My first appraisal was when I joined SunTec. I was so confused as to what the process was. Setting goals, framing stories of accomplishments, and what else you can. But finally after the meeting with the Manager and the appraisal grades were released I realized, like all others, do whatever you may, frame whatever you may, you are left to the mercy of your Manager and the interests of the company.
Soon after the appraisals we see dumbass people roaming in brand new cars and holding treats, while hardworking efficient people move to the depressed group and look out for job changes. But somehow we set these objectives and goals in hope. Hopes too high! Lets see what this appraisal has in store for me and the likes around! :)
This is a long awaited vacation actually. Long to be back home, relaxing, and doing nothing :)
The worst part is the travel. 13 - 14 hrs sitting numb in the bus, the blanket which either covers ur head or toes, but not both together, an uncomfortable night's sleep to be interrupted by the incessant cry of small kids and hefty guys snoring, the horns of the bus and other vehicles on the road, and so on. But somehow I love that moment when I wake up clumsily in the morning and see in the early dawn the boards of the shops which reads the names of places in Kerala. I become very anxious and eager as if on a trip first time to my home.
But unexpected things do happens. And whenever it happens I would be a part of it! :( Last time when I was travelling home, I woke up and saw that we were just three hours long from my place. I was all set to reach home when suddenly the bus stopped. After five minutes of halt, I heard the dreaded words - Breakdown. It took us another seven hours to reach, after changing two buses. :(
I hope nothing goes wrong. I am ready to sleep all cuddled up adjusting to the length and breadth of the blanket, the seat, and ignore the noises foregoing a night's sleep. All to reach home in time. :)
At our office, we work for a North American company and everyday is a new day with lots of learning in the differences of cultures. Last week a trainer had come down from the client location, who will be with us for another few months. He imparts training to us related to the domain as well as the CULTURES.
The first few things I noticed about him - unlike many of us, he is very punctual. Comes in at sharp 9 am and leaves at 6 pm. While most of us come in by 10 to 11 am and leave after 7 pm. He is always in formal clothes, very pleasant, and at his desk for most of the office hours. We, over here wear all what we like from formals to casuals, dark, bright, and florescent, are cranky at times, and finally are not at our desks for most of the time.
Few days back, we had our first training at 10 am. People kept coming in. As usual, I reached in by 10 30 and unluckily was the last! The topic was working with North American counterparts. While concluding the session he was detailing a few circumstances when he had committed mistakes. Finally he said - there's one mistake I did over here. That was to start the session at sharp 10 am. He gave us a awkward smile. I felt the more embarrassed. But something more happened to it. Our PM came in at 11 30 am. She went to his desk and wished him a lovely morning. And her next question was - we are having the session today rt? When is it? I sit next to his cubicle and hearing this question the people in the whole bay froze. He replied smiling - its already over. Perhaps an hour ago!
Phew! That was one embarrassing incident when the whole team seemed irresponsible and stupid.
I hear the clock ticking away in speed, as if eager to complete its rounds. During the day I never notice the sound of the clock ticking. A mosquito flying past sings in its awful sound to irritate me. I hear a creaking sound every other minute when my brother turns in his bed. Perhaps the fridge thinks why should it alone be silent. Adding to the harmony, the water drops fall into the kitchen sink making that beautiful plop sound. Why should I not make noise when all these break the silence of the night. I hit hard at the keyboard as I type in each word.
Today when I go to bed, I would be content that I did not give up to the silly creatures and objects around me. And next morning when I wake up I wouldn't notice any of these sounds, neither the mosquito's songs, or the clocks. Who has time for all those once the alarm goes off? Till tomorrow night, I have so many other sounds to listen to - the traffic, children, the girls blabbering in the cafeteria, conferences and calls at office, the frying and stirring in the kitchen, the horns, the beeps and ringtones, and so on.
I wonder when would there be silence! Would I hear it as long as I am alive.
All good writers and orators are good storytellers. I perhaps don't like all writers but do agree that all have unique capabilities of their own. I may not admire all storytellers but the first storyteller I admired was my Grandmother.
Like all children, I also used to insist on hearing stories of rabbits and foxes to take food or go to bed. She used to be patient enough to answer all my stupid doubts and frame up good stories and prolong it till I completed my food. I wondered why rabbits and other animals never spoke to me in everyday life. I did try talking to butterflies and cats. But none cared to answer me. My grandmother - she used to fill my world with colours, the innocence of animals, the beauty of nature, and the greatness of mankind. I still remember few stories she told me as a kid. The best one is of a porcupine who lays an egg in an old tree trunk but is unable to take it out. It goes around to different animals who refuse to help and finally a small ant is ready to help and we see in a sequence how each animal who refused earlier now help the porcupine... :-)
A few years back I asked her how she knew too many stories. She replied saying that she used to frame small stories and mix n match all those she knew of, so that I would complete my food.. :-)
As a child, I was bright at studies. Used to be among the top three in class (I know most kids are). But as years passed by, the graph kept going down. I hardly realized that it was going down. Only when I had completed my XII did I realize that I had gone down. That was the first time I wished that had I been more cautious.
Then came my years of graduation - the most careless years! Studies were never a part of that period. We had no textbooks or set syllabus. Everything was ambiguous. The questions were very vast. One could go on writing for pages. But who had all those patience. I would be the first one to leave the exam hall... But this action of mine cost me heavily during the last exam (As always) :-(
But this is my first failure.. and Failure are the stepping stones to success! Hope I succeed next time... ;-)
Last Friday she took an off and decided to work on Sunday instead. The Production dept. was working on this day and so was a good percent of the employees. But unlike every other day, she had to catch another cab today. Early morning itself, we woke up, prepared something for breakfast and was ready – she for office, and me to leave her at the bus-stop. A guy in the cab was informed that she would be waiting at the regular stop and we were told that the cab would be there by 8:05 am.
The morning was quite foggy. I had difficulty in taking her to the bus-stop but somehow we managed to reach there by 8 am. She called up the guy in the cab and to our dismay it had already passed the stop and that too a few seconds back. I knew not what to do. We called them back again and asked to stop the vehicle. The driver said it is not possible. Frustrated, we were trying to identify the bus to the route. Suddenly the guy called back and informed that the cab was waiting 200 meters ahead of our stop and gave us the cab number. Frantically I drove keeping an eye for the particular cab. 200 meters turned into kilometers. But the cab was nowhere in sight. Finally when we reached Electronics City we called up the guy again. He apologized saying the driver was not allowing stopping the cab again and left. I drove another few kilometers and left her at a junction from where she could hire an auto rickshaw. While coming back I kept a count on the number of kilometers covered. In total I drove 24 kms… First time ever in my life!
That few seconds counted heavily on my day. I had planned to take a short nap after leaving her at the bus-stop. But I reached home only at 9:15 am. It was too sunny by the time I reached. So my short nap extended to a few hours and thereby did my day.
A few seconds do really count a lot!
As a child, I was very scared of the bursting sound of crackers. I used to cover my ears with both the hands, but loved to watch it burst. As I grew up, the intensity of the fear decreased. Now I do burst crackers on my own (I dare not burst the big ones though ;)), but don't bursting it much. Over here in Bangalore, people were crazily bursting crackers day and night. It was actually a nuisance (no offense meant).
After the crackers were burst, the whole place was filled with smoke, waste papers on all the roads, and crackers that had not bursted. I didn't enjoy the unbearable noise and smoke. But majority do look forward to Diwali only for lighting the crackers. To all of them - Belated Happy Diwali! :)
This time I have applied for three days leave to go to Kerala for Onam. Earlier I never had to do that. Of course Onam meant 10 long days of holidays. At SunTec also we had three to four days off. But here, there is nothing like that… :( I have to take three days off from my well counted and meager, so called Privilege Leave.
I’ll be starting on my journey within a few hours and am quite excited to be at home again. The thought of payasams, chips, and Onasadya has already made my mouth water. Onam was a celebration when I was in school. Ten long days of vacation just after the Onam exams. Onam vacation meant holidays, relatives and cousins, swings, and lots of food. And cousins meant Raji especially. This was the only day when we had our baths early in the morning. We have never put pookalams for Onam, but I enjoyed doing that in college. Payasam is another aspect that keeps my love for Onam still alive.
Now all are busy. Not all have time to get together during the festival. But still I look forward being at home and having my Onasadya on a plantain leaf with my family members (Mittu included :)). Happy Onam to all of you well in advance!!!
A moment gone, is gone forever. Sometimes we crave to be there once again. Memories take us there now and again. Like many, even I believe photographs are a treasure forever.
Even now, I take up the old albums and spend hours on it. I never get bored in this activity. I really appreciate my father who took all the pains to take snaps, get the prints, and set them out in albums. It was a tedious job then. But how simple has it become now – click, transfer, see/send.
Till my second year of graduation, I also used to take pains and photograph all occasions. But suddenly technology advanced, digital cams took over. Buying film rolls, going to the studios, getting the prints collected, setting it in albums, all seemed so out of fashion and naïve very soon. So our old camera was kept somewhere in the cupboards, never to be used again. But we didn’t have a digital camera either. Somehow, none of us took the pains to buy one. Afterall getting photos was not that difficult – someone who had a camera would upload the photos. So none missed any photos.
But on many occasions I had wished to have a cam. We were all very preoccupied that we didn’t realize that many a good moments had passed pretty soon. Finally we decided to buy one. And last weekend, my bro and me, we went to get one. We had two models in mind, the showroom had only one model available. We took some time and learned the functionalities and were happy with the snaps taken. Finally we made our minds to go for the available model. But the salesperson had one more bad news to tell us – only the silver model was available not black L I didn’t want to lose this opportunity and again prolong the buying for a long time. We finally bought the cam. And now, I hope we won’t be missing moments in life again ;)
- My room at our home in Kerala
- My cousin, Raji
- School Days
- My friend, Anupriya
- My hostel, MTTC
- College days
- And what else I don't know
What I feel I must actually do at this point of time - Keep those memories fresh and start building new ones.
I wear a green scarf around my hair, a dark blue helmet on top of it, and finally a greyish silver jacket. Can you imagine it? Well, its ridiculous. But I can't help it. The dust and wind compels me to make a foolish appearance of myself. Anyhow I reach office and home well protected from the polluted, dusty air. There was a time when I thought that I would never wear a helmet because I disliked it. So when there was a rule forcing two-wheeler riders to wear a helmet, I was totally against it. But now being in Bangalore, even if the government repeals the law, I am going to continue wearing the helmet. :-D
And as you all know its safe to wear the helmet also. The last time I fell, I was lucky to have been wearing the helmet because I fell face down on the road. And could hear the helmet banging hardly on the tarred surface. Just can't imagine what would have happened if I hadn't worn it that day!
So if you find a robot on the roads of Bangalore, don't wonder, its me!
I was disappointed. I could only read through the blogs but could not make new posts or edit the existing ones. I really don't know what made them to block this site. Actually they are doing a mistake by blocking blogger. Whenever I have free time, I access my blogs and make new posts. By doing this, I made sure that I didn't waste my time playing games or being idle. I spent my time productively. But now that they are determined to stop me from blogging during office hours, I have no other option than to play solitaire, sudoku, cinco, and all other accessible games during office hours, spend my time idle, and just loaf around.
Do you feel that I am free during my office hours? In a way its true to an extent. My current project doesn't consume much time always. Sometimes I am free for days at a stretch. But when we have deliverables, its just the opposite. So now don't wonder if you don't see new posts coming up regularly! (Only intended for those who enjoy reading my blogs, if any. :-D)
As per the company policy, the sites irrelevant to the business are blocked. But there is one flaw in the whole process. We work on remote desktops of which the servers are located elsewhere. So there is no blockage for the sites on the remote desktop. So now that they have blocked blogger on my local desktop, I ll surely work from my remote desktop.. :-D In short, nothing can stop me from blogging. Even if doesn't interest the ones reading it, it interests me a lot... ;-)
Commuting is a very grave issue in Bangalore, be it a pedestrian or a person driving a vehicle. The number of hours caught up in the traffic is countless. Movement is actually a big problem. People actually try to avoid commuting during the peak hours of traffic, but those who have to take those hours have no other options left. The road works are another major issue. The biggest example is the section of the Hosur Road from Silk Board to the Electronics City. A flyover construction has been going on there since when, I don't know. But I am seeing it from the past six months. I don't say this doesn't happen in other parts of the country, but in such a populated city, I don't think so.
Digging the sub-roads on a frequent basis is another concern. Since the Hosur Road is not fit for quick transportation, I take a shortcut. For the past six months, there was not a day when there was no construction or maintenance work going on at segments of the road. Finally during the rainy season, something more wonderful is happening. Both the sides of the muddy road are being dug. I know not for what reason. I agree it might be for some developmental purpose but does it make sense to dump the mud onto the road? A lot of people depend on that road to reach the main road. But its all ruined in the rains, and the mud dumped which makes it all slippery and congested. People on two wheelers skid and fall down frequently. But nothing is done to solve this.
Pitfalls in the middle of the roads and irregular bumps are something common everywhere. I agree that these problems prevail in all parts of the country, but the number of lives affected must be considered. Thats why I say I thank God when I reach home with my body parts INTACT!!!
From last two days, its raining the whole night. I sleep under my blanket warm and cozy. But my journey to the office on the two-wheeler, in the mornings are terrible. I usually take a shortcut to office which is an untarred, muddy road only because going through the main road would take me an hour caught up in traffic compared to the 15 minutes by the bad road. It was alright till last Friday except for the infrequent, never ending tarring process.
Monday morning, I was on my way after the heavy rains of the last night. The road was completely muddy and slippery. And as I am an expert at riding (for more about my expertise, see here :-D) I took extreme care to ride through. When I reached a turning, I saw that workers were digging horizontally across the road. I paused there for a moment, not knowing what to do. But they simply let me pass through a narrow bridge. Only when I reached further did I know that the road was blocked. I had to turn, go all the way back and take a different route. It was no better, but still ok.
The next day, I purposely didn't take the old route, since the last night also it rained continuously. As I was nearing my office, I thanked God that there were no major hurdles. But no sooner did I see a pool of water which covered around 500 metres of the road. I thought it would be fine and continued riding. When I reached midway I knew that the water was quite deep. I had to lift my legs so that they didn't get wet. In the middle, the vehicle slowed down. I had to maintain balance or I would fall into the knee length water. At times I felt that I was floating. Somehow I finally reached the other end. And when I returned home in the evening, it was raining heavily. I had no option than to ride. The drops felt like needles. I reached home, fully drenched.
But still I love when its rains!
Read - I read a few pages of the book Pride and Prejudice. Actually I had read it halfway a few years back, but couldn't complete it. So now I have started it all over again.
Gardening - I visited a neighbour's house after quite a long time. On my previous visit, I had asked the aunty over there for a moneyplant. Today she gave me the plantlings. I brought them home and put one stalk in a bottle of water. Another two with roots, I planted them in a small Kwality Wall's ice cream container. For planting them, I got the required amount of sand from outside the house and set it. Now everyday, I'll check to see how big it grows. Hope it grows! Though I love gardening, I am an utter flop at it.
Cooking - Yes, I have made caramel pudding. Its all done except for two things - cooling and eating.. :-D Its already set apart for cooling. And once that is done, the final part.
Blogging - Made a new post in the new blog - www.readingloud.com. This is actually a joint effort by two other friends and my brother. Started the post on The Da Vinci Code yesterday and completed it today.
Well that's all what I did today. Looking forward to eating the pudding and completing some pending office work... :-(
Initially Trivandrum was new to us. Slowly we learnt the places. The first thing we did was to take a membership at the University Library. Every alternate Saturday, we would leave from the hostel with permission to be at the library. Within five minutes of reaching there, we would return the books, issue new ones and leave the place. Rest of the day we would spend in discovering the favourite spots of Trivandrum. Films were another great means of timepass for us. During those three years we had watched almost 70% of the films at the theatres over there. Our other hostelmates used to make fun of us saying that we were the Encyclopedias of the Trivandrum theatres. Good food was another weakness. Zam Zam at Palayam was a favourite pick. Arul Jyothi, Prime, and Azad were a few another hangouts.
During the second year of college, one could find us in the evenings at the Trivandrum Museum. We used to idle our time sitting on the benches, shifting from one to another, as the sun went down. It was a bit later that we discovered the Kanakakkunnu Palace. It was a quiet place as compared to the musuem. It had an open air theatre and widely spread out places to sit. It was less frequented by people. It was one of the places I used to go when bunking classes alone. Sitting idle over there for hours itself was a great feeling. I just loved the ambience. In our final year, when we had to prepare a script for our short film, we chose this place. We were a gang of six girls and two boys. When all were bugged up preparing the script, the boys took out a cigarette to smoke. A few of the girls including me tried. I failed miserably at it.
By the end of the second year, I took a membership at the British Library. For the next three years, I used to spend hours over there. But now I guess its closed down. It was around the same time that we had to do our internships in the Print Media. I was lucky enough to get in the Trivandrum bureau of the Indian Express. My roomates were doing their intership at another bureau at a different place. So for the one whole month I was alone in my room. I discovered a lot of things during this time. The internship at the bureau was interesting. I would work till noon and then roam about the city. When I was shifted into the editorial section, it was more interesting. I would sleep till 10 am. Then have a look at the newspapers, read a book, have lunch, take a nap, and leave for the bureau. The editorial desk started functioning only in the evening. I actually had very little work. Once that was over I would leave the place. But it would be dark then. It was interesting to walk through the streets, the wind blowing briskly, and all alone. Wow! I miss that. And yes, I had special permission granted at the hostel... ;-)
The final year was quite difficult. We realized very soon that everything would be coming to a still. The final video project was the only entertaining thing left. As mentioned earlier, we were quite bugged up in making the script. The group spent a lot of time together. But we were actually looking forward to this assignment from the first year of college itself. Not because of our interest in filmography, but out of the interest in the monetary gain involved. We could extract quite huge amounts from our parents in this name. After all its an academic project! We conducted the shoot for two days. Editing was what followed next. The editing would get over only at midnight. Only three girls and two boys would be there at the studio. We had no transport means of our own. We would walk through the roads till we found an autorickshaw. Those were the carefree days!
Now its all over! 10 - 6 at office. To bed at 12. And then the same routine. Nothing else. Perhaps thats why I say "I'm missing LIFE"!
And yes, we celebrated our Independence Day celebrations today (a day in advance) because we are not working tomorrow. Well many made fun of us for celebrating the Independence Day of Pakistan... :-) So as I said we celebrated Independence today. The whole cubicles with the tricolor flags, pictures, maps - it was nice. Even the people looked nice. Especially the ones in white... ;-) The celebrations were good with each team presenting plays, skits, or presentations based on a theme. And finally the judges gave away the prizes. No, we didn't get any ;-)
Today's celebration reminded me about the ones we celebrated during the school days. Perhaps after that we never celebrated any - neither in schools nor in my previous office. It was marked by a holiday and a few forwarded emails. While I was in my boarding school, unlike the day scholars, we would be in the school campus only. Our Manager would come in the morning itself and hoist the tricolor flag. We loved watching it though I remember none saluting it or singing the National Anthem. But yes, we watched eagerly as it went up and started flowing with the wind. For the first few hours we would come out and see how the flag remained there. But in due course of time we would forget that and never knew who removed it finally by the end of the day. We never had any parades or any patriotic activities. Now when I see the children participating in Independence day programs, I understand how much I have missed.
Well, nowadays it has become one of the holidays we look forward to and sit at home watching patriotic films in the various television channels.
By evening it was cloudy. My mom made some crunchy, hot 'murukku' (snacks). Then we decided to cook something special. And what? I saw my father helping my mom in the kitchen after a gap of some 10 years. They made 'porotta, fish fry, salad, and mutton curry'. By 6 pm it had started raining. It was cool and windy outside. The rains continued till 9 pm. We had our 'special' dinner early and it was tasty too... ;-) Thus ended the day which started bright and sunny.
For the next vacation, we went to Rajasthan. That was when our bonding started. We gelled together so quickly that parting after the vacation was the worst part. I still remember how she cried infront of the railway station while we were leaving. And as fate was, two years later, we were together. She had come to Kerala to continue her studies. The previous year, I had also come down to Kerala to continue my studies. We stayed at our grandmom's place along with Radha Maami (Raji's mom). Vinu is her younger brother. Perhaps he was too young for us then. Whenever we plotted any mischief, he would hide somewhere and spy on us, finally getting the matter to the elders.
We stayed together from standard VI to X. For the first two years I was in my boarding school. So we met only once a month. From VIII standard onwards we stayed together. Life turned out special for both of us then onwards. We ate, slept, studied, and did every mischief together. We made cards for each other on occassions. Rented out video cassettes and watched movies. But fights were unavoidable. We fought like wild cats when angry. But as it goes, fights happen where love is.
After our X standard, our parents took us. She went back to Rajasthan and me to Muscat. But few months later, we were together again. I went to Rajasthan. We were together for the next two years also. But after that we went separate ways for our higher studies. Now also we share a special bond, but are not together. We plan to meet during the next vacation.
And here goes one of the stories that was very interesting to us. Whenever we all get together, we still laugh at this incident. To say about my grandmom, she has dentures from very long, even before we were born. And till date she is shy to come in front of anybody without her dentures. We had actually tried a lot to see her dentures, when not intact. Even when she brushed, she never allowed us anywhere near us. So just imagine hw much our curiosity would be.
One night, after watching the 10 pm movie on Doordarshan, we developed a plan - to steal grandma's dentures... :-D. It was already something around midnight. All were asleep except we two. We briefly charted out the plan. First move was to remove our anklets. We tried hard but it didn't come out. So we pulled it up and tied it well so that no noise would be produced. One by one we tiptoed into grandma's room through the dark. I had already got a tickly feeling in my stomach as I suppressed my laughter imagining her face the next day without the dentures. We reached by her side. Raji leaned over and took the container in which the dentures were put. We tiptoed back into our room, bolted the door, switched on the lights, and gave a vent to our feelings. We laughed to our hearts' content. I placed the container safely in the cupboard, instructed Raji on how innocent we would behave the next day, unbolted the door, and slept.
Next morning, I woke up to the voice of my grandmom. She was calling to my aunt sleeping in the next room. When aunt (Radha Maami) answered, she said that her dentures were missing. Maami was all confused. She didn't respond for some time. A few moments later she called out, "Raji". Raji was fast asleep. I didn't respond. Next was my turn. After being called for two or three times, I answered in a very sleepy tone, "Yeeess, Maami". She asked me where the dentures were. I didn't respond. I didn't want to give it away so quickly. Even Raji was asleep. I didn't know what to do. Finally I said, "Its here in the cupboard". I saw my grandmom rushing into the room and taking away the dentures without uttering a word. I felt sad. All our efforts gone in waste.
A few moments later, Raji opened her eyes. I told her very sadly that the container was gone. To my surprise she said,"I know, I was awake". Thus we both were sad. What followed was a few scoldings for both of us from aunt and grandmom, and in secret Raji also received a few beatings from Maami. I was saved, my mom was not with us that time.. ;-)
Now what our effort has left us with is a sweet memory to cherish on forever... :-) And this is a picture of my grandmom. Look at her smile... :-)
And well, if you are really wondering who Raji is, read my posts categorised under the label 'Raji'. She is a wonderful and interesting character.
Years passed, and I reached my high school. Raji (my cousin sister) and I stayed together. She had a bicycle, which she rode like an expert. For one of those vacations, my brother was also with us. He was adamant that I was to learn to ride the bicycle and I had to agree. We had a rubber estate behind our house. There was a narrow path along it for the people to cross through. He would make me sit on the cycle and give it a hard push. I would not dare to move and sit on it like a statue. The cycle goes someway and finally slids and falls, I also go along. I would make no efforts to save myself. It was so ridiculous that my aunt makes fun of me on that fall now also. That option didn't work out. What happened was that I had a few scars here and there.
In school, when I saw my friends coming to school on their cycles, I also had a desire to ride one. Finally I decided to learn. Every evening after reaching home, I would take Raji's cycle and try to ride it. I would balance it bit by bit within our compound itself and ride. Injuries were a part and parcel of that. Atlast I could balance myself on the cycle and ride straight, but not the curves and turns.
Now though I ride my kinetic well, riding a bicycle is not my cup of coffee. I still find it difficult and I don't attempt those stunts nowadays.
We were taken inside the building. This was the first time I was attending an interview, but I was not tensed or nervous. Because I had no expectations. I didn't even know the company profile. We were taken to one of the conference rooms. I still admire the buildings and paintings inside SunTec's corporate office, with all those yellow dim lights, and wooden staircases with lots of carvings on it. While we were all getting set, a lady from HR (she left SunTec the day we joined) came and distributed the written test question papers. We all took it so lightly and happily completed it. It was a bit quizzy. Once that was over, she left with the papers and we were all chatting and loafing around the place. But after the first round, when a few were eliminated and asked to go home, we became a bit serious. That was when we realized that this was no silly affair. And somehow, Narayan, Arun, and me were taken as Technical Writers at SunTec. And yes, that was my first job, my first step into the corporate world.
For one month we had to undergo a training on the product. It was at the Knowledge Solutions Centre at Vazhuthacaud. The training rooms were quite large and nice. Sitting and listening to 'God knows what product' for 4-5 hours and then a 'hands-on' session. Literally speaking, they were boring. Thanks to the others in the batch, that I cleared the final presentation. My favourite hobby was playing Soltaire. Though the trainings were boring, we were a good batch. I enjoyed the lunch breaks when we went out for lunch. Our tea-breaks were more enjoyable. The pantry was on the roof-top. Somedays when it was cloudy or raining, having a hot cup of coffee over there was perhaps more than what we could ask for.
A month later, the training was over and all were allocated into different teams. We, the technical writers, were to move to the Technopark. In the beginnings, the place and people seemed quite alien to me (infact, to them I seemed more odd.. ;-)). But over a period of time, everything was normal. I felt myself a part of the team. Work went on well. Aswathy and me, we always had confusions during our lunch time, over what to choose. Perhaps, we gelled well in terms of food :-) Celebrations, meetings, trainings, all went on well till I decided to leave the place. Now I realize how much I miss everything. Though I have lots of opportunities and freedom now, I miss SunTec. I don't know whether I would ever choose to go back. But still - 'first job is always special'. And SunTec is really special to me.
Once I received a mail with the subject : Gold Mine. I thought it was in fact the details of some gold mine located somewhere, but it was the picture of a Mallu bride. I don't think I need to explain anything more - the title does. Nowadays giving so much gold in wedding has turned out more as a fashion and symbol of social and wealth status than need. In olden days also, girls were given gold but not as much as it is now. No wonder there are dowry deaths in the country. People have started expecting a lot.
The generation today, we don't see girls wearing so much ornaments in their daily life. But things turn the way round on the marriages. The parents or rather nobody ever thinks that all these ornaments are going a waste. Ornaments are meant to be worn and do they expect the girls to wear all those heavy ones to office and in daily life. For an occassion its okay, but how often do that big occassions come.
Few years back, I didn't like wearing gold ornaments. Neither did my cousin, Raji. Whenever a marriage came up, in the morning there would be a big fight in the house. We would be told to wear necklaces (I hated this the most in those days), bangles, new earrings, and rings. How we hated those things. But however hard we tried or cried, our moms would be the people on the winning side.
So somehow the tag line is appropriate... ;-)
We actually competed against each other in getting the subscription the first. The person who got it first had the chance to read it first. At times we fought a lot over this. The three of us would be in different corners of the house, but once we heard the bell ring, all would run madly to the gate. At times, the postman would be confused as to whom it should be handed over and he would at times consider the person who reached the spot first (something like a running race.. :-)). He was quite an old man, who never smiled. Or rather in our hurry, we never took the pains to see whether he smiled or not.
On rainy days, he used to come with a polythene bag on his head, and very rarely a raincoat. The letters would be neatly packed in a polythene bag to prevent it from getting wet. And during the rainy day, we held no running races, because he would come to the door to deliver the post.
Now we all have left the place. I don't even know the postman who comes to our house. Probably now he comes on a bike, drops the post, and leaves vrooomm... That's why I don't hear any bells ringing.
- Stay in a boarding school
- Get into the marchpast team
- Get curly hair :-(
- Be notorious during my high school ;-)
- Study in North India
- I would change into somewhat an "introvert"
- Own a two-wheeler at the age of 17 (Never thought that I would learn to ride also)
- Have a great admiration for my Physics teacher
- Not get into the usual engineering or medical streams.. :-D
- Do graduation far from home, in such a reputed college, and stay in a wonderful hostel
- Gain a wonderful friend - Anupriya (Though I don't contact her frequently... ;-))
- Travel without tickets in trains
- Start reading and writing (Consider the field seriously)
- Be so attached to Trivandrum (I disliked the place first)
- Earn a job at the age of 21 (Working at the Technopark in Trivandrum, I consider it an achievement)
- Get some good colleagues from SunTec
- Learn to cook chicken (The taste factor is not still accurate)
May be the list will grow. But as of now I remember these much. Some of these unexpected moments gave me immense joy, while some disappointed me too. Well anyways, whatever happened, I am happy for what I am now... :-)
It was but yesterday
we met in a dream
you have sung to me in my aloneness,
and I of your longings
have built a tower in the sky
But now our sleep has fled
and our dream is over,
and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us
and our half waking
has turned to fuller day
and we must part
If in the twilight of memory
we should meet once more
we shall speak again together
and you shall sing to me
a deeper song
And if our hands should meet
in another dream
we shall build
another tower in the sky
Jotted down a little about this here
For the first few days after they left for Kerala, it was not much hectic for me. I was fully engaged and was enjoying being responsible. I tried making a few dishes. A few failed pathetically, a few survived the test. Cleaning was the worst part. The moment I clean the floor and get back to the kitchen, Mittu (my parrot) untidies the place. Washing dishes was another nightmare. Pick up any of time, you'll find the basin loaded with dirty plates and dishes. Cleaning the stove was a routine for me. Every morning I clean the whole kitchen, including the stove and start boiling the milk. God only knows why, I always forget that I have left the milk on the stove. The result - it overflows :(
Washing clothes were not an issue for me. But since the rains had set in and direct sunlight was not there everyday, drying them completely were almost impossible. After all these things come my bathing. The water is extremely cold at night (This is the time I finish all the work). And you all know how terrible it is to take a bath in extremely cold water. So I had to forego it many a days.. :-D But somedays I do take the courage and bear the cold water. In between, I met with a minor accident. So many scars and wounds on my body.. :( Especially a big one on my knee. This left me in pain for a few days. Result - I couldn't clean the floor for days.
Another thing which was severly affected was my studies and reading. I had brought home "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho. But as I couldn't read it regularly I have lost the flow and now find it impossible to complete it. Speaking about my studies, I have my exams on the 20th of this month. Three big books to be completed and not even one has been completed.
But now I everything is fine. I wake up after 8 am on weekdays and 10 am on weekends.. :-D No need to look after the cooking or anything. Completely carefree now, once again... :)
4pm - The technical documentation team (excluding the two new joinees) receives a mail asking to be gathered at the training room. On reaching there, we were told about a prank being played on Jeevan. Though it has never happened in the history of Sasken, Jeevan will be told that all new joinees will have to take an oath on joining the team, infront of the rest of the team members. We all agreed in readily and was all set to be a part of the prank.
Jeevan was called in to the room and informed by our Project Manager that all new joinees at Sasken have to read out the Sasken oath at the oath ceremony. He was a bit puzzled but gave in. He took the oath, stood in front of the team, and started reading it loud. We couldn't control our laughter on seeing the guy being made the 'bakra'.
The oath went something like this - "I, Jeevan Narayan, solemnly affirm to abide by the rules of Sasken Networks and the Government of Karnataka (God knows why the govt. of Karnataka). I will not steal the office stationery, misbehave with colleagues, watch offensive videos, access prohibited websites, ... " The whole team was in laughter. Though uncomfortable with this peculiar oath, he continued reading it, he had no other option.
Only when he read the final sentence was that he understood that it was all a prank - "I swear to treat the whole team with icecreams." He looked at all of us and joined in the laughter. Now it was his turn to treat us with icecreams which he swore. This time he got tensed thinking do I really have to buy icecreams for this 53 member team. Infact, icecreams were already waiting us in the next room. The PM had ordered icecreams for all. Thus we welcomed our senior writer into the team. The lead writer was saved... ;-)
My life would have been different if I hadn't joined St. John's School, Kayamkulam. When I first went there to give my admission test, I wasn't happy with the appearance of the school. Small classrooms without fans and lights, but large windows and doors, unhygienic bathrooms, no football grounds, or basketball courts. I missed my previous school when I saw all these things. I knew not how I was going to adjust over there.
My first day at school was terrible. When I entered the V standard classroom, all were staring at me as at an alien. For the first few days it was so. But things began to change gradually. I gained a few friends, started liking the whole place, and looked forward to attending my classes. The only dissappointing part was that I had to stay in the hostel. In the evenings, I watched all the children leave for home eagerly and I left to the hostel.
As time passed I had become more attached to my school and friends. Made a few good friends and one best friend (it was the concept - best friend must be only one :-)). I also had a few 'enemies' in class - a group of girls I disliked. Till VII it continued the same way. When I reached VIII, I became a day scholar. Started traveling by bus to come to school. Made a lot of friends that way. And by this time, my 'enemies' had becomes my best friends. We formed a gang and had lots of fun together. Extra classes, tuitions, bunking, being rebel, outings, we enjoyed everything. Three years passed so quickly that we weren't happy when our board exams started. Most of them would be going to different schools. I was also sad when I knew that we would be splitting up. But I was atleast happy that I would continue in my good old school for the rest two years. Some friends would remain. I cheered up. We could keep in touch and meet once in a while. Morover all stayed somewhat near.
It was only when my exams started I came to know that my parents had something else in store for me. I was lost without hope. They were planning to take me abroad to my old school in Muscat. I had mixed feelings. Finally I thought maybe this will be better for me. After my exams, I left with my mom reluctantly. I had no other option. I couldn't plead as there would be none with whom I could stay over here.
Once I reached Muscat, everything changed. In those days I wasn't so comfortable staying with my parents because it was after a long gap of six years. Even I had no friends over there. Most of the time I was sad. As usual I couldn't enjoy the present and was still living in the past. Three months passed the same way. Atlast my parents, understanding my thoughts, decided that I was to be sent somewhere else. And hence I reached Udaipur, to stay with my brother, uncle, aunt, and cousins. Now I was a bit fine. My parents also came there within an year. It was sort of a get-together feeling always. All together. Things were turning out good. But I couldn't overcome the hurdles in getting friendly to my mates in school. That was the worst part. I just made three good friends. Still it was better than being in Muscat. After completing my schooling I was back in Kerala. What a relief! I met my good old friends and was really happy.
But in this whole process something within me changed. Don't know whether my assessment is correct, but now I am not that comfortable being with unknown people. Making friends now takes a long time. But my old friends remain closest to my heart.
The first day, I wandered around all the sections and finally borrowed three fictions. In the beginning, I found it difficult to adjust with the library. The period for which a book could be borrowed was two weeks, after which it was to be renewed. I usually lost track of the date and ended up paying huge amounts in the form of fine. But gradually I picked up the habit. I started gaining a lot more interest in reading. I always made it a point to visit the library twice or may be thrice a month. I started loving the place.
The following years when I had to renew my membership, I never gave it a second thought. Even after finishing my graduation, I was in the city and frequently visited the place. The British Library was the place from where I picked up the habit of reading intensely. I never borrowed the CDs, browsed through the kid's section, or used the internet connection over there. Always felt there was lot of time left for that. But alas, they closed it down... :-( This was something that hurt me the most.
I would say that it was one of the few libraries in Trivandrum which maintained all the aspects of a good library - the ambience, a wide collection of books, friendly staff, etc. It was really bad that such an institution had to be shut down. My membership has expired and I have moved out of the city. Need to look out for the British Library over here!
The only one I could blame was myself. It was my choice. Now I am here and can't go back. Knowing all these facts I try to love the place and my life. But I still haven't come with terms to it. I still love those days I spent in Trivandrum. I would say that it is a great city (its my view .. :-)). I loved the places. I was so familiar with all the roads and streets there, and here I don't know anything beyond my home, office, Madiwala, and the Forum Mall.
I loved the way I waited eagerly for the Fridays to arrive so that I could go home. I loved the Mondays when I used to wake up with Monday sickness. I loved the journeys to and fro. I loved my PG accommodation. I loved the Technopark and the restaurants there. I loved my office. I loved the city and everything about it. I just feel like crying out loud.
Now I find nothing great in my life. Work on the weekdays. Be at home on the weekends. That's it. Believe me, that's my routine from the past three months. And I have no idea as to how long I am going to continue with this!
Somebody brought me a jug of water and somebody lent me a handkerchief to wipe the blood from my elbow. They offered to drop me home, if I was not in a position to drive. I refused it very kindly. I was so grateful to them for being so kind and not using harsh words as some would. They just inquired what had happened. I was not allowed to go until five minutes. They asked me to wait for five minutes and leave. Finally, I thanked them all and left.
Now I was really scared to ride my bike. What if I fall down again? My knees had started to bleed and the whole body was aching and paining. The whole way, people were staring at me and my vehicle. A girl riding a shattered kinetic. That was when I realised that the panel encasing the head lamp and indicators had come out and was hanging. Somebody in the crowd had been kind enough to tie it with ropes so that it didnt fall off completely. Somehow I reached a workshop near my home, only to find a small boy over there. The mechanic had gone out. I waited there half an hour. My knees and elbows hurt and my upper lip was swollen (I have no idea how that happened). When I was tired of waiting I left my vehicle there, gestured to the boy and left. Dont wonder why I only gestured to him. I had tried a lot to make him understand that the vehicle was to be repaired and to inform the mechanic I'll call him up. I was not successful. He understood something not everything what I said. He didnt know English, Tamil, Malayalam, or Hindi. Only Kannada. And I didnt know Kannada... :(
I limped my way back home. I had just filled in one and a half litres of petrol. The mechanics over here have a good reputation of taking out petrol when the vehicles are given for repairing. I had no option than to leave it there (The guy wasn't that bad, he had taken out only a little bit of it). I limped for 20 mins and reached home. To my dismay, I found the door locked. My brother was not at home. And the spare key I had, was with that of the kinetic. I didnt take it. I waited for another 30 minutes in front of the house. Finally, my brother came and I could get in the house. I was so relieved when he didnt scold me... :)
I checked the wounds - four good scars on the left knee, one on the right, a few scars on the left elbow, a cut on the foot, one on my upper lip, and a few places on the legs and hands were dark blue in color. This is what I got from the fall... :(
The first day, as usual, I started with dishes I already knew. So, no much comments on that. Then I tried my hands on chicken curry. Ghhh… Wish I knew how much chilli powder to add. The fry was ok. Parippu, I have really become an expert in that. But, as said, my overconfidence failed me yesterday. The water I added was in excess.
Next, fish curry. I made fish curries with two varieties of fish. One was very thick and the other was very sour. Again a big flop. In between, there were side dishes which were okay. Raw banana thoran was something I liked very much. But to my disappointment, my brother didn’t. I fed him one spoon forcibly. Meanwhile, for breakfast, I prepared appam and egg curry, dosa and coconut chutney, egg noodles, and so on. Mind it, I didn’t buy the instant mix of dosa and appam. I made them on my own. Those were good.
Last day I tried preparing caramel custard, which was the biggest flop. 3 egss, half litre of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of custard powder, and of course the cooking gas – all gone waste.
My successful recipe list includes carrot burfi, fruit custard, chicken mughlai (I bought the instant mix.. ;)), chicken fry, scrambled egg, noodles, mango milk shake, and a few items more.
And today, I am planning to prepare a dish from beetroot. My bro has informed me in advance that he doesn’t like beetroots.. In the coming days, I also plan to try my hands on mushroom and paneer. Hope it works out fine.
Now when I turn back to those days, I find them very interesting. The very place became my favourite. The ground where we spent our evenings, the mess where we sat and chatted for hours, our room, everything - I miss everything over there. The part we enjoyed the most were the way we bunked classes and spent the day roaming about, and when returning by late evening the look on our faces - "Oh, we had a very tiring day!"
As we were communication students our syllabus offered us lots of loop holes to get out of the hostel when the regular course students couldn't. Projects, shoots, interviews, libraries, script writing, and so on... I tell you our matron was really proud of the "hardworking bvmc (Bachelor of Videography and Mass Communication) girls". Remembering our matron, she was the person whom we fooled the most. Though we never intended to do so, but our situations pressurized us to do that.. ;-)
I gained few good friends during my stay over there. We united while conducting the various cultural programs, had looong lunches and dinners together, often fought with each other when the turns to clean the bathrooms came, and so on... :-) But it was real fun. I really miss those days now!
This was the place from where I learnt a lot of things - both good and bad. To read, to bunk classes, to gain friends, to fight terribly, and so on. My final year at college was the most enjoyable as well as painful. Within less time I had to bid farewell to the wonderful hostel and I did that sadly. It was inevitable.
After a gap of two years I went back to my hostel once again. Just a visit. Other than 3 or 4 people nobody over there knew me. I sat in the visitor's room. While sitting there, I wished to be one of those girls who passed by the room. I longed to go back to those days once again!
Atlast, the day arrived. I took my bags and bid farewell to all fellow-mates. Saying bye to my roomate was indeed the most difficult part. So, I didnt take much effort to do that. Just concluded that in a "See you, and shall call you." With all the heavy bags I reached the bus-stop and waited for my bus. I quickly played back all the memories attached with the place.
The first time I had come to Trivandrum was to do my Graduation. I remembered the three years of my graduation, my hostel days, bunking classes, hang-outs at zam zam, the museum, the first time we went for movie by bunking classes, and so on. My first job, my PG accomodation, friends, everything. Nostalgia started arising in me. I had a relation of five continuous years with this place. Probably it was about to end. I wont be having a chance to stay at this place the same way once again. All friends had left the place and even I was leaving. My bus arrived. I dragged myself with the heavy luggage and got in. The bus started moving and I turned back once again. Then I realized relocating is not that easy!!!
So, I am starting the journey on exploring what it is to be like having and posting blogs. Happy reading... and blogging for me.. :)