Sunday, April 27, 2008


Its been hectic, hectic days at office. At least, compared to what it was couple of months ago. Speaking of office, 2 colleagues quit within a span of a week. Its quite saddening, but I have got used to this routine of once-in-a-month event. That final look and smile you share with one another knowing pretty well the odds that you will not meet the person ever again in your life. The nostalgia of all those good moments spent together come flooding back in moments such as those and you can but just smile and bid adieu.

Among the two who quit, one quit joining another company and another quit to join MBA. I myself did not pursue higher studies after my graduation, and that perhaps is the reason why I am in always awe of people who do their Masters. But the real sad thing I see nowadays is that even some Masters candidate is pretty much doing the same thing as what I am doing, which is being a software professional, although they haven’t done their Masters in anything related to Computers! Now that’s really a shame. I really would like to see people who have done their Masters to join a profession which will give credit to their field of study, and excel in that occupation instead of joining the bandwagon of software professionals.

Well, nothing great about me either, which I think is why I feel so. Me, coming from an Electronic background joined an industry which really does not give credit to my education. I really feel that it’s a lot of waste of time. But the past is the past and one has to get on with the flow.

In a mindset like this the info about Harish Hande came as a whiff of fresh air. He did his Energy Engineering in IIT, then Masters, then PHD and finally opened a company called SELCO which has the main objective of supplying electricity to the rural India which in itself is a noble cause. A perfect education fuelling a social obligation. What else can one do better in life than bettering millions of others’ lives. I had the pleasure of hearing him out in our company campus where he was invited as a guest to speak on his company. He started off saying ‘I was surprised to know that Infosys has 6 entrance gates. My office has about 6 doors’ or something to that effect!

Well, to each his own. Everybody works at one point of time or the other. Some for themselves and some for others. For some, it is just a daily space and time filler, to be occupied by mundane activities in an AC room instead of whiling away at home under the fan. And for some it is a sort of commerce wherein the member belongs to a class of public service.

I remember one incident when I was on my way to Chippagiri from Manthralaya. We were going in an APSRTC bus when the driver suddenly stopped and said something in Telugu over his back towards the lady conductor. Apparently the squad had stopped the bus and couple of officers boarded the bus. One started asking customers for the ticket and the other took notes from the conductor’s tickets. At the end of about half hour, the conductor was crying. Her heart was filled with extreme desperation. She didn’t seem to be the type who would cheat the Government by taking money from passengers but not giving them tickets. Perhaps she didn’t yet have time to give tickets to all who had boarded and who were at the back of the bus. But the officer seemed to be a very strict no-nonsense kind of guy who didn’t agree with her when she said the passengers who didn’t have ticket had just got on the bus.

Imagine that. I mean, a bus filled with anywhere from 50 to 70 passengers with varying pickup points and varying destinations and the conductor, a lady conductor, has to walk all the way till the end of a crowded bus to give tickets to all kinds of egoistic male morons, some of who consider it a joy to see her in tears. And she was penalized, asked to sign a paper in front of all 70 of us that she was not performing her duty. My heart went out to her. Whether she was performing her duty to the best of her ability, I did not know, but the whole scene was just too depressing. To think what will happen to her salary was just beyond me. Obviously the process has to be corrected of issuing tickets, of the way people board the bus, to standardize it and ensure it is cheat-less, instead of blaming the person responsible.

We too have audits in our office. Audits are informed about a day in advance such that we have sufficient time to clean our defiled history, make proper documentation and ensure all is in place. Some of them just don’t bother because the salary is not directly proportional if not majorly impacted by the audit. What a huge difference in scenario although the underlying topic is the same…

When we finally reached Chippagiri, a small village famed after the great saint Vijayadasa’s temple, I saw a family consisting of a husband, wife, their small kid child and the hubby’s parents. They had come for the child’s Aksharabhyaasa, the auspicious occasion marking the child’s start of education. My initial impression was that the family was from a nearby town and this temple was the place of worship for all their family’s celebrations.

The family seemed very respectable and very cultured. The husband was enchanting. He sang slokas from his heart in a soulful tune. He sang devotional songs in a wonderful passion. His wife joined him in chorus. Overall the family seemed extremely religious and very much in touch with the Vedas and spirituality. He sang more songs during lunch time and by now, pretty much everyone in the temple noticed the whole family and started flocking them to know more about their whereabouts and how cultured they were. They wanted to know where he was working, staying, etc.

It came as quite shock to me when he said that he was working in Ebay in California, USA. Especially because I had marked them as a local family from a nearby town. Apparently such activities as sloka-chanting, voice conferenced pravachanas, devotional songs, etc are very much active near his house in US. So much so that it is not so much in India! It was really a culture shock that an Indian in US had retained so much of traditional family customs and traditions that he had come all the way to Chippagiri for his son’s Aksharabhyaasa! It truly was mind boggling.

But then this is an era when it no longer comes as a surprise when you hear Mr X or Ms Y shuttling between US, or any other country for that matter, and India. People have started frequenting other countries so regularly that they wouldn’t have visited parts of their own city in India in the same fashion. Like a guy from Bangalore would have visited The White House in US twice within a year with his friends and again 6 months later with his wife but would not have seen resplendent Vidhana Soudha or the beautiful Sankey Tank in the same time frame!

Another thing to note about that guy in Chippagiri was his absolute devotion. I am kind of a mediocre guy and although I visit lot of religious places, I have my own perceptions of God and the Infinite, of devotion and of aloofness, of theism and atheism. I am neither here nor there, but yeah, I am somewhere!! But I read 2 interesting posts recently. Of course, no comments for both of them as I am in DMZ, so to speak, but yes, they were very interesting. One said that the concept of God is one of the biggest jokes ever told and the other said atheists don’t exist. The two blogs which I read within a span of few days of one another in itself was quite a thing!

Well, I think I will log off now. Sleepy.

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