learning new things in a new country, screwing up as I learnt them, laughing at people when they screw up, getting laughed at when I screwed up all added up to great memories! I will write about a few of those in my next few posts.

Only 2 days had passed since I had stepped foot in this country. I had a tuition waiver and I was applying to assistance-ships across campus. That's when I got this phone call when I was in my room at home.

The voice – “Hello, we’re trying to reach Dinesh Kal—yanaaa--sundeeeram”

Me – evano vellakaaran doi, asst ship matter a dhaan irukkum “Yes sir, this is Dinesh”

Him – “Our records indicate that you have been enrolled as an M.S candidate for the fall semester”

Me – “Yes sir, that is correct sir”

Him – “And is your e-mail kaydinesh@yahoo.com”

Me – “That is correct sir”

Him – “We’re calling from the internet indecency committee on campus, and it has come to our attention that you have viewed pornographic web sites from the university’s computer labs”

Me – Idhenna da pudhu vambaaa irukku “No sir, I didn’t see any pornographic web sites, I only checked my e-mail from the computer labs”

Him – “But we see that your e-mail address has been used in porn sites”

Me – Evano puniyavaan jolly a porn a paathuptu namma e-mail address a use pannirkaan pola irukke da “Sir, No sir, I think there has been a mistake. I did not go into any pornographic web site. I have been here only for 2 days”

Him – “And you're saying 2 days is not enough to do this? We see here that you are a new student. Do you understand the consequences of your actions ?”

Me – Appa saami..ivan enna da ennennamo pesaraan. Bayamaa irukke da. Pannalenu sonaalum namba mattengaraan. Kenji paappom. Vera vazhi ille. “Sir, I am a sincere student with ambitions for a M.S and much higher things, I am really sorry sir, please can you excuse me this one time”

Him – “I am sorry. That will be up to the director. You can explain to him. Usually we are very hard on issues like this. These actions would usually result in expulsion from the university. But since this is your first time, we’ll let you go easy”

Me- Habba.... thappichom pola irukku “Thank you very much sir. This will be never be repeated sir”

Him – “Good. You will not be expelled from the university. However, your tuition waiver has been revoked. Please come to our office and collect the relevant papers”

Me – Ayyayyoo, tuition waiver a thookkuveengala ? “Sir, please sir. I have not brought enough money to support myself. Can you forgive me this one time sir ?”

Him – “I am sorry, but this is the best we can do” and hangs up the phone.

I spent the next 5 minutes understanding what had just happened to me.The gravity of the situation had slowly hit me and I was in almost in tears at this point. I open my room’s door to convey this to my room mates and to get any suggestions. Lo and Behold....I see 15 new faces with my room mates, and 1 guy holding a phone...all off them were in tears too…with laughter ! I didn’t immediately understand what was going on..it took me a while to realize that I had been played beautifully. I laughed at my gullibility too once I got over the anger and surprise. I guess I was more relieved than angry. And later on, I liked the prank so much, that I used it on a couple of juniors with brilliant results :)

And, from that day on, I was known around campus as "The sincere student with ambitions" !

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