Acronyms were invented as essential AIDS to memory and their application surfaced as equally contagious as the capitalized word; memory-aid that has to be mugged up to successfully clear any GK test. Many, if not most, of the abbs are funny or at least can be given a witty bend, which ironically may also be their true face.
In earlier times abbs were the hallmarks for cherished degrees – BA, BSc, M.A, MSc, LLB… And no body perhaps expected that the newborn MBAs from IIMs would steal the limelight from the formidable PhDs and IITs so much so that even the ordinary bosses metamorphosed in to CEOs and COOs. Incidently the PhDs were the people with solemn looks and thick lenses on their noses because all their life they Patiently Hoping for a Degree and had no energy left to recoil with josh when they were Phinally Done. It’s another thing that the most coveted three letter word still remain as IAS, though the buzurgs could hardly locate the halo that surrounded its predecessor – with the middle component as ‘Civil’ instead of ‘Administrative’, reminiscent of the Indian Cancer Society. Sad indeed for the Indian Forest Services and the Indian Foreign Services, who had to settle down for the common IFS.
Acronyms could have brought ease to the public works department after it became PWD but for the people, who find the more notorious name of Public Wastes Department easy to remember. The DMs and the DCs took a cue from this and acquired a credo of Don’t Mingle with the public and then Don’t Care for them too. VIPs gained more limelight as VVIPs and then shied away as ZVIPs. Post-tehelka, PMO’s doctrine appeared to be “Pehle Maal phir Office ka kaam”.
Americans are infamous acronym enthusiasts. A laudable World Wildlife Fund has been reduced to World Wrestling Federation. You have the US of A, NASA, NATO and the toe licking UNO, UNICEF and WHO knows what not. Their FBI simply became Feds perhaps protesting against their over-exposure in Hollywood movies. Our own RAW is no match for ISI and even though the institution has been re-christened the Bureau of Indian Standards, most people want the ISI-approved products.
Speaking of demand, think of the time people acquired cardio-vascular ailments or did the P.C.Sorkar trick if you mentioned IT raids. Strange times I tell you, the same people talk about jumping into the IT bandwagon now. Simple earthly desire, this? Chanakya, backed up by his erudition from HTML to WML, from SAP to WAP to SOAP, from EJB to CORBA, and armed with colossal MCP, MCSE & SCJP certifications, simply wants to go phoren and turn out to be chunki, not mentioning the neighborhood Manakya who would better not go for a similar feat. The guy OTOH would rather be J using the net-lingo in the chat forums.
Brain drain was bye-product of the angrez education system, realized the swadeshis. By introducing the lessons of Socially Useful Productive Work, SUPW they wanted us to transform into Anna Hazare ASAP. Students, bunking the classes to see a HAHK, DDLJ, DTPH and the more recent KNPH with their GFs, however thought differently. To them these sessions remained Some Useful Periods Wasted. In colleges doing a bunk have become, the more sophisticated, GT. Here, the preparation for GK test helps during ragging when it would be a KLPD you couldn’t expand on the newly acquired geographical wisdom on JAPAN and HP.
Finally, not all abbs are enduring happy anecdotes to bring smile to a face. A bad ECG, DD’s newscasts, the mighty-September 11-fall of the twin towers of WTC, FM’s budget proposals, MPEB’s bills and the thinning index at BSE and NASDAQ are bound to cause dropped jaws.