Friday, December 24, 2010

From a year to another...


Come end of December and everybody is in a mood to celebrate. The end of a year and the beginning of a new year could mean different things to different people. For some, it is a reason to celebrate the events of the year that went by and hope for a better year ahead. Few others, would consider it as an opportunity to start afresh, learning from the mistakes of the past, or dealing with a tragedy and taking this as an opportunity to move ahead with life. Or you could be one who wants to have a good time as this is the season when the best parties ensue and of course, there has to be the set of people for whom it is, “just another day”.

The run up to the new year is inundated with stereotypical events which haven't changed much since 1956. Magazines run a recap of the year’s major events, TV channels line up specials, marathon super hit movies, Victoria secret’s fashion show and so much more. How much do you think one can take in at one time? I can’t even enjoy a single program without wondering if I’m missing out something better.

Resolutions are made (and broken within 48 hours), drinks are drunk, dances are danced and everybody is happy and gay. However, how often do we look back at the year and think, “Okay, these are the important things that happened to me this year and will leave a lasting impression in my life”? I don’t know about you but I haven’t so far, so I’m going to do it this year and I am going to share it with you. I invite you to do the same. Let’s all see, if we do have a life after all.

My year in 2010:

  • The year started off on quite an exciting note. I had my first job interview ever on 4th January.

  • Got my first job.

  • FINALLY, after numerous extensions, gave my GRE (graduate record examinations) and was all set to go to the United States for my masters.

  • Decided not to go for my masters and take up the job.

  • Changed the plan. Masters was on again.

  • Nope! Job it was.

  • Finally put my foot down. Planned to take up the job and apply for my masters for the Spring of 2011. Everybody is happy.

  • Had the longest break of my life since I was 4, for almost 3 and half months, during which I played so much of so many different sports and more than made up for the lack of it during college.

  • In this time, I also tried my hand at blogging. Mom was so surprised initially, she actually thought I had stolen somebody else’s article from the internet. Got a great initial response and here I am, still going strong, thanks to your support and encouragement.

  • Realized I enjoyed writing, something I had never imagined.

  • Took up the job and threw the masters plan out of the window for a while.

  • Got my first salary. Experienced the feeling of financial independence for the first time. Went to Mahabalipuram with friends to celebrate.

  • Took parents out to dinner and also got mom something. I assure you, my dad will get his due really soon.

  • Been at work ever since.

Ehh...the end! Holy shit! (Actually stuck here for 15 minutes)

That’s it? Well, my life isn’t as boring as the list makes it sound. I did have a crazy amount of fun in the meanwhile and did awful lot of other things too but nothing really important or new, which deserves a mention in this list.

A whole year of my life and to think that this is all I have done, doesn’t feel right. You know that feeling, when you stand in line for 20 minutes to buy a cup of coffee, finally get it, take a sip (feels like heaven), walk a couple steps away and drop it. That’s how I feel right now, except that it’s a million times more severe. At least, I can get back in the line for coffee but who is going to give me these days back. I’m never going to be 21 again.

No point crying over spilt milk, coffee in this case. So instead of being upset, I have made up my mind, that this new year, 2011, I am going to try lots of new things and make the most of my time to ensure that by December 2011, I have a list so long, that it gives anaconda a run for its money.

I wonder how many such years have I let go of. What started off as a casual blog post has got me into some serious thinking. I urge you to take up a sheet of paper, or open a word processor on your computer and make a similar list and see if you face a similar shock or have actually had a genuinely good year, one that you would be proud of. You could even share the list with me and the world to see and discuss the year gone by.

I don’t want this post to sound gloomy or play party pooper in this joyous season of celebration. I am happy to have at least realized what went wrong and realization is half the battle won. Now that half the battle is won, it calls for a celebration. Wooohooo party time!!!

This is Ashish Kalsi aka Gogo, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very happy and “eventful” new year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Before I start rambling, I have specific messages for my readers. Identify which category you come under and read the appropriate message. I know you are anyway going to peek into all of them so I’m not even going to try and ask you not to.

Regular Readers
The regular readers: Hopefully, a few of you have missed me and I apologize for the inactivity on my blog for almost a month. The corporate world is trying to screw me over but trust me, I’m fighting back.

The not so regular readers but who still like my blog: I’m sure you wouldn’t have even noticed the lack of activity on the blog but I’m back, alive and kicking.
Indifferent Readers

The indifferent lot:  You really think I have a message for you?

The ones who were glad I was gone: Too bad. Party is over fellas.

Now that we are done with the pleasantries, let’s get down to the real business.

The excitement of being in my first job disappeared faster than I change the channel playing ridiculous saas-bahu drama. The training period, as we discovered, was not very different from college, except for a few added advantages, which were neutralized by some new disadvantages. Here are a few of them:


1)    Paid to study. Really helps in motivation.
2)    Totally air-conditioned environment. Conducive to sleeping and passing time faster.
3)     Most time devoted to hands on experience; hence we didn’t have to endure too many boring lectures.


1)    CANNOT BUNK! This disadvantage can brush aside the entire advantages single handed.
2)     Need to dress up formally with a tie, 4 days a week. Might not sound like a big deal but it is pretty painful if you are not used to it.

The new boys at work
Since training was quite like college, with most of us actually from the same college, the atmosphere wasn't new or alien. We made the training centre our own. The administration ignored our boisterous and crass behaviour initially, attributing it to excitement of being in a new environment. They were under the impression that things would get back to normal in the course of time. They couldn't have been more wrong – we were just getting started.

The administrators were up for a shocker and I can’t blame them for it. The training centre is usually filled with nervous and scared looking grads, so much so, that trainers have to go out of their way to make these poor fellows feel comfortable.  However, our batch had a stark difference. We were a vociferous and riotous bunch, who were here to have fun while making that little money. A kind they weren’t used to.

The first month went like a breeze- we did our thing, the administrators and HRs did theirs, there was complete harmony in the disharmony. Life couldn't have been better. But what's life without a twist.

Things were beginning to change. There was an unusual silence that day in the office, the kind before a storm. For a second I thought I had come to work on a holiday. However, I soon realised that things were not all okay here. There was a shift in the mood. 

Those few nervous moments
I soon came to know that somebody had complained. It was college all over again – administration on our back, threats, rumours and total drama followed. The training had taken a whole new direction. People walking in groups were stopped and questioned, an idle terminal would require an explanation and that a high profile enquiry would be conducted to find the culprit who spat paan in the dustbin; events that were highly unexpected.

A couple of weeks to go, the exit tests would decide our fate, nobody wanted to mess around. There was an eerie silence in the air; supervisors would take rounds 7-8 times a day; juniors were asked to stay away from our batch or meet our fate.

We spent our last few days amidst threats and warnings, gave our tests and kept our fingers crossed. The “extension list” was quite an anticlimax. Most of the trainees had cleared the tests and would soon be mapped to various projects. Hurray! Not really. We were just waiting to be put on the bench and enjoy a few days of paid vacation.

Right through the training period, we were told, “The training is the honeymoon period, enjoy all you want, this would all change once you get into a project”.

Now that apparent "honeymoon period" is over, let’s see if this marriage is going to be a "lived happily ever after" or end in a divorce. Only time will tell.

Author's note: The other posts in the "My foray into the corporate world" series are

My foray into the corporate world – Prologue

My foray into the corporate world – post prologue