Thursday, December 03, 2009

For Necessary Action

The letter was really intriguing (i.e. interesting and confusing). The writer had found a solution to the problem of climate change. He stated that he had been researching in the dense forests and had studied the impact of climate change on changing color of the frogs. He had also analyzed its effect on the decibel level of their croaking.

After listening to the data for twelve years and feeling it on a handmade supercomputer made out of completely organic ingredients, he had derived a formula to reverse the climate change. The only thing he needed now to hand it over to the government was a small appreciation letter from the Prime Minister of India and twenty one lakh cash. Since he felt that foreign secret agents were behind his life, he had refused to divulge any further details.

So there I was, sitting as usual in the first hour my office and doing my most important job, seeing the ‘Daak file’. In simple terms a Daak file is a file that keeps the Daak or the ‘correspondence’. Every day I get scores of letters which I skim/read/try to read in the first hour of office. The above mentioned letter was present in the same Daak file and I had already given it two minutes, twelve times the usual 10 seconds allotted to a usual Daak.

I get anything between 50 to 500 letters a day and two minutes to a single letter was certainly extravagance. For a moment I felt that I held the future of humanity in my hand. Pictures of huge melting glaciers with white polar bears flashed in front of my eyes and I decided to act in a conclusive manner. I tried to think hard to decide the various alternatives.

I could have forwarded that letter directly to the PMO and asked them to act upon it. I could have written to the science and technology department. I could have additionally sought funds to further research upon the matter. I could also have called a meeting of all college professors to discuss the issue. In case I wanted to deal conservatively, I could have sought advice from my district magistrate.

I also thought about making a round paper ball from that paper and throwing it into the dustbin. Alternatively I could have tested my memory by trying to make an aeroplane from that sheet of paper. I could have additionally sent a doctor to examine the mental status of the writer.

The pressure became huge and I felt exactly as Arjun would have felt in the battlefield when he said “Mind is restless Krishna”.

And then I realized the solution was simple. What had I to worry when I had the most efficient phrase invented by the bureaucracy. In fact what Sachin is to cricket, this phrase is government; only more consistent and match winning.

I marked the letter to my deputy officer and wrote ‘for necessary action’.