Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Shambhu had always been academically inclined. This enthusiasm for academics had compelled him to relinquish his comfortable job as a software engineer and pursue a doctoral degree in Computer Science at IITB, Mumbai.

Last few days had been very hectic for him -- he was nearing his thesis submission and was working almost unceasingly to get the thesis into a proper shape. It was long since he had started writing his thesis; there had been umpteen iterations; painful discussions on minute details regarding figures, tables, captions, chapter titles, thesis title and so on. He had invariably found himself on the losing side of most of these discussions with this advisor.

It was the month of May and the weather had been unrelenting - severely hot and treacherously humid. Shambhu had lived in the interior regions of the country for a major part of his life. Academic pursuits had brought him to the coastal town of Mumbai and he particularly abhorred the weather there.

Today was an unusually taxing day, not only physically but also mentally. He had given another draft to his advisor the previous evening, and today, since morning, he was busy with other official work such as obtaining clearance from various sections in the institute. Constantly walking in the summer heat and unpleasant interactions with the querulous academic staff had left him exhausted.

It was five o'clock in the evening and the office hours were over. Shambhu slowly entered his lab, silently frustrated that some of the work that he had planned for the day could not be done. Tired as he was, he quietly slipped into a chair in a corner of the lab. And then, the fairy called sleep embraced him.

Strange are the ways of the mind. Shambhu suddenly found himself in the stifling heat in the middle of a desert. He remembered that he had been walking in there for the past few days. His storage of food was long over, he had even run out of water last evening. His only hope of surviving was finding an oasis somewhere, or may be, if it rained. Presently, he could not even see a cactus; leave alone the greenery of an oasis. The skies too looked devoid of any clouds. He had a strong desire to live and so he walked. The body, however, has its limitations. Will can drive it, but how long? And so while walking, his body finally gave up and he fell unconscious. When he woke up, he found that it had started drizzling a bit. Monsoon is here, he thought.

Just then Shambhu woke up, his advisor was sprinkling water on him. "I have read your draft, Shambhu", the advisor said in an authoritative manner. "Things look in pretty good shape, why don't we submit tomorrow?". "Strange are the ways of the mind", Shambhu muttered to himself. "Monsoon is really here".

1 comment:

hitubam said...

Nice Story! Best of luck to Shambhu :-)