• Episode 99
  • 05-12-2022
  • 08 Min Read

Carelessness is a global phenomenon. Take for example, the general reading and writing skills; not many know this pretty well. Once a Kerala stage legend Sri N N Pillai said that a simple quote, ‘My God! how could he do this to me?’ can be read in five different ways. The meaning keeps changing every time we shift the stress from one word to another. Conveying the message in words without any damage to the content is an art – also extracting exactly what a message meant. Many a time going between lines turns necessary.

A silly mistake or a minor error happening at some steps of an application filling process is enough to change one’s destiny, especially when things are fully digital and online. Quite recently, I happened to hear about a silly mistake made in an IIT application form. A candidate passed all the eligibility tests but was rejected because of an entry done while filling out an online form. Even though lower courts rejected their plea, the Supreme Court ordered a temporary admission. Remember the story of a coma. The judgment was ‘hang him, not let him free’. When it passed through the bench clerk, it became, ‘hang him not, let him free’.

Many educated guys are very poor not only in properly submitting a leave application but also in drafting a complaint. With an objective type approach, carelessness has become highly expensive. It is time for us to seriously think about finishing schools. Cultural associations or religious institutions can work it out online or offline, morning or evening courses. But it is sure to bring some order in the society.

Recently, I came to hear about the bad experience of a person who got ‘M R’ added to his name in the Panchayat birth certificate. The mistake was sure to have happened while the hard copy records were converted into soft copy. Mr in the paper file was copied M R in the soft copy. At last, he had to approach the hospital where he was born, for the nativity certificate. Unfortunately, by the time, the hospital had become an old age home and it took a long time for the man to get it corrected. The difficulty is when the person concerned may need the official certificate for some emigration purposes. These are not errors which anyone can get corrected easily, within a given time.

Many government officers are not aware about the troubles their carelessness causes to simple public.

Learn to write things exactly conveying the intended message or information. There is the story of a smoker who wanted the pastor’s permission to smoke during prayers. He asked the pastor, if he can pray while smoking and not if he can smoke while praying – both are same; smoking and praying goes together. Be it an article, a review, a story or a poem, learn to convey what exactly you mean. It is also important to understand exactly what a message actually meant.

It may make a substantial difference in life, especially if you are a responsible entrepreneur.

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