Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of Moments, Magic, and Memories

It has been a year since I wrote my last B.Tech exam. But the transition that my life has made during this period makes it difficult to believe that just one year has passed since then. Yet, at times I wonder that a whole year has gone by and I could hardly notice. Fortunately for me, it was only a transition that I had to adjust to…a few other college friends had to deal with the somersaults that their lives took in the meanwhile.

My own life was never so hectic before. Without any doubt, the best part of the job so far has been the training in Kolkata, where I met some people who have become friends for life. But after coming to Mumbai last August, it has been a series of transitions that I had to deal with. To begin with, the job wasn’t easy earlier (it has become much better now). Ever since Vikas left for Delhi in October, I have been living alone in a 2BHK flat and believe me, it ain’t easy. Traveling in locals has always been more of a challenge rather than a simple commuting to work.

As I sat reflecting as to how could I deal with all the changes that happened over the past one year, the answer suddenly dawned upon me a few days back.

Last weekend Sam had come to Mumbai and we met each other after a gap of almost one year. We were so very happy to see each other. Only both of us would have preferred better reasons for the meeting. Yet meeting Sam was such a joyous occasion that it called for a celebration. We fondly remembered our days at Roorkee and revived all those pleasant memories. We spoke of our life after Roorkee, our jobs and our future plans, recession etc. But as we had limited time at our hands, we had to head for Dadar a little later. The very next day, he was to fly back to Delhi and I had to go to the client’s office as usual. At Dadar, he boarded the local for Goregaon (a new and hopefully a pleasant experience for him :D) and I took the train for Kurla.

Still immersed in the thoughts of the beautiful evening, my mind was flooded with the memories of all those days…the class bunks, the assignments and the submissions, the handmade Xerox copies (that would grow in a combination of various geometric progressions…each with its own multiplying factor which lies anywhere between 1 to 10. Let there be one copy of a 40 page assignment and entire class would be ready for submission within an hour) , the endless NCC drills and camps, hours spent drenched in sweat in gymnasium, the sleepless nights during the examinations, SURA project presentation, Shimla trip, movies, weightlifting - injuries and medals , chapos, ragging, notes for xerox before TS (the Xerox wala must be the busiest man during TS), various stage performances where Sam filled up the voids of my voice with the chords of his guitar, rafting at Rishikesh, placements, BTP and finally the farewell…

For many of us, life is surely not a cakewalk. At times, months and years of struggle finally give way to a few moments worth cherishing all life. Some of these moments may have occurred long back, but they are the treasures that are now an inherent part of our lives, which no one can take away from us. And when I am enervated, overwhelmed by the challenges of life, these are the moments that drive me to fight the battles of life again and it is the anticipation of such moments that makes it all worth the effort. Meeting with Sam was another such moment and I am still counting on many more of such moments to brighten up my life…
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Christmas Cake

Being a 22 year old consultant to clients with professional work experience of more than 32 years and being addressed as ‘sir’ by some of them, Akshat had already been in awkward situations many times.

But about a month ago, his patience was put to litmus test by one of the clients, Mr. JD.

After explaining a particular not so difficult (but a bit lengthy) process nine times to Mr. JD, Akshat had already surpassed all his previous records for not allowing his temper to blow off. Yet it happened…for it was almost inevitable...Mr. JD asked him to explain it again. Akshat explained him yet again but at the end of it, made a sarcastic comment about the intelligence of Mr. JD, which Mr. JD could not understand (simply because had he been able to understand it, he would have understood the process itself much earlier.) Ignorant of all this, Mr. JD was flashing his ‘show all your teeth’ smile. And since Akshat knew Mr. JD since the very early stages of the project, he knew that the smile was not fake…rather it was an innocent smile, smile of a person who did not even understand the sarcasm directed at him…but Akshat had lost good portion of the day just for one silly process when several other important issues were to be addressed by the day end and therefore even that innocent smile kept pushing his temper to its limits…but somehow Akshat kept his unprofessional behavior in control and walked out of the room by giving some excuse.

Few weeks passed. All through this time Akshat kept avoiding Mr. JD for the fear of losing a good portion of the day on some silly process…yet again.

Time went on and before Akshat could become aware of it, just a few days were left for Christmas. His schedule had been very hectic all through this time.

Mr. JD, a Christian, went to his hometown for Christmas. (Here, Akshat worked on Christmas Eve too)

Mr. JD came back a day after Christmas and brought a cake. But even before Akshat could smell it, the other members of the group had gulped it down and were grinning. Akshat just jokingly complained to Mr. JD about not being able to get the cake.

The very next day when everyone went for lunch, Mr. JD asked Akshat to follow him to another room. And Akshat could almost sense the loss of the rest of the day…

Mr. JD did not ask to explain anything. He just took out a box from his bag and handed it over to Akshat and said, “Sir, I brought it from the best shop of Kemps Corner, especially for you.”

And even before Akshat could open the box, the redolence told him that it was a cake…a Christmas cake…and the man standing before him, oblivious of Akshat’s embarrassment, kept flashing his innocent smile.