Friday, April 29, 2011

The Tihar Connection

This post has been selected for Saturday Spicy Posts for Blog Adda too.

After months of running after companies, I am yet to get a job. I do not know if it is my resume or my face but something about me definitely puts HR off (I like to believe it is my resume). It almost feels like the 1970’s movie whereby I keep going from office to office with my resume in hand and gets rejected everywhere I go.

I have almost hit the rock bottom and it felt like I will be in the bottomless pit for some time to come. All these years of education have made me good for nothing like the saying goes 'I was born intelligent but education ruined me'. I was frustrated, tired and desperate. I felt like things cannot go any worse and in desperation I took a very bold move. Desperate times call for desperate measures and in sync with this philosophy I added another bullet point in my resume.

• Served two months sentence in Tihar Jail.

And what do you know, I was hot property(I almost came back from dead), the moment I put Tihar in my resume. The next couple of interviews involved questions not from my engineering and management degree but the focus was on Tihar. Here is an excerpt.

HR – What were you in for?

Me- (I can see she was very curious) Nothing serious was just involved in a break in.

HR- Impressive!!Break in is a good start. So tell me how was the experience and about the facilities? (she was looking at me in such a way as if I would be somehow different having gone to jail once.)

Me- Well the facilities can depend on number of factors such as who you were outside the jail? The connections that you have and the connections that you can make.

HR- How would you rate your experience?

Me- Great actually. Learned more there in two months than the 20 years of pointless education.(And it is so true)

HR- Please elaborate.

Me- Well I learned about how to get by and who to contact in jail, endearing myself to seniors (basically boot licking), and other survival strategies the kind you see in ‘LOST’.

HR- Do you know anyone currently working there? Basically have you remain in contact with them?

Me- Yes, know quite a lot of them. I am friends with most of them. Frankly speaking, they are better than most people out here.(At which point she was shocked.) I hastily added 'No offence meant to anyone.'

HR- So one last question, do you have any problem in case you are relocated to Tihar jail.

Me- (Going to Tihar is a great opportunity, something which I would not pass for anything after all the top honchos have been there, the great politicians have been there. Seems like a great place to start) Well Mam I would be more than willing to relocate.

HR- That’s very good news. You can join from tomorrow, we have tonnes to do and I can use your help now.

Me- (Thats the first job offer ever made to me..Yay mu first job and that too in Tihar.)Great!! Mam what would be my job profile like?

HR- See JaaliEngineer honestly speaking we have selected you for our leadership profile. You know that’s the best we offer, but your job would be little different.

Me- Different how? (I was all set to go knee deep in the job and wanted to know the in and out of it)

HR- You would be required to conduct weekend workshop on ‘Survival in Tihar’ for our Top Managers and CXO’s and you have to use your contacts to get better facilities for our people in case they land up in Tihar.

Me- Why would they? And are not the facilities better there what with the who’s who inside?

HR- Yes it is but now it is more of an ego thing, our MD wants our people to have the best among all of them, that would be an added advantage in case our MD goes in too and we would need an inside man. You will be directly reporting to our MD, that’s one of the perks. Also next time we go for campus recruitment we can brag that we have Tihar Alumnus working among us. Going forward,surviving in jail and helping employee counsel during the jail term is going to be a major HR challenge. Meanwhile get ready because you will have a long day ahead.

To which i intended to say 'I was born ready' but decided against it.

I was exalted with my job, finally something that I did, be it the break in, paid dividends for me. I was jumping with joy for now i will get the chance to meet people who have been the MD's of the biggest corporations and I will also meet the politicians who if used effectively might help me during thr 4G.

Brace for me Tihar, here I come.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Bash and Later..

They say your life as it stands today is the result of choices you made yesterday. I cannot agree more. This is why I strongly believe that people’s priorities must be firmly in place and clear in their head.

Tonight was one such conflict. I had two roads ahead of me, one leading to a friend’s birthday bash and the other urging me to complete my case study for tomorrow. One road would lead to fun and frolic and lifetime of memories, the other would hold me in good stead for times to come. While one is short term in nature and amounts to yielding to my pleasure centres, the other develops character and would make me fit for the challenges in life.

It was in the ultimate analysis no contest, for like my friend Frosty ‘I took the one less travelled by’ leading me to the birthday bash, fully aware that I would be in no state to complete case study when I come back.

The birthday celebration was as ‘Barnacle ’ would put it, legen wait for it dary. It was very much like a game of Russian Roulette whereby you can set the ball rolling and pray to God (and I don’t mean Sachin, remember the old one, the God Almighty, yes pray to him)for the results. But make sure that you don’t win for the winning means the remaining players will be taking your case so bad you would want to disappear like Tushar Kapoor did in Gayab. And in case you are lucky (read unlucky), the joke would linger for months and you might get a new nickname too.

The celebration lasted past midnight by which time I was down and out leaving the case study thing incomplete. If it was not for my roommate and his handsome contribution, our group was pretty much staring at the barrel of the gun.

Picture this, the next morning I wake up with a nasty headache and 5 hours of sleep and trying to understand Q optimum and Total Cost and what not, all the while, the world is spinning. Turns out Study and Drinks do not mix well and forms a heady cocktail.

So in that crippled state I went for the presentations. Meanwhile a word about presentations, ever heard about the Nazi firing squad, well the series of presentations are somewhat like that, only we take turns to shoot each other. So when my turn for the shooting came, I was feeling light and dizzy and was afraid that I am going to launch a vomiting projectile on all the first benchers. Believe me I was tempted but something told me it would not be a good idea and I decided against it.

Q Did I made a great presentation?

Ans: I doubt it.

Q Do I regret it?

Ans: Of course not.

Ten years down the line

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

P.S- Wanted to name some people and the jokes too, but have to respect privacy thing and for those who were present, I think you know what I am talking about.

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Here is the link to the poem "The Road Not Taken"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Daily Dose of Entertainment

After the legislative and the executive arm of the democratic society have gone to the dogs and that too literally, the next to fall is media. I still have some respect for Judiciary (the long winding process that it takes notwithstanding I believe it is still not as corrupt to be completely dysfunctional). Some would contest that Media has fallen from the grace long before and I am not debating that but now they make no bones about being in entertainment industry. So newspapers are providing me my daily dose of entertainment.

Of course I could switch to Hindu but it is not as visually appealing and it borders on utter boredom. So with my daily need of visually appealing news I am perfect audience of newspapers which write more about page 3 than the news.

Being a regular reader, I know very well that Liz Hurly is in India and coying with Warnie.

In fact I know the entire history whereby she first got hitched with Arun Nayar and then broke up with him to be with Warnie, Warnie was double timing her and so she went back to Arun and so forth, she went like a shuttle. (That’s too much info. Guess I really need a hobby.)

Similar is the love story between Anna Hazare and Sonia Gandhi, one day Hazare would fire away a letter and not an email but letter to Soniaji complaining that she indulges in smear politics and a week after that she would reply that she is not involved in any such activity. The whole exercise is in futility for Anna should know by now that politicians would deny just about everything let alone charges of indulging in smear politics. It may very well be my twisted mind but I think there is much more written in those letters, not meant for the delicate eyes of the Mango man.

No talk of entertainment is complete without a mention of Charlie Sheen. I must admit that I am a big fan of Charlie Sheen and why should I not be. The man lives a charmed life, booze, girls and money what else can one ask for.



Never heard of any such thing.

After entertaining us by his gig in Two and Half Men and after being thrown out of the show, he shoots off his mouth in whichever direction. The new shot being Obama’s birth certificate is fake. Got to love this man, who writes his script? While he is at his insanity best he might as well say that Obama is virgin born, that would ruffle some feathers..

The best however is a Malaysian camp whose sole aim is to prevent the ‘effeminate boys’ from becoming gay. The boys are being exposed to a new way of life in this camp. I just wonder what goes on in those camps. Last heard they are inviting ‘Baba Ramdev’ for a series of guest lectures and workshops because he claims to have ‘cure ’ for homosexuality. I say ‘Ramdev’ must accept the offer because frankly his move into politics is nothing but a ridicule of sorts and so at least in this new avatar he will do what he does best, ‘pranayams’.

It is all a good means of entertainment and as long as newspapers are supplying it Who need news, nothing worthwhile happens anyway, the ‘news’ is definitely a better dose. Looking forward to tomorrow’s edition.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

CitiBank Induction

Lokesh is a man who dons many hats, be it the anchor at Parivartan (DMS IITD cultural fest) or be it the batting mainstay of the team but most of all he is the Champion Sledger. He had the unique ability to get on the nerves of not one man but the 11 players of the opposite team. So when I saw his facebook post on his induction experience I immediately asked him if he can write a post about it for my blog. He agreed and as usual delivered more than can be asked..Below is the facebook update that inspired this post.

Kingfisher Delhi-Mum-Delhi : FOKAT
A night at Trident : FOKAT
Unlimited booze and live band at Hard Rock Cafe : FOKAT
Forgetting all luggage in a bus and chasing it down in an auto at 2 am : Rs. 600

There are some adventures you need to pay for, for everything else, there is

Phew!! Over. Finally done with. Did i want it to end so quick? Well..yes and no. But it will take some time to wear off my head for sure. Now before you start believing i’m talking about some steamy fling, let me dish out what the deal is about.
Let me call this 48 hours (sue me Danny Boyle). Stepping into a new citi (sic) to be welcomed in the confines of a 5 star luxury hotel, just for an induction process (training for training, if you may) is something most 23 year olds would settle for, especially when you don’t have to shell out a dime for it.

8 hours of induction cum intimidation by the business giants, up, close and err..just close ( housed 1st row) was a trough deep enough to really push me to an evening peak. And the peak sure was ‘high’ at Hard Rock Cafe - a smooth flow of music with continuous gulps to go with it. The ambience, staff, company, and any element i might have missed all get a mega \m/.

Time now to soak into some more of the lavishness thrown by the hotel people (my debut, need i say!!), and a nice cosy night to gear up for the day that followed. The breakfast of my life with a 4 digit bill, a drowsy day of business sessions, pleasantries exchanged and on the way back. The flight lands, and my eyes light up on seeing something i least expected at that hour (01:00) – a freaking bus!! A cab fare of 400 turning into 25 got me so ecstatic that i decided to ‘gift’ my laptop to the bus. Senses back in a bit - an auto chase, half a ton of calls, frantic prayers and 2 hours later, the divine decided my ordeal end and man and machine have a happy reunion.

Here i am at 04:00 telling you all about it. Find me the man who said CITI never sleeps.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Joys of Jogging

Jogging is a great form of exercise. It pumps oxygen in your body, removes cholesterol from your arteries and keeps you healthy and active for the day. Personally I don’t have any of these conditions but then why do I insist on jogging? Because I like the morning weather and I like to believe that I am fit.

I remember the first time I tried my hands or rather my legs at jogging. I was in engineering college that time. I was young, vain and na├»ve. Before I started the jog, I put on my fake nike running shoes, wore a grey T shirt (sweat looks the best in them or so I thought) and was ready for a 5 km jog(I have read somewhere that Milind Soman clocks 5 km and he is 40 so if he can why can’t I?)

I started my jog at the evening hours (that’s when the janta assemble and to run looks cool). I wore my happiest smile, ran towards a path that crosses girls hostel for obvious reasons (exercise should not only benefit your body but should also soothe your eyes)..

I have never jogged before and years of inaction had made me completely unfit for 1 km run let alone the 5 km that I was hoping to cover. But oblivious to all I ran. The first few steps felt good. I liked the way my foot pounded the pavement and propelled me forward, the cool breeze grazing through my hair and the activity around me all encouraged me. I ran, happy with my decision to start jogging. Life however had something else in store for me, before I could reach girls hostel, I was out of breath, I was puffing and my chest started to hurt, it almost felt like that I am going to have a cardiac arrest. To make matters worse, I reached the girls hostel too. Now I could not lay breathless and on the ground in front of the girls hostel; that would be ignominious. These are the girls that I would spend my next two years of life and in campus news travel fast so I cannot be the person who was lying breathless in front of the girl’s hostel. I had to carry on no matter the price or how hard the effort I have to put in. Giving up was not an option.

This was also the first time that I realized about ‘male ego’ thing that people keep writing about, for I was willing to do anything but lay there in front of the girl’s hostel. I took one last deep breath and ran as fast as if my rear end was on fire, took a short cut to get out of sight and turned the corner.

As soon as I turned the corner, I sprawled on the ground faster than Rajnikant can blink his eyes. Yes I said it and I am fully conscious what the repercussions could be but there has to be a measure of truth when I make such a tall claim. I remember very little of what happened later but I saw white light at the end of the tunnel and my whole life flashed in front of my eyes. I lay there motionless for what seemed like forever, may be I passed out. I was awakened only by the sniffing of a dog very close to my face. If I had not awakened when I did, the dog would have probably mistaken me for a piece of wood and took a leak on me. Thankfully I was up before that happened. That day I realised I am not fit, in fact I am far from being fit and that i have to start working on it.

Nowadays when I run/jog, I do not go near girl’s hostel (I am scared of a repeat performance), I do not run during evening when everyone is around but during the wee hours of morning with some old timers around. I am the fastest among them(makes me feel good) and if I get all puffy they do not make fun of me for they are in the same state and in case I ever get a attack they would know what to do (they have been there and done that I suppose)and will not judge me..

If you think you are fit then try running to gauge your health status, may be your opinion will change.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Falling in Love

Love is a great feeling and it can happen to you at the unlikeliest of the places. There is no time for it to happen, no condition for it to blossom, it just comes to you. When it comes; the best you can do is to embrace it. All this sounds cheesy and so filmy that if I were not writing it, I would have been hollering GAY but now that I have experienced it, I am sold.

A lot has been said and written about love; songs have been written about it. Be it the classics of Kishore Kumar or Bryan Adams, love continue to be the central theme around which we revolve. Monuments have been created (no prize for guessing that I am talking about TAJ MAHAL) and civilizations have been destroyed for it (Remember Troy!!)

There are immortal and countless love stories, the protagonist of some survived to walk down the sunset (Shahjahan- Mumtaz) and there were others not so lucky and never lived to see the life they set out to create.

The inspiration for this post made a very rare and unique entry in my life. The entry was neither poetic nor heartwarming but it was annoying to say the least. The constant clicking of heels disturbed me; she would waltz in and out of the room where I was to make a presentation. Once I turned to look at the source of my annoyance, to say I was floored would be an understatement.

I was drawn to her like a bee is drawn to nectar. Like a kid is drawn to chocolates, like Emraan Haashmi is drawn to Mallika’s/Gita’s lips, like Rakhi Sawant is drawn to controversies. So strong was the feeling that I could actually hear my heart beat and it was beating really fast.

She was not very strikingly beautiful that is to say she was no bombshell but her smile, her smile could have forced Hrithik to walk in Guzaarish (something which Aishwarya was not able to do). The careless and the confident gait, God I will never forget that sight. I was taken; completely and totally.

Throughout my presentation I continued stealing glances of her. Something the judges noticed and it did not go down well with them and it showed:). But by that time I was not really interested in presentation, for I found the love of my life. Generally I am not the confident kind of guy who can start conversations but then she could be the mother of my children:).

Somehow summoning all my strength I did talk to her that day.

“Tough luck” She said.

“Yeah I know but what can you do? I think the others were better” I put up a brave face.

“If it were upto me you would have been the winner” She quipped

She was game for conversation or so I thought.

“Yeah but unfortunately for me and fortunately for them you were not the judge” I pointed at the winners (read Suckers) who were on the cloud 9 by now.

“So the trip is wasted” She ventured.

“Not exactly”

“How come?”

“Well if life hands you a lemon the least you can do is make lemonade” I quoted the line which I read in some book long time ago. Always wanted to use it and today was the perfect opportunity.

“Where is the lemonade? I am not seeing it”

“But I am looking at her. If it were not for this trip I would not have even met you”

Her eyes bulged with surprise and there was certain alarm in it. It was a warning sign but I was too lost to notice that.

“Easy Lover boy, I am engaged to be married this summer. I appreciate the effort though”

Talk about being down and out and then kicked in the groins.. Life can be so cruel sometimes

“Congrats and best of luck” was all that come to my mind and then I took her leave for the trip was completely wasted.

Heartbroken I boarded the bus and came back to this bad ugly city. Even now 200 kms away whenever I would hear the heels clicking, I would turn around hoping against hope that I would get a glimpse of that smile or someone like that or anyone who has a beautiful face.

Life goes on. What can I say:)

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Phenomena that defies CHANGE

Honey, meet you at the bar.

I wrote a note to my wife, kissed my kid and was on my way to office making sure nobody wakes up.

I glanced at my Rolex, drove my car to the office. It was almost 6:30 am and if it were not for an important meeting late afternoon, I would not have ever reported so early for work. My day was supposed to be swamped but there was no way I could bring myself to work. This was one of those when concentration eludes you like sand in your hand, the harder you try the difficult it is to keep them in your palm. I would take a walk down the memory lane. It has been tumultuous but thoroughly enjoying journey.

Things have changed much, heck I have changed so much. For starters I worry about my receding hair line now. When as a teenager I was struggling with underweight problem now I have to watch what I eat for the tyre around my waist is not reducing. I am long way from the college penury days. I have come a long way from using nokia 1100 to Apple iphone 11.

Technology have changed the way the world works, it is a lot different than it was 20 years ago and in another 20 years it would be lot more different. All this trips down the memory lane were making me impatient and I kept looking at the watch to see if it is 12 yet because that’s when I will leave office.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity the clock did struck 12:00 and I rushed out of my office so fast, it would have given Flash a run for his money. The reason for all this impatience was I was going to meet my college friends today. Though we have kept in touch but today was something different, today was a phenomena that happens very rarely and when it does, it truly is amazing.

We have decided to go vintage today and hence a projector screen was mounted, the old kingfisher beer was about to flow in the bar today and the occasion was India Pakistan World Cup at Ranchi.

The last they met in the World Cup was way back in 2011 when I was still in college and that time India thrashed Pakistan and God was Man of the Match. I could very vividly remember that day. Almost the whole of sub continent to a halt.

We were expecting a repeat performance of that day and though India have changed much and Indians have changed much but today it seemed like the India of 2011.

Shops were shut closed; MNC’s have declared holiday and roads are deserted. Firecracker (outdated for quite some time now) is back in fashion and people are expecting to celebrate in the old fashioned way.Tricolours are flying high everywhere you see and it seems like the 26th of January only much more grandeur and filled with more splendour on a scale previously unimaginable. To think that 170 crore Indians would unite for a single cause is mind boggling.

Such was the sight on the roads and it was not any different in the coffee bar. My friends have already gathered and were bleeding blue (to quote from 2011). By now my wifey has joined me and when the first bottle of beer was opened the afternoon was all set.

There are people who say that change is the only constant but the way I see it, India Pakstan matches have defied change for a whole century now and it seems they are going to remain the same for another century to come. As for me I can only say “Go India Go.”