The Diary of a Hindi Ad-hoc

There are approximately 6000 ad-hoc (contractual) teachers at Delhi University. They are appointed every four months through interviews. But the negotiations and manoeuvring to clear these interviews take up the entire year.

This is my friend’s diary. He recently got a job at the UP Food Department. The two of us had come to Delhi together. After completing his PhD in Hindi from Delhi University, he worked as a guest lecturer at a college. Since then he had remained unemployed. He has made me promise to get this diary published.

Locked out of college. Credit: Flickr/© Rajesh Pamnani 2014

Locked out of college. Credit: Flickr/© Rajesh Pamnani 2014

Research scholars at universities will know that during the final stages of the research the fellowship suddenly stops. As with my friend, this forces many to shift from a single room at Vijaynagar to the shoeboxes of Patel Chest. Filled with the ups and downs of my friends attempts at deciphering his revered guide’s compassion; I call this ‘The Diary of a Hindi Ad-hoc’.

Just to inform the reader, there are approximately 6000 ad-hoc (contractual) teachers at DU. They are appointed every four months through interviews. But the negotiations and manoeuvring to clear these interviews take up the entire year.

The Diary of an Ad-hoc

April 1

Today, my tenure as a guest lecturer came to an end. I taught quite well. My performance in the staff room was also good. Arora Madam has started thinking quite highly of me. But this teacher in-charge is very diplomatic. He says one bloody thing but does something else. I am thinking I will meet Sir (guide).

April 6

I called Sir. He is going on a family trip to Shimla. He is very nice. Without me having to say anything, he understood everything. He said, “Chaudhry this time I will ensure something works out.”

April 8

Ravindra says that once the new syllabus comes out, half the ad-hoc posts will be removed. What will happen to me then? God knows why I was so crazy to become an ‘intellectual’.   Had I given the civil services exam, by now I would have got a job in the PCS. At least, it would be better than this neither here nor there situation. Sir will return by the 20th. I have already liked all his Shimla pics on facebook.

April 11

Sir called today. His book is going to be released. I have to proof read the inalized text. He completely relies on my proof reading. He keeps telling me that I do not have sight but vision. How do I tell him that even with this ‘vision’ I only see darkness in my life? The agent came again.

April 15

What would I have done if not for Gaurav? Thanks to him I was able to pay the rent. He is a true friend. I sent Sir a ‘hope you are enjoying’ text. He really likes texts sent in English. His reply, ‘It’s really ossum’.

April 16

I went to watch an NSD play today and ended up meeting Arora Madam. She was asking about Sir. Her equation with the principal is quite good. She assured me that she will talk to him about me. She is very sweet. I have liked all her profile pictures on FB. Her daughter is also quite pretty.

April 18

This Ravindra always brings bad news. UGC is increasing the workload and ad-hoc posts are being reduced. These DUTA people are also interested only in politics. I’ll go to Karol Bagh today. It seems that these coaching centres for the civil services give good money for copy correction. As soon as Sir returns I’ll meet him.

April 20

Going to Karol Bagh was a waste of time. It’s all just English. Only copies which are in Hindi are of social sciences. Why the hell did I specialise in Hindi! Bloody nothing of use is in Hindi. Nowadays Rajesh is writings guides in ethics for civil service coaching. There is a lot of demand for ethics! I have to leave for the station to receive Sir.

April 21

I couldn’t meet Sir. There is some kind of departmental meeting. I have noticed that on such occasions, Sir seems to prefer Pravesh Rai. A man never forgets his caste. I often feel like declaring that I am a Bhumihar. I know of so many who alternate between Bhumhar-Thakur-Brahmin depending on the VC’s caste. Bhumihars are so lucky. They have the advantage of three castes rolled into one.

April 23

I went to Sir’s house to just show my face. It is important to avoid the out of sight out of mind syndrome. Pravesh had also come. He had got an indoor plant for Sir. This idiot brain of mine never things of such innovative ideas! Sir told me that my story in Fansadesh had angered Dahal ji. Apparently I did not understand the pain of Dalits. I really wanted to tell him that I am also like a Dalit. But one has to be quiet before a teacher. I have sent a friend request to Dahal ji on Fb. If he accepts, I’ll start liking and commenting.

May 5

The ad-hoc panel is out. I am in Category III. Though, this category hardly makes a difference. It is approach which matters. Mitraranjan is in Category IV but has been teaching for the last four semesters. I have to meet Sir, he may give money for proof reading. It’s embarrassing to directly ask.

May 7

Today is a happy day for Sir and his family. Hilsa publication has finally published his book. The VC has also appointed him in the ‘examination squad’. It seems that the new VC has finally decided to forgo his reservations regarding Sir. Sir was also close to the previous VC. Perhaps, this was reason behind the doubts of the present VC. Everything is fine now. Sir has said that if the book becomes part of the syllabus he will throw a big party. He gave a cheque of Rs 1900 for the proof reading. I feel very happy today. Sir is so noble.

May 9

The field is set and the game of ad-hoc interviews will commence soon. Right now, every applicant lives in the realm of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. One has to be extremely mindful of what to say, where and to whom. Everyone is trying to get rid of his competitor. According to Sir, one should take an oath of silence and adopt the language of ‘hmms and nods’.

May 13

DUTA is taking out a rally to protest the reduction of ad-hoc posts. Should I go or not? Sir has spoken to the principal at Lohia College. The principal is part of the pro-reduction group. What if he comes to know of my participation in the rally? I really want to go though.

May 14

It was a really big rally. I tied a handkerchief on my face. I used the excuse of an allergy when Ramendra asked. I got the idea thanks to Sir. In his youth, he had once tied a handkerchief and pelted stones at the warden’s house.

May 17

I am really sad today. Everything had been finalised at Khudiram Bose College. The teacher in-charge had also given a positive signal and then God knows from where this roster erupted, the General Seat itself disappeared. I do not understand this system at all. My Dalit friends keep complaining about the roster eating up their seats. The Disabled category people are also angry with it. The entire process is so opaque, people will naturally be suspicious.

For people with approach, the roster is not even a hurdle to cross. Last year at Lakkhimal College, Sameer Prakash had got the Disabled seat converted into a General seat.

May 20

Sir has called me to his house today. I have still not finished the review of his book. I think I will buy a small paint box for his daughter. What else can I buy in my present state!

May 24

How many times will Dad ask the same question? It is easy to give advice from far away. “Talk frankly with your guide” seems to be the only sentence in his vocabulary. Is the guide an idiot that I have to keep telling him the same thing? Fathers just feel everything has to happen according to their grand plan.

May 25

My mother is my weakness. She had called today. I am aware of the condition back home but I am doing my level best. Did I not send the fellowship money? My parents have taken so much pain to educate me. I will go meet Sir tomorrow.

May 27

Bhagirathi College has released the interview date. There is no chance there. The teacher in-charge was Sir’s classmate. There was some issue regarding a girl. Since then they do not like each other. There is hardly any possibility but I shall go for the interview nonetheless.

May 28

“This is a post for Hindi. Why have you got your CV typed in English?” This was one of the questions posed by the panel in the interview. How can one answer such questions! As soon as I reached, it was clear who was to be selected. Bloody Sunil! He was non-stop on the mobile ensuring his ‘setting’ is not disturbed.

June 1

I went for interviews at Dronacharya and Lala Hardayal College. The main paper this time was story and novel. But that woman had to ask about different forms of poetry. I don’t know if Sir actually speaks to people for me or not.

June 7

This entire week has just been one crazy marathon. I had got Rajesh’s bike. I must have spent around 500 just on petrol. Even this was possible thanks to donations from friends. Anyway, I have met everyone who matters. This time I have literally not left any stone unturned. Sir saw me on the bike and immediately handed a list of his chores! His daughter is sweet. She has made a picture with the paint set I gave her.

June 10

Sir has spoken to the people at Ramanad College. He assures me that this time it will happen. I am feeling relieved.

June 14

To hell with this world! Everything was fixed. The teacher in-charge had assured Sir but at the last minute the principal got a call from the ministry to hire Pankaj Upadhyay. Pankaj’s grandfather is the head of the RSS branch at Mirzapur. Now what can Sir do? I guess I will have to meet someone from the Sathi group now.

June 16

I met Harendra Sir. He is quite active in the Sathi group. He is permanent. He taught ad-hoc for five years. He understands my pain. He said that had it been the previous government he would have definitely got me a post. He has promised to help. I haven’t told anything to Sir.

June 27

I have till now given 16 interviews. How much running around will I have to do for one ad-hoc post? I am a JRF. I have a PhD. I have a decent amount of work which has been published thanks to the content and not because of money. Neither was I a radical student, I just focused on my work. Despite all this I have been reduced to this level.

July 8

Everyone is a bloody fraud. They say one thing but do the exact opposite. Everyone is just looking after their own interest. That Arora Madam, who was oozing concern, she hasn’t bothered to answer her phone for a week. Even Sir is ignoring me. What should I do now?

July 10

Sir is very good. It was I who misunderstood him. He has spoken to people about me. In my frustration I had submitted the form for a food inspector’s job in UP. What all can Sir alone do?

July 12

There is an interview at Tulsidas College tomorrow. If everything works out, in a few days I will be an ad-hoc. I am completely indebted to Sir for everything and my gratitude for him keeps increasing. I should call home. I should also tell Gaurav that I will clear all my debts.

July 24

I have been depressed for a week. I would have got the job had that senior and most powerful professor in the department not called the teacher in-charge. The professor is close to the Sangh. The teacher in-charge very candidly told me that even he has to safeguard his job.

August 3

I am quitting this business of ad-hoc. The date for the food inspector exam is out. I will just focus on the exam and get selected. Enough of this idiotic sycophancy! Everyone is a damn rubber stamp. I bid my final adieu to Sir yesterday.


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