Tag Archive | Sun signs

Memories of Ragging

Ragging and its consequences are in the news again after the death of a 19 yr old medical student recently. Debates and discussions are going on the issue of prevention of ragging and enforcement of laws. My post, however, is not on that topic. My post is on the fond memories of ragging I have from my B.E. days and the effect it had on us.

On the first night in hostel, we had the huge task of memorizing all our hostel seniors’ names and hometowns and our introduction in Hindi. Thank god I had pretty good memorizing power and I was in Electrical Engineering branch which was easily translated into “Vidyut Abhiyantriki”. We pitied the girls of CSE or Electronics.I also chose Philately as my hobby to avoid any further questions and it was one of the cleverest decisions of my life 😀 [ You can check out samples of my stamp collection here] Only one 4th yr senior was smart enough to think of a question to ask me regarding Philately. She asked me what was the image on Rs 1 stamp and I answered correctly. She let me go 🙂

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Pseudo Birthdays

Today is my Didi’s pseudo birthday. A pseudo birthday is that birthday date Indian parents (mostly fathers’ idea) put as their child’s birth date instead of real one and which is a few months or years later date and in some rare cases it can be a few months previous date. The mentality behind this practice is that the child will get extra years at service which means extra money. It is also done in case of those children whose actual birth dates fall between school session like in October,November etc so that they get admission instead of wasting one year. Then there are some unlucky ones like my Dad. He was a naughty child and always playing outside. He caught the local school’s headmaster’s eye and the headmaster suggested my Grandpa to put him in school. When Grandpa said my son is not yet of the school going age, the headmaster said nothing to worry and promptly increased my Dad’s year of birth by 1 year and admitted him to school!!! Poor Dad. Maybe thats the reason he was influenced to change my Didi’s birth date by 6 months!! Not even a year! Its like done with a mind that wants to do it and also doesn’t. Then there are some like one of my colleagues whose parents made her birth date 25 July instead of using the actual 10 July because 25 July is their marriage anniversary!! Talk about saving expenses!!

But there are so many consequences of this silly practice!!! The repercussions range from mere explanations to dealing with red tape.

1. Those who have dual birth dates tend to hide this even from their closest friends because after all its illegal and to save themselves from Q&A session.

2. Poor fellows do not get to celebrate their actual birthday and people wish them on the pseudo birthdays for years whereas they are not feeling the joy. They even receive cards & gifts on the wrong day. (But that shouldn’t hurt right?)

3. People (having read Linda Goodman) may form false impression about their actual nature and traits as they appear to belong to a sun sign and may get themselves into trouble. Like people may mistake my Didi for a paradoxical, flirtatious, talkative, breezy Gemini whereas she is a reserved, intense, mature, stubborn Scorpio. Their friends even read out wrong daily horoscopes from newspaper for them. Some friends may even chart out horoscopes and come out with wrong predictions!!!!

4. I don’t want to sound biased or generic [Amit plz note 🙂 ] or accusing anyone, but decreasing the age used to be quite common in Biharis, UPites and MPites (don’t know about present situation).There are so many uncles who have become so old (You may decrease the age but you can’t stop/delay the aging process) but are still in service. And others make fun of them or may be jealous of them.

5. And then some get retired early or get sucked in the Education System early.

6. Last but not the least, the amount of running around and bribing it takes to make a duplicate birth certificate (because the original is submitted during admission to Class 1) showing the pseudo date and Ministry’s signature for Visa and Work Permits purposes especially for Europe; causes high blood pressure, sleepless nights and hypertension and you really regret the day you lied about the birth date.

So don’t do koi jhol jhaal
Mat chalo koi chaal
About the janm tithi or saal
Warna karna padega babu ko mala-maal
Tab jaake galegi aapki daal
Aisa hai jhooth ka jaal
Mat rakhna koi shikwa mere naal
Goodbye to aaalll

[I got carried away by the poetic/rap urge :D]

Anyway,Didi, your birthday today may be pseudo but my wishes are always heartfelt.
Happy Pseudo Birthday!!

P.S. Don’t worry guys…Mine is real i.e. 22nd June 😀

Edited to add: This poem is an original Rimu and subject to copyright laws.