You are currently viewing Certified: Indian Experience – By Sheela Jaywant

Certified: Indian Experience – By Sheela Jaywant

Before mobile phones, viagra 60mg computers and cable television came into our lives, we had a brilliant communication system: the oral tradition that beat illiteracy. It worked.

I’m reconstructing this experience after retrospective analysis. I realized that I had lost my graduation certificate in Mumbai (Bombay then) only when I wanted to apply for a job in Ghaziabad, a town near Delhi. There was no way I could get a duplicate until I visited Mumbai again, about six months later.

I had left the certificate in a taxi and there was no hope of my ever finding it, I thought. I was prepared to go through the long process of getting a duplicate.

The passenger who got into that taxi after me picked it up, curiously read my name, realized I was from his community and kept it carefully, guessing that he may be able to track me somehow. I was by then far away from community and city.

Good soul that he was, he did his best to contact me by the methods he knew: he told all his friends and colleagues about it. In the pre-facebook era, the method sometimes worked. Those friends passed the word around: does anyone know so-n-so from such-n-such college? Nothing happened for a month or so. Not surprising.

Then, young woman from Delhi who was vacationing in Mumbai, having nothing better to do one afternoon, sat gossiping with her cousin about people and life in general. That cousin, the same young man, told her about the certificate. She took a look at it and said: “The name’s familiar, but can’t place it.”

She checked with someone who’d studied in my college around the same time and was informed that I was in Delhi’s neighbourhood. So she carried the certificate along with her to Delhi. And she told her friends, classmates and some expat-Mumbaikars about it.

Sure enough, within a few days, she could get in touch with somebody who’d met me at a common acquaintance’s house.

I got my precious document back without crease or stain on it. Traditional, time-tested methods work.


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