Togetherness without being together

We have fun loving people all around us, but very few of them love people more than fun, and that makes all the difference.

I always wonder the meaning of being together. Is it about being able to look at each other, talk or even touch each other? Save the “touch” part, looking and talking is now-a-days possible no matter you are physical near to each other or not, thanks to the technology in the form of Skype or Hangout.

But, I believe that being together is much more than this. It is when we are together even if we are unable to hug, see, hear, or touch the other person. It is when our hearts are together, our heartbeats are in sync even if we are away, our memories make us feel as if we are still next to each other. This, I believe, is true togetherness.

Usually, in one’s life, family and close friends are the main source of strength and motivation. I am no different. Even while living at different places, unable to meet many of them for months, even years, we are still together. Many times, when I felt low, they inspired me, took my hand and made me stand up to the challenges of life.

Once I was unable to visit my home for 8 long months. I was working thousands of kilometers away from my home while also preparing for MBA entrance exam. Sometimes it became very hectic but my family stood together and kept me going, even though they were so far away from me.

My closest friend lives in my hometown and we are friends from our school time. We rarely chat on line and once in a while on phone. Even then, when we meet even after long duration of time, we feel as if we are meeting each other every day for the last so many years. The bond is unaffected by distance because it is nurtured by love and care.

When I was in Hyderabad, working in a very hectic job on weekdays, preparing for CAT on weekends with no time to spare for roaming around or parties, my roommates helped me out in every possible way. Even away from home, with them I found a new home. I feel lucky to be there, together with them at that time. Sometimes I felt as if they were more worried about my exam than I was. And it all worked out pretty well.

Love and care are the main ingredients of togetherness, mixed with goodness of heart. In the absence of these ingredients, there is no meaning of being with someone. It is as if one is alone even when surrounded by crowd. We have fun loving people all around us, but very few of them love people more than fun, and that makes all the difference. is encouraging people to be #together. You can visit them here:

The change that fueled life

When I was about to graduate from my engineering college, I felt the uneasiness created by the upcoming change in my life. I felt sad by the thought that soon my college life will be gone. At that time, a very good friend of mine told me that “change is the norm”. And moreover, some changes are irrevocable and one has to accept them anyway.

Very soon my work life began. I was excited to begin a new life. But at the same time, I was little bit skeptical about going 2500 kms away from my home. “Is it worth it?” I asked myself. And guess what, yes, that change in my life was for good. I will cherish those memories for life.

As a matter of fact, I believe most of the changes in our life prove to be good at some point of time or other. When I moved to Southern part of India, I got a chance to experience an entirely new life, to learn so many new things, get familiar with a culture totally different from mine and meet people who are different yet same as I.

When I was in my hometown, I never liked South Indian food, or I can say that I never liked South Indian food cooked in North India. I was prejudiced that I will get the same food there. And fast forward to 1 year later, it became a norm to eat dosa in breakfast for me. I literally loved some of the South Indian dishes.

I am from Northern part of India where we experience extreme weather phenomena throughout the year. There are too much hot dry summers, too much humid summers, excessive rainy season, pleasant spring and extremely chilly winters. It is good to experience all types of weather but all this in a single year sometimes make it difficult.

In South India, I found that weather can be uniform as well. While Mysore and Bangalore were so pleasant throughout the year, Hyderabad only got somewhat hot only for 4 months. That was a new experience and I realized that it was good too in its own way. However, it seemed monotonous to me after being in North for such a long time.

Gradually, all my prejudices were gone and I enjoyed my stay there. And finally, one day, I had to leave that place too. I still remember the day I left that place. I felt really bad. Remember, this was the same place which was thousands of kilometers away from my home and I was feeling bad when leaving it.

This taught me that sometimes some changes in life seem really big and our inner inertia may obstruct us from committing to that change. But most changes are for good and we should overcome that fear and take the opportunity to experience something new. I took my chance and it was definitely worth it.

A company named has changed for good. You can visit to experience the good change.

When a stranger made me smile

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 At a certain point of time, we start believing that there is nothing good left in this world. But, there are those little moments in life which make us realize that we are wrong, that there are still so many good people in this world and it brings smile to our face, a relief in our heart.

In the present day life where everyone is running around aimlessly, competing with others to win some race, everything seems full of pessimism. At a certain point of time, we start believing that there is no one with a good heart left in this world. But there are those little moments in life which make us realize that we are wrong, that there are still so many good people in this world and it brings smile to our face, a relief in our heart. And I found those moments a few months ago while travelling in Delhi Metro.

It was the evening of a very hectic day full of surprises and I did not want any more surprises. I still had so much to do and I wanted to be at peace. The overly crowded Delhi Metro is no more a place for peace lovers. You can find people fighting for seats, boys leching on girls or people holding their pockets tightly, trying to avert pickpockets.

I got a seat after 4-5 stations. But I still had 30+ stations to go and had to change metro at on place. The battery of my mobile was down so I could not play any games on it to kill time. Suddenly, I noticed that the passenger sitting next to me was watching a movie on his mobile phone. I started watching it though I could not hear the sound.

This went on for a while. Suddenly, that passenger looked at me, smiled and offered me one of the ear buds of his earphone and turned the phone’s screen towards me so that I can also watch the movie. I was surprised. But I had nothing to do. So, I accepted his offer and put the earbud in my ear. The man politely explained me the story of the movie which I missed till that point of time and then we started watching the movie. I felt really good as if my tiredness was gone.

In between, we talked about various things, though I was not much interested in trivial talks. Also, I was a little bit skeptical about him. How can someone be so friendly with a stranger in the present day world? But he was an exception. I double checked my wallet and phone, everything was at its place.

I started enjoying the movie with him and did not even realize that I was just 4 stations away from my destination. At that station that man deboarded the train. Before leaving, he said a very nice good bye and greeted me with a smile which I reciprocated. We never asked each other’s name and we may never recall each other’s faces even if we meet in future. It made me sure that the man did all this without any expectation of gaining something from me. He was just sharing his happiness with me. And someone has rightly said, happiness is multiplied when shared with others.

It made my day. I was no more skeptical about the world. There are still so many affectionate people who smile at strangers without any bad intention. From that day onwards, everything around me looked even more beautiful. more positive. I realized that world is full of optimism if we are willing to look at it. And once we start looking at it, life becomes more beautiful.

The memories of that heartwarming journey will always be there in my heart and I will contribute towards making this world a happier, more beautiful and optimistic place.

You can visit to see how Housing envisions a world filled with positivity.

And I said, Good-Bye Infy!!

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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.

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…

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.