20061106

adios mate!

I have always been a sucker for cartoons.

For me, cartoons make more sense than TV or movies. As most of them cater to kids, they have to. Children take no bull from anyone.

But cartoons keep changing.

For a long time, calvin & hobbes was my favourite cartoon. But, now a days, I like South Park better. Way better.

Hence, shifting now to a new blog.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

20061023

Learning experience Redux

Searching for a house to stay in Salt Lake can be a life altering experience.

Now, don't get all politically correct on me. I mean no disrespect to Bongs, especially when some of the most intelligent and most beautiful creatures I have met are from this place ( men and women, respectively.) I love the local food, love the haunting songs, love the one mall which they have here which is any day better than any of the Gurgawaa! ones, love the eateries and second hand bookshops...

Yeah I know. You are waiting for the 'but' right? Here goes...

The IT boom in Salt Lake - or rather, the BPO boom - resulted in many PYTs (professional young things) landing in here. They have a certain budget, and do not believe in keeping aside much for accommodation.

Me? I am an old lady, needing my peace, solitude and freedom. Opting for an apartment is fine, thanks to a generous packet by the company. Enter my knights, the brokers.

I guess we call the real estate agents brokers as eventually they manage to break your heart. The spelling? Don't probe too deep yaar. They might have misspelled it, for all we know.

The gems offered were:

A furnace simulation with no fans, ventilation, windows opening into other people's curious eyes...

A bed in a three bed room within a three bedroom flat with two bathrooms - and all inhabited by females who would want to leave by 08:30 AM everyday....

A flat where everything leaks - wash basins, pipes, toilets, drains, walls...

Harry Potter's cupboard room under the stairs. I think this one is a bit smaller though...

One on the fourth floor - no lift, and one door opens from the landlord's side so that they can keep a 'watch'. Duh?

Finally, took up the cupboard as it offered the promise of some privacy. Ha. Ha. One week later, I can empathize with my grandmom's pet fish, who invariably got poked around the aquarium when we kids were in her home. May be this is the fish's curse. If so, I should warn the youngest of us to stop the poking habit....

Getting fleeced on everything from rent to value added services like washing the clothes, in addition to the invasion of the cupboard by other tenant, the servants, the landlady, her kid... and their need to know the intricacies of my laptop, my mobile and my camera...

The good things?

The two Alsatian dogs of the owner of the house, who live with her on the first floor. By the time I leave, I plan to be friends with those adorable balls of fur and muscle who are as tall as me.

The almost magical scents of the night when I walk down the lane every night. A heady mix of various night flowers which I am yet to find in a parfum bottle.

Like a drop of paint added to water, it mix and melt into my prosaic life, making it colorful.

20061008

Learning experience

For the past few weeks, I have been talking with my juniors, their juniors, batchmates, old engineering friends, past and present colleagues and what not. Now, sitting back on a Sunday evening, I realize that we talk a different tongue. For the benefit of the greater humanity; I decode one of the omnipresent words in Yembeeyeah!speak:

Learning experience : (1) Failing to do or achieve something (2) flunk out of a course (3) circumstances which suck big time.

Eg: (1) Boss :Did you complete the project?
Employee : Well.. It was more of a learning experience...

(Experienced bosses do not venture beyond this point. They know that it is a lost cause to be overly curious about the project. They make a mental note to bring down the intended salary hike of the employee by a few notches and move on.)

Eg: (2) Friend1: Dude, how come you are 29 with no work experience and just passed out of MBA?
Friend2: Dude, I had some learning experiences man!
Friend1: Oh, yeah? Which all classes?

( Note the refined sidestepping of the words flunked, failed, repeated etc. and how Friend1 cuts straight to the chase. )

Eg: (3) Department Head: How do you find the new city? How is the guesthouse where you are put up?
Eagerbeaver employee : I love it! It is a great learning experience!

( In a slightly hysterical, high pitched voice with a 28 teeth baring smile; which is so akin of an orangutan baring its teeth in fear. By the way, it is one more evidence to the Darwian theory.
The two sentences means : " I hate it here. There are no friends here and I do not understand this language. This food is different from what we eat it is too spicy/not at all spicy (crossout whichever is not applicable) and people here do/do not (crossout whichever is not applicable) talk Hindi. It is too hot/cold (crossout whichever is not applicable) here. The people use too much oil in their food/hair (crossout whichever is not applicable) that it stinks always. I want to be in the other department. But I am not going to make any career limiting statements and exhibit negativity. Atleast, not to you."

Now; knowing that a lot of you know about me shifting to Calcutta; here are my learning experiences from Bongland:

Finding an apartment to stay : somebody pass me the contact details of people who can fix up an apartment for me please! (1)

Language : It reminds me of the times when I hear Hindi, Tamil or Malayalam being spoken; but cannot make out the words. (2 : And I haven't even started the course! )

Food : The guys in the guesthouse believe in excesses; especially of salt, garlic and oil in all kinds of food. (3)

The rumored readers of this blog; bhailog; thoda madat keejiye!

20060925

Self help? Bah!

You see, the problem with all the self help books is that, they snip out the really important stuff. Same with the self help columns. I abhor self help books but have read most of them - life plays these dirty tricks on you every now and then - and read atleast two of online advice givers - the respectable variety - regularly.

so as I was saying, they really don't teach you how to do stuff. Let me put it another way. Suppose you have this person whom you know back from someplace. Life's little games have brought you into closer contract with this person, and she aint half as bad as you thought. Just that she is on her way to commit professional harakkiri - or second thoughts it should be just suicide as harakkiri is an honorable custom amongst the Japanese - by getting too close to this other dude at work and everybody in their department knows and even though their work policy says nothing about this, it is a no-no in there you know what I mean? So my question is, how do I tell her that 'dudette, be discreet?' huh? Nobody ever tell ki how you have to actually do stuff. They just say ' yeah, just do it' like nike sponsors their columns.

just do it, eh? Do you know how bloody difficult it is? I would do it in a perfect world where she or he will listen to me when I tell them that they have been a silly ass and at the end of it they just hug me thanks and pledge me eternal friendship and we walk into the sunset as friends forever.

hahahahahahahaha. Just thinking about it make me laugh out loud, the same way I did when we gals used to read out the really mushy stuff from MnB books back in engineering days. It is probably the idealistic state, but you know it aint going to happen and it aint going to happen to you and you hope it aint gonna happen to your friends and if bychance it did, then they would shutup about it. Listen to me snicker and guffaw. It is real life mediocrity laughing at idealistic state.

so finally I try telling this to her in a perfectly casual way by wrapping it around a thousand stories and to make this one drop fall on the ground, I create a summer rain and hide the drop insie it. I mean, isn't she intelligent enough to understand it?

I mean, it is not just her. There is this other miss who want me to tell her when she is bumbling up, but I have given up as it is just thunder after lightening. It makes a huge sound, but it is not what burns down trees and zap down people.

I guess I should start writing a column myself. It should get mail from people who want me to tell it to the face of others that they are fucking up and how? With a signing off moniker like say 'Ms Hardknox' or 'Ms Take' . I personally prefer 'Ms. Bitch' short sweet and universally understood. The problem and what exactly I think of it will be my column and I will send a personal mail to the person who is eating his foot.

any editors with money out there?

20060913

Tales from Yembeeyeah! land

Once upon a time in Yembeeyeah! land, there was a good looking chap. Tall, fair, slightly rolly-polly, cleanshaven and hygienic. A mother's dream choice for her daughter. Let us call him Alag; for he was the rare species whom moms like to see their daughters dating and whom many daughters themselves wanted to date.

Alag went forth, one dreary summer day, to sell toothpaste to the interior India. This was due to the (mis?)conception that many people had - if you sweat your summers out instead of relaxing on a beach side, you have better chances to 'make it'.

Although nobody understood what you are supposed to 'make it' people saw the summer as a character building time and forced kids to go here, there and everywhere. Alag was sent to the interiors of buffalo land, where from the chief minister to the chief of dacoits had buffalos by the dozen.

As it was the big momma of all interiors, he decided to acquaint himself with the Sarpanch of the village. Yes my friends, the Indian Coffee House istyle frilled headgear which looks like a fat dove who just spread its tail feathers was on his head. The women at his home were neither seen (tauba! tauba!!) nor heard ( how dare they? ).

Sarpanch uvacha: "Beta, tell me something about yourself."

Err.. actually not, but something to that effect.

Alag went on and on. The Sarpanch, like a good recruiter, had zeroed in on what he actually wanted to know. Still, he asked to confirm:

"So, are you single or committed?"

No, it didnot sound like a dating site question. Still...

Alag was free as free can be, so he said

"Single, singleReady to mingle(and this to himself)I wonder if he has a babe called Twinkle?"

The Sarpanch did not have a babe called Twinkle. However, he had a daughter called Chameli. He turned back to the oblivion of his home, and shouted:

"Yo the hot momma of my daughter Chameli, dont send the chai by our old servant Motiram. Send it by our Chameli lass. Let Alag see her and fall in love.."

So on and so forth.

Alag suddenly remembered a imaginary emergency and scooted. Last heard, he ditched his designer shoes and clothes for Hawaii chappals and roadside tshirts. And yup, he also stopped bathing and looked pathetic than Motiram through the entire character building exercise of Summer.

20060901

Looking back... and looking ahead.

I decided on which company to join pretty early. Two of my best friends from the senior batch has already joined that firm, and the chance to be with them for some more years was too tempting. They used to call me almost every week, come down to campus at regular intervals and mail once in a while. Apart from crushes, girl friends, campus, professors, life, love and universe, we also discussed the work.

It was good to hear that they were happy about their work. So what if it is a bit overworked... you really have to slog it out in the initial years anyway. It was full of my seniors and alumni from our college. Can life get any better?

I also decided to try for another group - they have their own system akin to the civil service. Having betrayed my family's IAS/IFS ambitions for an MBA, it was the least I could do. Besides, I also had friends who already got job offers from the company and who were planning to take it up.

A big NO was there for the FMCG sector. Not because I have anything against them, but because I was convinced - or brainwashed, to use the right term - by one of the faculty that you need atleast an A in the various Law papers to atleast think of qualifying for an FMCG. I took the easy way out - did not touch the book, but mentally voted the FMCGs off my list.

Then the fizzy guys. Granted, I got into them both swimmingly for my summers. Granted, I know people who work in both - again, loving seniors - and think they are cool. But my communist upbringing was opening a can of self questioning : How comfortable I would be, if I was asked to go to my state where people were fighting for these guys to shut down on their factory? Do I want to choose between my upbringing, four years of graduation and friends and a man who unceremoniously - arrogantly, again, to use the right word - ignored the question about the pesticides when he visited our campus?

No.

Do I want to work for the IT companies? Well, atleast they have free internet.

The first company did choose me for the final interview. However, small things - how the ppt presentation was made, how the man talked proudly about not having time for his family.. it all came out in the interview. I walked out knowing that I did not make it, and I was happy that I did not.

Then, friends from the clone companies came calling. Forget them, join us. Said another friend. Again, doubt, questioning. How different will the two be? I chose not to apply to that bunch of earnest and young swashbucklers at all.

The company with the IAS hierarchy had a long form to fill up. I thought of doodling towards the end, but finally gave some prefunctory answers and sent it across.

Meanwhile, across a dinner table and a coffee table, I had got a job. This made me pretty much happy. I was not in love, but I was in like.

Recruitment time in full swing. Applied to three companies who came on the first day. Walked out of one after telling the interviewer that I do not want that job profile. Screwed up the other one by being myself. The last one. No seniors here, no batchmates so far. Nobody knows anything about them. I have not attended their ppt. My friends who are going for the interview have not pegged it high. "What arbitness.. " I muttered to myself.

I would not call it love at first sight. Both the people who interrviewed me are happily married, and one of them is a woman. I liked the lady, the way she talked, and the fact that her hair was streaked. I made a mental note to streak likewise as soon as the process gets over. It was more like talking to an elder cousin, discussing life and work. And I discovered to my mortification that even though they deal with technology, they are very much an FMCG.

"Hey, this aint half bad." I told myself. I knew that if the lady was as straight talking as she sounded, I stood a chance of getting a second round call.

I enter the room to fnd a middle aged gentleman wearing a chequred half sleeve shirt looking curiously at me. "Is this the interview room?" I asked.
Boy, Where are his formals? May be the poor chap lost his luggage. However, he was in a good mood despite that, and I happily chatted away with him. Half way through, my cell phone rang to the tune of some cheesy movie jatka number. I fumbled and cursed under my breath trying to locate the phone in any one of my suit pockets. He looked on with a bemused smile.

"Attend the call." Attend the call??? Are you kidding me?????? You may be dressed informally because you lost your luggage. But asking me to take my call equals telling me politely that I am not getting the job. Anyway, I thought of the verbal lashing the poor placement committee guys were going to get because of me ( they had got thrashed because food was not hot enough in some earlier occasion) and sat through and talked. And talked.

By the time I came out, I was in love. I went up to the placement guy handling this company and told him; "If they want me, I am in. I am in love with them." He smiled ( a cute smile, I should add here) and about three hours later, told me and other three friends, that we are accepted. I smiled. I grinned. And I grinned some more when I saw one of my friends saying yes to the offer. "I like them. They are very chill people." was his response.

Am I happy now?
Yes.
Do I love my work?
Yes.
Do I love my colleagues?
Yes.
Will I recommend my company to you and ask you to join us?

No.

What I can do is to tell you about my company. Whether you fit in here or not, that is a decision you have to make ( and the company too).

So any of my juniors reading this, keep this in mind. Joining a company and the 'lightening bolt' [ ref MarioPuzo's Godfather] is not very different. I hope you guys find your lightening bolts.

20060824

These are just some of my favourite friends

The One who, in our first face to face meeting, wanted to blast me for 'outing' his blog link to my PG community. The only guy with whom I can discuss guys.

The One whom people either mistook as my elder brother or else as my twin. He still is, for all practical purposes.

The One who was too Tam and too weird. He still is, but I love him all the more for that.

The One who, calls me up only when he wants to, and talks as much as he wants to. Whatever we become, I would know that he would be a part of my life in some way or other.

The One with whom I bonded over a factory visit and Tamil songs. My kindred soul in mischief.

The One whose mind I can read the best and the most. Most of the times, I try not to. Babe, you should speak out more often what you read in me.

The One who helped me out in my committees, and always stood by me. We neednot keep in touch, but we will be there for each other.

The One whom I looked upto in awe as a phenomenon, and whom I now bug for news about sprited liquids. When did we shift from dude to bro?

The One whom I became friends with the ulterior motive [ one of his friends was the focal point ;) ], and who somehow became one of my closest friends, a sounding board after a 1Km walk from the town back to college. My friend, colleague and family.

The One who is two continents away, but is always there to respond to a mail or a scrap. My one and only sister, for whom I will do almost anything.

The One who was the earlier one's roomie... and with whom I can start a conversation even if we meet after 4 years. I love her!

The One who always looked out for me when I was a fool in love. Thank you.

The one who became my friend thanks to this blog. And who somehow became a source and outlet for hugs.

The one with whom I bonded over some incompetent nincompoops. And who now help me not to become one.

The one whom I have never seen. And know that someday, somewhere, you will take me out for lunch and make me pay for it.

The one whom I always thought was not my type. But now one chap whose mails I do look forward to.

The one whom I thought was a sissy boy. Well, you still are! :))
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