Story of ‘The Apology’

What is ‘zigaado’ he asked me and I was dumbfounded. For a moment I actually thought it is some HR concept which I have never heard of [frankly speaking I had not heard of any HR concept by then].

It was almost a year back on 14th august 2009 that I wrote Catch-10 and then on 9th September I removed it and wrote an Apology! Since then so many have asked me what happened and to most of my friends I have already told this story ‘n’ number of times; guess now it is time to document it [why will tell you some other time].

I still remember the day when I was sitting in my college reading room with Akshat and few others when my phone rang and my class CR told me to come to IIC and meet DC [Director IIC – industry interaction cell]. It was well a surprise and very soon I and Akshat had already speculated what it was for. After I wrote ‘Catch-10’ and few of my friends read it, it was being mailed to all the classes in our college and just one day before I got the call, its link was mailed in my old section ‘F’.

So here I was sitting in IIC in front of DC and Vijay Sahni [joint director IIC] and while having his lunch DC very casually asked me how am I, how was my internship at Ranbaxy, what subjects I took in third sem and then all of a sudden he said ‘What is zigaado?’ For a second I actually thought that he was referring to some concept in HR as just a second ago he was saying oh you are the only guy in HR [which by the way I wasn’t. In a class of 100 there were 4 of us].

Zigaado! I don’t know, I said. He confirmed you are Vaibhav Aggarwal no? I said yes. Yes, then tell me what is zigaado? Then it struck me that yes he is indeed talking about zhagdoo. Not zigaado sir, its zhagdoo was my reply.

Yes, what is it, he asked me again. It’s my blog. I and few friends write on it. What all you write about? He asked me.

Anything and everything I want. Social issues, movies, politics!

What else? He asked. Travelling, small life instances I said.

What else? About management and stuff! What about management, corporate world? Not exactly, management lessons I learnt, like I wrote one on management lessons from Ramayan.

What else you write about? He asked me again. This was the time I knew he will keep on asking me until and unless I will not mention ‘Catch-10’.

I also write about my college life.

What about college life?

Nothing in particular; like the last post I wrote Catch-10, was about what happens in college.

As soon as I said so, he put a printout of the post in front of me and said this came from vigilance this morning. [Vigilance! You gotta be kidding me. Do I look so stupid?]

You think you are too smart. You are saying things about college on your blog. Who are you to do it? Let me tell you one thing, you should always be grateful to your alma-matter. Never insult it, or else you will achieve nothing in this life, he said while raising his voice little in the middle.

It was for another couple of minutes he kept on speaking before I again got a chance to say something. This was the point, when I was trying to control my laughter. I don’t know why, but I felt like laughing loudly.

Anyways; sir I was not trying to insult anyone, and this post was written in plain humor. I said. Humor! You don’t know what humor is. You call this humor! And he started reading it.

AIBS stands for he said; right in the very first line you have started making fun of college’s name. How would you feel if I make fun of your name? You are calling us mismanaged! [Was his second remark] You are saying I am mismanaged. Yours is 12th batch, one batch before you and one batch after makes 15 years. The college is running for past 15 years. Let me tell you nothing mismanaged can run for 15 years [taking a pride while saying so and I still don’t know how exactly he counted 15 years].

Tell me what is the harm in placing students internally? Every college does that. We are also corporate and why can’t we place students, he said while referring to the second point of the post [am sure this corporate was not in mind of students when they came to the college].

We are all liars! You call the DG and the dean a liar. No, sir I never said it; was my prompt and obvious reply.

Yes you did, it’s all written here in black and white. You know what is hitting below the belt. In this you have hit everyone below the belt. This is unacceptable. DG and dean are very angry! Now this was the point where for the first time I actually felt little scared. Not because it is a private college, and they can do anything they want to [must be clear to you after reading catch-10, but because I was thinking if this gets out of hand, then what will my parents do with me.

Anyways he continued discussing every point one by one, and more he spoke more pity I felt for him, and more I tried controlling my laughter. Pity, after looking how hard he was trying to defend and justify what all is wrong with the college and was nowhere near it. And laughter because how one small post can move people like DC who are what you call ruthless. This was the time when I realized what ‘pen is mightier than sword’ means.

To cut a long story short, at the end when I again got the chance to speak, I told him that this post was written in plain humor and no harm was meant to anyone. And if anyone is upset I can remove it.

Remove it! Post an apology and mail the link to me, DG and the Dean was his reply. Also who else besides you write on it? He asked. No one else from our college, I said. You said some friends also write. Who all write on it? No one from our college, my friends from outside, I replied. Don’t try to defend your friends. Let me tell you it was one of your friends only who gave this to me [really! And I thought it came from vigilance, or was it my friend in vigilance who gave up on me]. Tell me who all are your friends just want to know which your group is, said Sahni.

After I came out, I made first call to Roti. He said nothing is gonna happen. Remove it and post an apology. Big deal! Second call to my mother, her reaction be careful of what you do and say, this is not what you have gone there for [although subtle, but I sensed sarcasm, disappointment and anger in her voice; all at the same time].

After I posted the apology, DC asked me, were you drunk when you wrote it? It was 14th august, 15th was holiday, you got nothing else to do so lets drink and write crap. You don’t want placement? Do you have contacts? [I have heard this one before, in my grad. We will not let you sit in the placements were the exact words that time. Placements! as if I will get one from here]. This was the time when I realized, not letting you sit in the placements is the biggest threat you can get from the college management in a B-school.

Before I left his office again, DC said, and listen what about Ranbaxy final placement? Start working on it. And this was the time when I realized nothing is personal and permanent in ‘corporate’ and hence I never looked for my friend in vigilance who gave me up.

P.S. In case you missed Catch-10 the first time, then here is the link, CATCH- 10.

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