I Said I Love You

i love you

‘Puja is over, Roy.’ My dad announced. ‘I hope your mother’s effort bears fruit.’ He was a bit sad and he had every reason for being so. When one’s son ends up in the hospital every two months; he will feel low.

I managed a wry smile. I was feeling bad too. Since last one year, the frequency at which I was visiting Nehru hospital, my parents became worried. Sometimes, it would be fever, many days it was my bad stomach. To tell the truth, I never tried to avoid any thing. Yes, every time the guilt flooded me, cursed me but the prospect of seeing Radhika again was far too exciting.

It all started a year back when I broke my leg accidentally and was brought to this hospital. They called it ‘private’ hospital but they had everything here to make you feel that you are going to spend your entire life inside the weirdly painted blue walls. The ward-boys were strange; fat nurses were robotic and doctors were least assuring. But my chaddi-buddy Karan’s guarantee (who has just joined this hospital) that they will take care of me convinced my parents to bring me here. It was 2 days me cursing him when I saw Radhika first time.

Radhika Gulati, as small badge on her shirt said, was probably the only good looking female there. A doctor-in-making, she was tall, not too fair but good enough to attract attention (managing a patient’s attention is never tough when he is around medicines). Even in that environment, she dressed impeccably. Hair tied in a bun, the sky blue skirt with top that ran all the way to the knees and a dark blue cardigan- her features were like the yesteryear’s actress Mandakini, just a tad darker. And her fragrance was majestic.

I could never make it out what attracted me towards her. She was a decent girl with decent looks and it was not the case that I did not have female friends. I was quiet popular among girls in college and was still in contact. I used to hang-out and party on weekends; few trips on some weekends and had enough female colleagues in my office. And loads of them were better than Radhika. But the feeling that was making its way to the heart; it never happened before.

It was three days since I was admitted and now was good enough to walk with plaster. But in these three days, I could not strike a conversation with her. And this was the strangest thing. I tried to ask few things, really stupid ones like-

‘Is this the same plaster of paris that my room is done with?’

‘Do you think I will still be able to kick balls from this leg?’

‘When was the last time you waxed your legs? They freak me out.’

I had no idea how she perceived me- funny, moron, libido, jerk. But she never talked. The only words we exchanged were through my mother.

‘Aunty, please tell the patient not to move this leg till I come for the evening shift.’ My mother would forward it to me and I would just nod. Girl, if you have asked me not to bat my eyelid, I would have asked god to turn me into a zombie until your next visit.

‘Aunty, can you please tell the patient not to put too much pressure on this leg?’ somebody please tell this lady, it’s my blood pressure which is the culprit. It is damn happy and pumping insane amount of blood to my heart.

Sometimes, I hated her for being so robotic. And what’s the obsession with the word ‘patient’? It sounded so professional and formal.

The day I was discharged, I was visibly more sad than happy. My very religious mother understood that my stars and grahas have misaligned and have gone on a cold war and the family pandit-ji was ordered to pay a visit in the evening. I did not protest. I did not have the guts to tell them that the kundli is doing absolutely fine. It is the Radhika-effect. Gloomier I was because I could not talk to her. But nothing could be done now.

The first thing I did when I reached home was to call my Karan to ask about Radhika. And then I hunted her down on Facebook. There were the findings- two years older than me, alumni of Shivalik School and College of Medical Research and Innovation; she joined Nehru Hospital 15 months back. Lived around 5 kms from my locality and has one younger sister. Father was a government employee and mother was faculty in the same Medical College. Her DP had her in a bright red top and jeans which any normal guy would rate 8 out of 10; but I was so habitual of seeing her in that blue dress; the change took some time to register. And yes, she was single.

After I came back, I tried shrugging off her from my mind. I went for more trips, tried to be among friends, partied more, boozed but she remained there. I had nothing much to remember- a simple Radhika in a blue dress with a constant little smile but even these small memory was troubling me. I knew I had to go again. I knew what I have to do. And three days later, I was back in Nehru hospital.

I was unfair to my parents. My mother wanted to go and curse the owner of nukkad waali golgappa shop for serving stale gol-gappas to her son. I would never tell them that I myself ate roadside chole-kulche and chicken biryani. Sure enough, it was risky but it worked. And Roy Sinha was again in Nehru hospital, on bed no 7 under the heavenly care of Ms Radhika (that was not co-incidence; Karan helped me in getting that bed).

This time I was sure I would talk to her. And I hoped she would also like to talk to one of her ex-patients. I had ensured she do not find out my connection with Karan and will take it as a fluke.

I was so wrong. And this doctor was so professional. She came at the right time, prescribed medicines and left. There was never an iota of delay in her schedule. I was aghast, hurt and stunned by this lady’s ignorance. I tried to find out whether she was doing it on purpose but she never gave me enough time. My second chance also wasted. All I returned was with a hefty bill and 7 days of bad food and medicines.

After that, it became a routine for me to go there. My medical history also helped as I was very prone to fever. In winters, I slept without blanket, took a cold-water shower, drank coke and chilled beer liberally. Every time, I landed at the same bed. Then on, I did not make any attempt to hide the fact that I was coming here to see her, meet her. But she was the same. Smile, medicines and then, leave. It was getting troublesome for me and I was running out of ideas to get admitted there without making my parents doubtful. So, I decided to go for the final kill.

As dad left the room, I waited for Radhika to come. She came at her punctual best and hesitated. For the first time ever, there was no one beside my bed. Mom was, as I told earlier, in temple and dad was not there. As she came near, I blurted out- I love you Radhika.

She stopped midway. The smile was still there. I could not make out whether it’s the usual one or emerged because of my abrupt proposal. I waited for her answer. It never came. I said again- I love you Radhika.

‘do you think I did not know that?’ finally, I heard something from her directed towards to me.

‘you do?.’ I assumed Karan let it go and cursed him endlessly.

‘I am smart enough to understand that, Roy. This is your 8th visit and 55th day in this hospital in last 9 months.’ She was emotionless as she went on. By emotionless, I mean she did not make it clear what was her feeling. What was going inside this female’s mind? Why was she such a secret?

‘well, now that you know it..’ I finally asked her- ‘may I know your answer?’

‘what answer?’

‘what answer? The answer to what I asked.’

‘you asked nothing Roy. You just told me about what you feel.’

Smart girl, I wanted to appreciate her in Ajit sir (Lion fame) tone but guessed that was not the moment.

‘Ok then, Ms radhika, I love you. Do you love me?’

‘no.’ She was still plain. I was impressed by her ability of keeping a poker face.

‘why?’ I almost pleaded.

‘I know nothing about you and you know nothing about me.’

‘that’s wrong. I have gone through your FB profile comprehensively and found out few things. You are a Gemini, loves red colour, hate daily soaps and dreams of Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper. A die hard romantic, in love with books and is learning cooking.’

She smiled, a bit wider.

‘about me, there is nothing much. An engineering graduate, I accidentally landed in banking. I talk straight, loves football and trying to get hold of some photography tips. And yes, 300 friends on FB. What else would you like to know?’

‘well….’ she started. I waited, held my breath for those nice words.

‘now that you have checked my FaceBook link, I think I should forward you my profile link too.”

Ahhh..that hurt. I quickly re-composed myself and tried again,

‘so, as you have met me; I think you can delete it.’

‘no chance. I never take decisions these impulsively. And this one greatly influences my life.’

‘take your time. I am in no hurry.’

‘what make you so sure that I will say ‘Yes’ some day?’ she was feeling a bit excited. I was sensing it. I know all I need to do is play along.

‘to be honest, you are not the first girl I met. But then, nobody has been over me like this. You are a doctor and I am sure you know none of my ailments was serious. I took some unfair advantage of my mother’s too much affection. My 8 visits and 55 days, add to it around Rs. 50,000 of this hospital’s bill; I knew who I was coming for.”

I paused. She was waiting, too.

‘I spent numerous hours on that bed. Apart from the first time, every other visit has been on purpose. The reason was you. To get a glimpse of Radhika Gulati, I came here again and again. You never talked to me; I don’t know whether that was intentional or not but that got me more towards you. To be with you with our hands together on a nice evening looked and felt so romantic. And…….’

I stopped frantically. Mom and Dad entered the room. I looked at her for that last hope. And finally, amidst that smile, I think I saw one.

It’s been 6 months now since that day. Till date, I have not visited Nehru Hospital again. Mom has thanked Pandit-ji a ton. I wish I could tell her the truth. I will tell her when Radhika will say YES.

Yes, she has not said it. We have gone out few times; have been on phone but she is still reluctant to put a stamp. I am still waiting for her words and she is leaving no stone unturned to completely verify that I am a husband material that can take care of her post-marital needs and wishes.

Love does go through bizarre of tests.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


A Letter to Chetan Bhagat

chetan bhagat

Dear Chetan Bhagat,

When I graduated from Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to a little ‘serious’ books; your ‘One Night @ Call Centre’ was the first one I encountered ( laid my hands on Five Point Someone later). And when I finished it in one sitting (some 6 hours), I was excited. It was a stark contrast from what I was reading earlier. It was funny, true, hard hitting (sort of) and was so much in sync with the people- me, friends, life.

After that, I ended up reading all your books within a day of their release. But none of them has refreshed me like ‘2 States’. It is your best book ever (the worst do need any mention here). It was released before the Diwali of 2009, in mid October. I was travelling with a fever but still bought the book, hoping I would manage to read it. I could not. The next day, I took off from my work (part due to fever and part due to the urge of finishing the book). At the end of the day, I was sure the leave has been made worth.

Since then, I have read this book some 50 times- on bed, in bus, on mobile, on commode, among relatives, during boring functions; almost everywhere. Without ever been to Chennai (or even near to that kind of culture, I mean the southern part of India); I formed an image of the city, the people, the places. Some landmarks which are a part of this story have stayed with me till date. The characters are still fresh. Even if this is a fictional story; I can portray how you and Anushka Ma’am fought for your love in this city.

And recently, I got a chance to visit Chennai and stayed there for two days. I might have read, written, heard and watched a lot about this place in text books, Wikipedia, newspapers and magazines but your detailed depiction in that book was the basis of my assumption about the place. And I will say I am very lucky to pass through almost every landmark of your story. I never tried to do that. I used auto for local conveyance and the guy could have taken me from anywhere. Pure co-incidence that was but I think it was in that way that culmination would have been over.

I stayed in Tenyampet which was very, very near to T.Nagar. My mother went for saaree shopping and there I saw the grand Ratna Store. Immediately, I recalled you writing- how they even keep track of inventory and Chitra aunty watching Krish and Ananya there and fuming. I crossed Amethyst and Raintree and imagined Krish and Ananya seeking few moments of loneliness and relief from the relatives. On our way to Mahabalipuram, I saw Fisherman’s Cove from the distance- the place where Krish wooed his to be mother-in-law. The East Coast Road looked marvellous and the blue sea running parallel looked majestic.

About the people, as you said, they were a far cry from the bullies of Delhi. Comparatively shorter in height, everyone in Dhoti and fairness was a rarity- you can’t go for malls there to ‘enjoy’ as it is being done in National Capital.

Just because of reading so much about Chennai in that book, the city felt safe. Although I knew nothing about their language; I was amazed that everything went so easily. You said you want to change India by your writing; I sure have an influence of your most amazing book hugely.

You have no idea how delighted I was when I saw that 2 States will soon be a movie. I will once again re-live that book, the place and the feeling. Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt sure look an amazing couple (I would have preferred Ranbeer Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra; hardly matters) and this will surely be a first day screening for me. I would love to see every mentioned place viz. Amethyst, Fisherman’s Cove in the flick. I hope you get it; I hope you retain the core of the book. I hope the film-makers its the book that deserve credit. Anyways, I can’t wait for that.

And yes, all the best for Kai Po Che.




RIP- Very Much An Indian Tale


RIP by Mukul Deva

Genre- Action/ Thriller

Pages- 286

Rating- 4/5

RIP was the first book I applied for the review at Blogadda and luckily, their team obliged me by giving me this opportunity. I was looking forward to review it as I have always liked reading fast-paced action books that have loads of strategy in them. And I can easily say that RIP did not disappoint me.

Uncovering it, the first thing that got my attention was the cover. It was definitely attractive and I ended up going through it twice. And it very much tells you the subject of the book. The bullet, the ‘I’ of the RIP symbolizes all the action, violence, strategies, fights and duels. You will certainly have a look at it if you are scrutinizing the book at a stand. It is that good. The back cover goes in the same vein. Glossy, colourful and full of action.

Coming to the theme, honestly speaking, there is nothing new in it. 6 army-men, who call themselves K-team (as their names start with ‘K’) and are the RIP in the story (Resurgent Indian Patriots) are on a mission to eradicate the corrupt and corruption from the system. It does not matter to them whether he/ she is a politician, businessman, bureaucrat or a common man. Nor perturbs them the methods they will be using to get this country rid of them. If it comes to killing and blood shedding; they will, without slightest hesitation.

To stop them on this mission are many people. There is a dishonest politician who is more worried about his life than the national security. CBI chief Vinod Bedi is an honest cop who wants to finish the RIP as soon as possible. And there is Raghav Bhagat (an ex army-man himself) who is hired by the political system to uncover the RIP and finish them by any means.

Among all these are interweaved few parallel stories that lead us into the personal lives of these brave and courageous men that show the emotional side of the characters. This includes K-team leader Krishna’s affection for Reena who is contesting a divorce case from her husband, Raghav Bhagat. The respective sons of Krishna and Reena, Sachin and Azaan play an important part in the development and narration of the story.

As I said earlier, the story is not so new. In the first few pages, the crux of the story unfolds- few men have a self-assigned task on their hand of removing the corrupt and dishonest and others are planning to stop them, by hook or by crook. Where the fun is? It is in the details.

This book is not about WHAT but HOW. I knew the storyline in some 10 pages but how will K-team achieve it made it immensely readable. What makes this book a fascinating read is the way the scenes have been thought upon. The planning of the events and their execution has been meticulously taken care of. Mukul Deva is himself an ex-army man and you can make it out in his way of writing if you pay attention to how deeply he has researched every scenario. Loopholes are not in abundance.

More interesting for me was the other side of the characters- their emotional, personal side. Krishna’s life after Pooja (his wife), Raghav’s love for Reena even when they are not together and their relation with their sons- Mukul comes out as a man who understands emotions well, something which we do not relate to their profession. The slow revelation of characters display every side of theirs and the telling power of the author that he has in him to keep the reader hooked to his book.

Mukul has made no attempt in hiding who are the people he has referred to in various scams, events and happenings. You find Arvind Hazarika, lady-in-power Sheela Kaul and his son Ranvijay Kaul, leader Kalpana Kumari, D M KarunaKaran, the distorted names implies the obvious people who do not need to be named. Scams like Bofors, 2G, land allocation and events like killing of a model in a bar find themselves a place in this fast paced novel. The only glitch that I found was too many co-incidences but given the magnitude of the canvas on which this book and the storyline is being projected, you can let it pass.

This is the first book my Mukul that I have read (courtesy Blogadda) and I am thinking about getting my hands on others. RIP is a fast paced thriller which will be understood, felt and enjoyed by everybody as it so profoundly deals with the issues our country is witnessing 24x7x365.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books


Men Will Be Men

men vs women 1

men vs women 2

You might have seen an advertisement, promoting a liquor brand IMPERIAL BLUE. Well I am not going to promote anything, neither the ad nor the product for consumption. The only reason I mentioned this is the punch line of the advertisement that says MEN WILL BE MEN. That actually made me wonder if men can only be men and only women have the power to change sex. Well let’s leave the topic there and you can find answers to that.

In the last GD/PI session I attended (just to tell you that I am up for the task as there are interviews lined up), one girl raised the topic to debate – men vs. women, are women inferior to men!

The moment she said this, I thought, oh my god that obsolete GD topic, is it still debatable and do people still have doubts.

Now all those who have just formed an opinion, may hold on for a second. I have some serious things to say. The very fact this topic was raised by a girl diminishes the arguable quotient of the topic. For all those girls who may read this post, I will like to mention that in almost all cases that this topic is raised, it is you girls who are doubtful. And it is you who feel the need to clarify this to boys. We never say you are inferior, you feel so. And please get rid of this feeling.

As of me I think that most of you will agree with me if I say, it is impossible to compare two completely different entities. We should not be comparing a bird with a tiger.

MAN and WOMAN have different physical characteristics and different intellectual calibre. It is completely unfair to compare a person with breast to a person without it, a person who delivers to another person who does not.

And to all those girls who keep shouting in debates that they are equal, my message to you is – either don’t enjoy the benefits of being a girl or just don’t compare yourself to boys. The fact that this article is written by a boy should not make you think that I am biased. I am simply stating facts.

Girls don’t stand against the women quota that they enjoy during admissions into college/universities, nor do they keep standing near a seat in the metro trains that says “reserved for ladies”. Also never will they stop saying “this guy does not have manners how to talk to girls”. My question is why anyone needs special manners to talk to girls. Are we boys and girl not equal? Or does “GIRLS ARE EQUAL TO BOYS” tag come with a *, saying conditions apply.

I’ll keep citing examples and ask girls, why they think the Indian defence strategists thought it is better not to recruit females in the army. Why do you think a women tennis game finishes up in three sets and men tennis match goes up to five. Ever thought that! I’ll tell you why. The reason is that girls are physically weaker. Now that does not mean girls are inferior. That is just an attribute.

On the other hand, if women think they are as bad in industries, it’s not the case. When it comes to management and executive positions, or heading educational institutions, women may be far ahead of men. So mental abilities can be compared if you actually want to.

And please don’t claim yourself to be better now. I just explained why not to compare. Now there also may be reasons why earning females were happy enjoying a 20,000 more tax exemption till now. But no volunteers for saying yes to that.

I hope I have conveyed something to you all. And hope you don’t measure men and women on the same scale again.

PS: please don’t compare someone, who lactates, to someone else, who ejaculates.


India in 2310 Kms- Delhi to Chennai

delhi vs chennai

I went to Chennai this weekend i.e. from 19th Jan 2013 to 21st January 2013. The occasion was my brother’s training. My father seized the moment and planned a ‘family’ holiday which was the first so-called holiday in a long, long time.

We started from Delhi at 7 am on 19th Jan and landed at Chennai at 09.40 AM. I stayed there for two complete days and in those 48 hours was enough; I managed to find out how different Chennai was from the national capital, New Delhi.

1. No ‘sardars’– For me, I think this was the most glaring differences. Living in Delhi and that too in a full, hardcore, Punjabi colony; I was too habitual of seeing surds all around. In fact, the only surd in my office, sits right opposite me and inadvertently, my stare do drift towards him every now and then. And then in Chennai; the only sardar I saw was a board that said “Sardar Patel Road”.

2. Cops with sunglasses– I must say, I found a policeman at almost every crossing and intersection in Chennai. And they all had something common about them- the sunglasses. In Delhi, I have seen various policemen- tall and short, dark and fair but rarely with a sunglass on. I don’t know whether the pollution demanded it or was that Sir Rajni effect but seeing everyone of them with black phantom-kind shades that matches so very well with their dark moustache was kind of funny.

3. Cars stop to give way to autos– This is something you will never see in Delhi. Here, even the cars race with cars; so who gives a damn about the autos. But I was totally stunned when at an intersection without lights without a cop, a Toyota Fortuner stopped for our auto to give it a pass. That itself said so much about the people of Chennai.

4. Amit is ‘Murugan’– Which is the common name you will find in Delhi? Amit, Raju, Rohit, Rahul? In Chennai, it all boils down to one name- Murugan. Murugan Idli shop, Murugan Taxi Service, Murugan Hotel, Murugan Snacks- you can find Murugans in every business there.

5. Every girl in bindi– Well, not every as the ‘modern’ ones are not following the trend but majority had a bindi. On this side of the Indian half, a bindi normally symbolizes a married girl; there it was not the case. So beware before you think about proposing someone in Chennai; she might turned out to be an Aunty.

6. No road rage– Can you believe it? I could not. Due to heavy traffic, a scooty rider hit a motorcycle (by mistake, obviously). In Delhi, you would have expected the following scene- swearing from the biker, reply in the same vein by the guy in scooty and ultimately, a brawl which would have entertained the crowd and a money making opportunity for the cops. Nothing happened there. The biker looked back, the scooty rider gave a wide smile and both went ahead. Before I went to Chennai; I have heard a lot about the timid nature of the Chennai-tes. This was the prime example.

On a whole, I loved the city. Yes, there was a language barrier. Yes, the colour of the people was not what I was used to but the people there were exactly what a human should be. They were eager to help. On many occasions, we have to ask the address in tooti-footi English. But it was all well. A stark contrast from what I am used to in Delhi. And maybe, this society can take a cue from the humble Tamilians.


Who Is to Blame, People?

where are we heading

My father is a very avid newspaper reader. Since my childhood, I have seen him finish the entire paper in the morning itself. And I believe that to an extent; I have inherited his habit. Although I am not able to read the paper in the morning, I make sure that I do go through every heading in the day.

During those days, there never was much news about the crimes- rapes, killings, kidnappings. If there were, they used to form the biggest headline on the front page because they rarely happened. I often ignored them.

Now, in the 21st century, the pattern has not changed much. You pick up any paper of Delhi region and 25 days out of 30; you still find news about this mis happenings. But they make it to front page only if a prominent personality is involved. They will be covered with bold letters and almost half the cover page and many more pages devoted to it in the entire edition. If the victim is some roadside labour or slum worker; he will be mentioned in a small 10 x 5 column on some middle page and probably; you will miss it.

You know what the worst among all this is-it is our reaction. We, the white-collar society, shrug our shoulders, wish for the wellness of our dear and near ones and turn the page. These accidents/ incidents have become a norm in the society.

What have we people come to? Carrying the technology with us, travelling in metro train with mobiles in our hands big enough to cover our entire face and studded with brand-powered apparel; to lessen the burden, we have decided to get rid of the most basic thing that our society needs right now- values. With a tough hard day’s work at MNCs; we end up crashing at a bar to gulp few beers and then- then the character test starts.

And who is to blame for all this- the rapes, inhumane murders that feed the serials like Crime Patrol day and night? The answer does not lie very far.

I have seen people giving arguments that people committing these heinous crimes are illiterate and not educated enough. While saying this, the ignore some very obvious facts-

1. You don’t need education to know that rape is a crime which should not have any kind of justification. Same goes for murders.

2. The ‘well-educated’ people also feature regularly in columns comprising this news. For better clarification, read what two IT executives did on New Year eve with a girl.

3. Ponty Chaddha case, Pramod Mahajan case and various hit-and-run case- the accused are those whom you can’t say- education-less (yes, value-less, manner-less will do).

There is no single justification for this. We all are culprits. Some are doing the crime; some have played a big part in giving them the reasons to do what they should not have. The less educated people are ridiculed so badly that they end up venting their frustration in a fashion that nobody will justify for.

You abuse the guard to open the gate, you swear at the rickshaw-wallahs for blocking your car just because you are getting late for meeting with the top boss in the office. The real reason for being late- you had those 2 extra pegs last night and the hangover stole your 15 crucial minutes. The problem lies in our mannerisms, in our habits, in us. 10 more people will do this to the guards and others; they rob them off their self-respect; hurt their dignity. Repeat it for 25 days in a month and for a human with a normal functioning brain; it is not tough to imagine the state of mind of the lower society; rejected by us day in day out. The esteemed class of the society has been an influential, if not the most evident factor among all this.

We are the people to blame, in some or other way. And the only way it can be cured if each one of us starts taking care of ourselves. In a day, just make sure what you are doing is right. Get your work ethics, etiquettes, manners spot on and change will inevitably come which we all are badly wishing for.


Sometimes, Its Good to Move on

just move on

8.00 PM

I reached home and opened my laptop. And as I clicked on the second mail in my inbox, I froze. This was not expected there. This can’t be possible. I expected a mail, an appreciation mail with some good news. Instead I got a mail that said I am fired. There is ought to be some missing link. I re-read the mail carefully.

“Dear Kunal Khanna,

This mail is to inform you about your termination from the Senior Developer role at TechSol Pvt Ltd. You are being removed from your official duties with immediate effect. Your terminal dues will be credited to your account within 15 days. Thanks for serving our organization with full commitment. We wish you all luck for your further career.


M P Joshi

Chief HR Manager,

TechSol Pvt Ltd”

The sender was the HR department and a copy of the mail was marked to my boss, Anuj Sahni. So, what was happening? All my way back to my apartment, I was overjoyed after the meeting in the office two hours ago where the Regional Head confirmed my promotion and my transfer to Unites States. Now a calamity has struck in these two hours. I was shattered. The meeting was so, so good. So what went wrong?

It was not an emergency meeting. The notice about this came back a week back. I was happy. I knew one of the agenda in this meeting will be my performance. And I completely believe I deserved it. I have slogged my ass off for last 6 months since I have joined TechSol in Bangalore.

Coming from a middle class family from Indore, it was a tough job to convince my father to get me admitted into an engineering college. Since when I remember, I always wanted to be an engineer. To make my father sure about my engineering dreams, I studied hard to stand 3rd in the state in my +2 examinations. But jaundice before IIT entrance ruined my chances and I could not score enough to secure an IIT seat and had to be content with government college seat.

After graduating 2 years ago, I have switched 2 jobs and finally stopped at TechSol. My preference for job always depended on one thing- whoever pays more. TechSol was paying me 5 times of what my first company at Pune was paying.

Coming to TechSol, I always liked the place. It had challenges to offer me, to make me a more skilled developer and I knew if I stay here, I can surely have a chance to work at one of their offices abroad in 5 cities in US and Europe.

And this was the day. The Regional Head appraised my performance and recommended me for the unit at Los Angeles which was certain. This was a dream come true. And now, two hours later, I find myself fired. I certainly deserved an explanation.

I ran to Anuj’s office. His secretary asked me to wait in his cabin. Waiting there, I thought whether Anuj did it. Was it possible?

I never talked too much with him. He was a very different kind of boss you will find in MNCs. Never interacted with his subordinates more than what was required. I also had only a formal relationship. Initially, I thought I was doing something wrong. I liked making relations and getting along with Anuj was difficult. But then I came to know that he was kind of reserved. I did not mind it.

In between all this, Anuj entered. He had a bouquet and a gift with him. I think I saw his smile vanishing as soon as I saw him. After exchanging pleasantries, I asked him what I so wanted to ask.

Me- I think you have received the mail.

Anuj- yes. I am very sorry for that.

Me- Can you explain me the reason? To be honest, I am shocked. I never saw it coming.

Anuj- It happens, Kunal.

Me- The reason, Anuj; that is what I am looking for. I can’t find one.

Anuj- Everything does not have a reason, Kunal. You have to move on.

I was angry. I wanted to say a lot but I guess Anuj won’t have answers for it. And who does not know the corporate sector in India? Things here do happen without a reason.

I left without saying anything. As I came out, I met Manish, one guy about whom I can say- the best friend ever.

Manish- well, I did not expect you to see you here after the termination notice. Nice of you to come and congratulate the boss.

I was taken aback. Congratulate- for what?

Me- No, I came here for……wait, why congratulate him? What happened?

Manish- Don’t tell me. He is going to LA next month. He has been promoted.

I almost had a trauma attack. So, that is why I am out of this organization. That is why Anuj had flowers with him. That is why he did not have a reason. I have to confront him.

I banged his door and shouted- so, you are the one. Now, you have to give me a reason for this. And don’t say any bullshit. Give me the REASON.

He did not react much. I think he assumed I will come to know of the news sooner or later. He calmly leaned back into the chair and lit a cigarette. With the same calmness, he answered-

“I said few moments ago Kunal, everything does not have a reason. Move on with life. These setbacks happen.”

Me- I told you give me something that I find reasonable. You have no idea how angry I am. This can be really catastrophic for you.

He- I have nothing else to say. All I can say is that I needed that foreign posting more than you. And I very well understand you have given your all in last 6 months here. So, I am writing the best possible recommendation for you that will surely help you in getting a better job. If you want, I can even talk to some of my contacts in the industry. They would very well accept a hardworking employee like you.

Hardworking employee- my foot. And then they will ditch me at the last moment. I wanted to hit Anuj that moment, something which I have not done in my entire life. Luckily, better sense prevailed and I realized it will do no good. I will only end up getting into legal trouble.

I left TechSol mansion like office. Dejected was a small word for me at the moment. I wanted solitude. And I ended up landing at Drinkers, the bar where I was often found at weekends.

It was not a new place at me. The waiters recognised me well and I was served what I always drank. And I again went through the possible consequences which were buzzing in my head since I first read the mail.

Since moving to Bangalore, I have not had much opportunity to save money. All my salary went into adjusting things in 6 months. With this promotion and transfer, I had planned many a things. Taking my parents to the States, proposing my girl with this offer, bragging to my friends and then settling there- everything was on my agenda. Now, everything looked like a distant dream. Starting again will be tough, if not impossible.

Three beers down and I was starting to feel dizzy. But I had no plans to stop. I lighted my 5th smoke of the night and was disturbed by a familiar voice- Kunal?

I turned around. It was Manish again.

“Go away, Manish. I am in a foul mood and that can come down on you.” I said rudely.

He- don’t worry. Nothing’s going to happen. Let me order a beer too.

His beer came and we said nothing for 10 minutes. Then I broke the silence. Almost in tears.

“tell me Manish, where did I go wrong? I worked with full commitment, gave my all, ignored my leaves, my personal life and this is what I got? Termination on the very day, very moment when everything was in my one hand. You give me any explanation Manish but trust me, I won’t buy it.”

He- I totally get you.

Me- you can’t and you won’t. It has happened with me. You have no idea how much I needed that transferred. It was my dream. He took away my dream.

He- He had to, Kunal. He has swapped your dream with someone’s life.

Me- you better be clear Manish. I can’t handle riddles right now.

He- lf you can listen, I will say.

I listened and what he told me was something I never imagined.

It was right that Anuj took away the job from me but he had a reason behind it, much bigger than my dreams of settling in US. His wife was suffering from pancreatic cancer and doctors in India have advised him strongly to pay a visit to the America for better treatment of his wife. In India she stood no chance of surviving. He tried every avenue so that he can ask the TechSol people to allow him to visit US for the treatment but the company policy did not allowed him. This was one reson why he was all so quiet. The only way out was official transfer and now he can take his wife and get her treated. He always knew that I will be recommended and he knew what he had to do to kick me out. Working here for last 5 years, he had enough contacts to manipulate reports of employees 6 months old.

Manish paid the entire bill and left and I was with all the thoughts. I did not feel bad at all now and came out. The air of Bangalore felt cooler. I tried but can’t find more reasons to be sad on this issue. I have switched jobs before; I can very well do it now.

I decided to take it as one more mistake of the great Indian corporate culture and as Anuj said, decided to MOVE ON.

And made a mental note of logging to job search sites. Living in Bangalore without a job is not easy, after all.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


The Time is Now!!

the time is now

An year ago, my brother was on the phone with his girlfriend. Things were heating up between them and I could sense that something is wrong. From what could I make out from their conversation was she was complaining that my brother does not have time for her (well, every girl says so) and he never listen to her. He was getting irritated and was, obviously, not interested in her rants. Then suddenly out of the blue, he said two very beautiful lines and that was the end of conversation for me.

kabhi waqt mila toh teri julfon ko suljha lunga

Aj uljha hun jara waqt ko suljhane me

Well, that was that. I will come to its literal meaning later. They talked for a little longer and the things got pacified. It worked. I am damn sure that these were not his lines but the timing of it was impeccable. He said it at the most right moment. And if you are wondering what the current status of their relationship is, well they just had a mutual breakup. Inevitable it was. But trust me; I swear I have no clue whether it was related to these lines.

Coming back to the sher, I heard it first time. The literal meaning that I made out considering the context in which it was used was- “In our fast pace lives, we do not have time for each other. We are very busy in thinking about own problems that we have left the others without knowing that they need us too.”

I do not think anybody of us will argue with this. We all have been so very busy in ourselves that it has become very hard to pay attention to the lives of our near and dear ones. And it is just not the girlfriend/ boyfriend issue. Even our families, friends and relatives are craving for some of our precious time which we just do not seems to have. The life is going in the wrong direction guys. All we are thinking about is my job, my family, my tension and my life.

It is time to spend some time with those whom we love and cherish. It is good to think about yourself and ponder on where is your life is going. It is good to pursue your hobbies and remain fresh. But if that is being done at the cost of those who need us, we better watch our steps. Life is nothing without being loved and if you are alone, you can never be happier than those who have people around them.

We need to think about this. The TIME is now to think about them. Yes, those who love us and care for us. The time is now to listen what they have to say to us, the time is now to see the smile on their face when they are with us, and the time is now to celebrate those small moments which are more important than getting promoted.

The time is now guys and you have to make it count. You never know when this clock stops ticking.


Ultimately We All Want to Leave Our Mark

leave your mark

An year ago, there was an advertisement of Tata Steel being showed on television where the research head of Tata Steel starts with the line- “Ultimately, we all want to leave our mark.”

This ad is no more displayed on television now. But this line has made such an impact on me that I just cannot help but to think about it. And I do not hesitate in admitting that this blog is an endeavor to achieve the same.

I always treat life as a precious gift which is meant to be enjoyed. That does not mean that I have not seen lows in my life. I had, some of them were too bad and this life looked like a punishment at that moment. I have had feelings of running away from home and worse than that. But today, when I see it in a broader perspective, counting all the pluses and minuses, the former outscores the latter by huge margin. I have a wonderful family, some usual gossip loving relatives and amazing friends. All I need to do is to prove myself that I am worth all this and if by writing I can acknowledge the gains of my life, then here I am.

So, does it make sense that we should waste this gift? Not at all. Living a life where not many know you is not the right way. We all have talents, the difference is some know it and some not. The ones who know and make full use of it are famous and recognized while others are still trying to connect the dots of life.

I believe that everyone has a mantra of life. A quote or sentence that changes our way of thinking, the manner in which we look at things. I too believe in some lines that help me remain positive and passionate in the adverse situations. One of them is the title of the post. Also- Aspire to Inspire before you Expire. Rest will be revealed as we go ahead.

As you can see, we have just started and have no idea about what lies ahead. I am not a big fan of planning (read- I am very bad at planning) and believe that spontaneity fetches you better results sometimes. Your comments are the fuel that will motivate me to keep going in the right direction. So, do not hesitate to comment here.

And remember, before you go, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR MARK.


What Are We Looking at in 2013?

welcome 2013

2013 is now with us and on this occasion, I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. Your wishes come true; you keep yourself indulged in all the leisure activities you wanted to do without giving a damn about the work and its tensions and you have all the time in the world to travel to unexplored places and share them with me. To cut it short- enjoy the next 365 days and pursue your dreams (chances are majority of the people will not; they are already neck deep in work that is helping someone else realize their dream).

Having said this, after wishing you a happy new year; I could not find enough reasons so that I can be ‘that’ happy. To clear your perception formed about me (if any), I am not a pessimist. Ok, I do think negative sometimes but all that is a part of me. Coming back to why I am being so sad on the advent of a new date; there is no ‘single’ reason. But this Nirbhaya case and then the after-happenings have really turned me off.

I am living in Delhi and apart from reading and listening about the case like others; I have also seen its impact on the daily lives of the residents here. Shutting down Metro stations to avoid protestors to get down on important places- really, is this the way you handle sensitive situations? By doing all this, you are even turning all those people who always had a grudge against you but never let it out. Now, they are and that too, in big numbers and that has become catastrophic for the administration.

And this is not about rapes only. All the scams, bad system policies, super bad management- they have played a part in it. I still shiver when I see the figure that came out of the mega popular coal scam- Rs. 4 lakh crore. If I write this in numbers; it will be- 40,00,00,00,00,000.00. I doubt that the many people involved in this (read politicians) will be able to write the amount in numbers as above. They are just not good enough to be this much intelligent which you expect every high school pass person to be.

When I say these things to my friends, I am advised to vote for a different government. It hardly matters. I don’t see any difference in any political parties- in some way, everyone is flawed. Youth or experience, corrupt or honest- nobody is doing enough to make ‘the’ common man happy who is already reeling under the pressure of inflation, afraid that his daughter might not return if she leaves home alone and is aware that his life depends more on a terrorist attack than Yamaraj but is willing to save for the future.

I deeply apologies for presenting a glum face in these festive days of a new year but that, unfortunately, is the reality. And what is worse that I can’t see things changing. Expect more attacks, scams and inhumane crimes.

But, like all other optimist Indians, I believe- the change is around the corner.