My Idea of a Peaceful Dream Vacation

A group of ducks enjoying the peaceful life of Mysore (Infosys Mysore Campus)
A group of ducks enjoying the peaceful life of Mysore (Infosys Mysore Campus)

We come across so many beautiful people, places and moments in our life. At times, we feel to revisit those moments, to relive the amazing past. Such nostalgia occurs to me every now and then. The memorable moments of my life I spent in Mysore.

Yes, it is my dream vacation destination where I want to spend some quality time again. Away from the chaos of daily life, a place with still lower level of pollution, a place housing one of the best corporate campuses on earth- Infosys Mysore.

It should be at least 1 month long vacation. I would leave from Delhi Airport to land in Bengaluru and from there I would take a cab to Mysore, the city of peaceful life. I can imagine the cool breeze entering my car and touching my face. The weather is amazing throughout the year.

I want to book a guest house, not a typical hotel, but an independent villa-type house, slightly outside the main city, entirely for my use during the vacation duration. It would be a place where I would feel like home. It would be a place where I would not have room service to disturb me or next room neighbors to create any noise.

I will spend the first week roaming around the city everyday and visiting the beautiful places like Mysore palace, Chamundi hills, Vrindavan Garden etc. The city is known for yoga and I want to practice it too while connecting with the people who passionately practice the art of yoga.

A very nice place near to Mysore is Ooty. A beautiful hill station known for its huge expanse of tea farms. It is such a beautiful place that one can forget everything while visiting this heaven. The views from some of its points is so breathtaking that one can sit there and enjoy for hours just by looking at the natural landscape and enjoying the cool breeze. I will visit there for at least 3-4 days hiring a cab service for daily commute.

Two things which are very famous in Ooty are homemade chocolates and tea factory. The tea factory manufactures so many varieties of tea including chocolate flavored tea. One can buy a ticket to even visit the factory and witness the whole production process. At various points, they offer you sample tea of different flavors which is a delight to taste. I will not be able to leave that place without buying at least a few kilos of tea powder.

Another place in Mysore I want to visit is Infosys Mysore campus. It is a beauty in itself. I spent 6 months in training while staying in the campus and next 6 months working while living in Mysore city and the memories of this whole year are still so fresh. One can take days to completely roam the campus on foot and golf carts and parked cycles are a must to expedite the exploration. A day or two there will freshen me up a lot.

For the remaining 2 weeks, I would rather chill out and enjoy the weather, place, people and the life in Mysore. I am sure it would completely recharge me to get back to the same energy level I had when I first visited this place and while going back to Delhi and arriving at the Delhi Airport, the smile on face would be the shiniest of all.

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And I said, Good-Bye Infy!!

Image Credit: Flickr

Its been 6 months since I left Infosys. Today, when I look back at all those days which I spent being a part of Infosys, I feel what I am today has been highly impacted by what I was being in Infosys.

It was a cold December when I first left the warmth of my home to join Infosys in a far away part of the country. And when I left Infy, I felt a similar warmth that followed me. And I felt like I was leaving home again, the new home.

When I joined Infy, I was just a college student. I had to learn a lot about life. And yes, I learned. I learned how to add value to the things I do, I learned how to talk to people who I do not know, I learned how to enjoy with people whom I do not even share the same culture, I learned how to see beyond what is visible, I learned to listen to the unspoken things and most importantly, I learned to keep learning.

A few years ago, I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It talks about the importance of journey and not destination. The destination is just to give us a direction. It is the journey that matters. The experiences of the journey of life help us appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the complex world which works on its own with different people, parts fitted together seamlessly. While leaving Infy, I realized that it was never my destination. It was just a milestone of my journey.

The joy of reaching the destination is short lived. Once we achieve something, we start looking for the next goal and the life goes on. Seldom we identify what keeps us looking for new destinations. While on the way, we live dreaming about the destination, and when we reach there we cherish the experiences of the journey. Life is clever enough to keep us a step away from the present.

My journey in Infosys taught me to walk with the present. I saw people running towards things they think they want, leaving behind all the things they have. In that environment, it becomes hard to remain what you are. But once you realize this, life is never the same. Those people become your reason to live your own life to the fullest.

Even Narayana Murthy conveys this message to stop running and start living. But people are too much comfortable in the race, they hardly want to stop. This is really ironical.

Being in Infy, I realized two things: One, Narayan Murthy has created a great organization by following his values and virtues, and two, for a sizable chunk of people working there, those values are mere words to boast about. For me, those values are vital to any individual and people who follow these actually add value to Infy as well as their own lives.

The most important value which is my favorite is “Leadership by Example” or in simple words “Walk the Talk”. Each day I strive to be what I expect from people around me.

During my Infy journey, I found some really talented and cheerful people whose lives are reflections of real joy and learning. Some of them involved in so many social activities, some of them organizing some entertainment events every now and then, a group of people going for adventures on a monthly basis and even a few people innovating new things using latest technologies without even being asked for. These are the people who made my stay in Infy worth remembering.

I hope Infy will retain such people and will find a way to utilize their potential to the fullest. To rise as an organization, Infy has to go beyond just being a software service provider and to find a way to tap the potential of the gems hidden among its few lakhs strong work force.

While closing this post, I want to share something interesting. Narayana Murthy left after a few months I joined Infy. It all resulted in huge chaos. I missed being guided by the regular insights of the great leader through his town-halls and common addresses. Co-incidentally, Narayana Murthy joined back just the next day I left Infy. I was sitting at Hyderabad airport waiting for my flight to home when I saw the news of his return. I was joyful. I am sure the company which I always loved will further go places.

Intermediate, Stream & Location: Luck by Chance

As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

So, we completed the generic training and got into intermediate stage. By now, we lost a few classmates who could not clear the exams and were shifted to new batches. The complexity of the course was increasing with every day and the module tests every now and then were enough to thrill us.

In between, we tried to find some time to watch the movies showcased in multiplex on weekends and to take a round of Mysore city. It was a strange feeling, we were enjoying the life but were too worried about the training, study.

Infosys Mysore campus is a happening place where you can find events going on anyday anywhere in the campus. They may be some festival celebrations, any particular unit specific fun activities, cricket, football etc. matches, awareness camps etc.

With increasing number of interns in the campus, bushes also became happening places and one could find security guards more alert and ready to catch the culprits all the time.

With all this fun and worry, intermediate stage was completed. It was the time when streams were allocated to us. It was purely a luck based game and they did not have a process to fit people to a stream according to their interest and capability. I was lucky enough to get the stream I wanted: Dot NET.

Again, the shuffling of people and due to very small number of people who got Dot NET in my intermediate section, I hardly knew more than a few people in my stream class. Though, it again gave me an opportunity to make new friends.

The training material for stream training was remarkable and I learnt a lot from it. As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

Stream training spanned little more than a month and once we were done with the final exam (compre), we were jumping with joy like a monkey rescued from a cage.

Training was over. It was time for getting posted to a Development Center. Infy has build some of the most beautiful campuses in the world. However, they are at some of the most unfavorable locations. But, we could not choose our location. Again, luck came to my rescue, and I got posted in Mysore itself. I was relieved as I did not want to go to one of the extreme locations which most of my batchmates got. But it came at a cost. I, with one of my college friends, was alone in Mysore campus and we could not do anything about it. Posting locations were written on stone, at least according to the HR. (Fortunately, we both got transferred to Hyderabad after 7 months).

When I completed my training, my heart was filled with joy, inspiration at its heights and a new spirit in my blood to win the world with my newly developed skills. Little did I know that it was all going to get wasted. Production life was not what was projected during training (This can be a topic of some future post).

So, overall, Infosys Mysore Training was an awesome experience which is hard to forget. The most important part is that I got a chance to meet so many good people who are now friends for life. I also enjoyed a great lifestyle. And of course, the knowledge I gained is indispensable.

This post completes the three part series Infosys Mysore Training: A Walk to Cherish for Life. If you want to know more about my experiences, I am always here to answer your queries.

Two years in Infosys…

Two years ago, on this day, I embarked on a journey, a new professional life in Infosys. And today, after two years, when I look back, I am quite happy with the people I met, the friends I got, the knowledge I gained, the skills I developed and the places I visited due to my job.

Life is all about a change. It is something we love and hate at the same time. It is something we desire and withdraw from, simultaneously. Just like the last day of college, I was sure I was going to miss my friends, and I wished I could live that moment forever, but at the same time I was quite excited to start my professional life and wanted the Infosys joining day to come as soon as possible. It seems weird, but on analyzing it, we realize that things are so much complicated.

This state of complication is not what we observe everyday. It happens only when we witness a change in our life. Till then, we do not realize the importance of what we have. We take things for granted. I remember, during my Infosys training days, I never loved my training life. I was living it with fun, but still not appraising it. I was only looking forward to the end of it so that I can run out of it as fast as I can and work as a software developer. I was in love with the future which was unseen but yet seemed perfectly fitting my dreams and imagination. But when I realized that it is about to be changed, I experienced the complication. I started missing my training life, and to date, I do feel the same.

So, we keep missing the past and future life, but when we love and appreciate the present life? When is the moment when we sit and adore the beauty of our present life? Well I think, I found the moment for me. On this second anniversary, chatting with my Infy training friends made me feel nostalgic, but brought me closer to my present life. Out of all the things I got in these two years, this feeling is the best.

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.

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.