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!

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