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.
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