Monday, April 27, 2009

A Date with Harvard

Prof H from Harvard sent this mail.

Dear Sudhir,


Needless to tell you , I am in Kolkata, India and happily absorbing the brilliant sights and sounds of this wonderful city christened so aptly as ‘The city of Joy’ by Dominique Lapierre .

Every city has its own quirks - the x-factor. Kolkata ,delightfully, has its O factor.

We are enjoying our vacation here and as I am a student of oriental lingustics, I am learning bongoli with rosgollas and gosto errr gusto. The rosgolla helps in the correct pronounciation. I am addicted. its the best sweet i ever had. just like the lovely Bengalis. sweet and soft!
Even my wife now calls me Joson instead of Jason.
You can well say we have truly arrived.

Yesterday I was at the esplanade enjoying a warm cup of coffee and do what the Bhadraloks do best – Nothing. The bhadraloks are intellectuals. When these sweet people want to involve a larger audience to do nothing , they organize bandhs. I love them. Kolkata is a big talk shop. It reminds me of UN. And also Harvard.

But let me come to the point.

The guy on my next table was reading the newspaper to his bored audience when I heard the word Harvard. I jumped.

Now to me , vacation or no vacation, the mention of Harvard is like a pill of Viagra. No. I don’t recommend guys on Viagra to try this.

As they say each man to his own brand of poison!

So I requested the kind man to allow me to read that particular news. And the gracious man offered me the whole paper.

I was done in by the o factor. It was a news about the Howrah and not Harvard. A man tried to commit suicide as his wife fried a hilsa instead of a pomfret.
A man of fine tastes and principles I must admit. What passion. I am charmed.

And it was then I saw you by accident. Just like Columbus discovered America!

There was a small letter to the editor almost at the end of the paper. It was by an agitated proud Indian who felt that they must ban your book. Else organize a bandh in protest. They felt that you were insulting the name of India and the revered Harvard both ( your book it seems, was sitting next to the almighty Harvard. Or what they don’t teach there).

So I got curious but I couldn’t find your book anywhere. It wasnt sitting anywhere!

Finally I got hold of it. How , that’s another story. But I must say it was real bad.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know India is the land of education. You had Nalanda and Takshila which were venerable educational insituitions and were thousands of years old. But I am sure you weren’t the fortunate one who went there. hehe.

Well I am appalled. You need a proper education.

Being a professor has some privileges.

I can recommend eminent people for honorary doctorates. And I can recommend people like you to one of our courses.

I first thought of recommending Mr. Narayan Murthy, your hero for a doctorate. But the Cornell University has already conferred him with a Ph.D.

Besides, I think looking at the future, perhaps, it would make more sense to educate you.

We can discuss this offer in details.

Please check your diary and let me know your availability.


Prof. H.

I was excited. Started looking in orbitz, expedia and cheaptickets. Harvard wow. Finally someone has realized my worth.

But alas, today I got a call from McDonald. They need my services badly. For flipping burgers.

I thought of all the hungry people in India. and my heart melted.

If they need me, they sure get me.

After all leaders can shine anywhere.

Like me and Narayan Murthy.

Its not the size of the canvas, but the strokes of the brush that creat a master piece.

So Harvard’s Loss is McDonald’s gain.

The academia lost to the Corporate world once again.

and so , My Corporate memories continue.


  1. "Its not the size of the canvas, but the strokes of the brush that creat a master piece.

    So Harvard’s Loss is McDonald’s gain.

    The academicia lost to the Corporate world once again.

    and so , My Corporate memories continue."

    Superb finishing to ur blog..nicely written the above mentioned lines..
    had fun and lot of smile while reading ur bloggg..keep bloggin

  2. well written and the end was especially very funny

  3. Thanks piroj. glad you liked it.