Friday, July 04, 2008

Getting Back

Hmm..I've been away for a long long time from this place!! A year and a half almost and I haven't posted anything...Lots of things have changed since then, I've been through a lot too...Its not like I had forgotten about my blog, more like I didn't have enough motivation or enough energy to take some time, gather my thoughts and shape up.
But as they say - Better late than never...
So here I am - eighteen months later, wondering as to how the time flies by so quickly! So many of my half baked plans and my aspirations have withered away; to be replaced by those which have mushroomed and evolved in their stead...
Almost exactly one year after my last post, I was in such an envious position, some of my friends used to tell me I was real lucky to be where I was...I was facing new and challenging responsibilities on the career front, my financial position was firm, my familial relations for a change were cordial...
And then it all went downhill...
My job has never been one to give me 'Job Satisfaction' as they put it, but by the time December ended and January rolled out, I was feeling immense boredom due to the repetitive nature of the tasks I was handling and the hours I was putting in, definitely didn't seem worth it. The only thing that kept me sane in those couple of months I believe were my friends. I was in the immediate need for a break, and when one of my friends proposed a 11 day trip to Malaysia & Singapore, I jumped onboard. Getting leave from work was easy, for I had a three year backlog of unutilized leaves; the hard part was convincing my parents...Well, since they know how stubborn and hard headed I am, they had to give in eventually.
It was a fascinating adventure, immensely enjoyable and a perfect way for someone who was looking for a break.
Looking back however, I think a vacation to a foreign land, where all we did was sight seeing and indulging in fun and pleasures, was not such a grand idea.
What I really needed was some time alone to think things through and plan my immediate future. Coming back to work, I found out my job didn't hold anymore the little interest i had before. It was like I had just realized how stupid and inane things could be.
My immediate superior went on medical leave and the team's responsibility fell to me for a while, since I was the senior most person. Of course, it was a great learning experience for me, after all where do you see a two and a half years experienced guy getting to manage a ten people strong team? But when you cease to be just a colleague and become responsible for the actions of the people under you, you realise how frustating and exhilarating things could be at the same time.
All the mistakes and escalations due to such mistakes, are your responsibility and you have to find a way t o explain those things to your manager. Earlier, you could get away with passing a few comments (or bitching in general) while on a tea break with your team mates. Now, you don't have that option anymore. Instead, it is you who becomes the target, butt of the joke as they say...
But still, barring one or two experiences which I could have done without, I think I managed everything pretty well. Its the other things I neglected, that caused me so many problems.
I am a known procrastinator amongst my friends, and this bad habit of mine has gotten me into trouble so many times before that I have lost count now. Not that I learn from my past mistakes anyway. This time, I dallied in submitting the proofs of my Investments; Ergo, I ended up paying 60k as Income Tax, and found myself in great trouble financially. Things have settled down a bit now, but its six months later that I find myself able to breathe a little easier.
In the end, it all comes down to planning your finances sensibly and making judicious decisions regarding your investments and expenses. The Credit Card is a bane one must use only as the last resort, but I found myself relying on it very heavily at times. It's a lesson learnt, nay ingrained, in me that shall never be forgotten. Not that my credit history is bad now, but whatever obligations I still hold, make me uncomfortable and squeamish. Well, not much I can do about it now. I was hoping for a good raise this year, but it seems highly unlikely seeing as we were told rather categorically in the Employee Meet, not to expect more than 11% hike in our salaries. A big disappointment to be frank, but I guess the Industry has to compensate for the slow down somehow. And what better way to cut down expenditure, than to tone down the raise percentage? Atleast there were no pink slips handed out! Not that the situation is that bad, not like it was in the immediate aftermath of the dot-com bubble bust.
We are supposed to get our letters sometime next week, but this year there will be little to no celebrations or champagnes opened, that is for sure.
Anyways, apart from all this work and money stuff, things have been okay for the most part.
Well, Liverpool lost the CL finals in 2007 and the semis in 2008, but other than that things have settled well more or less.
Well. there was one nasty incident mid-October on my friend's birthday, that could have been avoided. But as they say, life teaches you things from both good and bad experiences.
This was one of my worst ones...
I was involved in an altercation with some street goons when being piss drunk, and the results were not pretty. My room mates are from north and I am the only person who speaks the local language, and being drunk was not much help to sort things out and get the hell out of there.
I don't even remember how it started, but I guess it must be something foolish and flimsy.
One of us had the urge to have tea at 2 in the night, and we ended up in one of the shadier parts of the town where you get tea and snacks 24*7, not hygienic, but who cares when you are still tipsy?
We were riding on the highway while we were quite drunk, very risky for both our lives as well as some poor soul who might have encountered us. I was spewing quite a mouthful of profanities in my mother tongue, Marathi, the local language which none of my mates understood. Unluckily, the locals knew exactly what I was saying, and one of them thought it would be a good idea to shut me up. In the end, my friends had to get me back home, I was too banged up to be conscious.
I remember one of our topics of discussion while we were drinking earlier(we get into some really heated debates once we start drinking), was the choice of our language of communication. On a professional level, we are supposed to use English, but sometimes we also mix in the national language, Hindi. My roommates are from the North and hence Hindi is a natural choice when we get together with other friends, but one of our friends present that day has a few problems with Hindi and is more at ease with English. Someone from the group raised a pointed question as to why don't some people feel the need to know the national language properly. I being myself, objected to Hindi being thrust upon us by the Northerners, for I myself prefer either my mother tongue or English, rather than Hindi, given a choice.
How ironic it was that it was my mother tongue that made me a target that night! None of my other friends had a scratch even, haha...
Well, I have never drunk and rode my bike since then. And never will I am sure.
Two months later just before Christmas, me and my friends had gone for another outing. None of our parties are dry ones, but we were far away from home, 30 kms almost, and I could see there were only two people who should have been driving back home. I had no choice but to ride pillion with one of my roommate. We reached our locality at about 4 in the morning and the bike slipped and we had an accident (just 1 km before we reached home!!). Another lesson learnt, never trust your bike nor your life in the hands of a drunk person.
Its been almost 2 and a half months since I have touched whiskey, only had a beer twice.
Not that we have had a reason to party since then, but I'm sure next time I will be the one in the driver seat if we end up going far from home. And I won't be drinking anything hard than a beer or two... ;)

1 comment:

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