Sunday, October 17, 2010

Five Years

This entry in gone by Dickenson-Austen era may have been titled with use of word vanity or pride or any other near synonym. But I will just let it refer to the very obvious of titles and try to hide (or maybe not) the self indulgence of the entry in the lines instead. I may not have written this entry had it not been for the small email on the group and that got me thinking on doing a slightly larger version of ‘the thing’ and in the process get back to blog world after a reasonably long gap. Anyhow.

So, it’s been five years since I joined the current company I work for/with/at. 17th Oct 2005 (seniority date as they call it). The probability of this event at that time (when I was in prime of my job hopping days-10 months with Tata and six months with EVS) on the likelihood scale was ‘highly unlikely’. But then stranger things have happened. When writing that little email the main two things that I mentioned were the resignation letter around end 2008 (which for various reasons didn’t achieve the goal it was meant to but achieved one or two other ends including stock options (yeah more money), a transfer, etc. etc.) and the experience of writing a resignation letter (having worked on the draft for three months although in the end it ended up as a one liner, no point being all nice and complicated when resigning I thought, after all the hard work on various drafts). That experience came in handy when Shyamala showed me her resignation letter and which I found out did not say what she wanted to. So, re-writing her resignation letter ensured she did get what she wanted (a transfer to India). Apart from that resignation letter mostly it’s been an alright-OK relationship, these five years have been.

But these five years have had many many other highlights and lowlights. Considering the fact that the company and the job was dream job for most of IITians during the days of job hunting I think landing this job was in itself a highlight.

Five years is a long period. This blog started almost with this job. The first entry was written while travelling from Bombay to Kakinada for the first time. And if one thinks about it I did manage to stick around a company long enough to get a business card. Five continents and 14 countries (I have kept a count), countless places (obviously I have not kept a count), and nearly through a second passport (no need to keep a count) means that the tag of the globe trotter has been partly earned (though how much of these places I have been to have I actually seen is a totally different question, a globe-trotter may not essentially be a globe-explorer).

Mind clogs up, it draws a confused blank. When one would think its five years that one has to talk about and there should be enough to write about. People can write novels on an hour’s happenings. But I guess it’s still a long time before I can bring out the happenings of last five years as a memory. It will be ‘finding’ a memory when sufficient time has elapsed. Right now there is just too much of Schlumberger in the last five years and that’s not a very good sign if I sit here on a Sunday and write about the ‘big blue’.

Though I have to be thankful to the ‘big blue’ for very many things. And the first is my first air journey. They had paid for Delhi-Bombay round trip for the interview. It’s a totally different thing that by now it appears that I have had enough of economy class. The novelty wears off and it wears off faster if you have sufficiently long legs (or the flights are long, don’t get me started on what happens if legs and flights both are long). Then there are the wonders. Atop Eiffel and the Great Wall. And the best of all the sea, the oceans. Working in the middle of the monster is a thing in itself. Many a sunsets and sunrises surrounded by the lashing waves, pure unadulterated joy. Million moons on the surface of waters. The whale jumping out of the waters to do whatever she wanted to right there in front of your eyes.

“But in spite of the passage of many years and long wandering, the pull of the home remains. No exile can escape the malady of his tribe, that consumption of the soul.” Nehru’s words bring the lense of perspective in focus, or rather takes any focus away. Every wanderer at the end of the day, month, year, season, wanderlust, turns back (or perishes in the hope of getting back). Walking down the streets of Perth and avoiding a street which is not well lit, hoping to find someone to talk in Hindi/Punjabi at the office, having to explain that only salads is not what vegetarians eat to every other inquisitive idiot, having to explain to all American junkies that baseball is not really comparable to cricket, and the Latin Americans can’t really believe that any game can take longer than 90 minutes, and among a list which includes many other ridiculous questions (oh really, the hair stops increasing in length after a while!!!), all the tiny things and details bring home the fact that ‘home’ is faraway. Yet these are momentary lapses and unsavoury indulgences in nostalgia.

Let’s try to conclude in a cheerful way. Of course one should never let out the fact that a person’s life, to use the too often used word (is it?), sucks. Actually, ended up taking a break here. It’s a serious business. Coming up with some eureka moments. Plus I don’t want to run around naked. Ah. Naked reminds me of something. After watching a game of baseball (the Drillers, Tulsa, Oklahoma) and then an hour or two at some bowling alley we headed towards the destination where most of the company trainees head during their first trip to Tulsa. A strip club. You have to agree that definitely cheers one up. That and a visit to the Hooters. So, we are in the queue to enter the club (for some reason I keep typing clud!!!), we as in the six students and our class instructor (a lady, but nothing scandalous as I found out later, these strip clubs are visited by equal numbers of both sexes). So, we were in the queue and when it was my turn they refused me entry (as I was wearing a ‘head scarf’ according to the security). Well it was nothing new in the USofA to be discriminated for one reason or the other. But this guy had a different reason. He explained that there are local gangs with the identification being the color of head scarves and they have had trouble in the past so no entry till the head is covered with a scarf. Now that’s a shame. Isn’t it? Having come so close to the Big (and some were really big as I found out later) American Dream. Although a bit (actually a lot) disappointed I put up a brave act and told the guys to go ahead and not change their plan because of me. But the treat was on our instructor and she would not let a ‘head scarf’ ‘screw’ up the plans. One of the guys in the group had a baseball cap and she somehow convinced the security manager that as long as I keep the baseball cap on I was OK. Finally, I could live those few hours of my great American dream (though with a baseball cap on).

Having read Tolkien one just can’t help but quote the master every now and then. Here is hoping that he was right when he said ‘Not all who wander are lost’.

1 comment:

Milind said...

"No exile can escape the malady of his tribe, that consumption of the soul". These were said by Mazzini. Nehru only quoted him in a context.
Anyways, I am still not able to understand it's meaning ! Please dilate.


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....