Monday, November 1, 2010

My Most Predictable Conversation!

I wedged myself in a comfortable position in my airplane seat which was (obviously) next to the window. I reached up to the gasper, turned it off and wrapped myself in my cozy shawl. I had a very tiring day, and my plan was to doze off for the one-hour fifteen minute Bangalore-Mumbai flight after the takeoff.

Some passengers boarded the flight by the last airport shuttle. Most of them had "I-am-just-outta-college" written all over their faces. They seemed to be pretty excited about the plane trip, fought over the window seats and chattered a lot. As soon as one of them sat next next to me, his friends hooted with sarcasm.."Window seat, gayi tujhe?". The kid next to me had a sheepish look on his face. For a minute, I contemplated on giving up my seat for the kid, but I could not be so generous. :)

After the takeoff, I was about to doze off when I heard him talk.

"Are you from Infosys?"

Slightly bleary-eyed, I looked at him and said, "No, I work for SAP."

After a what-company-is-that look, he said, "I am from Infosys." I was not surprised. Most of these kids do not know any companies other than the 'coveted-3'. So do their moms, aunts and grannies. They crinkle their noses and ask, "Oh you didn't get through Infosys? My daughter had three offers from all of the 'coveted-3'. Oh and Accenture too". The reaction comes after they hear someone is from (say) EMC, Symantec, Mindtree, Thoughtworks(!!) or even Google!

Judging from the "I-am-just-outta-college" inscription on his face, I asked him, "Are you in your training period?"

"Yeah, it just got over. We are going home for Diwali vacations". We introduced ourselves and I knew I would have to say goodbye to my sleep. But I didn't mind it because something made me feel this was going to be amusing.

Then he went on to tell me (and couldn't stop talking about) how wonderful the campus was, and how good the facilities were at their training venues. I smiled and nodded. He said life has been pretty different over the last two months. He was away from his family, out of home for the first time.

"I have been enjoying the night-life. I never got to do all that back home in Mumbai. It was so awesome, I loved every bit of it," I couldn't help grinning when he added, "The night-life was great. We spent so much of time in CCD every night". When he had started talking about night-life I was slightly tight-lipped because I thought he meant the usual definition. But when he mentioned Cafe Coffee Day, I was so amused at his innocuousness and at the same time I grew a little fond of him.

"So, what are your plans ahead of this?," I asked.

He gave me the answer I was expecting, "Next year, I would be giving my CAT exams for MBA. This year I did appear for the exams, but didn't get through good colleges. Plus, I would have a one-year experience next year. Aren't you planning to do it?"
Kiddo, one-year experience isn't much for an MBA. Anyway, you would abscond from the company like most kids do after they get admission in an MBA college, so the experience won't count, anyway.

I answered his question, "No, not in the near future for sure."


Because not everyone who joins IT tries to escape the technical field.
"I like what I am doing currently, and I am more inclined towards the technical field as of now." He gave me a quizzical look wondering if people like me existed.

I know a lot of people like me do exist. But I don't blame him, because everyone around him was dying to complete their MBA in fields they were not even interested in - simply to avail an escapade from one battlefield to another. Most of them believed that engineering studies should naturally culminate into management studies after only one year of work and both are very closely related! He seemed to believe that I was the one making the unnatural choice, so I gave up.

I changed the topic and we chatted for a while about my educational background and my experiences in my training period and so on. For some reason, he assumed that my training period was last year. He went into this silent mode and I could guess he was calculating my age. After about two minutes, he said, "So, you must be our age then?"

I was startled and wondered if I should take it as a compliment or feel offended. "No, I have worked for around three and a half years", I said.
Besides, I dont have "I-am-just-outta-college" written on my face!

"So, if you are from Mumbai, why are you working in Bangalore".
Sigh! Not that question again! Why, is that like a crime!!

"I shifted here after I got married."

I rolled my eyes mentally before the anticipated response came, "You are married?? You got married pretty early huh? Normally, engineers get married after the age of 25".

Now, that was a rather personal comment from someone I had just met. But this is another problem these kids seem to have. They are pretty naïve about what I call "topics-that-are-polite-to-comment-on" confines. I realised that he's had another age miscalculation and let it pass.

After more topics that ranged from how it was to live in a city other than Mumbai, a couple of "racist" comments (that I would not want to elaborate on), how my junior college Mithibai was a hep college, but his parents didn't let him join it because they didn't approve of it (it shows!), we were finally hovering over Mumbai. He wanted to look out of the window to see the glittering lights of the city. I still did not give up my seat and tried to convince him that he would anyway not be able to see anything because we were over the wing and it blocked the sight. (Haha!)

After a bumpy landing, I realised that this had been the most predictable conversation I have ever had and it was pretty amusing too. I usually get annoyed at kids like these, but for the first time I didnt. He was slightly lost at the airport, travelling alone so far for the first time away from his folks. I led him to the conveyor belt so that he could pick up his baggage.

The nice little boy waited till my truckloads of Diwali baggage arrived and helped me load my trolley with it. I led him to the cab stand, after which we said our good-byes. Good kid, but he's gonna need a lot of time to grow up. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Six little secrets about Mommies

(Dear Readers,
I dedicate this post my two mommies - Aaee and Amma!)

Mommies are the most wonderful beings on earth. It is said, "God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers". That's so true. Here are six little secrets about them that you probably didn't know.
I have been observing a lot of mommies around me. So these things are not just true about my mommies, but they are true at large about most of them.

1) Mommy and the cake

When was the last time mommy-darling made that awesome cake for you? You smell the aroma that wafts from the kitchen out of your home. Your nose sniffs the air and you hope that the aroma is coming from your house. You walk in through the door and it gets stronger! :)

You probably did not notice then, but as you and your family pounced upon the cake, she looked on in delight. AND she missed out on that special cake. She never had it - saved it all up for you. She would lie to you and tell you she's had it. But, trust me, she's only nibbled at it to make sure it tastes well.
To sum it all up -
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of cake for five
people, promptly announces she never did care for cake.
- Tenneva Jordan
2) Gatecrashers and mommies

Do you remember the last time you got some guests over at the last moment and sat down to chatter with them? Did you know what happened after you introduced them to your mommy?
I am sure you did not notice that momentary flicker of panic on her face. (They are not programmed to show it on their pretty, smiling faces.) Mommies are the most gracious hostesses and they love to have guests over and to meet your friends. In the whole excitement, they want to do all they can to make sure the guests go home happy and full.

The momentary panic is because she is not sure that the meal she has worked so hard at for the entire evening is enough for all.

So, consider my little piece of advice to you: Maybe you should make a swooping entry into the kitchen and help her quickly extend and fix the meal.

3) Pamper her, pamper her!
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home.
- Mother Teresa.
Your Mommy likes being scolded for not taking care for herself. She feels pampered at the attention. Do give it to her sometimes.

4) Mommy and Ms. Illness

Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom with the
-- P.J. O'Rourke
Sometimes, you do not realize it, but she carries out her daily chores even when she is feeling ill. She will never go and flop on the bed at the slightest headache. If she does, you can be sure that it is something pretty serious.

So, when you notice your mommy sniffling because of a slight cold, she definitely must have a headache sometime during the day and maybe a little temperature too. Take her to the doc, help her do the dishes for the day!

5) Mommy and the fridge

When you sit down for a meal together, how many times have you noticed what your mommy does? She looks around in everyone's plate, in turn, to make sure if you are eating well. It's pretty discreet and you may not be able to catch her do it.

Have you seen your mommy-darling's plate? Hers is the only one that has little, little food-items from the fridge that were made yesterday or those that you preferred not to finish because of some whim of yours!

I have seen soooo many mommies have food that their kids reject. Why?? I ask!

6) Mommies and their big little hearts

One thing that can break their little hearts is you throwing away what they cook - for no good reason. They reeeally work hard in the kitchen all day and when you reject and not have food-items they serve you, it aches them bigtime!

While most of these may seem to be little sacrifices that mommies make (and all of them seem to be related to gastronomy), they imply that mommies also exercise them everywhere else as far as you and your families are concerned. :) A little take-away from this blog-entry could be that you keep an eye on your mom and pamper her sometimes coz she does a great job. It also happens to be the most thankless job in the world coz we remember to thank them only on Mother's Day. Maybe we could make everyday a Mother's day.

(Credits: Nimish and Priya- Thanks for reviewing this post for me!)

Some interesting quotes I found on the net:
  • If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? --Milton Berle
  • When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. -- Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty
  • By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class. -- Inspirational Quotes on Mother’s Day by: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author
  • One of the very few reasons I had any respect for my mother when I was thirteen was because she would reach into the sink with her bare hands - bare hands - and pick up that lethal gunk and drop it into the garbage. To top that, I saw her reach into the wet garbage bag and fish around in there looking for a lost teaspoon. Bare hands - a kind of mad courage. -- Robert Fulghum
  • All mothers are working mothers. -- Inspirational Quotes on Mother’s Day by: Author Unknown

  • She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along. -- Margaret Culkin Banning
  • When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. -- Pablo Picasso