Friday, March 21, 2008

Coffee-break

I am writing after a long silence. Not that I was busy scratching my head, staring at the wall, pretending as if I am thinking hard what informative post I can come up with. There is only one single, stupid reason for my silence- I forgot that I started a blog. :)


Realization dawned on my suddenly & came back to this place. ( I can hear you groaning, you thought I let you go that easy.. nahhh!!) After thoughtfully chewing my pencil for a while, I realized that "Taking a coffee-break" is the most important phenomenon of my professional life. Why not write about it?. Here we go..


I dedicate this post to my friends Harish, Swaminathan Niranjana, Soumya, Neelima, Priya & Nithya whom I share my coffee-break with.

There have been days when I haven't worked at all, days when I haven't been at my seat all day, even days when I didn't bother to read mails. (Ok, let me stop it. My PL might be reading this) But there has not been a single day when I didn't go for a coffee-break with my friends. If you ask me what do you like about my company, "Taking a coffee-break with my friends" is surely one of the answers for that. (Sssh... I know that its the only thing like, but this is not the right place to confess it.)

It has become so much a routine work that the lady in the pantry knows exactly what we drink in the morning break & what in the afternoon. She doesn't ask us what we want, she just confirms it. "Coffee?" she asks me. I nod my head approvingly with a smile.

Punctuality is one thing to be noted here. We have never been late to a coffee-break. Sharp at 10.30 in the morning, someone from our group would take initiative, (Well, I actually wanted to say I always take the initiative but that would euphemistically mean "I don’t do any work & that's why I pester others to come for break," as my friends often say) give missed call to all the others scattered folks reminding them its coffee time. Ten minutes after that, we all would have assembled in the pantry & the fun time begins. Same applies to the afternoon break as well.

Sharing an appreciation mail one received, venting off the anger in one's PL/TL, talking about the pretty girl one saw, showing off to impress a girl around, or blindly staring at the wall - it all happens during the coffee-break. If there happened to be any cricket match played the previous day that invariably becomes the topic of conversation. Coffee-break is incomplete without gossips. What better way to kill than gossiping, and what better time to gossip than during a coffee-break?

I also have some fond memories of events that happened during the coffee-breaks. One evening when I was sipping a cup of coffee, a friend of mine ran into me. We were just into projects after completing training in Siruseri & so we began to share our training experiences. We talked about how we enjoyed in Siruseri, how we did our assignments on our own without CCP-ing & so on until the topic diverted to one of our mutual friends. On asked how i knew her, i said "I met her during cultural (I forgot the name of that. ) when she performed a dance". "She did a group dance, didn't she?" she asked. "Yes, but who cares who the other dancer was. You know, she was an attu figure, so I was just concentrating on this girl," I replied. "Oh," She said, and gave a stern look for a minute. "I am that attu figure," she said. Err… I gulped the hot coffee & felt the warmth from throat to stomach.

This is just one example. There are thousand of such things that had happened & would continue to happen as long as we go for coffee-break. Of course, we will go for coffee-break as long as Sun rises in the east, Atal Bihari is single & Neeraj experiments with the truth. (Well, I wanted to say as long as Neeraj is single. Poor fellow, why pull his leg all the time… )

My friend Neelima, who quit recently, looked like a stoic until she came for her last break in Cognizant. Tears rolled down her cheek when she reminisced all the good time we had in the pantry & said she would sorely miss them. It's strange how sometimes people are emotionally attached to things, places & habits. When I got shifted from TCO to GMR, I felt bad about missing "Aquamarine" (Conf. room) where we usually sit for long hours & chat. Likewise, taking a coffee-break has become an integral part of my professional life. No matter how hectic my schedule (don't laugh, it sometimes happens) is I never miss a break. It's a perfect stress buster. (Not that I have undergone stress at work)