Saturday, June 30, 2012

To Give Back Much More

In the beginning of third year, I had concluded that my most powerful leg, Kshitij, was soon to end. I had one year to do what I wanted to do in it. Yes, due to vicious politics of the most illogical kind, I was asked to play second-, maybe third-fiddle.

Never. It is not my habit to play second fiddle and I would gain as much as I could from this situation. I was determined.

Many call me a workaholic. I do not deny it - I do not join groups to add to my resume, I join them to enhance myself. True, I had no post in Kshitij despite all my work, but that does not mean that I cannot contribute to it.

But unfortunately, posts bring with them authority. And I am not one to bow to authority that cannot match itself to my dedication. There were a few pangs, some moments where I genuinely did feel out of place. And then came the realization with the secretary that most of the team he was given to lead was rotten, politicians who would not care to move a leg, far from encourage others to.

And that's when I came in. It was crunch-time for Kshitij, with the first issue badly delayed and the recruitment on the verge of failure, I volunteered to step in. And somehow, things went very smoothly from then on... we got permission from the Dean just an hour after he rejected our first application; we got through the RJB security checks... it just happened!

The biggest challenge in Kshitij was, of course, with the Cultural Council and the most meddlesome clerk in it. Somehow, despite his great atrocities against our section, he did get along with me well. I was also fully in-charge of handling the faculty advisor, who was from my department and hence, easiest for me to catch. We were the Triumvirate - the "prime movers", the people who made things happen, who were powerful enough to even carry the freeloaders. The first Triumvir was the Secretary; the second was a Joint Secretary; the third was me, powerless, yet ever so powerful.

But how did I have my pound of flesh? Revenge. I had no way to control what came of me i.e., the past was not in my hands. But the future is in the hands of the present and the present was fully in my hands. So what if I could not become even a mere joint secretary despite my dedication? I controlled the future and I was more powerful... I cast aside those fools, those who believe that, after relinquishing their responsibilities, they can summon their powers. Posts have no powers: your work and your responsibility determine how powerful you are. As you give up your responsibilities to others, you silently give up your powers too.

And by the time we had to choose the next posts, all powers were with the Triumvirate. "The Central Team does not need to be good, there's not much work," they said. And I told them the truth - "You are wrong. Just because you did not work, that does not mean that there is no work." Well, never was I someone to speak for popularity - I stood for what was right. I am very much aware that had I gone ahead with my decision to quit since my greatest senior retired, this magazine would have been in ruins. I refused to leave it to chance again - that's how much I cared for it.

I saw to it that as many of my people got the top posts: I cleared the political decks, I erased the arguments, I tore the opposition apart. And I did show them that I was not doing them a big favour by taking up all their responsibilities: I was destroying them.

Thus was my story in Kshitij. I can recall two great quotes that I shall keep forever:

Posts are given because they have to. Your post does not determine your power or your importance. 

I am rather thankful that you came [to Roorkee Campus] in second year - you would have probably been in WONA otherwise. We needed you. 

Why did I do all this? Because I am well aware that had it not been for Kshitij, I would have been destroyed forever, a mere shadow of myself. Kshitij has given me work, power, prestige, name and glory... and I gave it back. Much, much more.

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