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My 75th Birthday
Sudipta Sengupta | 20 Apr 2006

A sarcastic fiction on India during 2055.

Today is my birthday. Today is 18th January 2055. Today is my 75th Birthday.

I woke up in the morning and went out for a wheelchair drive. I cant walk long these days, not after I was admitted in the hospital for a leg fracture last summer and the doctor operated my stomach by mistake. He left the his pair of scissors inside me....by mistake. Poor fellow- I guess he got very nervous to see inside my 75 year old crippled intestine. He confessed to me later that he got into his medical exam through a ALBNSM-BC(a little but not so much backward class) quota. But I dont regret. Rather everyday I thank God for how lucky I am. Many around me have much more problems than I have.....so no regret.

I walk past the buildings and trees. At these age everything seems so very familiar to me. Yet at times I fail to recognize them. I came across a very big building..ahh! I remember. In my childhood days, some 50 years back, it happened to be my school. I remember how proud we were to be the student of that school. I dont know what happened to it now. The last time I heard they have converted it into 28 seperate sections in each class for various quotas. Yet the school remains closed mostly because of public demonstrations against the idea of reserving some more sections for another 59 categories. I smiled....some things never change. I remember how some foolish election commission once raised the debate of goverment reserving seats for only one OBC category when I just started working.

Last month my Grand Son passed out from IIM. He bagged the highest salary package. Rs. 530 per year+ 70 days leave. It was a foreign multinational. These days foreign companies dont usually turn up in IIM campus..they call it Indian Institutes of Morons...but cant blame them..they dont find much students also. There were only 3 students for placements this year. Apart from my grandson the rest two were from Andaman Islands. They got admission through the reservation for Jarowa tribe. The company did not consider them for placement because they were not wearing clothes during the interview round with the Vice-President. In today's newspaper I found that the Union Minister for Jarowa Development strongly objected to this saying that candidates should not be judged on attire but merit. I cant agree more.

I passed across a small house. There were posters of some new Bollywood Movie on the wall. I cant recognize the Hero. He seemed of dark complexion,very short heighted(even less than my 5 ft 4 inch frame), bald, with hairs growing out of ears. I remember my granddaughter mention something about the reservation in Bollywood this year. This year it is the turn of VEST (very extreme scheduled tribe) category people to be heroes in the film industry.

I came to the river side. This happened to be a very romantic place in our childhood. I have beautiful memories of dating my first girlfriend here. But these days every seat here is reserved for some category. To get your turn to the seat of your quota you need to book a year in advance. Its good that I have my wheelchair..

I took a deep breath...today India has 109 categories namely VEST(very extreme scheduled tribe), NSEBM-ST(not so extreme but moderate scheduled tribe), MBBFT(moderately backward but forward tribe) etc etc. with seats reserved for each of them..in hospitals,educational institutes, offices,riversides and even stock markets.
I took a deep breath again....maybe someday they will reserve a portion of this air also for some unknown category..

I turned back...I have to reach home in time...today my son is playing his first match in international cricket. Since I was a NSF(not so forward) category and my wife a NSB(not so backward) category, he was NSF-NSB category. He was the only one of that kind. So I hope you all understand how tough it was to get a reservation for him in the 11 member squad...I have to reach home fast........