Madhu is known to be very punctual. For all the Voices (IISc newsletter) meetings, she is the first person to reach. She makes sure that everyone who is late is made aware that he/she is late. This is okay because Madhu also makes sure that everyone gets a reminder for the meeting much before the meeting begins.
Over the emails, it gets decided that the next Voices meeting would be on Tuesday at 11:00 at Tea Board. bhOndOO needs to get his program implemented and working before 10:00, since he has a meeting about it with his advisor. As usual, he gets into the nightout mode. He finishes the implementation at 01:00, removes two minor bugs by 02:00, and is still debugging at 04:00. He is too much tired to carry on. He finally manages to remove the bug at 04:15 and the program starts dancing. bhOndOO also starts dancing.
He reaches his room by 05:00. He sets an alarm for 08:50 (to just manage the breakfast) and crashes in bed. He has just started dreaming about his advisor, compilers and dragons when his sleep is disturbed by an irritating tune of his mobile. He picks it up, clicks the receive button and shouts, “Hello?”. No one answers. He looks at the screen and realizes that the tune was of receiving an SMS. He checks the time: 06:30. “It must be an important message.”, bhOndOO hastily opens the message. It is from Madhu, “Mrng ppl! A gentl remindr. Voices mtg at 11am at tea board 2day! Sunshine, madhu”.
bhOndOO rechecks the time: 06:30. “Is this girl in her senses? Is this a time to send an SMS? That too for a meeting which is after four and a half hours!”. bhOndOO gets very agitated. “But what should I do now? Shall I sleep until 08:50 or wait for another hour for the breakfast and then sleep?”. He chooses the latter option and decides to keep awake for another hour — anyway, bhOndOO has lost his sleep because of anger.
At 07:45, he gets breakfast and he is back in bed at 08:00. His reset alarm promptly wakes him up at 09:30 and he is in his advisor’s room at 10:00. They finish discussion by 10:30 and bhOndOO starts walking lazily towards tea board for the meeting.
“Madhu’s SMS created all the trouble, otherwise, I had planned my sleep nicely. Now the whole day would go waste! Why is she so punctual? It is okay that she is, but one need not be insane!”. bhOndOO’s empty mind runs for options. He sees tall and handsome Rogers coming from front.
“Hey Rogers, can you do me a favour?”. After that bhOndOO tells him a few things to which Rogers does not agree initially. But when bhOndOO assures him that he would allow him to copy his Computer Networks assignment, Rogers agrees.
“It is 10:50. I should leave for tea board.”, Madhu tells herself. She comes out of the Department of Management Studies and starts walking towards the underpass to reach tea board. Just before entering the underpass, a tall and handsome young man approaches her and asks, “Are you Madhu from Management Studies?”.
Madhu is a bit shocked at first — to see a handsome young man already knowing her name. She hesitantly claims, “Yes I am. What’s the matter?”.
The young man puts forth his hand for a firm handshake and introduces, “I am Rogers from IIM Ahmedabad. We have arranged a competition to improve the involvement of women in management research. This is strictly by nomination and your name is nominated by Mr bhOndOO. I hope you know him.”.
“bhOndOO? Nominated my name? I didn’t know I had such a nice impression on him? I used to always wonder, he disliked me being over-punctual.”, Madhu thought and then continued in the management style, “Yes, I know him. A very good chap.”.
“Yes, indeed. Therefore, we wanted to ask you a few questions related to your work and your aspirations. Can you spare 10 min?”.
“Actually Rogers, I have a meeting right now. Can we discuss this post lunch?”.
“I am sorry, Madhu. But I need to submit the report and interview details by noon over email. If the meeting is not so urgent, can we have the interview now? Please.”.
Madhu agrees. Finally, it is the first time in her life that she is getting interviewed — that too from a handsome man from IIMA. For the next 30 min, she answers many personal, social, professional and political questions posed by Rogers related to the role of, abilities of and opportunities for women in the area of management research. She narrates the stories of her own life and tells about her inspirations in the field. Rogers notes down a few things promptly. Towards the end, Rogers tells her not to disclose the interview to anyone per rules of the competition. Madhu agrees, then Rogers asks her for her email id and affirms her that she would hear from IIMA soon. Then they have another firm handshake and Rogers bids adieu to her.
Madhu gets very excited and reaches for the Voices meeting at 11:30. Everyone starts looking at Madhu with strange eyes. She has to apologize to everyone, and then she smiles at bhOndOO. bhOndOO smiles back — but Madhu does not understand. Only when everyone starts laughing, does she realize that something is wrong.
Madhu is still waiting for an email from IIMA.