By RK Nagar
It was the beginning of Operation Flood-I early seventies. FAO-WFP, who were the donors of dairy commodities insisted on sending some experts in dairy technology, dairy engineering, animal breeding, animal nutrition etc. as they believed that we poor Indians didn’t have the expertise to handle a large and complex project like OF.
A letter was received by Indian Dairy Corporation (IDC) addressed to its chairman Dr. Kurien from FAO suggesting that we must accept the suggestion and be ready to receive the experts.
On seeing the letter, Dr. Kurien made some comments on the margin of the letter and passed it on to Mike to draft a reply.
The final reply was sent to IDC head quarter at Baroda for dispatch.
Pinned with it was the original letter received from FAO and was meant to be filed there.
The dispatch clerk Arvindakshan faithfully dispatched the letter along with the original letter received from FAO, thinking that it was an ‘attachment’.
After about two weeks, Dr. Kurien received another letter from FAO, this time a short one that simply said, “I am returning my original letter that seems to have been attached with your reply due to an oversight”
This was very embarrassing as Dr. Kurien had made some very uncharitable remarks on the margins. He had never imagined that someone’s folly would cause him so much embarrassment.
He was furious and asked Koshy to summon the IDC dispatch clerk.
Arvindakshan a very thin fellow, weighing probably just about 35 -40 kg with a boney face and sunken eyes arrived the next morning fearing for life. He was reluctant to enter Dr. Kurien’s office.
Koshy had to virtually push Arvindakshan inside Dr. Kurien’s office.
Dr Kurien was engrossed in reading some important papers. He suddenly felt that someone is about to fall on his desk. He looked up and saw a clothed ‘skeleton’ almost crashing on his table.
A terrified Dr. Kurien screamed and called Koshy.
As Koshy entered his office, Dr. Kurien screamed and asked him, “What is that, who is this fellow”?
“IDC dispatch clerk, Arvindakshan Sir ! You wanted to see him”.
“Throw the fellow out of my office. I don’t want to see him”.
All we know from Koshy’s story is that the ‘scary’ look saved Arvindakshan his job.
I am laughing as I recollect this funny incident.