Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thats 'IT'

With no offense intended to any or all IT professionals, software engineers and people belonging to related fields, I hereby blog my first hand experience with technology of a different kind….different from capturing moments in my digi-cam, baking a cake in the microwave oven, blasting music on a MP3 player. To make it an honest confession, I will have to admit with all my innocence and ignorance that for a very long time technology didn’t really project on a larger canvas for me, at least beyond running electric home appliances and creating a Microsoft word document. However, due to undeniable reasons I had to be more computer savvy…. It amazed me beyond wits to know how the computer corrected the words I had mispelt, how it asked me if I wished to save changes to any document, and cut-copy-paste was something that I liked chanting even if I didn’t do any of it. Well, that was how it began and today even when I work for an IT related company myself, the computer still doesn’t stop surprising me…I mean, how can it say ‘No disk’ when I just inserted one into the CD drive!!!
Let’s get down to what this space was intended for…..it’s certainly not technology. I still think I’m too primitive to talk about it. When I graduated out of a management course, I found myself a job with a successful IT company that provided web services. I joined as a management trainee, the nature of my job being strategic business development. But just as interesting the profile sounds; it involves being equally tech intensive. I put aside all my reluctance to heartily embrace technology… I started work and just as a breeze of difference would have it I started enjoying work, the workplace and most importantly the people. I rubbished all my inhibitions that came out of being called ‘the technically challenged’ or ‘technically backward class’ and became a part of the bunch.
“Its different”… I told myself. My colleagues, seniors, boss …everyone there happened to give a different side of the technically inclined. Atleast, I feel proud to say that I am not a part of an IT firm where my boss is Subramaniam, my team leader is Ramkrishnan and my team members are Maddy (short for madhavan), Bridge (brijesh), Lux (Lakshmi) and Mini (that’s a real name). I see interesting people at work who don’t even mind burning a weekend striped t-shirt over shorts to work, as opposed to the grey, dull blues, blacks and whites that form the staple attire of many IT firms, blended with the fresh aroma of spectacled men marinated in coconut oil.
Even though there are no condolence-smiles flashing across over the lunch table, people genuinely having an active life beyond work…the work is still IT related. It does leave a mark on some, if not all.
Few days back, I faced a slice of the same. After days of ill-health and reduction on paid leaves, I made a come back to something that I really missed – ‘colleagues getting gay on bean bags’ (jus kidding… I meant work, with all sincerity). Yeah, facing reality wasn’t too distant with a conversation I had with a fellow trainee.
“Hey…wassup…how are you?”
“I am fine”, I said… trying hard to recall his name.
“What had happened?”
“Viral fever”
“Oh! Then you must use Norton (anti-virus)…it really helps”. He laughed like a galloping horse and vanished with equal speed.

It sometimes takes just a pinch to wake you up. You cannot blame someone for this….. it’s a functional part of any profession to dictate a likeable sense of humor. Ad agencies have their fashion of jokes; HR guys make their jokes with appraisals, leaves and salary. Similarly, IT people have a sense of humor that is very much unique to them… that explains why they flock with people alike.
Parties, get togethers, occasional clubbing on project completion…who says the tech wizards have no life…rather they make it a point to get drunk whenever they find such handsome opportunities….come on, most of them engineering graduates/ B.techs after all.
“Last night, he got 1.5 GB down when his disk capacity was just 1 GB”….. In other words, he got a lil drunk beyond what his capacity was/is. Seriously, if I wouldn’t have come across such statements repeatedly, I would have never known someone got drunk.
Certain things are always with you to stay…this is the most polite way in which I could justify all that I have been sarcastic about, earlier. Since I am a part of it (yeah, IT) now, have to save the face of my fraternity. Few days back, I got to know this community of IT guys who spewed their charges on the existing work culture of IT companies…. including their fellow employees …. the members belonged to a Fortune-500 IT company, all engineering graduates drawing compensation of 9 lakhs per annum……shocked? I, too, was; but my disbelief soon turned to a passive acceptance when I heard they called their community ‘Reality Bytes’…..really, you cannot be very different when you are not too far.

With all apologies to the people (type of people) discussed in this blog…. It wasn’t intentional, but just couldn’t help.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Read Between the Lines

Ever since communication was considered the strongest tool of a modernised era, radical sentiments began to linger in people’s minds, often posing as questions that had pseudo analytical backing… Huh! Big words, even bigger the issues, finding answers to which led to a class of highly clinging words like ‘stress’, ‘conflicts’, ‘depression’, ‘discrepancies’, and many more as heartily sworn by shrinks or psychotherapists or family n relationship counselors (if you could call them so). These are all ways of coming home to truth., i.e., we are suffering in relationships.
It was a big night on NDTV’s well acclaimed talk show ‘We the people’ where the focus of discussion was the modern marriage. More than the gravity of the topic and the intelligent questions raised by Barkha Dutt, the host of the show, it was the glamour that the panel of speakers added to the show… Anjali Chabbria- a famous psychiatrist, Shobha De- uhh.! Need I say anymore, Karan Johar- A film director who sells a lot of mush, glamour, family drama and superstars of Indian cinema through his films, Shahrukh Khan- also considered as the king of bollywood yet surprises people with his attempts to modesty and uncanny humor, Sunita Menon- Tarot card reader whose client list boasts of the rich and famous (some of them in the panel themselves), Anupam Mittal- CEO, Shaadi.com. The reference to the discussion was Karan Johar’s much hyped ‘kabhi alvida naa kehna’, the movie that showed how one can walk out of a marriage without even giving it a passing shot.
With Karan, Shahrukh and Madame De being defensive of each character in the movie, meticulously justifying their decisions and acts out of those decisions (Not to forget, Karan Johar miraculously delivering a dialogue word by word, line by line on the talk show, that was given away by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie) and host of shrinks and socialists swearing by the institution of marriage, the debate soon turned out to be a bollywood affair than a personal one. What deserved to gain pity in all this was the fact that people are so riveted by the generalized takes on marriage and relationships as a whole that people are no longer ready to add their bits into a relationship… A wrecked affair always calls for the aid of a counselor or a film like ‘KANK’ to look upon as the perfect solution to an imperfect relationship….no wonder they say, desperate times call for desperate measures!
However, the point being that when people demand reciprocities in relationship, they should be at equal arms in facing the repercussions….you can’t easily get away in a relationship, put aside the superhit recipe for disaster- traditional male dominated society and modern empowerment of women….(exceptions: blatant n brutal cases).
There are innumerable examples or cases that one can cite for failed marriages and relationships… causes are myriad, ends are disastrous and hopes are very short lived. Our acts can be justified but times of misery cannot be justified even if you lay beneath the pile of sorrows or stretch to move on.
Communication in relationships have often been held responsible….when there was a communication void, people were claustrophobic in a relation and when people started talking, it lead most to the most malicious end. The cult of the individual always wants to be heard and speaks on realization. Very famously said that ‘the seeds of the solution lie in the problem itself’…. All you need to do is ‘read between the lines’.