Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year with Omanakuttis :)

Hullo there!

The Year 2008 is all set to disappear into the annals of history. My heart-felt New Year wishes to all my dear readers(imagination at its best) & may this new year bring loads of happiness & joy to the lives of those who agree that "I write good". :D :D

As it happened last year, this year too my friends left for Goa today to welcome the New Year, whereas I'm writing this post informing you people that I gave the tour a miss because of a stupid exam, just like I did last year.(I don't want to mention the name of that exam, because being a blogger of high repute(!!) it's very likely that the directors of that institute may stumble upon this blog and, if i get through the written test, rip me apart in the interview. :D But for the curious minds out there, I can give a clue: The name of the starts with the third letter from Z, ends with a mono-syallable which is also the name of a hot drink, and 'A' in between these two letters. You may tear your hair apart, bang your head on the wall, growl in frustration but you will never find that its "XAT" that I'm talking about. And I'm also safe this way. :D) I almost forgot the fact that I have to give this exam on the day we had proposed to return from Goa and went on to book the tickets when at the last moment an alarm blared in my mind and I had to back out. :(

I was particularly keen on touring Goa after my friends shattered my heart into a thousand pieces me last year - they didn't get me the red-wine as promised. :( I felt like a kid who was informed on the day of the last annual exam that there would be no summer vacation. :D

This year I don't have to go through such agony, for I'm all set to hit the God's Own Country. I'll be off to Kerala tomorrow with some of my colleagues & will be back in time to give the stupid exam indicated earlier. The bottom line: I'M GOING TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH OMANAKUTTIS. :D It can't get any better. :)

Disappointed as I was in previous train journeys, I have my hopes up that tomorrow the jinx will be broken, despite the endless curses generously offered by some pot-bellied flea infested homo sapiens that I would be in the company of wailing kids, loquacious aunties & sick octogenarians.

Will be back with the updates soon! :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS, ONCE AGAIN! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fired, only for a moment

I hate team meetings. More so when it is convened to iterate the do's & dont's(predominantly the latter) for the nth in two months. "Do not open cricket sites, do not access new papaer site, don't use any banking accounts, blah, blah, blah and finally use internet(read google) only for technical purposes", these are the few points that my manger, in her own words, TOUCH BASES upon in every meeting.

I received an email invite for one such meeting today, with an innocuous subject: 'General Project Updates'. It said we all had to COMPULSORILY attend the meeting at 4.30 PM, and a voting button was also included in the mail asking whether we would be able to attend it. Sigh!

My team mates and I were present in the conf. room five minutes in advance and strategically took the seats that were farthest from the speaker & closest to the exit door. I always wanted to be the first, in running out of the conference room. Hence this position. :D

If you are working in a Software Company & have attended quite a few team meetings, I'm sure you will agree with me that "Going forward", "Paradigm Shift", "Core Competency", "holistic" etc. are the pricipal words around which the meetings revolve, none of them making any sense to anyone. It has kinda become an obsession for managers so much that they can't have a peaceful weekend, if they have given any of these words a miss during the week.

I was expecting this meeting to be no different. It wasn't. Just like any other deliciouly soporofic meetings, I dozed through this one as well. And started dreaming too when suddenly I faintly heard someone whispering my name in my ear. I came back to reality and found that it was my team mate sitting next to me, who was now elbowing me.

"Fired", said my manger loudly.

For a moment I froze. Yes, I did sleep for a while. I agree it's not right. But firing someone for dozing off in the meeting is ridiculous. And how the hell can my manager decide that I should be fired? It was HR's job. I was mentally preparing myself to argue with her on these grounds when she resumed speaking. After a few seconds, I learned that I was not fired. It was one of my teammates.

He had mailed across a few sensitive documents to his personal mail & was caught by the clients while monitoring. The clients wanted this issue to be treated with "zero tolerance" (another one of those jargons that I learnt today) & my company obliged by sacking him.

My senses came but to normal, but at the same time, I was really worried about my team mate. I could empathise with my team mate, because I had just then experienced what it feels like to be fired, only for a few seconds though.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What did I do today?

I got up early today by my standards - 8.04AM. I sat up lazily, my eyes still closed. After a few minutes I opened my eyes with great difficulty. It was still 8.04AM. I felt very happy that the time had frozen at 8.04 and that I could bury myself in the pillow for eternity until the realization dawned on me that the wall clock had put in its paper without serving its notice period.

It was 8.45AM. I had thirty minutes to get ready. Too early to panic, I thought. I wanted to sleep for five more minutes but decided against it, lest I wake up only to find that I'm fifteen minutes late already. I lazily proceeded to finish all the formalities and got ready in time.

I reached the office only to find that I was the last person to enter the bay. It was packed to its capacity, barring one seat which belongs to yours truly. My on site coordinator who is currently at offshore greeted me with a sarcastic "good afternoon". As usual, I gave him one of my close-up smiles & slid into my seat. After entering the password incorrectly thrice, locking my account, calling up CSD, answering to all the dumb questions & having my account unlocked, I opened my mail box. I was surprised & relieved to find that there weren't any mails castigating me for the code I delivered the day before. Instead there was a mail which I receive as often as Kamal Hasan acts in a movie with no kiss scene. It read "No issues". Being unaccustomed to such mails, I was nonplussed. I pondered over the issue of "No issues" for sometime - whether I should take a print out of this mail, frame it & hang it at my desk in full view of passerby, or I should forward this mail to all my friends and flaunt about it. I did give a lot of thought to it as these are once-in-a-lifetime happenings until my train of thoughts was broken by a forward mail with subject "Traditional day at DPS". :D :D (If you haven't received this mail yet, stop wasting your time reading this post & ask your friends for that mail. Otherwise you ll be missing something big in your life :P)

I was hardly working.. err.. working hardly when I noticed a palm right under my nose and a voice from behind : "would you like to contribute for A's grahapravesam?". Any other time, such atrocious requests would have been met with coarse responses. But this was appraisal time & A was my manager. So I parted with a withdrawn-only-this-morning hundred rupee note. (I appreciate the timing of the grahapravesam. I must be a well thought out plan. :P)

It was time for lunch & having given a hundred bucks I had no second thoughts on whether I should attend the function. I was even willing to pay another hundred bucks for auto & gobble down for two hundred rupees, but thankfully the place was only five min walk from my office.

After handing over the gift, posing for snaps with a plastic smile and all that jazz, I rushed to the top floor where lunch was being served. After waiting for 2 pandhis I finally managed to place my ass on a corner seat. By then a strong gush of wind set out on a journey from north to south, along the line I was sitting. The Appallam on my yellai(banana leaf) flew & landed on a patti's yellai who was sitting next to them. From the way she winced I guess she is an acharamana patti.

Being a belligerent guy that I am, I cried out loud at the server standing at the other end for an appallam. This time around I din't want a patti's curse. So I came up with a masterplan of placing the vadai over the appalam as paper weight. The plan worked out well. The breeze tried its best but it couldn't as much as shake the appalam. And patti looked pleased too. Just as I was mentally hi-fying myself for that marvellous idea, things started to break apart. Breeze turned on its intensity, and out went the appallam. Along with the vadai. And this time patti was seething with fury. And I left the place before patti could utter a word. :P

By the time I reached office again it was 3 PM. I fooled around for some more time, took an half-hour coffee break at 4.30 & continued to fool around for the rest of the time.

Lets see what Tuesday has in store for me. Sigh!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday Morning Blues

Weekend has come to an end & the prospect of going to office on Monday Morning gives me a pip. Not that I'm excited about going to office on other days, but Mondays are extenuating circumstances. Wish I had a time machine. Sigh!

We Balajis (yeah, I'm reading P.G.Wodehouse a lot these days) are generally cheerful, but it beats me how the mere thought of Monday drains all the enthusiastic spirit in me and fills me with melancholy & makes me feel like a mortician.

As if there weren't reasons for me to feel gloomy about, few of my colleagues take sadistic pleasure in adding fuel to fire. Every Monday Morning, without fail, the moment I open my inbox to check if any of friends had sent me the latest picture of {Censored}, I'm greeted by a mail with the most disgusting subject mankind has ever seen: "Thank God It's Monday".

How could anyone be thankful to god for the day being Monday? I fail to see any reason. No, the fact that I'm an atheist in the making has nothing to do with it. Even the most god-loving creatures in my team squirm at that.

These days I have stopped reading the interviews of successful business magnates. The reason being all of them have the same weakness; that they can't wait for Monday Morning to go for work. The more I read them, the stronger I feel that I can never become a successful car driver for successful businessmen, let alone becoming a successful business man myself.

One of the posters stuck outside my office library always catches my attention, even though I loathe the message written on it. It reads as the following:

"One-seventh of your life is Monday. Might as well look forward to it."

BAH! is all I can say. With great difficulty I supress my urge to show the middle finger to that poster! I'm most certain that this should have been told by some successful business magnates who go around giving interviews in the newspaper only to make guys like me feel all the more sick.

(At this moment, the author clicks on the 'Spell Check' icon & after 0.089 seconds comes the response: No misspellings found. The author is truly delighted for this is the first time ever the author has written more than two paragraphs with no spelling mistakes. :D :D The author punches the air to celebrate, but stops abruptly when he finds his sister gaping at him as if the author has forgotten to wear his trouser.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Carrom Crazy


The elegance of nine black coins, nine white coins & a red queen arranged in a manner so as to form a perfect circle. The euphoria of sending one or more of white coins to pockets in the very first shot. Waiting with bated breath to see if the cover gets through after the queen is pocketed. The serendipity of pocketing a coin, the actual target being miles away. Keeping a hand under the unsewn pocket to catch the falling coins. Carrom! I'm crazed by this game.

Carrom is one game that I can claim to have some mastery over. Rummy is the only other game. ;-)I like Chess too, but I hardly got partners to play with. Although a sharp mind is not a prerequisite to play carrom, unlike chess, one has to use the brain to play the game well. Carrom is not just about striking the target. The force with which the striker hits the coin plays a pivotal role. The combination of the two is enough to pocket the simple ones. The tougher ones need to be dealt with flamboyant cuts and clever rebounds, which comes only with practice.

I never got bored playing carrom. In childhood days I would play carrom for hours, even without a partner. I would place coins on akward postions & practice to pocket those. I would continue this exercise until I was convinced that the next time I came across coins placed on those postion during a match I would pocket them, pants down. ;)

Although I have not won any medals/cups, the skills that I acquired didn't go waste. It did amount to somthing later when I won a lot of bet matches - the loser had to take the winner to "Fruit Shop" & buy him whatever (s)he orders. I have tasted about a dozen juices at Fruit Shop without spending a paise. In fact, I have not treated anyone at Fruit Shop to this day. :D

Strangely, we played a lot of carrom during exam seasons. Especially the night before the exam. I guess it was our idea of relaxing. But in the end we would be so tired of playing carrom for long hours & open the book for relaxing. :D

I have not played carrom for sometime now, but the spirit in me was rekindled by a mail which announced the carrom tournament to be conducted in the office next week. I was the first to register for the competition. :D