Categories
Fiction

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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Life at Infosys

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.

Categories
Life

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…

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Life at Infosys

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.

Categories
Fiction

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.”

Categories
Life at Infosys

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.

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Life at Infosys

Infosys Mysore: Life begins

After 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: https://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!

Note: This article was originally written on 10 February, 2011.

Categories
Life

The memorable train journey from Delhi Part-1

Life goes on making you experience things which can be sometimes very strange. Something I got to see last evening. I was in Delhi & was returning home. So, I went to railway station to get a train which I usually prefer for this journey. The line for general was upto the station gate & at the reservation window, the guy before me got the last ticket. Can say was a hint of a bad start to a journey.

30 more minutes to get the train & I was sure that in general ticket lines, each line containing approximately 250 people, it was quite impossible to get the ticket on time. So, I decided to take the next train but from a small station following Delhi. I was hopeful to get fewer crowds on ticket window of a small station. The station I chose was Anand Vihar. It was 3.05 pm.

I decided to take Metro from Delhi Station to Anand Vihar Terminal & get the train. In Metro, as always, the scene was worse with crowd literally bursting out of the window glasses. When I was leaving the train, a guy tried to take out my wallet. Though my alertness didn’t let him to get it but due to dense crowd, he escaped. This was the second hint that something was going in a wrong way.

It was 4.05 pm when I reached Anand Vihar & got myself onto the station. Sometime later I realized that it was actually a terminal & I would get the train from the old station which was behind the new station. I found no notification about this anywhere. I think this is the way things work out here.

By the time I reached that old station crossing the rail track (it did not have any passage), it was already 4.30 pm. I was a bit suspicious whether I would be able to catch the train. Anyways, I found a small ticket counter far behind this old station in a hut like room surrounded by trees. I got an old kind of ticket printed on very small rectangular cardboard sheets. The guy there said that I will get my train at 5.00 pm. It was soothing because I still had 20 minutes left.

It was a very small station with just two platforms for two directions. Though there was quite a good crowd. Suddenly I saw a train coming on my platform. I checked my watch, 10 more minutes. The train is early. I was relaxed as I thought the problems ended for the day. I will catch the train & will get home. People ran towards the train including me. Oh!! It was a local train, red coloured. It was not my train.

One more train got past before 5 pm. I was now anxiously waiting for my train. Finally at 5 pm I saw a train coming. It was surely not a local train. People seemed happy & convinced this time. The train came & slowed down. We all rushed again to find it was Rajdhani Express. Whoa!! What the hell it was doing at such a small station? It stayed there for 15 minutes. I knew unless this train leaves, no train can come. After it came another Rajdhani Express of different route than previous one. It again stayed for 10 minutes. Again came a luxury train & stayed for 15 minutes.

This time all the people standing there were surprised. Something was wrong. No one could figure out what was happening. Finally we got to know that our train is standing behind this train. We waited for this train to go & first time in my life I saw two trains running so close to each other. My train followed this time. I was happy to get it finally at 6.30 pm.

I hoped it was the end of my problems, but I was wrong. I think its quite enough for this post. Will complete the story in my next post.

Categories
Uncategorized

10 reasons why Meego powered Nokia phone can outrun any Android powered phone

10 reasons why Meego powered Nokia phone can outrun any Android phone

Mobile phones are inseparable part of our lives now. People not just want a basic mobile phone, rather everyone needs or wants a smartphone these days. And why not, smartphone are now in reach of everyone due to a lot of smartphone making companies competing with each other to capture highest market share, thus making them available in lowest price range.

Recently, Android emerged as one of the most preferred OS for smartphones & gained huge market share within a very short span. No doubt it is an awesome product giving new standards to mobile computing. So, its not an odd thing if you envy the latest Android phone out in the market.

If you are unsure what Android is all about, it is a Linux based operating system developed by Google for mobile devices & was first product of Open Handset Alliance, a business alliance formed by some big companies to develop open standards for mobile devices. Android is free & open source, & is being adopted by a lot of mobile phone manufacturers for their smartphones. Being developed by Google, it obviously supports all the Google services & offers great integration with Google products.

Nokia was developing its own Linux based OS called Maemo & launched a phone N900 powered by Maemo. Intel also started developing a Linux based mobile OS called Moblin. But with the advent of 2010, Nokia & Intel joined their hands & merged their respective Maemo & Moblin to create a new OS named MeeGo. It is also open source. Nokia has revealed that MeeGo will be the preferred OS for its future smartphones with MeeGo powered handsets expected to be launched in first half of 2011.

Both Android & MeeGo are highly competitive products based on Linux platform & targeting the same kind of gadgets. The deciding factor will be the extras you get with them. However there are a plenty of reasons why MeeGo along with Nokia can provide a high performance, feature rich, value for money device which you can use without feeling outdated for a decent period of time.

Following are the 10 reasons why MeeGo powered Nokia phone can outrun any Android powered phone:

  1. Ovi Services: Nokia started Ovi services in 2007 which have now become most used services due to the largest share of Nokia in the smartphone market. The beauty of Ovi services is that some of the most useful Ovi services are free. For example, Nokia provides navigation services for free in the name of Ovi Maps which are, though not very detailed but much more accurate than Google Maps. MeeGo will offer all the Ovi services when powering a Nokia device thus giving you best services for free. With Android, you cannot get Ovi servies as Nokia has clearly mentioned that there will be no Android powered Nokia phone.
  2. Ovi Suit: Another innovation by Nokia is Ovi Suite which is actually a single software aimed to provide a common PC software for all the Nokia mobiles. You just need to install Ovi Suit on your PC & you can sync & control any Nokia device connected to your PC. MeeGo on Nokia will too support Ovi Suit. Every household these days tend to have atleast one Nokia smartphone & thus it will save you from the hassles of installing different PC suits for different phones.
  3. Because its Nokia: It is no doubt that Nokia is the most reliable & largest mobile manufacturer in the world with the largest share in smartphones market. A Nokia lover who want a Linux powered Nokia smartphone but has to buy alternatives due to its unavailability, will soon find many Linux (MeeGo) powered Nokia smartphones in market. This will surely give Nokia big advantage over Android powered phones.
  4. Your phone will never get old: Anyone who owns a Nokia smartphone knows how easy is to get latest features including services on your phone by just running a simple software update yourself. Its true that it is the case with every mobile company but due the largest user base, the updates are much more frequent & effective than the other mobile phones. Also, Ovi suit makes the upgrade process so easy.
  5. Better feature compatibility: Being a Nokia product, MeeGo is bound to give the best performance with Nokia hardware just as the Mac OSX works best on a Mac or Blackberry OS works best on RIM’s Blackberry smartphones.
  6. Because its Intel: MeeGo may prove more efficient than Android for Intel processors as it is being developed by Intel to specifically overcome the Windows Mobile disability to support Atom processor. Intel is pioneer of so many technologies & we can expect a revolutionizing OS from them in the name of MeeGo.
  7. Hardware Acceleration to a new level: With Spice launching the world’s first 3D phone, we can expect new graphics accelerated phones from other manufacturers which can take mobile graphics to new levels with Intel providing best graphics integrated processors. These combined with Nokia devices can do big wonders.
  8. Because it has two App Stores: Being a combined product of Nokia & Intel , both the giants have setup separate App Stores for MeeGo. Intel has launched its own Intel App Store for Intel based MeeGo products & Nokia already has Ovi store which will feature Apps for MeeGo powered Nokia devices. This gives users double chance of getting their favourite app. What if Nokia launches a MeeGo powered phone with Intel processor? Obviously, a win-win scenario for developers & users.
  9. Because it is Qt application & UI framework compatible: Qt is a cross-platform GUI based application framework which is used by many big products including VLC Media player, Google Earth, Adobe Photoshop etc. This compatibility means even larger availability of apps for MeeGo. Developers have to write an application only once & they can port it to a variety of Qt compatible platforms including Symbion OS. The reverse can also be true resulting in more & more apps.
  10. Finally, its good to be late: Its not always the case that pioneer of a technology wins. If implemented properly & efficiently, an already existing idea can be made highly successful. Similarly in this case, Android’s appearance as first Linux based mobile OS has shown the various opportunities for such platforms. The biggest advantage Nokia has is its already largest share in smartphone market which makes it obvious choice for those who rely on Nokia & want an Android like platform. Nokia has the chance to develop a better interface than Android & optimizing MeeGo for better support with its phones than the other smartphone manufacturers using Android.

Conclusion: Though without having a MeeGo powered phone in hands, its not easy to compare it with Android. But its easy to speculate the possibilities of MeeGo being developed by smartphone & chip giants. Android being a very good OS may find difficult to capture Nokia’s already occupied smartphone market after MeeGo enters the market. The users may have faith in Android as a good software platform, but when it comes to hardware, Nokia still wins the race.

Update: If you want to buy an Android phone now & cant wait for MeeGo, there is a very good Android Phone Buying Guide by Kunal Dharamsi.

Categories
Technology

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.

If you are on Indiblogger, you may vote for this story here: http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=38047
Categories
Fiction

If we could be together again…

She was so different from other girls, so pretty & moreover, she was a magician, otherwise how could she get my phone. “You dropped it in the garden. I called you but you didn’t listen,” she offered me my phone & walked away without even waiting to accept my gratitude. Yes, this phone made me meet her, made me meet my life but also…

Many years ago, when my dad brought home a giant black gadget acclaiming it as a mobile phone, I was amazed to see something like this in my hands. He bought this phone for his business requirements & I always used to find a chance to just touch it & play the famous game of snake on it. Being a kid, I would get scolded a lot of times but I could not resist the charm of using it.

Life went on, I grew up from kid to teenager & got to go to the college. I was a good student, my dad was proud of me. I studied hard & got good marks. On the very first day of my college, my father gifted me a smartphone, something I had never imagined. May be he was happy to see my progress & hard work. This smartphone became everything in my life from then. It became the reason of most important happenings in my life.

I remember the day when SHE called me from behind. I was amazed to see my smartphone in her hands. She was so different from other girls, so pretty & moreover, she was a magician, otherwise how could she get my phone. “You dropped it in the garden. I called you but you didn’t listen,” she offered me my phone & walked away without even waiting to accept my gratitude. Yes, this phone made me meet her, made me meet my life but also…

I was attracted towards her. I took her pic secretly & kept looking at it for whole night. I decided to propose her. This phone got me find everything from her Facebook user id to her college student number. She was my classmate & it didn’t took me long to become her friend & express what I had in my heart for her. She liked me too. I was very happy that day. I almost cried out of happiness.

Time kept on flying & we completed half of our engineering. Those two years made us feel as if we are made for each other. She would call me in the morning to wake me up & always wrap a good night kiss in the good night call. She would keep messaging me all the day & I kept replying with all the joy & love. My smartphone had become her image for me when I was alone. I was everything for her apart from her sincerity in her work. She was a merit holder & deserved a good research based job, she had dreamt of.

She was perfect & I always felt lucky to have her in my life. At that time, I felt as if time is on my side & believe me, at such moment, you feel like you can do anything. I forgot that the flow of time is not constant.

It was that time that mobile internet & social networking got a lot of limelight. I had a phone which was much advanced of its time & thus I could use it all in my hands & carry in my pocket. Social networking started eating my time & mind. I spent more time on the FBook & less with her. She became busy in her preparation for competitive exams. She believed nothing more than me. So did I. Therefore we were still happy disregarding the comparably less time we were spending together.

But I was not that good. My smartphone had shown me new ways to enjoy life. One day I added a friend on a new social networking website when I found a girl in his friend list. She was good. I don’t know why, I was just tempted to ping her, & I did it. Surprisingly she replied immediately. She was good at flirting & I was good at social networking. Friends, I don’t know how I slipped. I exchanged phone number with her & actually started talking to her. I was the biggest fool at that time. Within a few days, my smartphone transformed into the image of this new friend. We soon started hanging out on weekends. I was feeling a bit guilty, but the temporary joy of that time made me forget everything.

Time went on. In my final year, I was no more a meritorious guy. I was a spoilt one, always fiddling with my smartphone. I used the phone to copy answers from the internet in the exams. I was happy to get good marks in my mid-session exams. But these fake tricks could not get me a good job in the campus placements. I & a few really useless guys got the worst job offer on campus. The girl I met on internet stopped replying my pings & broke contact.

Finally, it was the day when our final year result was to be announced. She suddenly grabbed me from behind flying with joy. She showed me her offer letter from the most reputed government run research lab of the country. She finally got one of the two things she had dreamt. And the other thing was me. She still loved me even after my failure in getting a good job. She believed in me so much that it was hard for me to stand on the ground in front of her. I immediately rushed to the washroom to hide my tears of guilt. Then I decided to tell her the truth, about how I broke her trust. I wanted to apologise for everything I ruined. I didn’t know if she would forgive me, I hoped she would.

When I got back, she was in tears holding my smartphone. When going to the washroom, I left my smartphone being signed in various social networking websites. She was not a suspicious kind of girl to check my chat histories & thats why I never hid my phone from her. But today, when she was waiting for me to come back from washroom, she just opened the “images” folder & was stunned to see my picnic pics with that internet girl in some very intimate poses. Then she had opened my chats & got to know everything.

I ruined her day, broke her heart. She was crying like a small child. I tried to hold her but she stared at me with helplessness & feeling of being cheated in her eyes. I can never forget those flooded eyes in my life. She left immediately to never come back. I kept watching her going, holding my smartphone still showing a ping from one of my friends. I clicked it to open. It said, “You got caught on a CCTV camera fitted in the examination room while cheating from your mobile phone & thus your scores are suspended. You failed. Your job is also gone.” I dropped down on my knees, crying. Yes, I failed. I failed my love who was the most precious gift I could ever get in my life. I failed my dad who would curse himself for the day he gifted me this smartphone. And I would curse myself for the day I started misusing it. It gave me everything when I used it wisely & took everything when I didn’t.


Today, I have repeated my final year & searching for a job in the open market. I am sitting, still holding the same smartphone. But I am not angry to look at it for what I made my life misusing it. The mirror in front of my chair is showing the sad smile on my face with a little shine of hope in my eyes.

“Next,” the receptionist called. It is my turn. I looked at the big banner in front of me which said “Futuristic Smartphone Designers”. I have to go in to get this job by any means. I have come here with a determination, with a wish to add a feature to my smartphone.

I wished for long to have a feature in my smartphone that can restore time. What if I could set the time back to the second year of my college life in my smartphone & can reach that time. I would fix all the things I have broken.

I know you are laughing at me thinking that how can I make a phone that can restore time. But I know I can. You can call me crazy or mad, just like all the other people here, especially those in the white coats. They are bad people. Earlier, they used to give me electric shocks. But when I complained my dad, he got me these people who make smartphones. I give an interview daily, but they reject me. I don’t know why even after I put all my efforts, I always fail. I suspect the main interviewer. His face looks like the man in white coat who earlier gave me shocks. And also that receptionist, she sometimes dress up like a nurse. Freak, she is.

Anyways, I have to go inside now. Time for the interview & this time I am sure to get the job & then I will add my dream feature to my smartphone. Everything will be fine then.

Categories
Technology

just a test post

Hi!

I am just trying pagination on this post.

So, I am going to past random text in this post.

Please do not take anything seriously.

Its just a part of the drill.

However, if after inserting the <–nextpage–> tag into the blog post or page using the editor, and the function doesn’t work to paginate the post or page entry, and the article is still in one page or the rest of the article has been cut off and hidden, but there is no navigation links to allow readers and visitors to click in order to browse next or previous page, the problem probably caused by the WordPress template that are actively in used do not have the necessary template tag.

Categories
Life

Learning for Money

Yesterday marked the final academic event of my Graduation life (B.Tech). It was my Project. It ended, not so smoothly but the ending node was acceptable. Till the moment I got home, I had realized a big change going to happen to my life & probably to all my college mates.

One thing common to everyone is that we all are aspiring great success in life. Its so natural & genuine to expect the same as we have great responsibilities towards a lot of people. We are a bunch of to-be graduates (atleast till the time we get our results), some of them have already got campus placements & others ready to be recruited soon, as they are searching for jobs of which there is no dearth in the present scenario.

But to my surprise, many of them (both of the above types) are aspiring for no more than a job, aspiring for no more than money, as if life has nothing good to offer than wealth. Is it true?

I truly realize that I am not mature enough to question it at that point of time where I am still striving to gain experience. But I can easily conclude from my simple studies of life that its not money which rules everything, its something else, something bigger.

Sometimes I wonder if learning for money is more rewarding than learning to learn. When we learn for money, we don’t have a true feeling to learn. We just want to finish it off as soon as possible. But when we learn to learn, dreaming of the innovative implementations of the knowledge we gain, is it not true learning? “Would there be less chances of getting money in latter case?” I think it would even add some by-products like fame & reputation in society.

Practically, both the things are similar with a little difference in the way we consider things in life. Someone asked me, “Will it make any difference if I think the other way?” Definitely no. You can still achieve “material” things in life. Its upto you in which way you get real satisfaction.

Well, seems my doubts need some time to get resolved. Hope everyone achieve the best in life, considering the fact that the ”best” here is again a controversial term & would have different meanings depending on individuals.

Categories
Life

After The Winter Rain

Winter rains are not as beautiful as spring. Its because they bring with them enough cold which can keep one away from the romantic feelings which are obvious to head up during rain. Its much the same today. The weather is so good if seen from far, but I am still trying to feel the warmth of love which is always hidden in the rain.

But its useless to think of it after the Winter Rain. At this time, it is better to have a good warm sunshine than the beautiful but cold rain. Hope it is not the same at the week’s end.

This is my first post on my blog & I am again not able to express myself enough because sitting on the terrace facing the cold winds is quite an experience in itself & it leaves little space to  analyse what exactly the heart is feeling about it.