Monday, August 18, 2008

SLB Locker Room

It was the day before I had an interview with one of the most sought after company during my college days, it still is. The preparations for the interview were on a full throttle and after getting all the tips about the interview process from all possible sources, after the preparation of all the answers to all the usual questions, I was at the last stage of getting ready. Dress for the interview. A nice looking suit, a tie and black formal shoes would make a good impression. Still tips from one of my seniors could be of use for dress as well. I called Shashank and what he said about the dress for the interview was not what I had expected. According to him I was trying to get into a field job which in fact I was, hence, dress accordingly. Jeans and T-shirt would do just fine. I did not realize why he would advise this but although I could not bring myself to wear jeans and t-shirt for the interview it was neither a suit.

When I got my first coverall during the OFS words of Shashank started making sense.

The days spent in Sainik School flash before my eyes when I step out of my jeans every morning and put on the coveralls. Our school hostel was a dormitory kind of hostel and the public utility bathrooms ensured you no privacy during the times you would wish for.

People would not generally associate such incidents with a professional’s life. Especially, after you have graduated from institutes like IITs. One gets ready for work at home, work at office. Oilfield jobs differ slightly as I realized soon after joining. Every morning you get here and land yourself in the locker room saying hi’s and hello’s while unburdening yourself of the clothes you are wearing and putting on the safety gear.

During the hard years spent in big institutes pursuing bachelors degree most of us who are currently working in oilfield never associate this ritual with the jobs we will be undertaking. After the initial shock we get used to it. It becomes a way of life till you are in the field.

Locker room is where the induction into oilfield really starts.


After 'Lakshmi' and 'Chalti ka naam gadi' were published in Masala Pipeline I got excited about the next issue. I thought of making a double appearance once again. I was not able to give any better shape to SLB Locker Room and hence only submitted 'The Pipe Story'. Guess it was too wierd. It wasn't published either :)

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Sukhdev Singh is milking a buffalo when I call him. We are speaking after a long gap. His voice carries the same cheerful energy I remember....