Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ani proposes, LAFARGE disposes

I write this post with a sense of happiness and relief. My first sense of this feeling was at around 8 this morning, after I read an e-mail in my yahoo account inbox. As I finished reading the mail, I rewound myself to my first semester days at SRM University.
“Hi, I am Anirudh”, was how a fair complexioned, decent looking, and an average built teenager introduced himself. Apart from his character, the one thing that has not changed is the goatee on his chin - those whiskers have been part of all the trials and tribulations, in all these years - conspicuous indeed. And if they had had the ability to speak, they, for sure, would have told him this morning, “Ani, it was really worth the wait.” And since they are not gifted to share such nice words, I take this opportunity to tell him, “Ani, it was really worth the wait”. Though I rewound to August 2005, I couldn’t resist myself from getting back to June 2009. Ok, now, let’s get back to 2005 again.
Ani, the once-upon-a-time owner of a Nokia 1100, always remained an average student in my opinion, (but I suppose, he calls himself a below average student) and his academia never lived up to his expectations. But when I say that, I seriously wonder if he had any expectations from himself; because he just moved on with life. Just like how the 30th of June is happy to accept ‘sunrise’ from 29th June, Ani too, never complained about the yesterday events, and accepted ‘today’, with not great exuberance, but with a rather laidback attitude. Now let’s talk about the other aspects of him.
He’s one of the very few guys in college to be dressed in pucca formals. The Anirudh I remember, at this moment, is the guy dressed in an olive green shirt and a black trouser, carrying a very heavy bag over his shoulders, arriving in college, walking towards the Mech PG block all alone (sometimes with his bus mate Bhargav). When one peeps into those thick bound ‘classmate’ notebooks inside his bag, and the childish handwriting penned using an ever deep blue ink, one gets a feeling if the owner of the notebooks is a studious guy, waiting to rewrite history by scoring a ten pointer, or rather a nine pointer at least, but Ani never managed anything above 8 tilll the eighth semester.
The ever bubbly Mechanical ‘A’ section during lunch breaks, is also the home for the reserved Anirudh Kaushik, who remains subdued, even when someone pulls his leg. A corner smile with the goatee widening its area on the chin, would be his response. Years passed, and he still found it tough to clear a few arrears, whose exams he claimed to have done reasonably well; the most prominent of them being Operations Research. That misfortune made him not eligible for campus placements during the seventh semester. I remember, it was a pleasant September afternoon, and I was weeks away from appearing for CAT ’08. After sipping water from the filter outside his class, I was standing on the lobby in the second floor, looking down, hoping to glimpse at a good looking girl passing by.
He walked out from his class, smiled at me, and asked,“So Rajesh,CAT preparations in full swing?”
“Not really” I blushed. “The percentile scores are never crossing 80 in the mock CATs”
“Anyway, you have Tech Mahindra as a backup, right?” he consoled. “Unlike me”
“Hey you apply for CAT, man” I suggested. “Give it a shot”
“Hey I can’t attempt the math part, for sure. And I am not too keen on doing higher studies. I am not able to manage even this B.Tech” he laughed.
Though I tried to convince him saying he could make up with a decent score in the verbal section, considering the fact that he was too good at English, he seemed relentless. While his friends foresaw their futures by getting placed in renowned IT & Manufacturing companies, and by scoring good scores in GRE and receiving admits from well-known Universities in the US, his future still remained a question mark, and however hard he tried, he couldn’t find an answer.
Finally, a relief! The seventh semester results were announced, and fortunately, he cleared his Operations Research paper, ensuring he had no standing arrears; but unfortunately, with the economic recession hitting the corporate world hard, going to campus to recruit a fresher was the last thing on the mind of every HR. With time, I got a feeling if he had begun to find himself lonely in the crowd, and if the worry in his eyes made him blind to other joyous things in life. The Eighth semester exams arrived; and it was on the afternoon of the Industrial Engineering & TQM exam, the first of the three exams, when I found him standing alone at the railway station, opposite my college campus. He asked me about my future plans; with my MBA aspirations doomed for the following academic year, I informed him that I was definitely going to take up the job offer from Tech M. Though I wished to ask about his’, I knew he would have nothing to say. Without delay, he opened up, saying he would give LAFARGE, a cement manufacturing company based in Qatar, a shot.
“Don’t worry man” I consoled. “You’ll get through this one.”
“Let’s see” he snapped a regretful corner smile.
“Mark my words; you are destined to leave for Qatar.” I affirmed. “And which is why God has made you not eligible for the other companies. Everything in life happens for a reason.”
He smiled back, unaware of the fact that he was going to be one among the seven in the shortlist, which was to be announced on June 30 2009.
And this morning, as soon as I received the yahoo groups email about the shortlist, I moved to the next window with great anticipation, to see if his name was present; and just as I had expected, he was one among the five selected from the Mech department. I text messaged him right away, but the 'Kumbakarnan' he is, replied to me late in the forenoon after waking up from a sound sleep. But trust me; tonight’s sleep will be the most peaceful of all, for him. And in his reply message, he had said ‘Everything you said that day in station has finally come true’
And after a while, he messaged me again, ‘write something about me in your blog.’
I thought, “If these words in my blog post are going to make him feel happier, I don’t want to deprive him of that”
So Ani, this post is for you, mate.
While we guys are still awaiting our call letters (unsure if we’ll ever get), he’s scheduled to leave for Qatar in the first week of August to join work.
Bon Voyage, dude! May the coming years be more memorable for you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

NOKIA Connects

Well, I am excited…I am feeling wonderful, really good; I am happy, I am delighted, I am ecstatic… I can use ‘n’ more of such adjectives, but, even those many expressions of my feeling in words won’t suffice, because, I am feeling unimaginably excited. What more can a music lover ask for, when his dad has just bought him a new Nokia 5130 Express Music mobile phone. Yes! I purchased it yesterday.

Ever since I first owned a mobile, three years ago, I have started to consider her (I give my mobile the feminine gender) as an inseparable possession. But for the time I spend in the restroom (at home), she stays inside my left trouser pocket 24X7. And every five minutes at least, I touch the pocket to confirm her presence; she is such a special companion. She is my only buddy who follows me everywhere I go, rather, I make it a point to carry her with me, and she doesn’t mind that. She has traveled with me under the scorching sun in the afternoons, on rainy nights, and on pleasant evenings as well.
I experienced the best of nights, yesterday, in her company. She was kissing my ears and I didn’t feel like leaving my hold over her. My right palm had a grip over her body throughout, and my intermittent looks at her face (the screen) evoked myriad expressions of joy, every time I changed tracks, from one favorite to another. Suddenly, I realize that it has gotten late, and so, I look into her again, and she displays 0117 hrs. “Three hours gone in no time!” It was an amazing feeling to listen to some of the most favorite songs, in my girl's company.
When I talk about my love for mobiles, I would also like to discuss about a section of people who seem to supposedly hate the usage of it. I have listened to various kinds of comments. Let me list a few of them.
“I am using it just to keep up my status”
“It’s such a nuisance, you know”
“It’s an unnecessary carry”
“I just wonder if people can’t live without mobiles!” would be a baseless comment remarked by someone who himself possesses one of the costliest mobiles available in the country.
“I am happy I am away from it for the time being”, would be a reply from someone who has just lost his/her mobile. I actually see it as a coverup for the irresponsible behavior.
From what I have observed over the years, I don’t see their HATE for mobiles in these stupid remarks. I see these groundless talks as an ineffectual attempt to be ‘DIFFERENT’. The world knows how well mobiles have enticed us to become ‘Man’s best friend’, and these people, by passing such remarks, are just TRYING to portray themselves as a unique breed. Ok! Fine! Let them talk against mobiles, but why the hell do they use one in the first place, and above all, why the hell do they have to sound rhetoric? Simply because, they can’t stand their own liking or addiction to that 100 gram electronic gadget.
I strongly feel, one doesn’t talk excessively about something he/she hates, rather, it’s done for something which is adored enormously. The heart loves using it but the mind is unable to bear it. What these people fail to realize is, however hard they are going to try, man is not going to stay away from mobiles. Whatever! All I wish to convey to such specimens is, “You use a mobile, or you don’t use a mobile, I don't give a fuck, but, please don’t see yourself getting fooled in front of my eyes, by passing such comments, time and again.”
Coming back to my other love, music; no blog post of mine, related to it, is complete without a mention of The Undisputed Queen of Indian Playback Singing, Shreya Ghoshal. Wow! What a wonderful feeling it is, to listen to her sing so wonderfully. Now, I feel, Nokia actually CONNECTS me with her.
It is now when I get a feeling of how blessed I am to have both of my ears sharp. To see her name appear on the screen while listening to her sing is, by itself, a special feeling. Her name spells Magic (Jaadhu) and her songs spell Intoxication (Nasha). Imagine how I’ll feel like, when I listen to her sing Jaadhu Hai Nasha (Jism). But, now, I am reveling in her ‘Kyun’ from Khambakkht Ishq. I am talking about her solo version. Wow! Terrific! Do listen to it.
Also, her songs in ‘Morning Walk’ are fabulous.
I feel good to have penned down this write-up. Just like my many other blog posts, this also is close to my heart. After all, I have dwelled upon three of my favorites – Mobile, Music and Shreya Ghoshal.

Below is the first photo I snapped on my mobile.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009



I am back to serious blogging. It's been a long time since 'As I Introspect' found place for frequent introspectives. But I am sure I'll make it happen in the coming days.

The happy thing is, I am finally done with my novel 'A step forward' and I am satisfied with its outcome. But what really matters on the commercial front, is the satisfaction readers get on reading it, which I hope will happen too. There were quite a few good and bad experiences while I was in the process of writing my first novel, and also, there are many things which I have learnt. So I thought I'll just pen them down here.

Firstly, as soon as I finished reading the manuscript this evening, there was a smile on my face. Apart from the satisfaction that, I have authored a novel (210 pages in MS Word Docu), I was in awe at the way the story had taken shape. When I first started off with it on Feb 18, I just had a vague idea and didn't really know what incidents will happen and also, which will happen when. But as I started to write, as thoughts moulded into words, as chapters unfolded, the story shaped up differently, something I myself didn't anticipate. That was when I wondered about the phenomenon called 'The Human Brain'. It stuns you sometimes. Apart from this example, there have been numerous occasions when I had been in awe of my own thought process.

And something I liked about my novel was that, every event that happens is part of the chain called 'A step forward'. So I just wish, every incident in our lives too, happens with relevance to our future, though I must admit that I strongly believe 'Everything in life happens for a reason'.

Actually I did no paperwork for my novel; in the sense, I never wrote the script or jotted down points on paper. The desire to write a novel always took centre stage whenever I thought deep, while reveling in solitude. Hence, writing a chapter was more or less, like writing a blog post. So, I would call my novel as a 'collection of blog posts'. What makes me call so, is actually, my approach to writing the novel by itself. And of course, just like my blog posts, my first attempt at fiction is a work straight from my heart. Being a so-called Engineer, I knew nothing about scriptwriting. But being an avid blogger, I knew to write blog posts. And so, just like how I have penned down 42 posts here, I could manage 24 there (22 + Prologue + Epilogue).

Also, writing this novel has really made me deal with patience. Though I was deriving great pleasure in writing the novel, I must confess that, there were days when the ideas and the thoughts didn't quite come about and that used to make me get annoyed with myself. But I could come over them all quite successfully.

In my opinion, the best time to write is after a sound sleep in the afternoon - the time between 4 and 6 in the evening. That's actually when I wrote some of the best chapters, and I wrote some good ones, late in the nights too (10pm-2am) - when there was noone around to disturb. By writing this novel, for the first time in life, I seemed focussed and was determined to get done something I wanted to happen. But as a matter of fact, there had been really nothing in life which 'I WANTED'.

It's a fantastic feeling, to see a word document for 210 pages written by me alone, to see a word document where my thoughts and emotions have been moulded into words, to see a word document which contains the life of all the characters I have created myself. But overall, it has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

I feel great to have shared my feelings here. Thanks to the blogging platform and you guys. When you actually read my novel, you will know for yourself, how you have been part of the journey called 'A step forward' and how you have contributed to it.

Well... I am still waiting for my call letter from Tech Mahindra. So, I am sure I will be having enough time to introspect. So, my blogger buddies can expect a flurry of posts here in the coming weeks.