Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Birthday to Remember

Before I get into the details of what this post is all about, first an update. Apy is in Mexico. It’s been 1 year since my last post. It would be silly to think if anyone still remembers this place but here I am, writing another post. I don’t know why, I love this place. I don’t know why I stopped blogging and I don’t even know if I am going to be regular at this now but will definitely keep trying.

Currently, I am living with 2 roommates, Liz and Naaz. It was Naaz’s birthday on Saturday and we (me and Liz) had planned the day one week back. The idea was to irritate Naaz to the core and then give her a surprise party. Well, as long as I am in the picture, irritating someone is never a problem. We started building the base a week back by telling Naaz that we were planning to go for a trek on Saturday (the day of her birthday). She had had an accident a month back and she is still not supposed to trek. That meant that she was going to be all by herself on her birthday. She tried her best not to look irritated.

As her birthday approached, she got more and more upset. We felt bad a little but it was worth it. All the lies were planned. For everything that we did, a lie was thought of beforehand. On Saturday, we wished her and told her that there had been a little modification in the plan and we were going for a night trek instead of the day and we would leave in the evening. The guest list was planned and all the friends were invited. We usually party in such a way that everyone cooks something and gets along. So, we had to cook just one dish for the party.

At lunch time, I told her that we would cook something nice for her for the lunch as we won’t be there for the dinner. Also, we may not come back at night. With that, her last hope of cutting the cake vanished and she had a clear LCD display on her face saying “Fk you Apy!!!” She was on the verge of crying. (As I said, irritating someone can never be a problem if I am around.)

Since she likes fish, we started cooking fish for her. Luckily for us and also for her, she went to sleep in the afternoon. It was ‘Lucky for her’ because we had thought of a lie for that situation as well. We would have said that since it’s a night trek, we would take the fish along for dinner at night. Considering, the liking that she has for the fish, no one could have stopped her from crying after that.

We cooked fish for the party. In evening, when people started to come home for the party, she still thought that they were all there to go out for the night trek. She was sitting amongst all in her pajamas as she had woken up after a long sleep.

We didn’t want her to cut the cake in her night suit so Liz took her upstairs and convinced her to join us for the “trek”. For that, Liz had to answer a million questions bombarded upon her by Naaz.

Finally, she got dressed and came down to realize the fact that everyone was there for her birthday party. She was so confident that we were not going to celebrate her birthday that she did not respond at all even when we shouted “SURPRISEEEE!!”. It was only after she saw the cake, she realized what had been going on.

Finally, she gave a smile and cut the cake. A smile, for which we had to use a million lies.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

An Old Friend!

It feels so weird when you meet an old friend. A friend, with whom you used to spend most of the day. A friend, who knew you inside out once. A friend, with whom there was no end to the conversation. Even after talking for hours, you’d realize later that some things were still left unsaid.

I met my best friend from school sometime back. Thanks to Orkut. I can’t even begin to describe how happy I was on getting a scrap from her. She asked me if I remembered her and I was like “Duh!!” I had been looking for her since I don’t know when. I had already searched for her on Orkut earlier but could not find her. She found me.

As soon as we exchanged phone numbers, she called me. It was as if we were back in school days again. There were so many things to talk about. It’s been 8 years since we spoke last time and a lot has changed since then. We spoke for more than an hour but realized within a few days that we both are way too busy with a lot of new things. As I said, a lot has changed. We both work and are totally occupied in our own lives. The good part is that no matter how busy we are, we still manage to take 2 minutes out of the day to say hello to each other.

Back to the weird part, this comes after the first conversation with the old friends. A realization, that unlike the old times, there are very few things left to talk about. After asking the usual questions, there is just nothing else left to say. And then you realize, is this is the same friend with whom there was no end to the conversation?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Messed Up

Liquor Shop Owner: Yes Sir, What do u need?
X: Do you have Kingfisher?
LSO: Yes sir, how many?
X: I don't want that. Do you have Haywards 5000 '350ml' can?
LSO: NO sir, I don't have that.
X: Do you have '650 ml' bottle?
X: '500ml' can?
LSO: Yes sir, how many?
X: Just one.
LSO: That would be 50 bucks.
[gives 50 bucks]
X: You don't have '650 ml' bottle?
LSO: No sir
X: Then return my money. I want the bottle.
LSO: Shall I give two '350 ml' cans?
X: Okay, Give me that.
LSO: That would be 10 bucks more.
X: You dont have 650 ml ?
X: Then give me back my money, I want only 650 ml bottle.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Last few weeks have been quite eventful. Delhi trip was great, and I had an amazing time. The amazing time involved a road trip to Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab. The best part was the long drive with the family, something that we did after a long time.

Then, the wedding of the school friend was quite exciting. It was fun to see him smile for the last time. The cameraman was a pain in the patootie. At times, he used to shout as if it was his wedding and people had come to create problems. Man!! It was irritating every time he said… “Thoda Idhar”. “Thoda Udhar”. “Aap Thoda side ho jaao”. “Wait, Wait”. Finally, we were like, “BALLS!! If you can’t click pictures on time, its not our problem.” But apart from that, the ceremonies went pretty well.

After coming back, something horrible happened. A close friend lost her father. I could not understand what could be the comforting words in such situations. Suddenly, I had nothing to say to her. I was there with her all the time but could not think of a single sentence, which I could say to her to comfort her, to make her feel better. I felt helpless, watching her cry.

Last week, I was standing at a Traffic signal and I saw an old man in rags, selling ear-cleaning sticks. He was trying to convince a guy in a car to buy a packet. However, that person was least interested. Finally, the car guy took out a 20 Rupee note and gave it to the old man and asked him to keep the packets with him. But the old man, instead of taking the money and walking away, insisted that the guy take the packet. In fact, since he had given 20 bucks, he took out one more packet and tried to give it to him as each packet cost 10 bucks. He forcefully kept those 2 packets in his car and told that guy that he wont be able to eat his food if he took that money without giving him the packet. “I am not a Beggar, sir!” was all I could hear him say. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. I wanted to help this guy and would have bought a few packets from him but suddenly the traffic signal turn green and I had to move since I was on a bike

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bargaing at it's Best!!!

So, I wanted a leave. Under normal circumstances, I would just have to go to my Boss and give him the dates but not this time. This time, I have been working at a client location. So, my Boss couldn’t possibly help me with the leaves.

“You will have to talk to your manager in that company!” was all he said. I didn’t like the idea as I know the person he was referring to and I knew what was coming my way. Since I had no other option, I decided to talk to him.

“Hi M, I need a leave for 10 working days. I need to go to Delhi. It’s been quite a while since I went back home and also, a friend of mine is getting married. He happens to my school friend so, it’s really important for me to be there.”

“10 days??” he sounded as if I sentenced him life imprisonment which of course is not a bad idea. I was shocked by the way he expressed his shock.

M: Can’t you postpone this to some other date?

Apy: No, my friend is getting married and I need to attend the wedding else I would have done it.

M: You can take 5 days now and 5 days after some time

Apy: I m going to spend a huge amount on my travel. I can’t go to Delhi again and again.

M: 10 days is a long duration. People usually take that long leave in case there is an emergency or a marriage.

Apy: There is a marriage, my friend is getting married.

M: I am talking about your marriage.

Apy: Ohh!!

M: I m sorry, but I will be able to give you only 5 days off as we are expecting some high priority work (and also some crap which I cant remember as I didn’t bother to listen)

After some more wasted discussion

Apy: Okay then, give me 8 days.

M: I will give you 7.

Apy: Fine 7. But, in addition to that I’ll take a half day on the day I leave and half on the day I come back

M: That will make 8 days.

Apy: Yeah… kind of, but that’s the best I can think of right now.

M: Fine. You may take it

All through this process, I felt as if I was standing and buying grocery. The only thing that was left in this was “Bhaiya, Theek Theek Lagao!”

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Client

So, I joined the new company "X". It was a little weird as everything was new, the infrastructure, the people. But this post is not about the new company X.

When I was interviewing at different companies, I went to a company named "Y". It is a very high profile company and an excellent pay master. The interview did not go well as I had flown down from Kolkata just a day back and hadn’t had a chance to prepare before the interview, so, went anyway, just for the heck of it.

Back to the joining date:

Well, I was told at the time of interview at X that I will have to work at a client location in Bangalore. The name of the company was not mentioned and I was not so sure about that but agreed to it at that time. So on D day (joining date), my manager called me in morning to tell me the name of the client where I was actually supposed to work. It turned out that the client was Y.


The manager wanted to introduce me to the client and I was supposed to go through the client interview. (WHICH MEANT I WAS GOING TO BE INTERVIEWED AGAIN AT Y). Suddenly, my stomach churned. I was not sure whether it was the breakfast or the name of the client.

I asked my manager to give me a few days if it was going to be another interview. Luckily he agreed. Then after that for the next few days all I did was read (even in the loo). I had to get through this interview. There was no way around it. The scary part that I wanted to avoid was the person who had taken my interview the first time.
“It’s a big company, may be the requirement is in another team.” I tried to tell this to myself again and again but it never worked. The apprehensions were giving me nightmares. Finally, the D day arrived and luckily the person who interviewed me was somebody else. The interview went just fine and I was supposed to join on the next day.

I was still not very sure about the next day. But I didn’t think I had an alternative. I went to client’s (Y) office and the manager who took my interview introduced me to the team. And then, I was introduced to my lead.

Turns out, he was the same guy who took my interview initially.


“We’ve met… right?” This was all he said when we shook hands. I smiled and came up with, “Yes! Absolutely.”

Well, I’ve been working with him since then. Turns out, he is not as bad as he initially seemed to be but then I usually don’t trust people easily and he is no exception.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Revenge of Apy!!

Days go by and I wonder what the heck hit me. I sit on my desk staring at the screen. My life has become more like a pendulum between the lab and my desk .Sometimes I love it. But then there are times when I wonder, where exactly I am heading? I mean, Is this what I want from my life? In my last to last post I wrote about the stuff that I had planned for my Manager. I guess I will continue from there. There are loads of things to tell and I wish I had the time to write it all.

So when I got my new offer letter and date of joining got extended to a date after 2 months, I figured I can relax and have a good time in office. My manager wanted me to suffer in these 2 months and I was really not in a mood for that.

The Monday after Diwali, I was getting ready for office and I felt like talking to R (happens to be my best buddy. He had gone to Kolkata for Diwali then). At that time, he was in a train traveling to Assam. I spoke to his folks who have always treated me like a son. Told them that I miss them and I might come to Kolkata soon. R asked me why I couldn’t come to Assam the same day as it was going to be an amazing trip and they will be covering complete North East India. I was tempted but then suddenly remembered that I was getting ready to go to office and I told him the same. R has the ability of convincing people pretty smoothly, yeah, including me. He just had to tell me that it’s a once in a life time opportunity. I will be able to see Assam, Kaziranga, Shillong, Cherrapunji. In a way, that’s almost complete North east India.

Me, greedy me. I was tempted but going to Guwhati from Bangalore on such a short notice was insane. I mean I didn’t have air tickets and absolutely no idea how to go about everything. He wanted me to reach Guwhati by next morning. I got on net, checked for the availability of tickets. Tickets were available but they were pretty expensive. He had warned me to hurry up as the mobile was going to be out of coverage area as soon as they would enter Assam. In a matter of 30 minutes, I booked the tickets, packed my stuff, left home by 3 and was in air by 5. Phew!!

I made it to Guwhati. Had to stay in Kolkata for a night, for which he had made arrangements. Now, that’s what I call an uncertain life. I was getting ready for office and within 24 hours, I was in Assam(for more details refer to the map of India). The good thing was that my manager sat at a different location. I was still apprehensive as I could not inform him or anyone that I will be away. I was simply absconding. I couldn’t be online in Assam and my mobile was not working either. So, I had no information about office.

I was in Assam for one week and after that we went to Kolkata by train. As soon as we came out of Assam, my phone started working again. It had been one week since I’d gone to office. I was not sure if some one had figured out that I was missing or not as no one in my team sat in that particular office. We were supposed to be in train for the whole day and then suddenly I received an SMS from my manager. It simply said, “Apy, call me back.”.

I was like… O FK!!!!

I was still in train and I had no idea what to tell him. The train had stopped but I was still scared.
What if some Chai wala came shouting Chai Chai Chai …

I called him up anyway. He asked me whether I was on leave on that day. Suddenly it hit me. If he was asking me this question that means he does not know that I bunked my office last week. I told him, "yeah.. I am sick!". He asked me to meet him on next day. NEXT DAY?? R U NUTS?? I told him that I was bed ridden and wont be able to come to office for a week at least.

Suddenly a Chai wala came and everyone around him Shhhed him, asked him to keep his mouth shut. For a while he got scared, wondering if these people were okay. I kept talking to my manager for some more time telling him how miserable I felt. At the end of the call, he asked me once again, “Are u in Bangalore”? By then I was pretty confident about all my lies and with the same confidence I replied, “Of course I am in Bangalore. In fact, I m at home. I tolya I am bedridden for a week.”

Rest one week was fun. Kolkata is an amazing place. That’s where I gave an interview in an amusement park.

So when I joined office after 2 weeks (officially one week), my manager had assigned that work to someone else due to urgency… n I was one free birdie again.