Ahoy! There’s the President!!

Fort, Mumbai.

17th March 2017.

One day, I, Ms. Sunshine, Ms. Fujoshi are sitting through a very interesting lecture clearing our doubts. As is the custom, I constantly bug Ms. Sunshine with doubts and super-responsive that she is, she is clearing my doubts. Knock………… Knock…… and in comes a girl requesting the Professor to excuse the three musketeers from the lecture. I and Ms. Fujoshi start beaming. It’s waffles time now!!

We accompany the girl to the Centre-in-charge’s office. We take our seats in line and are joined later by a few other students. The feeling is explicit, which can’t be contained neither by me nor by Ms. Fujoshi. Finally, the Centre-in-charge speaks up. Out come his words, flowing like milk and honey, “You all have been selected to witness the special convocation conducted for Mr. M.S.Swaminathan by the University of Mumbai. The special guests invited are none other than the Hon’ble President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Governor and Chancellor of Mumbai University CH. Vidyasagar Rao and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Devendra Fadnavis.” I and Ms. Fujoshi let out a huge cry half happy that now our dream of waffles is finally going to take place. Meanwhile, Ms. Sunshine ponders as to how she has to deal with two crazy people the day after.

Two whatsapp groups are eventually formed (A/n: one relates to the waffle group while the other pertains to the convocation). The place of meeting gets fixed and I’m more than happy to relax as I watch a movie. It’s 3 a.m. as the movie ends. Great!! 5 more hours to sleep. Sigh! Anything for the President. The whistle song from Kuch kuch hota hai starts ringing on my phone. Opening my sleepy eyes, I glance to see Ms. Fujoshi calling me and I answer in my sleepy voice.

Me: H..ee…lll..ooo

Ms. Fujoshi: Don’t tell me you are sleeping! It’s 10 am. Don’t we have to meet at 12:30?

{takes around 1 hour and 15 mins to reach Churchgate station from my place}

Me: Ohhhh.. Dear!! OkaY. I”ll come 

Ms. Fujoshi: Yeah.. Please do.

I lay back again on my bed. Ghosh! I can’t miss waffles but I don’t want to go early either. I dial my phone again to convey to Ms. Sunshine and Ms. Fujoshi that we will be having our “Waffle Day” after the event and she readily agrees. I drag myself out of bed. Brushing my teeth I take out stuff from my bag fearing the Z+ security and honestly though phones weren’t allowed I still wanted to take it along. I dial up Ms. Sunshine and she pacifies me, asserting that we will get to keep our bags in the University office. It’s 10:30 am and I run towards to the bathroom to get myself a good scrub. It’s 11 am when I pull myself out. Still wet, I ready myself running helter-skelter to find my shirt, socks and shoes and oh yes, my coat! Hehehe! It’s 11: 20 and Mom and I hurriedly pack in some sandwiches to eat on the way. It’s 11:30 and I and Mom battle for the mirror to ready ourselves and I run away to catch a rickshaw so that I don’t miss my train. Bravo! I reach the station. With only a minute left to catch the train I run through the platform like a wild dog and finally push myself into the not-so-crowded train. I reach Churchgate station by 1 pm and to my surprise Ms. Fujoshi hasn’t yet arrived and I yelp with joy….. (Slow and steady wins the race).

I and Ms. Fujoshi make way for the varsity’s entrance but are told to enter from the back gate (A/n: Students are restricted to enter from the main entrance). Having met with our colleagues we line ourselves in the middle of the Convocation Hall (no reservation made for students). We greet and shake hands of unknown personalities to while away our time and looking for a vacant seat to accommodate ourselves in the grand Convocation Hall. But to our worst fears we have to accommodate ourselves in a ‘pandal’ strictly for the “unreserved category” where the entire event will be shown through a projector. Meanwhile, the introductory part begins and a PPT is being showcased on the life and contributions of  Dr. M.S.Swaminathan. Refusing to see the President live on a screen, I along with our colleagues jump out and gather around the barricades. After about 30 minutes, the procession commences with the Band in its glowing uniform, followed by the senate members of the varsity, followed by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and the (STOP) President of India (the shortest and the cutest Prez of all. PS: I was unable to first see him when my friends yelled, after much scanning, I able to see him …..). I’m unable to contain my excitement at seeing such a short figure of the President (as in the pictures he used to look relatively taller).

The chancellor declares the convocation ‘open’. The Vice-Chancellor speaks upon to the citation of the honorary degree of D. Litt to be awarded to Dr. M.S. Swaminathan followed by the BCUD Mr. Anil Patil who speaks at length of the resolution of the degree. The honorary degree was conferred on the esteemed awardee Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. From his acceptance speech, all that I can remember and hold onto are those three words: AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION AND HEALTH will help eradicate malnutrition and promote growth in the economy. After lots of exchange of gifts and momentos to the dignitaries present, the time arrived for the president’s address. You can find his entire presidential address here:

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=159432

The event finally wrapped up, and we were able to feast on some exquisite Indian snacks with the usual cock and bull fight to gain that small parcel of goodies. With triumph, we walked out of those gates with those small parcels safely secured and a cute Bisleri bottle in our bags.

PS: We did go to eat waffles at Belgian Waffle & Co. However, it was hell of a ride trying to reach that place by a kaali-peeli (Traditional cabs in Mumbai). We stumbled upon a tourist from Denmark and mistook him for a civilian while asking for directions to reach the place.{Eventually, Ms. Fujoshi thinks even foreigners might sometimes be Indian citizens because of an event that transpired during one of her journeys}. But to sum it up all, we were feeling epic, munching on those freshly hot, crunchy and steaming waffles!! Yummmyy….

Oh yeah! We stumbled upon a Chartered Accountant working for the Taj Group of industries who also, like us, was trying in vain to catch a cab to Churchgate Station. We carpooled together and she thinks that Mumbai Girls look prettier than Delhite girls, she being a Delhite herself (CA’s NOTE: as they put loads of makeup).

So, a proud moment for the Mumbai girls out there. Well for such pleasing words, do like, share, subscribe and above all REVIEW.

– THE CHANGE MAKER.

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