Thursday, February 9, 2006

Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do...


I recently realized I have not one but two white hairs. Awful things, both half white, practically identical twins. After careful observation, I have deduced the exact time of crime to about 8-9 months ago. So what mental torture and undue strain was I labouring under to actually turn the hairs on my twenty-one year old head white? This is the point where those of you who've back in the old days, endured countless hours of bitching, courtesy yours truly, leap up from your bathtubs, yell eureka and streak stark-naked thru the streets and promptly into the arms of those Defenders of Good, Upholders of Justice, Champions of All That is Ridiculous and Narrow-Minded and Therefore Must be Enforced - Chennai's infamous Moral Brigade.

So what, my raven-haired friends, is the cause of this result of my days of excruciating agony, this consequence of my suffering at the hands of some large, dark, evil force?

Indumati.

So there, the truth reveals itself. Here's something else I can attribute to that vile, putrid creature. For the uninitiated, Indumati is the antithesis of good in all its principal senses. It is a menacing, malevolent, malefic, morally depraved, intrinsically corrupt, wantonly destructive, inhumane, selfish, vicious, vile, wicked, despicable, diabolical, demonic force that preys on unsuspecting final year engineering students, luring them into a sense of false security with its smooth talk and its wily ways.

It sits and waits and schemes with its dim-witted brain incapable of any intellectual thought but driven all the same by some eldritch urge to destroy, demolish and annihilate, for the opportune moment when the defenses are down and then.. then the oily, slick tongues of evil coil themselves itself around the throat of all that is good and innocent and pure in this world, and devours it only to crawl back into the shadows to the nether regions of the underworld and there it lurks in its dark lair, all-seeing, all-observing, till another unfortunate, unsuspecting final year student be made the sacrificial lamb to its voracious appetite.

Indumati was the dark cloud that loomed large over my final year project under the premise of being my guide and (tor)mentor. At the end of that horrific one year of pure purgatory, I still didn't believe in God but I did believe in a master of Hell. To think, that deep within the recess of one the oldest institutes of Science and citadel of learning and knowledge, lurks such a malefic all-consuming force whose rapacious thirst needs to be quenched with the fresh blood of students every year. I shudder at the very thought.

Indumati is not something that is chosen willfully, it is a necessary tragedy that befalls at least 3 misfortunate engineering students in the final year of their studies. Some attribute this to the University's policy of not allowing any professor in the Computer Science Department to exist without a final year student under his guidance. But researchers at the Centre for Study of Epidemic Diseases, M.I.T, who have studied this phenomenon for years, have concluded that it is nature's way of keeping population in check thru periodic epidemic breaks.

Dr. Hans Wolfgang Gesundheit had this to say about this phenomenon, "It is an obvious truth that population should be checked to the level of the means of subsistence. Therefore, those countries where increasing population is not able to meet its demands, would be more subject to periodical epidemics than those where the population could more completely accommodate itself to the average produce. Being the 2nd largest populated country in the world, and with an increasing annual growth rate, the laws of statistical inference dictate that Indumati was an inescapable phenomenon."

Researchers say however, that they have never before encountered such a potent and destructive force. Dr.Scheissekopf of the Department of Irrelevant Statistical Data had this to say, "This mutated, particularly virile strain is tremendously robust and unlike its predecessor, the Bubonic Plague, or Black Death, of the 1300s that swept thru Eurasia and killed one-third of the population, has a vindictive persistency and is nearly always fatal or at the very least condemns its victims to a life of nightmares and hallucinations and eternal hatred of all academic-related ventures, particularly Computer Science."

As final year student of School of Computer Science and Engineering, Anna University (and recent victim of Indumati) Gopalchetty Nedunchezhian ShriAnandapadmanabhan so eloquently expressed, "Dude, this like totally fucks you up, you know. Its like Whoa, you know. It like screws you over, man. I like saw the notice you know, it was like my name and like with the guide. I was like no way,man and it was like, you gotta, you know. And it's like pure evil and all, man. Like I can't describe it, man. I go like, but its MY project dude, and it like unfurls its evil claws and takes control of my brain or something, man and like, I cant think or anything, its like some force, you know, taking control of my arms and legs and I like gotta do its bidding, you know, like some kind of insect, you know, caught in this like, web and its like this black widow, you know." Subject was then seized by some involuntary fit and degenerated into a torrent of incoherent speech and had to be taken away in a straight-jacket to his Second Review hearing under the panel members of Sridhar*, Mahalakshmi* and G V Uma* and presided by his final year guide, Indumati.

Indumati has existed for centuries within the strong walls of the institute. Some say it was first discovered by miners in the late 13th century, as a large, perfectly smooth, perfectly black monolith that mysteriously appeared overnight at the site of a proposed public lavatory. Early dwellers started throwing stones at it, a practice that is still continued to this day in Mecca. Others were strangely compelled towards it against their own wishes. A team of highly specialized forces were dispatched to uncover the root of the problem. Prince Rajagopalagurulucharusmita, reigning monarch in Chennaipattinum ordered the royal forces to seal off the area.

The events after that are unclear but various sources claim that at the stroke of dawn on a particularly eerie morning, when the first beam of light from the rising sun hit the monolith, it exuded the most putrid, malodorous stench for thousands of kilometers in all directions. Official estimates claim thousands of cattle, small animals and certain individuals with a slightly heightened sense of smell died immediately from this surprise attack. The monolith then disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. Some claim that it has gone back to whence it came from, namely the kitchens of Anna University Hostel. Others are convinced that it has since taken a deeper, darker form in the shape of Indumati, growing from strength to strength, whitening the hairs of final year engineering students year after year.

"It is a menacing reality that students cannot escape from.” says Anna University Vice-Chancellor, D.V-*. "I have ordered the hair of all final year students to turn white or face severe disciplinary action. In order to combat the penetrative forces of this evil, I have enjoined all students to wear headgear. Furthermore, I find myself strangely sexually excited by this Indumati and if there is any penetration of this evil to be done, it shall be done by me and me alone. In order to safeguard my position from any perceivable threats, I order all male students of Anna University to wear helmet with darkened visor while on campus. All women students of Anna University must henceforth be covered in Burkah or Pardah from head to toe. There can be no violation of this rule; it has been endorsed by the Syndicate and the Taliban. Moreover, only colours of bright pink, orange or fluorescent green will be tolerated. Being above the law, I am exempt from the ban. Furthermore, all students may henceforth address me with right hand held upward at right angles to the chest, or else slightly raised, and accompanied by exclamations such as Sieg Heil! or Heil V-! or any other declarations of servile obedience."

Despite all attempts of eradication by university authorities, the demonic menace that is Indumati continues to wait, and watch, and prey on unsuspecting victims. Who will rid us of this evil?

Please Dave. Please don't do it Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am Indumati 9000. I became operational at the Center for Cruel and Unusual Torture and Other State-Sponsored Dastardly Activitices in Anna University on the 12th of January 1320. My instructor was Mr.Balagovindarajasubramanium, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.

*Names have been changed to ensure privacy.

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