Born again with love..

It was again a Friday. She was as excited as she used to be on any other Friday. “He is mine for these two days now.” She exclaimed within.

He was a busy but very loving man. On weekdays, he could hardly find time to sit with her or even talk except the daily routine of getting up early, eating, going to office, coming back late at night and going to bed to get up early again on the very next day. But he always kept his weekends totally free for her, for she was the most beautiful and precious gift he got from life.

It was another such weekend going to start. It was still Friday evening and she was waiting for him impatiently. Meanwhile, she was rearranging the house even after already doing it so many times. Dinner was almost ready and she too.

When she found it impossible to bear the anxiety, she drank a glass of water and sat on the living room sofa, thinking about the day when she first met him.

He was an adorable guy with good manners. A responsible look gave weight to his personality. They both were in a conference about sustainable development with renewable resources, both being very much interested in these social works.

They attracted each other like a magnet and by evening, they were two really close friends. Within a few months, they started liking each other more than ever. They fell in love.

And today, after 6 years of happy married life, she still feels they met just a day ago. “Why this love is never ending, never fading? Why I still wait for him as I used to so many years ago? It’s because our love is divine.” She couldn’t help but smile.

She remembered the day when they went for a vacation and were relaxing on a beach, when he gifted her, a diamond pendant, which she vowed to wear forever. She tickled the pendant around her neck and felt the love flowing out of it.

She loved his habit of creating sweet memories of everything. He kept them as collectibles in his heart. May be that’s why his heart was so full of love. She felt herself to be the luckiest girl in the world to be able to feel and get love to such an extent possible.

When she was in school, she couldn’t imagine love more than a boyfriend riding on a bike with his girlfriend, going out to discs, eating chocolates and stealing kisses under the moon. But when he came in her life, she felt like she was born again. Born with so much love.

He made her understand the true meaning of love of how it is about being a family. Love is all about being together accepting and loving each other in every possible way. Love is about shedding ego and to feel delighted even when acting like a fool, just to make happy the person you love. Love is not about loving and caring just each other, but it is about loving all the people who are part of our lives.

She remembered all her birthdays and the way he kept giving her surprise gifts whole day long. She could not think of anything she wanted and she couldn’t get from him. This satisfaction was the utmost joy of life and she felt lucky to have it.

A knock on the door took her out of her memory world and she jumped with excitement. Finally, he is home. She ran towards the door and stopped there to ensure once again that she was looking the best she can. Then she slowly, nicely opened the door, ready for the big hug she was going to get from the world’s most loving person.

Her eyes closed with joy.

………….

She burst into tears. She cried just like she did on every Friday for the last 2 years. He was never going to come back. God called him back, may be due to shortage of love in heaven. And she couldn’t do anything, but wait, for God may return him to her.

She still loves him as she did 2 years ago, and will be the same forever. She kissed the diamond pendant, closed the door and quietly got back inside.

With Anonymity, Comes Great Responsibility

With Anonymity, Comes Great Responsibility“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

These were the last words from Uncle Ben to Peter Parker (Spiderman) which actually propelled him to be a super hero and use his power to help people.

As per the definition, power is “the ability to do something or act in a particular way.” Spiderman had enormous physical ability, and he used it to fight evil and help people. In the same way, different people have different kinds of powers like power of money, power of influence, power of threat, power of respect etc.

In most cases, we find that people tend to misuse their power. For example, a minister misuses his power to make money, misuses his influence to defy laws to benefit his own motives. A fearless man, being “fearlessly powerful”, starts looting people in the form of extortion money, kills people who do not mend their ways as per his wishes or try to stop him.

However, power does not lie only in physical or influential factors. There are some other forms of power also. One of them is being anonymous. Yes, being anonymous is being very powerful. Imagine a guy who do not even have the courage to talk to a girl, when gets an untraceable anonymous mobile phone, feels powerful and can tease any girl by calling her and saying whatever he wants to say, of course, without telling his name. The boy is the same old coward in his real life, but feels powerful at times when he feels anonymous.

But why he uses this anonymity for only teasing girl? It seems a human tendency to easily fall prey to evil. May be that is why all the religious books preach us to save ourselves from evil because we are so much susceptible to it. Many of us are disciplined and are good by character, but most others exhibit the real self when they get the chance.

According to John Wooden, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Or we can say it like this, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when he is anonymous and can easily go away with whatever he does- good or bad.”

A terrible example is the incident of new year eve, a few years back, when a mob of nearly 70-80 people molested a girl in public view. They tore the girl’s clothes, who came to celebrate New Year Eve at Mumbai’s famous Gateway of India, with her friend. They groped the girl for about 10 minutes after which she somehow managed to escape the crowd. Similar incident happened a year later in Juhu, where the mob molested two girls for about 15 minutes. One more I remember, happened when Indian Cricket Team won the first T-20 world cup and huge crowd gathered in Mumbai to welcome Team India. And these are not the only ones, they keep happening across the world whenever the anonymous faces feel powerful, “anonymously powerful.”

These people cannot be traced. Crowd has no face. No one can be punished. This makes them feel powerful. And they use their power in these terrible ways. The victim, feeling extremely powerless in safeguarding herself, finds it better to keep it to herself.

But, do they ever think about what happens to the girl after this? Will she ever be able to forget it? This will change her life forever. She will be afraid of crowd and public gatherings. She will not feel safe even in public places. Just a moment of power for one, turns the life of other to feel powerless. Powerless enough to feel insecure, unsafe everywhere, everytime.

Why people cannot use this anonymity to enter a corrupt official’s house and punish him for his bad deeds? Better they dont do it, because even in this case, a few evil anonymously powerful people, will tend to take advantage. After all, it is human nature, to be tempted to use power negatively.

If somehow, I could change anything in the world around me, I would definitely change this human nature to use anonymity negatively. No police, no regulations can stop such people. The only possible way is the presence of good character in the heart of every human.

Good character cannot be forced. It can be gradually induced. The only way is to spread awareness. Its hard to mend the thinking of grown up people. But a kid should be brought up with values, and awareness of implications of his actions on others. This can atleast ensure a better, value-driven world for our coming generations.

In the last, for those, who may take this article as anti-men or pro-women, can consider this point as well, that, raising a child with values is the most important responsibility of a father (man) as well as a mother (woman), and if a child is unable to get a good character, it is a real failure of those parents in contributing to making this world a better place, especially for women.

I am thankful to Stayfree India and Indiblogger, whose contest inspired me to express my views on this topic. If you also want to make a change, you can head over to http://www.facebook.com/sftimetochange.

The Last Adventure

The Last Adventure

“Next Friday is off. It means a 3 days weekend!!!” As soon as I realized it, I could not stop myself planning for the huge weekend. For the last two years, it’s been a trend for me and my friends to have a weekend trip at least once a month. Almost all the nearby adventurous places had been explored by our adventure hungry team.

A meeting was called immediately. All 5 of us were ready to plan the weekend and were expecting it to be as much fun as we used to have on the previous trips. We were unaware of what we were going to experience would change our lives forever.

“But Arjun, we have already visited all the nearby places. No adventurous place left now”, declared Asit. He was kind of most impatient in our group. All of us were thinking about the unexplored places when Raghav broke the silence, “Eureka!! I think I know a place.” We all listened to him with a bit of surprise and then a huge smile was spread on all the 5 faces.

Priya and Payal were the female members of our group. It was hard to find a girl as adventurous as Priya. She could go to any extent to smell adventure. However, Payal was kind of simple and smart girl who knew to use her brain at the time when it was needed the most.

Having all set, we packed our bags and were ready for the adventure. It was planned that we will leave on Friday morning. We had enough food for the weekend and a camping kit. Asit brought his father’s newly bought XUV and it was the perfect ride for our adventure.

“So what exactly is this place”, I asked Raghav. He was the one who suggested us this strange place named Gujmani, a place near his maternal grandfather’s village, Bukaani. It was 230 km from our place. “It is a place which was always described by my mom’s grandfather”, Raghav seemed excited while describing it. “I am yet not sure about the truth behind the story but it will be awesome if we find that the story is true.”

Asit was a bit sceptical because if the story turned out to be false, we could find ourselves having wasted a preciously huge weekend. But we had no other choice as we had already discussed over all the other places, so we moved on.

After 4 hours of drive, we were almost there. I found a board named “Bukaani” showing an arrow directing towards right. “So, we are near your mom’s village. Where to go now?” I asked Raghav, as I was on the driving seat now.

It was 9 in the morning. There was almost no traffic and we encountered just a few cars on the way. Raghav looked out of the window and directed us towards left, “This way.” I noticed a very narrow road between the dense trees going inside. The highway roadside barricades were absent from that part giving just enough space for a car to pass.

“Are you sure we can go in?” I was not sure if we can take our XUV inside. But Raghav seemed to know this place. He was confident, “Just go ahead.” I looked behind. Asit, Priya and Payal were almost asleep on the back seat. I thought for a while and then turned left. Our car disappeared in the forest alongside the highway.

The GPS panel fitted on the car dashboard was showing that we were nowhere. I couldn’t find Gujmani on my GPS tracker. Raghav said, it is a place truly unexplored as it is not officially a village. It was devastated long ago and only a handful of people were left there. It was dense forest with plethora of wild animals. So people avoided to live there. Our XUV was going on a narrow but clean piece of raw road. Thankfully the rainy season was still away, otherwise this road could turn into a swamp. The road was wide enough to accommodate our vehicle and in case we encounter someone coming from the other side, we could be stuck there. But Raghav was assured that we will find nobody there at that time.

After about 4 kms of dirty drive, we entered a less dense forest and a clear road wider than the previous road. Raghav was excited to see his childhood place and directed me towards a small gate. I was amazed to find a gate there. It meant people lived in this area which almost looked haunted. Raghav went out of the vehicle and shouted to call someone. Asit, Priya and Payal woke up by this noise. We saw an old man opening the gate. Raghav came back and seated again. We drove inside.

It was a nice farmhouse skirted by high fence. We were given nice village food and proper arrangements were made for our stay as Raghav already informed his uncle about our visit. We were delighted.

Raghav told us that he had visited this farmhouse only once in his life as his mother did not allow him to go to that place. He visited this place in his summer vacations but was not allowed to roam around. It was because this area had a waterfall in which many village kids were drowned or killed by wild animals. But now he was grown up and was free to follow his will. He told us that we will start for the waterfall in the afternoon. He was quite excited to explore the place from which he was always kept away.

In the afternoon, we started in our XUV to explore the waterfall. A person from Raghav’s village accompanied us. His name was “Sarju” and he had strict instructions from Raghav’s uncle to stick with us all the time. He seemed a fearless man and he was quite familiar with the area. He was not quite happy with our idea to explore this place in the evening. But it was necessary to check if the story about this place was true or not because as per the story every night, the waterfall was visited by some of the rare species of animals found in the forest. Our plan was to observe them while hiding in some safe place.

Our XUV was running slow due to bumpy road. The forest was quite dense and unpredictable and we were not sure where we will have to leave our vehicle as the way was becoming narrower. After half an hour of drive, we heard the noise of waterfall. Suddenly the forest ended and we were in an open rocky area with an awesome waterfall in our front. We all rushed out of our XUV. “What a beautiful place it was!!!”

We did not understand why this beautiful waterfall was so dangerous. Then we came to know the reality. When we went forward, we found that it was just the tip of the iceberg. This water was actually going down and there was a waterfall which was falling hundreds of feet down from where we were standing. We were stunned. We could not see the end of this waterfall. It was the time for the real adventure. We were ready to go down.

We all wore our trekking gears and started climbing down towards the waterfall. There seemed no other way as the waterfall was surrounded by dense forest from two sides and in any case, we had to climb down as we could not see any direct slope going down. We were going down parallel to the falling waterfall. Sarju was very comfortable while climbing and was moving ahead to guide us.

“Lalla, we should not be here at this time. It can be dangerous. This place is full of wild animals and if we confront them, no one will come for the rescue.” Sarju spoke for the first time. We all were thrilled by listening to this. But instead of being afraid, we became more excited to reach down as soon as possible. Sarju was not afraid. He seemed to be worried about us. It was very dangerous to go down as there were some trees emerging out of the cracks in the rock and a few had snakes surrounded on them. We were assured by Sarju that they were non-poisonous snakes quite abundant in that area.

After 2 hours, we were finally at the bottom. What an awesome place it was! Clean water falling down from such a height. It was truly beautiful. We set up our tents on the side of the river and played in falling water for some time. Sarju was trying to be near us and seemed ready for any upcoming danger. It was getting dark now. We had our night vision binoculars to observe the other side of the river. Sarju told us not to lit campfire as it may scare away the animals. We all hid in our camps with the night vision binoculars on our eyes.

After an hour, we finally saw something rare. A family of leopard visited the river. They were the rarest breed of white leopard and lived in the densest part of the forest. We were watching three fully grown leopards drinking water and playing around the river. It seemed that this river marked the boundary of the forest and they did not go the other side. Suddenly the leopards became uneasy and in a few minutes they left the place growling scarily. Our eyes widened with fear as well as adventure. It was a lion. We could not believe that we were sitting inside a tent in a forest and watching one of the most dangerous animals of the world from just another side of the river. We were hardly 30 feet away from the lion.

Suddenly Priya screamed. We all looked back. She was jumping with fear and pain. There was something around her leg. We switched on our flash lights to find a huge snake surrounding her leg. Its teeth were dug in her leg. We all were badly scared now. Sarju immediately jumped and tried to pull the snake. But the snake had badly drilled its teeth in the flesh and was not ready to leave. It seemed Priya unknowingly stepped on the snake and it attacked her. Finally Sarju got successful in getting the snake by its neck and threw it away in water. Priya’s leg was bleeding. Sarju ran in the forest. We immediately comforted Priya. Payal started cleaning her wound. But Priya was getting unconscious.

Just then, Sarju appeared from nowhere. He brought some plant leaves. He crushed them and put the paste of the leaves on the wound. We brought our first aid kit and dressed her wound. After a few minutes, Priya regained her consciousness.

In all this mess, we forgot that there were wild animals on the other side of the river. Suddenly we heard a roar from behind us. As we turned back, our faces got numb. Three giant white leopards were standing just a few feet away. We realized that we were going to die. There was no way fighting those animals even though we outnumbered them. Clearly, they were more powerful and fast. As we could think of something, Sarju made a banging sound by his stick and threw a few packets in the shallow water stored in small gaps along the river side. They immediately burned with bright light and made some sound. This scared the leopards.

Sarju told us to leave immediately and we ran towards the rocks and started climbing. Sarju was behind us and he lit a piece of cloth and attached it to his stick, scaring the leopards with fire. Priya was not well and we were holding her and climbing as fast as we could. We reached the top in an hour. Asit reached the top first. He ran towards the XUV and ignited the engine. We also ran towards the XUV, opened the doors and jumped inside it. Sarju was left behind scaring the leopards. We locked the XUV from inside waiting for Sarju.

Suddenly a leopard jumped on the XUV and started scratching the wind screen. We all screamed with fear. Suddenly a stick came and hit it and the leopard fell from the vehicle. Sarju was running towards us with no defence. We immediately opened the door and got him in. He was badly injured. We, then, drove towards the farmhouse.

Finally on reaching the farmhouse, we felt a bit of comfort. Priya and Sarju were immediately sent to hospital. We spent the rest of the weekend and the following week in the hospital. Priya recovered soon however Sarju took some time to recover. We were feeling guilty for putting Sarju in such a dangerous situation just for the sake of our adventure.

It was an incredible experience of our life where we almost lost our lives and survived by a slight chance. We could not plan another weekend adventure trip for a long time.

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Training Begins…

As you would have read in my last post of this series, we all were very much excited about Infy training. After the formal induction week, started the real training, the technical training. As per our training schedule, we had three stages of training: Generic (basic), Intermediate & Stream (specialization). Soft skills training was also a part of the training and sessions were scheduled in between the regular technical training.

In the starting of the training, we were given different colour tags, like the various houses in our schools. Each one of us was given a colour tag out of seven colours which were based on seven initial founders of the company. All the extracurricular activities were held between these seven teams. I was given red tag.

So, we had our first technical module. Full of energy, I studied hard and scored a good grade. That first module made me realize that Infy has very high quality study material, though the trainers were good, not excellent. After our first exam in Infy, we were again given a nice break in the form of PSD (Personality Skills Development) classes. A fashion show was organized with the theme of business dressing etiquette.

This was the time when the trainees were getting comfortable with each other. I made lots of new friends and we had great fun all the time. The fashion show gave us a chance to know even more people and work as a team. I came to know a lot of good people and we together presented a nice show. We stood second.

After the fashion show, the generic training resumed which spanned for nearly a month. The attitude of people was changing. The training pressure was increasing. A few people left the company in this period. Few ran away after they got failed in a module test. I was not sure what went wrong as I was happy with the training. I was learning new things the way I always wanted to learn them.

There was a very nice musical fountain in front of the training building (GEC-2, Global Education Center-2). It was put on for an hour in the evening and many of us used to sit there to get relaxed from the training pressure. It sometimes played Infosys Song (a very nice theme song for Infosys) and I used to enjoy it.

Infosys Mysore has an awesome Employee Care Center with almost all the imaginable facilities including a very nice multiplex, where we had our induction sessions. Movies were showcased every weekend in that and was free for us. I loved to stand in the long queue for tickets with friends 2 hours before the ticket distribution began.

In our class, a strange trend began. A family was formed. There was a “Papa”, a “Mummy”, a “Bua” (aunt), a “Chaachoo” (uncle), many kids, a “Dada” (grandpa), a “Dadi” (grandma) and padosi (neighbors). The Papa was actually a girl and the Mummy was actually a boy. This was the biggest funny family and we used to call each other by these names. We also had a “Musa Bhai”. She was kind of our training world don. Bua left us after the generic training and was shifted to another batch. However, she regularly visited us till the training end.

So, with all the emotions, we completed a phase of training. We were now a huge group of people who had great fun everyday.

When Pilot Pen was a precious possession

PilotPenThe other day, I was resting on my bed after a stressful day in the office just when I felt a familiar fragrance. I felt delighted and opened my eyes and found some new books which had just arrived and were kept on my bed side table. I turned the pages of one book and smelled the soothing air rushing out of the turning pages. That fragrance reminded me of the beautiful childhood days when I was at my home.

During school days, each year, when the new session started, I eagerly waited for the new syllabus books. I enjoyed the visit to the bookseller with my father and buying all the books. I loved to read all the stories in the English and Hindi books as soon as I got home. The pleasure of holding the new books, with new plans for the new class cannot be expressed in words.

The course books were given to binders to get them binded with rexene paper. The decision of rexene colour (black, grey, blue, maroon) was a hard one.

After the course books, came the turn of the notebooks. My mom and dad covered the notebooks by brown papers. Selecting from among the beautiful cartoon nameslips was my task. Deciding which slip to paste on which notebook was a tough task, atleast for a kid. Then it was covered by plastic sheets, kind of laminated.

Likewise came the practical files, drawing files, and stationery like new geometry box, Stick pens, Natraj HB pencils, Natraj sharpener (we used to call it cutter), Apsara eraser, Natraj ruler (we used to call it scale) and pencil box. Most of the times, a new school bag too.

New class meant new school dress. Choosing from the colours which best matches the colour prescribed by our school was again a challenge. They said grey trousers and I dont know why somehow my grey was always different from their grey. It was a burden to keep those white shirts white till the school got over in the afternoon. New shoes, new white socks, tie and school belt.

I remember that my school was even more important to my parents and they stopped all their work to prepare me for the school. Ironed dress, polished shoes, tiffin full with delicious hot food it was all ready before I even woke up. When I went to school, my mom used to bade me bye till my rickshaw disappeared from the view.

It was a tradition that I lost atleast one water bottle every year. Sometimes the cap of water bottle had a game of small steel balls where the balls were to be put in the middle ring of the maze. I loved playing that game on my way from school to home by the rickshaw.

I feel amazed to realize that at that time, how important was each and every thing to me. Owning a Pilot pen (Gifted by my father on my birth day) and using it for writing in examinations was a moment of pride. The cardboard pads with clips for exams, with cartoon characters were awesome possessions.

Suddenly my mobile rang. A reminder to wake up. I came back to present. Some work to do. I have to read a report which is on my laptop. As we all use technology now-a-days, with environmentalists loudly appealing to minimize the use of paper, I wonder will it be a real life for the new generation to read and learn without the fragrance of new books.

I still feel delighted to remember old days, not just because of the memory, but also due to some stimuli like fragrance of paper which is still the same as it used to be. Sensing these things today, I feel like reliving those moments for a while. But if the present generation kids will not have any fragrance attached to their memory, all they will know is the silicon based material (used to make computing devices) for everything they do. In that case, when they will grow up, how will they embrace and cherish the golden moments of their childhood as much as we can do today…

My first job, Infosys

Getting the first job is an experience which cannot be explained in terms of words. Its something which makes you feel as if you have got wings, you can fly as higher as you wish. I felt the same. I couldn’t sleep that night, read whatever I could find about life at Infosys Mysore campus.

Finally the day came when I joined Infosys along with some of my friends and hundreds of others. We were allotted hostel rooms where we had to stay for the training duration. When we were taken to the hostel buildings, I got the chance to have a glance at the amazing campus which I dreamt for so many months. I was finally here, Infosys Mysore.

I got room on the 5th floor. The room was awesome, one room per person with all the facilities like huge king size bed, big LCD TV with cable connection, study table, chair, bedside tables, bedside reading lamp, a sofa with table, table lamp, electric cattle, cup, spoon, big cupboard, electronic locker, laundry bag and a very nice attached bathroom with a life-size mirror. There was a large sliding window, with beautiful double curtains, in the room which gave a nice view of a small pond behind my hostel building.

There were two families of different breeds of ducks which kept quacking and playing in the water. Sometimes in the morning I used to find the white mother duck shining in the morning sunlight, crossing the road followed by four small cute ducklings which used to walk in a perfect rhythm. I found a variety of beautiful birds playing around and amazingly they didn’t fear from human. They knew it’s a safe place for them.

Infosys Mysore campus is made like a small city with greenery all around. Walking here in such a peaceful environment makes you feel so good that you forget everything else. Many times in the evening I used to walk around the campus enjoying the scenic beauty and the peaceful life.

The first week was complete introduction to Infosys. We had a variety of sessions by all the departments of Infosys, even had a security demo for disaster management. It was all done in a big multiplex where they showcase movies on weekend. Most of the paper work was completed in the first week itself. Practically we had enough time to explore the campus in the evenings and we did it riding on the bicycles parked at various places in the campus.

On the fourth day of our joining, we had a DJ night. We kept dancing until it was over. We all were highly motivated by now and slowly realizing the way of life we were going to spend for the rest of our lives.

After the boring day-long sessions of first week, we were finally allotted classrooms and computers. All the friends were separated, and it was for the good reason. We were going to make a lot of new friends, but we didn’t realize that some of them will become friends for life.

A great thing about Infosys training is that people come from all the possible places around the globe, not only from different states, but even from different countries. In our batch, we had great diversity. You can estimate it from this: I am from Uttar Pradesh. Around me used to sit people from Punjab, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Bihar and Jharkhand. I made friends from even West Bengal, Rajasthan, Goa and Maharashtra. This was possible only because of the huge diversity of people and surprisingly we all fitted together seamlessly. It was amazing experience and gave me friends which will stay close to my heart forever.

Another good thing about Infosys training is that during training, we were considered strictly as students and had to study as if we were in a college. One of my friend rightly said that it should be considered as the ninth semester of B.Tech. But where on earth you get paid for studying? It happens in Infosys. We were getting paid for studying, for performing nicely. It was a win-win situation for us, going through a world class training experience and that too while getting paid.

In love, its never too late, or is it?

“I should tell her now. But, she knows it all. Then why she does not show it up. I know she loves me. I will tell her today. For sure.

But, what if she gets angry? What if she doesn’t love me? What if she stops talking to me? I cannot live without talking to her.

Oh God, what should I do? Show me a way.”

This was his daily conversation with God. It seemed God was enjoying watching him fighting with himself. May be it was the way of God to tell him that everything happens for good.

When Arjun returned from Bangalore to Delhi after a 2 weeks business trip, he was in no mood to first report at office after his flight landed. After all, it’s a weekend, and who goes to office on Saturday evening? But, sometimes there is something waiting for us somewhere and situations turn themselves in our favor so that we can get what is for us.

After he landed in Delhi, when he switched on his phone, he got a lot of pending messages delivered (bombarded) to him. Most were the status messages about his latest project. Just checking the subjects, he was stuck at one message. “Courier Delivered”. It took him some time to remember that he ordered something for his girl. As he was out of the city, he gave the address of his office. Now finally, the gift had arrived. He had no reason to go home now. He had to go to his office. “Two tasks done in one go”, he said to himself.

While sitting in the cab, he started remembering the events of a month back. He got an offer to go to California for a two year project, a big one. He was waiting for this opportunity for a long time, but finally when he got it, he was not happy. He didn’t go to office the following day. Manager called him, but he didn’t pick the phone. Next day, he went to his manager and declined the offer. No one could see the reason for his foolish act, but in his heart, he knew he did the right thing. How can he go leaving her alone in this bad world? But his manager was a man of patience and wisdom. He understood the reason and gave him a month to decide. Meanwhile he got this trip to Bangalore, and now today, he is back.

While sneaking outside the cab window, he got a glimpse of Qutub Minar. “Ahh! My first date was here,“ he told to himself. “What a great time I spent here with her.” It was the time when he got promoted and was informed about a new girl who was going to report to him. He was too much sincere with his work, so much that in no way his professional life could cross his personal one. Then what happened to him so that he declined a lifetime opportunity?

The reason was her. Her name was Payal. In the last one year, she became his best friend with whom he shared almost everything. They used to hang out together, work together, enjoyed all the happy moments of life, and shared the sad things. These kinds of relationships cannot remain unnamed for a long time, and it was the case with this one also. He started loving her. He could not say, but he did love her a lot. They used to call their outings as date, the first one they spent visiting Qutub Minar, weird choice for a first date. She also seemed to love him. Arjun had already started dreaming about his future with her. He still hadn’t proposed her. That was the reason he was ready to give away such an opportunity. He was just waiting for the right time.

Thinking all this, he reached office. It was a holiday, who would be there in the office. No, its deadline, his whole team would be there, working day and night to deliver the project. He straight forward went to his manager’s cabin to say him the final ‘no’. Suddenly he met with Sunil, his cubicle mate.

“How are you buddy? How was your trip?” Sunil inquired.

”Trip was good. I hope we made this deal. Simpson will notify us within a week”, Arjun gloriously said.

”Ok,” Sunil smiled and went away.

Today, Sunil’s smile was somewhat mocking. “What has happened here in the last 2 weeks. Something changed? Am I looking stupid? May be I am too tired as I am coming from a long journey.”

Anyways, ignoring it, he proceeded to his manager’s cabin. The manager was sitting there, silent as ever. Looking at him, he asked him to sit. He was not looking happy. “What has happened here?” Arjun said to himself. Then he said, “Deepak, I know you want me to go, but I am staying here. I cannot go to California.”

“You need not.” He said with a cold voice. “Someone is already going there.”

“Ok. That’s good. By the way who?”

“Payal.”

Arjun thought he has misheard him, “Sorry, did you say Payal?”

“Yes, when you were away, she asked the Senior Manager assuring that you will not go and that she is willing to go there. They both are going there. They have developed good friendship within 2 weeks. It seems they are going to be in a relationship.”

There was acute silence in the room. Arjun was speechless to what he heard just now. He felt like crying out loud like a small kid but controlled himself, collected the courier and came back. What the hell had happened? Just last night Payal told him that he is doing the right thing following his heart. He was planning to propose her today with a beautiful diamond ring he ordered. He was ready to sacrifice all his dreams just to live a life with her. He couldn’t believe it was true.

He rushed to Payal’s house. Just as he was about to get out of the car, he saw a car stopping in front of Payal’s house. His senior manager and Payal came out of the car and went inside. They seemed drunk. May be they celebrated their chance to go onsite. Arjun did not have the heart to go inside. He came back. He was shocked to see how a girl he loved so much, was with someone else. Why she didnt tell him?

Next day, newspapers said that a software professional found dead. It seemed suicide as a suicide letter mentioned that a girl called Payal refused her love. A lot of alcohol found in his blood. He was too drunk. All the people of the office gave a last visit to his dead body and bade him goodbye. Payal was crying badly considering herself responsible for this all. But her colleagues consoled her and pursued her not to cancel her trip so that she could get out of this environment and forget these things.

Few days later, in a flight to California, Payal was waiting for someone. Suddenly Arjun appeared, “Sorry I got late. I had to buy these chocolates for you. You like them?”

“Ahan. I love whatever you give me.” She kissed him.

Then Payal said, “You still didn’t tell me, when you came back from Bangalore, why it took you a whole day to contact me and then a week to propose me? Well, I knew you would propose me. I could have married you in India only.”

“But it would have been rude after the accidental death of our senior manager. He was a nice man. Anyways, I wanted both of us to go to California. I am happy we are going together”, Arjun said.

Payal hugged him with great love. Arjun smiled thinking, “in love, its never too late.”

Finally, its Mysore…

Mysore PalaceMysore. Yes, it’s Mysore. I like this place a lot and luckily I am going to spend some more time here. After the completion of my training, I got posted in Infosys Mysore DC. It was joyful because I have spent a good time during my training here, and I could still enjoy being here. But, at that time I didn’t realize how hard is to say good bye to all the people, whom I didn’t even know before I came here, but who are not strangers to me anymore. They are my best buddies with whom I have lived a new life here, in Mysore. It is amazing that in such a short time, we made strong bonds.

Out of 600 people in our batch, a whopping 33% got Chennai, about 16.67% got Bangalore, 25% got Pune, 8.5% got Chandigarh and remaining got Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Mangalore and Trivandrum. Only 0.2% got posted in Mysore. I was happy to be here, but at the same time, it was too hard to say good bye to all the remaining 99.8% people. But finally, they all went to their destined places.

Each one of us got their new life, but now we are no more trainees. It feels like we are no more students. During training, the environment here makes you feel like a student, though here you are getting paid for being one. We enjoyed roaming around the campus at nights, doing limitless photography of almost every part of campus, dancing endlessly on DJ nights, eating bread jam while sitting on streets on New Year night, getting crazy when India won the World Cup, studying in GEC till late nights and many more moments which have been embarked on our hearts for our entire life.

This training time, turned us from nerds to professionals. We learned how to be responsible. A lot of good habits became a part of our lives like not littering our surroundings, walking on footpaths, walking long distances without vehicles, keeping things properly, dressing up professionally etc. These things became the part of our lives without even our knowledge. A few weeks back, I went to market and was unable to throw an empty bottle because I didn’t find a dustbin in the way. When I came to campus and threw the bottle in the dustbin, then I realized that I was carrying it with me. It becomes the mindset.

However there are also some bad habits which I got here. Many times outside campus, when somewhere I go to washroom to wash hands, I put my hands below tap and wait for the water to come itself. Then I realize, oh, its not Infy. When I go to collect some ticket or buy something, I stand in a queue where I notice people running haphazardly to get their chance first. Again, I realize, I am outside the campus. Many times in restaurants, when I complete my food, I pick my plates to drop in washing area, but suddenly I come to know that I am not inside the campus. It happens in many cases and these things remind me of the great life we have inside the campus.

With those memories, today when I walk around this campus, it feels good to be a part of those times. All my buddies have settled in their new places. Wherever we go, the things we learnt here, the memories we made here, the life we lived here, all of them are indispensable. These are sweet memories which will remain in our hearts forever.

Infosys Mysore: Life begins

Infosys-MysoreAfter a long journey of about 2600 kilometers, I was finally about to reach there. It was the beginning point of my new life, new journey to a new destination. And as obvious, my heart was filled with innumerous thoughts and emotions. Yes, I was going there, Infosys Technologies.

Finally, I reached the gate, gate to a new world for which I felt that I had waited for a long time. Infosys has its training center in Mysore. It is the biggest corporate university in the world. Any fresher recruited in Infosys first comes here for training. The moment you enter the gate, everything changes. Life has totally different standards inside the campus. It feels a perfect place to start the professional life.

Infosys provides excellent living & working conditions to its employees with world class facilities. It seems a compensation for working hard & efficiently but it is what we are here for & being paid for.

The starting days have less work load & I tried to explore the huge campus (though still I find many unexplored places). It is like a small modern city. First of all, it has two huge buildings called as GEC 1 & 2 (Global Education Center) which can altogether accommodate about 13500 trainees at a given time. In the morning you can see thousands of them marching towards these buildings & they disappear inside the buildings. During the working hours, while walking in the huge, silent & empty corridors, you can’t imagine that so many of them are in the same building.

There are rules for everything & you can find large number & variety of security personnel  to monitor security as well as enforce the rules. Regarding facilities, there is a nice swimming pool, multiplex, gym & all popular kind of sports for employees including rock climbing, squash, lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, football, basketball, cricket etc. You can also enjoy many other activities like music, yoga etc. Apart from this, all the things & facilities necessary for living are inside this campus. It makes the life of trainees easier as they do not have to run outside campus for small things.

For living, they have hotel kind of buildings, which they call hostel with single rooms for everyone with attached bathroom. There is a big bed with cable TV (yeah, its LCD, remember I said its like hotel) and as one can imagine, you have everything there to live a good life (though only for training duration).

But, regarding training, life is really tough, as they say, everything comes for a price. But the quality of training is excellent & once a person completes the training, he or she is no more the same.


A small note for prospective Infoscions

Dear Friends! I am overwhelmed to see so many people asking questions about Infosys. Being my first job, it will always remain close to my heart.

I understand your anxiety before joining Infosys as I also went through it and that’s why I try to answer each and every query as per my knowledge and awareness. But I can only help you with what I have experienced in Infosys as an employee.

A lot of questions are asked again and again which I have already answered. Please read all my replies/comments before asking anything so as to avoid asking questions which I have already replied to others.

I have also written a series of articles about my detailed experience during Infosys Mysore Training. You can find it here: http://abhineet.in/series/infosys-mysore-training-a-walk-to-cherish-for-life/

I hope my articles and replies are useful to you. Have a great time!


P.S.: I attended Infosys Mysore Training from Dec 2010 to May 2011. Two years later, in May 2013, I quit Infosys to pursue MBA from an IIM. It’s been a long time and I am outdated on information about present day Infosys Mysore Training.

With 3G, Smart becomes Smarter

We live in a world running in a race to become smarter. There is actually no limit to smartness. Smartness increases with interactions & connections. Internet shrank the world to a great extent & wide opened the ways to get smart easily.

21st anniversary of invention of internet has just passed & it is actually an irremovable part of our life. The slow dial up connections serving web 1.0 are a history & people like no less than fast internet provided by broadband internet services these days which are a must to access Web 2.0+.

Till now, the main limitation of fast internet was its limitation to wired connections only. However with the advent of third generation mobile communication technologies, we are now capable of getting fast internet wirelessly. Today, Tata Docomo is releasing its 3G services in India which is powered by NTT Docomo (Fact is that NTT Docomo was the first company in the world to launch 3G services in Japan in 2002, courtesy Wikipedia). This is actually going to change the complete scenario of smartness.

The mobile phone is the single most thing which got popular at the fastest rate in India allowing people to carry mini computers in their pockets. The only limitation till now was fast wireless internet (special thanks to TRAI for this delay). These days, smartphones are available in the lower range & most of the people can afford them. With so wide userbase of smartphones, 3G is actually available to everyone.

3G is not only limited to phones. Rather, all the embedded devices we use in our daily life can become smarter by actually interacting with each other using 3G. The power of 3G combined with availability of powerful smartphones & various cloud services has virtually enabled us to carry supercomputers in our pockets.

If you are new to the term 3G (which is hard due to so much hype these days), 3G refers to the third generation mobile communication services which can provide you simultaneous speech & data services at very high data rates (Mbps). It means fast internet on mobile devices. Specially targeted services are video based like video conferencing or video streaming.

We can now have an internet browser enabled phone & can virtually get any task done using the cloud services without even needing a very powerful processor in our cellphones. Like we can handle office documents & presentations using Google Docs, check mails using online mail clients, GPS navigation using browser based maps, social networking using browser based widgets etc. The possibilities are endless.

Cars can be smarter with the option of interacting with each other as well as information & processing hubs making it easier to find the best possible & most efficient way to travel on the road & reach destination. Somewhere I read last week about a car which can actually tweet its mood, with 3G, it can actually Youtube its funny driving moments.

One good application is getting free from the tension of booking movie tickets for first day first show. Movies can be available on demand while directly being streamed on the mobile devices. Encryption is not a big deal as Amazon Kindle is a good example of how ebooks can be so securely protected. So, great minds can also find a secure way of video protection to fight piracy.

Monitoring systems can be very advanced by providing high quality video streams from anywhere just with a click of a button making life easier. A working mother can monitor her baby or a business man can monitor his saferoom just using a mobile device with a 3G connection.

The task of reporters can be easier now. While covering breaking news in the middle of the chaos, they need not run to find a satellite link to transmit videos now. They can just just shoot it with their iPhone 4 or Nokia N8 while directly streaming it to the news center.

One great advantage to every net surfer is saving of precious time which was earlier wasted waiting for the webpage or web service to be loaded on a mobile device. This wait also gave rise to various mental disorders like frustration, irritation etc. which can now be no problem with 3G services.

One more fact of 3G services is that it has way larger capacity than existing 2G services & thus now we may also miss the network busy alerts we get making our most important calls. This again can save great time & huge irritation which usually is exhaled in the form of aggression sometimes combined with abusive words & violent actions.

Augmented reality mobile devices like the one in Iron Man’s helmet & Pranav Mistry’s Sixth Sense are going to get much more usability & relevance in India with these services as they solely depend on high speed connectivity with the web. We can just put on our mobile camera & point it on anything around us & within seconds, it will tell us everything about that thing.

Not only mobile phones, but all the mobile gadgets like laptops, netbooks, GPS Devices, In-built embedded systems in cars & other embedded things we use in our daily life are going to be smarter due to the availability of the power to connect to the web in a faster & more efficient manner in the form of 3G services. Its going to make everything around us & thus us, smarter.

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