Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kolkata is a different city... I have lived here most of my life, but the brief hiatus during which I was elsewhere made me more observant of the idiosyncracies of this place, now that I am working here again.

Bengalies are more emotional than any other tribe I've ever met. Issues can snowball on the slighest pretext...strangers can become friends if they feel there is a need....The operative word is "feel".

For most of my friends, Kolkata is a place where your parents are, while you are located elsewhere. It is a place to visit during the pujas, holidays...a place to relax and then return to the grind. For me, it is is just the opposite, unfortunately.

As I go through daily life, I remember the parting words of one of my professors from ISB, Hyderabad. He had ended the last class and on a parting note mentioned eight steps to becoming a leader and more happier human being. One of those steps was -

Feed your mind at the end of the day with thoughts that challenge you to be better, to think deeper, thoughts that have substance, thoughts that propel you to reach your goal.

:D I am trying...
As a daily exercise, I love to read the New Yorker archives, where Malcolm Gladwell writes articles.
The link is:

Thoughts on simple things in life are expressed. Why do we behave in a certain way? Why do some one tells a story while another gives a technical/ dispassionate account of an event? What does a person's gesture, hand movements swaying really convey? How can a person read another's mind?
Topics which are at once challenging as well as refreshingly new...

Having been out of Kolkata for nearly 6 years, it is really odd for me to hear everyone talking in bengali, to let the thought sink in that I am actually working in my hometown...Usually happens when when I am conversing with someone. I start talking in English or Hindi, only to realize that the person is a bengali. I have been asked by several people, Are you a bengali? People feel I am not.
It's so ironic - when I am outside Kolkata, I am branded as a bong. When I am in Kolkata, I am asked where I belong.

Work's good. The excitement to make a difference, however small it may be, is great. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that.

Met an ex-colleague of mine. He has some 10 years of work-ex....far senior to me. Completely tech guy...and when conversing I realized how different the tech world can be.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Long write.
ISB's done. 1 amazing year shot past as fast as the blink of the eye.
In between I got dunked on my birthday. First time people threw me into the pool. It was fun! :D
A group of my good friends sang for me and smothered cake on my beautiful face. ;D
Then, as a climax to all the fun, I sprained my leg. My poor friends had to wheel me home. Bandage my leg. Wash the face they had carefully caked. Ensure that I was fine....and only then could they leave. Frankly, spraining the leg was painful, but it was fun to see my friends having to undo what they had done. A great birthday!

The rest of ISB was spent mostly outside ISB. Went out to lunch and dine too often. Cooked food for friends...they not only had to eat it, but also sing my praises.

Then the convocation. The commencement or graduation ceremony was nice. MOntek Singh Ahluwalia, graced the occasion as the chief guest.

I shocked myself by coming into the Dean's List! Top 10% of the class according to CGPA. Got mentioned by the dean for winning a IIMC competition....a nice day. Both my parents turned up and had fun.

Went to Puttapurthi, Sai Baba's place for two days after ISB. It was a spiritual place and the serenity was nice. Was lucky to have a darshan of the baba. Spent about a week in Hyd. Probably, a long time before I visit the place again.

Nearly two months at home in Kol. Laziness ruled. Read tons of storybooks, watched movies...chatted with friends.

Went to Manesar for Corporate induction. A week of fun, presentations, great food and getting to know all new hires into Bharti Airtel.
My current posting is hometown.

Met up with a friend of mine....7 years of knowing him. He hasn't changed. I often wonder, is it because I have changed and so has he...and in relative terms, there has been no change?

Keeping in touch with old friends is actually voluntary. If one wishes, one can...which makes me long would it be, before I am lost to all my old friends...and they are lost to me. I have lost touch with some of my old friends....

Rain is here in Kol...the weather is beautiful..

Have a good day!