Sunday, July 27, 2008

Office Office

Funny how kids play house-house and teacher-teacher but never play office-office. May be they just know that it is not fun. May be humans are born with an instinctive antipathy towards structured work. Last week was my first at office and it was not as bad as I thought it could be.

I want to pen down the first impressions I had of work (actually training) so far for my own record. If I only keep this to myself, I might just create distorted versions with time. So here goes.

What excited me about work?
  1. The smoothness with which the organisation functions. (I hate the college administration)
  2. The professionalism which is put in every task here. (It is a level apart)
  3. Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate on the house. (It spoils you)
  4. Conducive work environment. (Wow! It's cool, quiet and colourful.)
  5. Salary (For the first time, my hard earned money, no matter how much it is)
  6. Security (Seems super cool. No non-sense here)
  7. People (A whole new bunch to interact with and learn from)
  8. Learning (Loads, tough but efficient)
  9. Transparency and Approachability (Yes, everyone's very helpful and open for a debate)
  10. The scale of the organisation (It's plain huge, 49 countries and more than 170000 people)
What am I apprehensive about?
  1. No bunking for convenience. (Colleges spoil you)
  2. Formal clothes. (I don't like wearing them in the rains)
  3. The Boss (I haven't met him, so I don't exactly know what it is like to have one)
  4. Tests (Passing is no longer 40 percent)
  5. Managing my own finances (Yes, I will become a tax-payer now)
  6. Making time for friends and family (9 to 6 is just to begin with)
  7. No Christmas and Summer vacations (Sigh! I need prior permission now)
  8. The Bench (No Comments)
  9. My team-mates (Again like the boss, I haven't met them so I don't know)
  10. Finding time for my other passions (read photography and blogging)
None of the point is in a clearly demarcated category as of now, but the obscurity will reduce with the passage of time. Till then, I have to wait, watch and deliver ''high-performance''!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Present Tense(d)

For the past few days, the word that perfectly defines my frame of mind is 'chaos.'

There has never been a time in my life when I have not known what my short term goals are. I have never reached a state in which I am confused about my priorities. What has changed is the fact that I haven't been doing what I should be doing. What I have experienced in the last few days is a loss of direction on the path towards my objectives. What I have seen on one hand is my strengths have become my weakenesses, while on the other, I have found solace in new found beliefs.

Is it because of the feeling of self-doubt? There isn’t any. Is it the dependence of my decisions on factors beyond my control? The thing is I don’t know if these are factors beyond my control. Nonetheless, I believe that I haven’t been able to force myself to see the larger picture. Trying to imagine how big the Earth is looking at a globe is not equivalent to the vision a spacecraft can give you. Sometimes you need to zoom out to see the enormity of the situation. I am just beginning to perceive what has gone wrong. But do I have enough time to set it right? Am I motivated enough to pull through? Only time will tell.

I begin a different phase of my life next week. God has given me a leeway to switch lanes. I don’t know if this lane takes me where I want to go, but I am hoping it will at least bring me closer. One certainty is that it will add an element of organization in my haphazard routine. I hope I learn to make the most of it soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It wasn't that bad a day after all!

I spent the early hours of my Sunday morning hunting for tickets to watch Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. Note that I have said early hours of MY Sunday morning, which actually wasn't very early, well close to mid-day. I called every helpline possible but the only response I got was "This number is busy. Please call again later." in the oh-so-highly monotonous voice (High time they give the prerecorded messages a revamp).

Since I couldn't get through most multiplexes, I thought of booking the tickets online, but as luck would have it, my net refused to work. I even tried a single screen theatre, the B-grade kinds and he tells me the only show for which tickets are available is the current show of which 25 minutes are over! The tickets for the next show were being sold in black, for two and a half times their price (100 bucks is day-light robbery for a theatre of its class).

After some deliberation, we lost all hope of watching the movie. Nonetheless, we decided we'll book for tomorrow so we at least have something to look forward to the next day, if not the same day.

We reached home in time for the hyped finale of Wimbledon and the Asia Cup. The over dose of cricket and hangover of the 20Twenties helped me decided against watching the cricket match so I chose the former. And fortunately, the Gods blessed me with the best tennis match of my times!

I felt like Nadal too when he said "Well, is impossible to explain what I felt in that moment, no?" I haven't felt the same as a spectator ever before. The match was more exciting than a roller coaster journey and a adventurous trek put together. The tennis played was such a high-level that your heart wanted to say 'bravo' to every point won.

Personally, I am a Federer supporter. His grace and fluency on the court are unmatched. After he lost the first two sets, I was hoping for a miracle. It rained right in time.

When I turned on the television, half an hour after the play resumed, Federer had won the third set in a tie-break. I was back on the couch. And my sister's and my shouts of oohs and aahs and wows and shits were as loud as ever.

I didn't move after that. Not even during the second disruption due to the showers. Everyone had fallen asleep. Even our cricket team lost in haste (guess they wanted to see the match too). The match had seemed to have gone on forever. A never-ending movie filled with suspense and drama of three match points, untiring baseline shots, unstoppable aces and unimaginable rallies ( you think that's it, it can't get any better, and the next moment you realise how wrong you were). Beyond a certain point, it didn't matter to me who won. They had proved that they were champions in their own right, far ahead of the rest of the current lot and may be among the greats of the yesteryears.

Fortunately, I didn't get movie tickets. I wouldn't have known what I was missing had I not seen the match, a clash made in heaven.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What makes your gift special?

It was my parent's anniversary yesterday. My sister and I gave them a walk down memory lane in the form of a story which was illustrated with snaps which dated up to the year 1985. No material present could have given us so much joy as the expression on their face, the look of surprise and amusement, but above all happiness.

Off late, I have tried to make a conscious effort to ensure that the gifts I give my close friends and family members are personalised for them. A perfume or a pen might suit a distant associate but then it surely doesn’t make for a memorable gift.

Although, a handmade gift might not look as finished as a readymade item, perfection is secondary if your gift is the only one of its kind. A father who receives a personally designed Father’s Day card every year from his daughter will certainly treasure each one of them because they are special. I too have kept all the gifts/cards my sister has given me on every birthday. These gifts are the kinds just looking at which you are taken back to that day, acting like illusionary time turners.

Besides, if you are not born creative, there are always ideas you can borrow from others. There are plenty of options available on the net. To name a few which I can think of (some I have already implemented), there are message boards with photographs, scrolls with poems, pseudo-commandments for self-improvement, calendars, photo-testimonials and the old and reliable greeting card. If, like me, you too are bad with art and craft, you can always go digital. Photoshop rocks and so do thousands of others photo-editing software. If you are feeling too lazy to make a souvenir, at least give them a surprise in the form of a party/lunch/dinner with friends. If you don’t even want to bother coordinating, drop in at their place at 12 AM and be the first to wish them.

There’s no reason why you can’t make someone’s day more pleasantly remarkable than it already is. It is just a matter of initiative and understanding what gift the person will connect with the most. Skill is inconsequential in comparison to will. What are you waiting for?