2014 - Time And Place - Part 5

Anonymous 10

The year is coming to an end and here I am doing the same things as I was during the start of the year in Jan, applying for M.S. in USA. It’s like life has come a full circle with lot’s of things happening throughout the year but ultimately I am back to where I began this year. It’s now or never for my graduate studies. I have decided that I am not gonna apply again and this is my last chance because I feel that it’s already going to be tough for me to go back to studies and delaying it further is not gonna help.

The year started with me assigned some development project which is not normal because most of the work in my company is bug-fixing and code maintenance. So it was a really good opportunity to learn and I worked really hard for it. Even stayed late most of the days to meet the deadlines. But in the end the project got shelved and I was really disappointed to see that my time and work amounts for nothing. Though working on this project created a technically astute image of me among my seniors and kind of differentiated me from other new joinees which paved way for interesting opportunities in future.

My cousin’s marriage was scheduled in March. So almost every weekend in Feb I was in some market with my parents shopping and I was also assigned the duty of wedding card distribution (basically I was their driver). It was really tiring to go from one corner in Delhi to another with so much traffic everywhere and to gorge on soft-drinks and snacks at each house which really took a toll on my stomach. Among the midst of wedding preparations I was asked by my Manager whether I wanted to go to Korea for business trip to which I said yes, so now I had to plan for my trip as well. The marriage week was fun with all the cousins getting together and lots of dance masti everyday just the kind of thing needed at that time to take me away from monotonous work life.

After a few days I was off to Korea and it was very cold first few days there. The office campus was huge with three tall buildings. I was seated on 24th floor of one of the buildings and I could see the entire span of the city from the window. It was very difficult to communicate with the Koreans as most of them didn’t know even basic English, but I did manage to learn few words. There were two other people from India with me and we used to make lots of fun of our Korean manager. Whenever he came to us with work we used to abuse him in Hindi and he would just nod like we explained him something. The weekends were mostly spent going to various tourist places. I managed to go to an amusement park, an underwater aquarium, on a river cruise and did shopping in various markets. I felt independent there far away from home with my parents not around. I even spent an entire night at a dance club which I don’t imagine myself doing in Delhi.
I got a chance to visit Korea second time in September, this time to a different city. This trip was more of a paid vacation with very light work and lots of travel to new places. Also my manager this time was a cool dude, knew good english so no problem in communication and just never put me any kind of work pressure. In both these trips I made new friends, visited almost all the famous tourist spots of Korea, learned a lot technically and created memories which would last with me forever.

In November, my brother who is in US was coming to India for a month. He wanted to visit Puri and my mother also wanted to use her LTC so a trip to Puri was planned. It was a spiritual trip so most of the time was spent visiting various temples and of course The Jagannath temple. The last day of the trip was Puri Parikrama organised by Iskcon temple which was a 21 Km circumambulation of Puri. I had never thought I would walk continuously for so much distance without taking much rest, but I did it. Last 5 Kms were really tough but after completion I felt a great sense of achievement and it could only be possible because of my brother who just kept motivating me. We were really tired but the best part was that our hotel was near the beach so without wasting much time we went straight into the ocean and all our fatigue and pain just got washed away with the waves.

The year 2014 for me was a year of travel. I have never been to so much places in a year before. Despite so many days of travel there were also days where I felt very dull and uninteresting. As the year passed, the work became a lot boring and I felt that I am not growing as a professional in this company. I am not able to get much time for myself, most of the time goes in the office and travelling to the office from home. I felt I didn’t try harder to change my job. I could have given more interviews and prepared well for it, but is unable to manage my time as of now. I hope I would manage my time better in 2015 and would finally be able to switch my job. Also hope that my parents would get convinced to send me for MS if I do get selected.

Happy New Year!!

Alberto Granado

Travelling, first salary, intern-job(search), research, friends, altruism. 2014, was great for most part of it, or I should say was perfect, but for some "little" details. I am told, I am one of the few who would be doing this for 5th year in a row, so this is important, even if it means sitting at home on 31st night so that I can write this (just kidding, I have nothing better to do than this). To be very honest, my complete year is logged in chats with with the author of the blog, thank you "Spectator", for being an interested/patient spectator to my life. You promised your story of the year in Goa, looking forward to it.

There have been so accounts to share for this year, so many greats, so many highs, so many lows.

I attended my first music festival, Firefly. The atmosphere was great, it was perhaps the first and the only thing I witnessed in the US that was as the hollywood and commercials portray. Amazing crowd, awesome bands, foo fighters, imagine dragons, arctic monkeys, lumineers, and 100s of others. But the music is not what I want to talk about, I want to share my near death experience. So it is 11 p.m. and I decide to head back to our tent ( yes, mounting our own tent in the ground, check), I am wearing my shades and not my normal glasses, and this is the first time I realise that I am practically blind at night. I only have a rough idea of our tent location, and a 1000 tents at the least in the ground. It gets better, all my friends are out of battery, the only place they can charge is car, whose keys are with me. So no calling for help. I put on my james bond hat, and tried with central locking remote, other random detective things that got me very close to the tent but never to our tent exactly. Now, I don;t know how but suddenly while roaming around after 2 hours, and having been standing on feet for 10 hours, I show up on the expressway out of no where. So there are trucks going at 100 MPH and there is myself on foot.  Also there are stories running in my head of guys getting raped on highways, and every time I would see a 6ft 6 inch guy, my heart would skip a beat, this is it, this is it. So , I start running, found a cab, asked me to drop in the general area of the music fest, and slept with my head resting on a truck's tyre. I woke up in the morning, and with my eyesight back, I found our tent. I found my friends sleeping in the tent, snoring. I wanted to kill them all, at that very moment.

Everyone who has been in a CS program at one point or other has dreamed of getting into Google.At this diwali, my dream came true. I had my eyes wet, with tears, if I had not been surrounded by so many people, I would have cried that day. Still, those who know me, know even wet eyes are a big thing, for this  heartless soul. I won't be joining Google, but that is different and immaterial. It was perhaps my toughest decision till date, and I am not sure I made the right one, but I am content for now.

I have been asked many times, which girl did you like in school, college, here, there, and I have given many answers, but some time back I did come across a girl I really liked, this girl, I thought I could finally ask out, she was perfect for me, but before I could muster up the courage, I found out she is already with someone. After a lot of cursing the entire world, I came to believe, if there was one, there will be another one too by law of probability (thank you prob-stats class).

My mom and dad visited me in Boston, during my internship. I am not the best host, but it is ok, I am only a kid. I was happy that I had a small role to play in my dad coming to US which he had wanted for so long. My dad's best friend also happened to live in Boston, I think he was more happy to meet him there, than me, but who can blame him, his friend had been calling him for at least 10 years now. A few years back, when my dad almost visited US, his friend bought a complete new set of plates, because he is a non-vegetarian and my dad is a bit of paranoid in these matters. I was really happy that he could meet his friend in US. If you can have even one such friend when you are 55, you surely have done something right.

I tried to help a lot of people this year, it was not always without a intention of something in return. Most of the times, I think I did it with the same intention as Don Corleone (Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me). I think, I understand how concept of Godfather works. You help someone, then that person owes you one, and use that owe-you-one to ask for help for another person. Only once did I face a rejection, when a person refused to return the countless favors, but you don't let that change you.

I spent my last 2 days of the year in Vrindavan, I love that place. We spend most of the time there in an ashram, that is the residing place of maharajji, he has left this world now, but his blessings stay. I have only heard the stories, and they are all very charismatic. I know it is not a  good time to talk about babas with p.k. just having released, so I will keep this short. So we asked panditiji over there, "gajar ka halwa chadd jaayega kya radha-krishan ko", he goes - "dekho beta chaddate toh nahin hain hum kyunki niyam mein gajar mana hai. Niyam mein bahut bandhishein hain, aur jahan prem ya bhakti aa jaaye wahan fir  kuch nahin hai, gajar ho ya mooli ho ya pyaaz ho fir koi farak nahin padta". One last incident, this happened with a rikshaw driver, yes a rikshaw puller - "bauji agar main bataun toh insaan do hi karan se dukhi rehta hai, ya toh abaav se ya subhav se" ,(man is unhappy either because he doesn't have enough or by nature), wisdom can come from anywhere and anyone.

I have been fighting a battle with the whole world all this time, towards the end of the year something happened which made me think I have finally defeated everyone, but then I thought some more and realized maybe I knew the rules all wrong. We will see.

There is a lot missing from this, but here is something just for you anant - "mummy daddy intern t.j.-watson".


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