Thursday, June 24, 2010

Uncontrollable, thanks to the police...

Folks, I am going to leapfrog two posts that I wanted to post last week, but I was quite busy with myriad works... They will come pretty soon. But right now, I want to blog about the sad state of affairs in (and around) this city, Coimbatore over the past three or four days!

12:30 am, Monday... I am on my way to Coimbatore in a err..hmmm...ok fine...a comfortable bus (being 6+ foot in India is the most easy-to-carry problem) and was just falling asleep now and then (bus was already into its 4th hour of the journey). And then suddenly I hear a thud... Felt nothing strange thanks to my sleep, but did hear something. And like all those who get woken up suddenly, I too was looking around at the people around me in the bus. And more than surprisingly, half of them were looking worriedly at me... And the other half, at the couple sitting behind me... Apparently, two stones of atleast a pound each in weight was hurled at the moving bus from outside and they crashed into the window between me and the seat behind! Luckily it missed my head by 6 inches and missed the lady (behind me) by another 6 inches (flew between our heads, so to say, both stones) and hit a gentleman sitting on the other side of the aisle! For a whole minute I didn't realise what had happened, and the "story" was hard to believe. I had pieces of glass all over me but was still sitting there comfortably. No one was sitting in the seat next to me, and there I noticed pieces of glass. Still unsurprised, thinking it was a dream, not even caring to look at the window, i took my kerchief and pushed down some big pieces of the glass, and stopped doing so. It WAS REALLL. IT DID HAPPEN. Thank God, I didn't get hurt in what might've been a serious injury to my skull! But now, let me look at myself! I was "drenched" in pieces of glass... On my shirt, on my laps, some waiting for me to move, so it can trickle into my pockets, some went inside my trousers! The more I searched, the more I found. I thought I should get up and dust myself, flap my hands on my shirt or something and get rid of the glass (plexi glass, so, little pieces, not as sharp or dangerous). Surprise surprise! I got up and saw the seat I was sitting on, and the sight was horrific - I was actually sitting on like about half a kg (little over a pound) of glass pieces, none of them greater than 2 inches on either dimension, quarter inches thick! It was a bed of glass pieces that evened out on the seat once I got up, as if they were waiting for the comfort of having the whole seat for themselves. Funny, none of them pricked me! But, how would you react at it when you know that you were sitting at the very point of accident, besides a broken window pane, with half the pieces splashed at you? I was in a state of shock. I felt the shock now. Looking at the pane (no more) and my seat, the lady who was sitting behind me directed me to another place... And I never slept for the other 90 mins of my journey, and for another 30 mins in my room! There was a complaint made to the police at the very next police booth, but I don't know how understandable they were, and the poor conductor asked the driver to pull off, as nothing seemed to help the situation here.

End of a real nightmare! Why do we have a nation like this, where people love to kill one another? (as said in RDB) Anyone can change this? Its tough for us common public to change the attitude of the ones in power. (read my friend's blog post on similar lines). The police were equally ineffective. I heard nothing good or developmental from them!

Fine, end of this night, and I've returned home after looking at the empty beautified highway of the city ready for the Classical Tamil conference to be held from Wednesday onwards.

A host of police keeps coming into the city, and start trying to familiarise with the place. Half of the local constables in some random place in the state are now the traffic constables in the city. All the traffic lights are switched off and these people will now rule the streets! Fifteen people direct one car! One says go straight, one says go left, other says, "sorry, you can't go left. please take right", another says, "stop, you can't move now". Too many of anything spoils the scene. They just wear silly gloves and frantically wave at the people. There was this one policewoman, who was holding the transmitter radio for the first time in her life... She is listening to the radio "gttchchch gtchchchhch gtcchhchchch" sounds close to her ears and gives an impression like she is listening to some important instruction from her chief (morse code, was it? the sounds didn't make sense)... and yeah, her other hand was free, so, she waves and swears and waves directions at a moving vehicle which was abiding by all the possible rules laid in the jurisdiction...but the uniform lady wanted to show her power, that she was the ruler of the 20 meter distance that came under her "king(queen)dom". Yes, there was a police(wo)man every 20 m on Monday!

Tuesday evening, 7:30 pm.
I'm in a major bus terminus of the city, and boarded a bus to my place, which is 7km away. It took blood %^$&$$%^(*&(*^& 150 minutes to reach my place. One side of the road (down) was emptied and this side of the road (up) was jammed! Politicians were to arrive in the city at about 8:30 pm or so, and the whole place has been brought to a standstill from 7 pm itself! And for the sake of not more than 6 politicians, the traffic pace lost the olympic marathon to a common snail, which slid past me giving me a "muhahahahaha... bye bye, slow poke" look and went past the bus! this was irritating me. Then came the "dignitaries" from the airport (that was another 5 km away, so, my estimate - 8 km of jam on this side of the road and another 8 km of traffic beyond the airport... 16 km OF ABSOLUTE HAVOC 6 POLITICIANS!!!!! Aren't they common people? Aren't they the face of the common people? And guess what? each of them had 20 cars in front of them and behind them...every single one of them... all of them filled with police, filled and overflowing (outside the car) with them actually! And ambulances for every dignitary... No, the cars were not ambassadors, they were all Toyota Innova! I bet I saw more than 100 Innova within fifteen mins!!! If I got the rent that the govt paid for the Innova cars for this night, I promise I won't need to ear for at least an year and I can visit the top-10 places on my list of "places to visit before I die"! When the govt's show of "how rich we are" cleared, I saw the common man's world - people were flooding here, to attend the conference from every nook and corner of the state, nation, world! They had no place to go to, daily wagers had not even proper clothing, food was once a day for most of them, finding water was so tough for them that they would ask bus passengers if they had a bottle of water to offer! It was a pitiful sight :-( . And all of them were pointlessly moving around, not knowing even a bit about this new city they have just poured into.
After a few skipped stoppings, detours, and long directions, I returned to my place, tired and deflated, had my dinner in an overcrowded restaurant... But fortunately I knew the people in the restaurants who helped me find a comfortable seat and I had a good dinner, capped with friendly hospitality from the waiter :-) .
On my way to the restaurant, another funny thing happened. I was walking on the side-walk, heading to the restaurant and this one young policeman, who surprisingly didn't have that characterisque tummy that the TN police is so (in)famous for, asked me to stop. I stopped. I looked in the direction of the restaurant. Everyone was standing still. Someone tried to move, and this guy asked that fellow to stop. Why? because the CM was going in his vehicle on the streets (yes, with the fleet of other cars behind and ahead of him). So, next time you see (on news channels) loads of people looking at any politician's vehicle when its moving on the road, please keep in mind that its not because all the people want to see the person, its because the people are held up and forcibly made to do so! I spoke about govt wasting their money, now they are wasting MY time too...
well, had dinner... And then went back to my room and slept after a long night. The next day, the first day of the conference, was declared a holiday, so I had the license to sleep till late :-) . I had bought bread for breakfast, as I didn't want to risk anything in the morning (the city was set to have a parade)!

OKAYYYYYYYYY... Its Wednesday! Day one of the conference! (anyone thinks I am attending the conference or covering anything about it in this? NO! not me)

I get up leisurely at 8 am... couldn't sleep any further because the surprisingly out and shining sun was gleaming at my back, and it was hot. That was unusual in my 10 day long life here. So, I'm up, thanks to my mom's phone call, which overcame my body's desperate resistance against the heat for another few mins of sleep! So I had some slices of bread and spent the morning watching an NBA game that I had just finished downloading. Good game, good day thus far. Mid-day already? aaah :-( . Bathe, I said to myself, and after the bath (the water was lukewarm :-) , its usually cold). And now, time for lunch. I had to be physically ready for this. The restaurant it 8 mins walk, 6 of those mins are on the highway I was talking about a while ago. (no, I'm not cooking in my room now, for reasons I can't disclose publicly). I hadn't heard anything loud from my room all day, so I thought the situation was fine.
This place was a sea of people! who were all walking from east to west... God knows where? no one looked like they knew where to go to. Half the shops were closed, any shop that hosted beverages was flooded by people, my restaurant was open, I had this info confirmed the previous night itself, so, i was not worried. All these people, I don't know how many of them had proper food. Clearly they didn't have accommodation, some were carrying their luggage on the highway. Buses were diverted. The police force looked like ants infront of the tsunami of crowd. No one was listening to their instructions, anyway! After a lot of hustle and bustle through the crowd, I reached my restaurant and with a casual "hi anna!" and a wave of hand I found myself a seat as soon as I entered, double crossing atleast a dozen ignorant people to it. My friend there was very tired the way the place was overcrowded and I pitied him a lot. We were talking about the crowd, from my angle and his angle for a while... the point was clear - this crowd was not well managed by the police or/and the govt! Well, he was a bit happy that his place was easily making profit this day by means more than one. A few extra bucks on every item for the day, and they were doing good business. Then, I left the place, with a water bottle which'll last the afternoon...

Then, the night. Again, almost just as bad as it was in the afternoon! And now, I noticed another thing - the streets... They were as dirty as it could be. Apparently, the govt forgot to install dust-bins! The parapet walls that were painted with the history of the culture quite beautifully (I had been watching the painters working on it from day 1. They put in days and nights of hard work) were now the hosts of people who sat on it, and some who spat beetle leave thingy on it (sitting and spitting on it)!!! And another thing I saw that pissed me off... On the highway, the policemen were controlling the crowd. One of them was urinating just off the road. And one of them was smoking, while on duty, in a public place... Other things pretty much the same as in the morning - crowd, mild-mannerism, nomadic people,numerous jobless policemen, numerous hyper-active useless ones, numerous road blocks, diverted buses, etc). Yes, before the dinner I saw a piece of visual entertainment - firecrackers, for 10 mins... entertaining to the eye, yes... Well, for all the money that was wasted on other stuffs, this wasn't that big a waste, so to say! A bit too polluting thought, a little too much smoke lingered around for a while!

And then came today!
i had to go to office today. I was afraid how the crowd'll be at 7 in the morning! As it is, I slept too late, at 2 am, thanks to Isner and Mahut counting from 1 to 59 all night long (and thats not over yet, not over at 7:30 pm IST yet)! I got up at 6:40, raced against time and left my place by 7:02 :-) . That was some time management, with multitasking :-) . Well, the streets were clear, but there were more and more and more policemen coming to the place in vans and cars and buses!!! Office - some good 8 hours at office. Back from office, I missed my stop, dozed off, and got down in the next stop, and went to the other side of the road to get the bus to my place, but alas, for 40 mins, no bus came thanks to the great police blockades which diverted the buses. Tell me, can't the policemen even let the public know that the buses wouldn't come and we had to take the alternative??? Should they be this mum? or should I say, dumb? I was so pissed of with the sight of khakhi uniform that I curbed my anger and crossed the road to take some bus to the big bus terminus and find an alternative back home somehow. And when a neatly dressed 6'3" guy is moving somewhere with an idea bright on his face, the crowd around him follows (what an idea, sir ji?). So, a little portion of the crowd follows me to the other side like the rats behind Pied Piper. ( no, I didn't call them!). I took the bus, and the got another bus that took me to my nearest bus stop :-) . aah, I was gonna be home soon :-) :-)
WAIT!!! It ain't over yet! I had to cross a couple of road junctions! Damn it! more policemen! And all of them had ABSOLUTELY NO CO-ORDINATION... One car got direction to move and not move and back-up from three people, it finally ended up moving back and bumped into the bus behind it which was receiving instructions of "go ahead" from a fourth party. I hope you get the complete picture of the havoc now (a man just escaped a hit from a speeding car)! Safely, i crossed the road and walk home, thinking of all these incidents that happened over the past few days!

I come home, reach for my laptop and write this, finding time once in a while to remove my shoes and socks and freshening up and then changing into something more comfortable than the "good looking" formals...

Its been two hours, and I know this is a looooooong post. Thanks for patiently reading this!

I hope you do get the picture of the place here. I am not adding a few other incidences, which are pretty much like this, but equally disheartening!

Is this what I should expect from police force? Is this how a mega-event has to be controlled? Is this how much the govt loves its people? I need answers! not blaming the govt or police completely, but surely this is not how they wanted to execute this! Did they ever have a simulation? An attempt to do a similar thing at some scale anywhere????

God help the nation!

Suggestion, reviews, comments welcome!
Spl Credits to Harshavardhan for a blogpost of his that I've referred to

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 1 at Bosch

SO, ladies and gentlemen, its the day I have to start my new life! 14th of June it is, and Bosch is the place. I have to report at work at 8 am, and I estimated a one hour journey in the worst case scenario!

I got up at 5 am, not necessarily to start tooooo early, but to follow an NBA game. I did all the early-morning-formalities during the time-outs and the end-of-period breaks. And then during the half time I took bath and then dressed up in the formals. (what dress code is it going to be in the company? Do they want us to be in complete full-formals? Tie? Casuals? Whats it going to be???? ) Well, I was in good formal dressing, which shouldn't seem out of the world from any angle.

Not able to see my team continually lag the arch rivals, I finally shrugged the sad thought off and left for my bus stop, as directed by the watchman of my apartment. Not more than 30 seconds after I reached my bus stop, a bus arrived. Luckily, it was the one that'd take me to the first point of my travel en route (err, not exactly en-route, but lets say its one of the easiest way) to Bosch. It was a comfortable bus, and for the first time in the day I had some time to pay some attention to the weather. It was as calm as you would like, clouds up over you, not wanting to rain, cool breeze to lift your mood up and a few birds chirping around (7 am). So, I got the ticket to "Gandhipuram" bus stand and took a seat in the bus and took out my mobile to check the score in the match. Sad, yet again, Lakers were still trailing, in the middle of the fourth quarter :-( . For some reason, I wasn't too sad about it. I was sad, but not as sad or angry as I would usually be when Lakers are trailing, especially to Boston Celtics. wushhhhhhhhhh... Back to Coimbatore. Mobile still updating the sad news (scores), but I was looking out of the window like a kid in a zoo. Nice clean roads, walls being beautified for a conference which'll be held in a few days' time, it all looked nice for a newbie.

So, I reach this bus stand I mentioned, I inquired about which bus I had to next take to go to "Saravanampatti" (I'll refer to this place as SP now on, if I have to). And I found it there, right besides me, and happily I climbed in, got the ticket and requested the conductor to let me know when the bus reaches that place. And now, I was going through another new road. The road by which I came to the bus stand (most of the route) and the road by which I was going to SP were both highways. While the former was three-laned, clean, beautified one, this one was a rugged, not well maintained, stereotype Indian road. But more of hustle-bustle, more shops, more bakeries, more than one inter-city bus terminuses and many friendly people. After some twenty-five thirty minutes (during which Lakers had lost game 4 to Celtics :-( ), I reached SP!!!

Just like some described it, its not a big place or something. As far as I know, its a junction. 4 roads - one with shops, one with more shops (and bakeries of course), one I think takes you to the village and to a place called "Sathi", and one takes you to the STPI (Software Technological Park of India). Its a campus, which also hosts Dell, Cognizant and also a college (KGiSL) which I think owns the place/"park".

i enter the place, only to be confronted by the gatekeeper who gave me a gate pass. I was thinking, "today, he is giving me a visitor's pass today, and maybe saluting me tomorrow onwards". ha ha! Then the reality kicked in - Move on, grumpy fellow, you aren't even an employee yet!So, I asked directions for the building, and after a few zig-zag roads, I reached this building which was sporting a huge logo of the company (armature of a magneto) along with the name "BOSCH", in red. And some twenty of us waiting outside the building near the green lawn, and the crowd was building up. No signs of anyone from my college yet! After a few mins, we were beckoned inside the building. And thus, I set foot "in" Bosch! We were made to sit in the little lobby. Thanks to the lack of chairs, I got to sit in huge comfortable sofas and face a big LCD screen at the other end of the lobby. The TV was playing tapes of the company, one of which had bharatanatyam dancers and Bosch products playing one after the other. Seemed funny, but the video, if you paid attention to, had much more info about the company's expansion in India.

After some time, we were shifted to another campus, an SEZ one, which was 4 km away from this one. This portion of land in the SEZ was owned by Bosch, and I learnt that there were a couple of phases yet to be built, so, in 5 years time, this place would look picturesque!

Let me describe this place for you... On one side you see plain, empty lands, peppered with some trees here and there, and on one side there is a range of hills (the ones I saw the previous day, now much close) which had a green carpet and covered by clouds. The hill had a cap of cloud on it! The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds in the direction opposite to where the hills lie. The temperature was a moderate 22-23 deg C. Facing the East, to my left was a wonderfully constructed state-of-art company workplace, and to the right was an equally beautiful looking canteen (they have pretty good food too, will come to that point soon). And this, my folks, is going to be my working environment! But seriously, seeing is believing, his place is beautiful, I am just lost for words to describe this (I am usually good at doing so, sadly but not now :-( )

So, we (some 70 odd, with presumably 30+ from the other side of the TN-Kerala border from what my ears could sense) entered the building and trudged to the Atrium in 2nd floor. Of course we were looking around at every piece of the building like as if it was a monument with artifacts! The large hall with plenty of comfortable push-back chairs, some columns dropping from the ceiling echoed the "huge" factor. Many well arranged lights and other gadgets dotted the ceiling of the semi circular atrium. There is a mini-stage too, with a dais and a digi clock which showed IST and British time. The two were out of sync by approximately 23 seconds!!! And yeah, there was some music being played. It was a male voice, a German's maybe, perfect for opera singing, and he was singing some verses about the company. It was nice for the first time, ok for the second, monotonous for the third, boring for the fourth and irritating for the fifth, sixth and seventh time. And finally all the seniors arrived and put a stop to this torture, by which time a group was ready to sing it out if they promised to stop it. Thankfully enough, we didn't have to ink a deal for that :-P .

We gave our introduction, then the unit head gave an introduction from the company's side and then we were quickly into the induction process. A brush of all the rules to be followed while being in the company, and we were set for the paper work! And within two minutes, all the chairs were re arranged to have four rows facing four different points on the perimeter of the hall. Each point had a computer and an associate from the HR department to assist us with the process. I was put under "group-2" for this process, and I recognized the name of the lady who was on the HR team for the group - the same lady whom I had been calling up for the past two weeks, asking doubts, and more doubts and kept compounding doubts on top of her head! She must've hung the phone once and said " A fool can ask more questions than a wise (wo)man can answer!". Ours eyes met, but she didn't make a fuss, phew! Then, someone else replaced her for the rest of the day, and soon the paper work was done! After a superb lunch (I don't remember what the dessert was...) we were back to the atrium! I made a couple of new friends. I guess if I knew Malayalam, I would've made a few more, but that wasn't the point, was it? There were quite a lot of people in the hall, and the language wasn't the barrier! Well, I was shy, yes... Well, many were like that. Made a few friends, hope to make a few more.

So, the afternoon session was a continuation of the formalities saga - some more paper work, and then photograph for ID card and a medical check up! Well, by the time its evening I have my ID card!!! :-)

P. Bharathram, a Boschite!

It was the end of the first day at Bosch, and it was time to get back home! This time, I will go to Gandhipuram in the company's bus :-) . The bus retraced the same path I had traversed in the morning. And from Gandhipuram bus stop, I took a local bus to my neighbourhood's bus stop. And I went to the same bakery I went to the previous night and had a burger with lemon soda this time (calorie count? well, the calorie-meter gave way). I returned to room, shared most of this experience to parents and friends and then sat down to fill in some more forms to be given to them the next day, and prepared to sleep!

It was a tough day... A lively, new, interesting, exciting, but tough day! And now, I was another member of this pan-world company, without which you might not have been able to drive cars! This is how I had my first day in Bosch. Lets see how good things go in here :-)

Thanks for sticking around for another looooong post. Some, I hope, enjoyed the ride of my corporate day-1 from my eyes.

Comments and suggestions welcome :-)

Until my next post, bubbyeee :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The journey to phase 3

After all those preparations over the past few days, it was time to leave home and move to the new base in Coimbatore down south. I hate to travel. I, who have boarded trains over 100 times in the last four years, am saying this! But they were just 50 shuttles between two cities, so it doesn't count as enjoyable travel, especially on that boring route. Now, I boarded the same old train (longer route, but couldn't get a ticket on the direct route trains). So, the same old station, same old train, same old environment, but on a different mission and a different location to get down. And off I go. Thankfully I was still asleep when the train reached Trichy, else, i feared i would get down there ( habitually) and take a bus to college . I woke up when the train crossed kulitalai (the station from which i boarded my last train to put my college days to an end) maybe because it was too cold or maybe because I was a bit hungry or maybe because i finally found place to sit (I was lying on my traditional upper-berth).

There were four people in my bay who were going to get down at the next station. So, before they'd leave I went to brush my teeth. And then I enjoyed the cool weather on a day when the sun prefered to stay curtained and the rain clouds were meandering about the place, inspecting, refusing to drizzle/pour. A cool wind helped to maintain a lively weather, much better than the summer heat of madras and trichy (both differently awful). Karur, the rest in my bay left and i was alone :-) and was served breakfast (idly and vada(i) ).

After my breakfast and a few regular phone calls to family, i was back to enjoying the weather and greenery the nature had on offer for my eyes. Lovely! And after quite a while came Erode. A huge railway station/platform it seemed, but it wasn't very neat. As I neared the station, I was waiting for the engine to chug off. After a few minutes it did leave the station!

So, now, again, back to the greenery, and now there were a few huge rocks, or should I say, little hills in the distance. One of them reminded me of the Table-Top Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. This was just like that in shape, rose to a good height (good enough to be called a little hill) and was flat on top. The "table-top" might've been almost 2 km across in dimension. I am not sure, its just an estimate from a point 40 km (at least) away from it! It wasn't inhabited, and it did look good.

Then came Tirupur, the clothing capital of the world... err, someone in Milan and Paris is giving me scorn looks, but I bet if I venture out into every nook and corner of this town, I can own any branded attire that I wished to have in my life!

After a brief stop at Tirupur, where I was day dreaming and in my own world, wearing an authenticated Lakers Tee (which wasn't available in a single showroom in the whole of Madras!), it was time to finally move on, and this time I can only look forward to getting down. It was going to be Coimbatore up next! Now as I came closer to the city of Coimbatore, some more things became clear. Behind the "table-top" Mountain-II , there was a little hill range to become more and more clear as the visibility improved. I was able to see quite a few random looking hills, couldn't recognize any pattern which one would generally try to figure out in the care of hill-ranges. They were of different shapes, and didn't seem to be continuous. A ruffling sound came up in the sky and then came an airplane out of the clouds, and I suppose it was trying to land at Coimbatore. I wanted to see how far the city was by following the airplane till it lands, or, almost lands. It was descending, but then the hills came in the way, and my guessing game came to a halt.

Some countable mins later, the train reaches a station called "Peelamedu", and stays there for nearly half an hour, and my new house owner and cab-driver thin I got lost. I had to tell them that the train is refusing to budge and that I would be there in about fifteen mins. I had to convey this before my mobile battery died off! Luckily it didn't. I was watching the construction work going on in the railway station for about 20 mins and then was happy when the train finally chugged off. I was now ready with my bags and when I saw the next station approaching, I was almost off to the door. The others in the bay, more experienced on this route, stopped me and told that this wasn't the Coimbatore junction, this was the Coimbatore North station. So, another five mins of wait and then it finally arrived at Coimbatore. I was welcomed by a mild breeze and a drizzle spattering across my face. This is surely going to be nice!

I got the directions to get out of the station and right outside I found the cab I had booked, and then out we zoomed on a pretty empty highway. It was a very clean and spacious one. I learnt it was named "Avinashi Road". And the drizzle kept the presumable newly laid road look black, with the white lane markings. The cab then drove me to precisely the location of my new residence, and with some help from the house owner, I was at my new place in two mins.

My new "home"! It in one big room, on the second floor of the two storey building. There were three cots in it, and I was hoping a couple of other college mates of mine would be joining me soon. Well, later I came to know that they had some other ideas.

Nevertheless, after a long talk with the house owner about the place, restaurants, shopping areas, and most importantly about the route to the company from here. And then spoke to my family and the family friend who helped me getting this wonderful room to reside in. It was already past 1 pm, and I was yet to take bath. Normally after a train journey, I would 1. stink, 2. be sweaty, 3. wanting to bathe. But on this day, it didn't seem so, because the weather was so serene!

Well, primary rule of my life - as far as possible, bathe before you eat. So, I took bath in the cold water, and then went out to the shopping zone, as directed by my house owner. I walked. Raw rice shop, a bakery, an ice-cream parlor, a bakery, a pharmacy, a bakery, a bedding shop, a bakery, a fancy gift article store, a bakery, another pharmacy, a driving school and a bakery. Tired of bake-ing under no-sun, I crossed the road to continue my hunt for a place to eat. I bumped into a burger place, and had a good double burger! On my way back, I bought the bedding and buckets I needed for this place and returned to the room!

Was this a city or an open exhibition of bakeries? I found no restaurant over the mile long distance of the shopping area! I asked my family friend, who said there were some near the "Hope College" zone. Aah fine, I will explore that area in the night. I presumed that it was on the other direction, the stretch which I didn't go to. So, I had a long peaceful sleep in the centralized AC like city. I woke up in the evening and walked in the other direction in search of this Hope College and found nothing in that direction. I returned and decided to have Pizza in one bakery (no choice, you see) and a lemon soda. Who is counting my calorie consumption for the day? Need another calculator? I bought a loaf of bread and asked the shopkeeper, "Where is this college named Hope College". And he replied - "there is no college named Hope College! Its just the bus-stop which is named so for no known reasons.". Well, I had to suppress my laughter on my way back to home!

It was an early night for me this time. I had things ready for the next day - tons of documents and their photocopies, and some photos of me for their official work. And with a very happy frame of mind, I slept on the 13th of June, waiting to wake up to a whole new world. I will be meeting a lots of new people, going to a new place, going to do a lot of new things! What? I do not know then, but I sure will know in the days that follow...

Friday, June 11, 2010

The build up to the next phase

Well, around a little over a month ago, I left college for good, and enjoyed a little buffer period before I move to the third phase (school(and before), college are my first two phases). No, I've to experience something new, something exciting, something more constructive and something that would define my future.

I'm all set to join Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd (RBEI, India)this coming Monday in the city of Coimbatore, TN, India. And its been a very interesting ride to the occasion.

One fine day, when I was watching the match between India and Zimbabwe and doing this and this, I received a call from the company and they confirmed that my joining date was just about two weeks away from that day! Yes, happy I was, that I finally got the confirmation :-) . A few days later, I received the mail with all the details required. So, it was time to prepare myself for the future.

Well, new place, new clothing! Had a tough tough tough time buying trousers for me. being 6 foot plus, with 4 foot plus long legs is not the best physique for an Indian. There may be only two or three showrooms that have quality men's clothing to suit my lanky frame. Same goes for shirts, the ones which fit me on the shoulders don't necessarily have the arm-length. After some hours I got a few shirts to go along with the trousers. Complan sure does make you grow tall!

Then was the random-shopping ritual. You need to buy things from A-Z and be ready to have all the things in hand when you move to the new place. Shoes to hair-oil, every little thing will seem big when you realize you don't have it!

In-between all this, those who are going away from home have to start, or polish, their culinary skills. Best to learn it at home, where you have the freedom to experiment (others permitting) and the people to learn from. Some day you'll own a recipe and be proud of it :-) .

Now, the paper work.. Yet again you will have to fall back to the old files and folders and retrieve the mark sheets and then the grade cards and other documents, customarily specified by the company! Phew! Organizing that was SOME thing! I had half the things, and needed to get the other half photocopied, so, there was a confusion on what to copy, and what not to!!! A few scratches on the head later, I got them neatly arranged!

So, I have to go to this new place... And? And stay where? I had to get a place of accommodation! Luckily a family friend of ours was in the city who helped me to book a house for accommodation, where hopefully another couple of my batchmates will join me there...

And here I am, half the packing done, the other half will be done soon :-) and it'll be time to leave in another 24 hours and enter the third phase of my life. I hope its a good one :-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Help me understand these things

There are some things that baffle me. Some things happen for no understandable reason. Some things are made for no decipherable use. Some things make no sense. Some things that I don’t know if they exist, but still hear a lot about them. Is it that I cannot get the meaning out of them, or is it that there is indeed something wrong with these...

Take a look at my puzzling list of topsy turvys

1. I want to see/buy/use that ordinary/”saadharan” soap/toothpaste/dishwasher-bar. Its high time I see that standard comparison cake/liquid which is always blamed by every product.

2. I want to meet the “80 % of the dentists” who prefer almost every brand of toothpaste in the industry (well, they claim so).

3. I want to know why industries have technologies good enough to use real lemons in dishwashing bars/liquids but not in lemon flavoured energy-drinks or squashes. (question, courtesy a friend of mine).

4. I want to know why it takes 19 years of judiciary actions to award 18 months of imprisonment to some bloke.

5. I want to know why they named this rodent a Guinea Pig, when its neither from Guinea, nor is a pig.

6. I want to know why and how the idiom “sweat like a pig” came into existence, when the pigs can’t sweat at all.

7. Why do television channels somehow find a way to ruin a good program by flashing something ‘important’/’urgent’ on it, or replace the good one with a mediocre/bad one, or forcibly lose its rights, or irritate with excessive telecast of the same thing (Moto GP on 3 channels at the same time gets a special mention)

8. If advertisements were so important, why can’t they have television channels dedicated to advertisements 24x7... Anyway, they flash advertisements in the bottom of the screen, on the corners of the screen, or minimise the screen to accommodate the flashing ad, or put a big logo/promo of something thats going to come on the channel (special movie, sporting event, next program etc)

9. I want to know why they say we are technologically better nowadays, and say “we have ACs now, which we didn’t have earlier”. Of course, I do enjoy the AC, but in cooling a small space, we are contributing to the ‘global warming’. I did see upsetting pictures of melting glaciers and ice-covers near the north pole. Better technology anyone? Research? Time is less.

10. I want to know why people conduct grand scale competitions like ‘fastest eater’, ‘longest kisser’, ‘loudest/longest laugh’, ‘loudest burp’... If anyone wanted to waste their money, they can as well give it to charity. Every country or its neighbour is in need of that money for a good cause.

11. I want to know why people to a place of worship when they are in need of some help from God, but do not return to thank God after the help has been delivered. Its not just about God, but when a person gets help from someone, he/she needs to be thanked after you succeed with the work that needed that help from elsewhere

12. I want to know what is so real about reality shows. I see no difference between the reality shows and the “mega” serials, both of which are equally pointless and at times, abusive. The main aim is to increase the TRPs. Whats the point of having a dance competition between famous dancers and singing competition between established singers. At the end of the ‘season’ we have rivalries across the singing industry. An art, made to go wayward due to these less-than-intelligent programs. (or so I think)

13. I want to know why every product has the tag ‘new’ attached to it, when I see absolutely no difference between the product with the ‘new’ tag and the same thing without it a while ago, except for a price hike.

14. Why does everything that is announced “free” end up with a price-tag associated with it? (I am reminded of a song from a Tamil movie in which Prabhu Deva (knows more for his skills on the dance floor) sings – ‘ilavasutthu’kku kooda kaasa’ (meaning, ‘a price for freebies too?’) )

15. Why do they have service tax even in some self-service restaurants and malls?

16. Why do people love to take lethal risks when they have been given prior warning, like on the HV lines, on the boxes of cigarettes, driving (#helmets, or rather, not using them) etc. do people think its an arena to show off their "I can break the rules" attitude?

17. I want to know why some people give random advice on what should be the future of some random person, lets call him/her X? I do know for sure, X has plans, dreams and a self-designed future, and I believe people can understand that X is not a person who is out there to “realise all the dreams others couldn’t realise when they had the chance to do so”, else, the cycle continues once more! Like the say, live the dream!

So, what do you have to say on these randomly picked, small list of unanswered questions? Let me know, let everyone know, and post your own question which can set us pondering over.

For a better tomorrow, let us start today.

Until my next post,