Incredible Proposal

I had two posts up on my blog and was already running short of incidents in my life write about. Well I had once been conferred the title of the “World’s most Non-Happening Person” by a congregation of drunk friends. So I don’t think it would be wrong on your part to assume that I have run out of thoughts to further write about incidents or experiences in my own life.

Well to be honest, I am not a very happening person. I have had two instances in all my life in the recent past when I have confronted a situation that was out of normal. The first was when I jumped a traffic signal. I was stopped by a cop and fined for both breaking the traffic rule and for rash driving. The second time was again when I jumped a traffic signal and got fined only for breaking the traffic rule and not for rash driving. Well the irony here was I was not the only person who was jumping the signal but somehow managed to be the only one to get fined for doing it. For people who are unaware of the traffic discipline in India, here it is more uncommon to follow traffic rules than to break it.

Anyways this post if about one of the most incredible ways one could tell a girl his love for her. This incident occurred close to five years ago.May be I was in my sixth semester then, I had this strange feeling that a particularly good looking girl was destined to be my mate for life and my role in this entire scheme of things was-

1. Find that exceptionally pretty girl. And
2. Let her know that she was destined to spend her life in misery with me.

So I set out on this mission to find the right one and tell her that I was the one for her. And if she dint think so, convince her or may be threaten her with dire consequences if she refused to accept my proposal.

I had spotted this girl in college. She was about the same age and was kinda pretty. Post careful evaluation of the available options, I decided that this was the girl for me. Being from an all boys’ school I had very little experience interacting with girls and the mere presence of them generally made me uncomfortable. However I had to do my homework to make sure it was the right girl if I was going to propose to someone for the first time in my life.

The following were the activities I had been associated with in the process of confirming my choice of the girl.

1. Stalking the girl- I used to loiter around the campus especially around the Department of information Science ( That was her stream of Specialization) to basically check her out and to make sure she was not spending any extra time with one particular guy to rule out the possibility that she was already taken. I Did notice that on specific occasions she did spend more than just a little extra time with a specific guy. I hate to accept it but he scored higher than me on all scales of evaluation except facial hair and waistline. Although coming across such people was not something that was new to me, this particular guy really made me uncomfortable. However during my further course of investigation it was revealed that he was just her lab partner and could be ruled out from the list of potential threats. But somehow the amount of time he was spending with her in the canteen really made me hate him. I still do.

2. Trying to act cool- If you know me you would know why I say TRYING TO ACT COOL. I mean I fall under the category of people who are neither cool nor hot. I have the worst sense of dressing, incredibly terrible body shape and hairdo that did not exist at any stage of evolution of mankind. And trust me none of these would ever end up being a fashion statement ever unless I get elected as the president of the united states and my weirdness inspires some of our fashion gurus (I am too lazy right now to Google the names of some popular fashion designers. You can put in any name there if you have heard of any of them) and they end up popularizing my dressing as a style statement and the people turn out to stupid enough to actually wear them out on the streets. The point is someone who tries extra hard to look cool actually ends up looking stupid. It’s no just my dressing and physical appearance, I basically had a repelling personality. There was one incident where my friends and I ended up sharing the table adjacent to hers in our canteen. And I was really trying hard to impress her although she dint know I existed till that day. My friends had their fluid dynamics text book open and were having a serious discussion on the concept of velocity triangles, something which I dint know much about either. I however thought this was an opportunity for me to show off to her that amongst the group of guys who were sitting adjacent to her that I was an intellectual with an attitude to help the needy. I interrupted the entire discussion drawing the attention of my friends and started off with my discourse on “Velocity Triangles”. Well my intention was to impress her and not to educate the lesser mortals who were listening to me. As I was nearing the end of my lecture which lasted close to 15 minutes one of my friends interrupted me to say “Dude, I don’t know whom you are trying to impress here, but I just want you to know you are talking crap”. Well he was so loud when he made this statement that even people who dint know I was talking crap ended up laughing at me and yes she was one of them. The problem with having friends who know more than you do ‘you can never show off!!!!’, and if you try to, they will make you pay for it-Very dearly

3. Using the internet- There used to be a time when a college library used to be a place where you had access to information that was beyond the reach of a common man. But now this has changed. Google is far better than your librarian. And I knew that that Google and the internet together would give you much more information and ideas than a whole bunch of friends, councilors, magazines and a college library all put together. And the best part you don’t have to let anyone you interact with on a daily basis to know what is it you are trying to figure out. I used Google with the following search queries

a. How to impress a girl
b. Ways to propose a girl
c. Kind of guys girls like
d. Inexpensive gifts for your date
e. Best lines to propose.

It’s been almost five years and these are all I can remember. But you know how you brain redefines and refines you search query based on the results Google throws on your screen.

Well there are many more weird and stupid thing I did but its really embarrassing to list them out in a public forum no matter how shameless you are.

On a particular day I had made up my mind that I was going to tell her my love for her. Three things that you might want to note here are that,

a. I had never spoken to her before,
b. She dint know I existed apart from the embarrassing incident in the canteen and
c. She was clearly out of my league.

But I had made up my mind. Well you can’t hold me entirely responsible for my actions because a lot of factors played their role in convincing me, it was time to disclose my feeling to her. But I think the key factor was a seminar on spirituality conducted by a consignment of spiritual leaders from a certain organization whose aim was supposedly the spiritual enlightenment of the youth. I was stupid enough not only to attend the seminar, but also to be carried away by it.

I was so inspired by the phrases on the posters of Swami Vivekananda that were displayed at their stall, one specific poster in particular was exceptionally inspiring going by my then state of mind. The phrase read something like this “Purity, Perseverance and Passion are the three essentials to success, above all it is love”. I searched my pockets for money and I found a disfigured currency note with a 10 rupee denomination. Being a day-scholar I had limited access to pocket money. I mean my expenses had to be accounted for or you could say the category of miscellaneous expenses did not exist in my families account book. I exchanged that note for the specific poster that had the lines mentioned above and walked towards the parking lot to wait for her.

I spent an incredible amount of time waiting for her and rehearsing my dialogues in the mean time. When she finally arrived I was so sure that she was going to fall head over heals for me. As I walked towards her I remember seeing the expression on her face change to everything from amused to scared. Am not sure if the excitement and anxiety within me made me to put on the expression of a rapist from a 1960’s Bollywood movie, however she knew I was approaching her because she was the only person and hers was the only scooter in the direction I was walking.

My first and only conversation with who was then the love of my life was as follows

Me- Hi I am XYZ!!!

She – HI

Me- I am here to tell you something I have been wanting to say for a long time.

Her expression changes from inquisitive to something like “I think he might hurt me- but I can kick his balls and get away”

She- Ya, what is it? But do I know you?

Me- UUH!! I have never said something like this before but I am in love with you…

Her mouth drops like her lower jaw was made of mild steel and I jus placed a super magnet below her jaws. I am not surprised I stunned her, but I was also certain I would get an answer like “I need time” or “I am sorry- I think we should spend time with each other before I can actually give you an honest reply to that statement” or atleast something like “I don’t think I am your type”. I was even prepared to confront statements like “Fuck off- Jerk!!!” but she said few words for which I had not thought of a reply.

She – Am Sorry, I am committed

I wouldn’t say I was heartbroken or something like that, I just dint have the right reply to counter that because I had assumed that she was single. So I say.

ME- Is der any possibility you guys might break up, I mean if you do, let me know.

She – ya sure, I’ll keep this in mind if we do break-up

So I turn around and walk off feeling like an idiot and then turn back and walk back to her and say

Me- uuh!! I had a gift to give you if you said yes, but I want you to have it although you said no.

And I had over a poster of Swami Vivekananda that read “Purity, Perseverance and Passion are the three essentials to success above all, it is love” can you believe that.!!!!!!!!! She sees the gift and says

She- NO I cant accept it

Me- No please, I got it for you.

She – please. I cant accept it

ME- No don’t worry it cost me only 10 bucks( about 20 cents)

She – ok, fine

Me- ok thanks

This conversation might give you your answer as to why my first conversation ended up being the only conversation i had with her. However I continued stalking her on some social networking sites till she finally got married to a dentist. And I still haven’t figured out how a dentist is better than a guy who was inspired by Swami Vivekananda.

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Categories: humour

The Special Gift

Right from the time I was a kid I have been told that god created each of us to be unique and special ( Well I studied in a Christian missionary boys’ school). And that we all have our unique special gift that god has given us and it is our ability identify this and nurture it that makes us special. Well I guess I was stupid enough to buy that.

I have had moments in my life where I too thought that I had it in me, or I should say that I was blessed with that “special gift” to become anything from a scientist to a super-model.

Way back in school, I guess I was in the kindergarten, I won the first prize for story telling. Now when I think of it, I guess I was the only participant for the competition. Anyways the prize was a book called the wooden horse. It was the story of a Greek king who entered the city of troy hiding himself in a wooden horse to save his queen who was stolen by the Trojan king. Pretty much the movie “Troy” but the entire thing was described in not more that 250 words.

After having my father read the story for me, I decided I was going to be the king of Greece but I dint want to just save my queen, I wanted kill the Trojan king and steal his queen and take her back with me to Greece. Guess I was a pervert right from the time I was born. And more, I wanted the Trojans and Greeks and my queen and the queen i stole after killing her husband and my family and friends and the gods and the rest of the world who were in no way concerned with all this to adore me for that.

A couple of years later, when I was old enough to remember names of multiple characters in stories, my grandfather took up the task of educating me on the Indian epics. He would tell me stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata which always had this really brave and smart boy (the prince) who would fearlessly slay demons and snakes(am still scared of snakes). After getting some insight into the indian epics, I decided that I would grow up to be Hanuman because he was the mightiest super hero I mean he could kick the asses of all the other superheroes in one shot. He was simply awesome.

Later I realized that it would not be possible to be either the king of Greece or Hanuman because I am neither Greek nor am I a monkey who is a die-hard fan of lord Ram. So I decided to look at more feasible career options.

I had parents, friends and teachers who would flatter me with words like “you are very intelligent”. Falling for these words of praise, sometime when I was in my second or third standard I decided to be a scientist. I had just begun to hear names like Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison and Issac Newton and I was more than certain I was brainer than all of them. But somehow I never managed to top my tests in school and soon I began to hear the phrase “There is no substitute for hard work” instead of “You are very intelligent”. I guess it was then that I decided that a scientist was definitely not what I should end up being. I wanted to be something cooler, like a middle school kid who wore full pants instead of shorts. I mean that was the license to go around bullying the smaller kids. And you looked smarter, more like a man

However, when I moved to the fifth grade which is when I would start wearing full length pants as a part of the school uniform I realized it wasn’t cool enough because you would now be bullied by high school kid and the primary school kids weren’t as scared of u as u were of your seniors. It was around this time that the school decided to conduct an annual school music competition. So I nominated myself for the Indian group song category. The idea was if you lost miserably, you would loose in a group and if you won, you could always say u sang the best in your entire group and lost because of the other guy who was standing closer to the mike. And I was a better singer than a lot of others I guess so I did make it into the house (we had houses in school like the harry potter series) music team. And yes we lost. But I had now felt I had it in me to become a singer and I was certain that this was my special gift.

But the rest of the world failed to understand my potential to be a singer and kids in school had also caught the cricket fever. So I decided to join them and we formed our own team. On the first day I played cricket with school mates, I managed to play some wonderful strokes. And that day I had my real enlightenment. I was going to be a cricketer and not a singer because that was my gift. Being kinda heavy, incapable of running fast between the wickets, I was given a runner. As long as I was batting, I dint need to run and the boundaries I scored looked absolutely fabulous. This was it for me. But I changed my opinion when I had to start fielding. Running to get the ball and stopping runs. Getting yelled at for dropping catches was not much fun anymore.

Another of my attempts to discover my special and unique gift started when I was in college. We used to spend a hell lot of time at the badminton court simply to keep away from classes. I had a friend who was pretty good at this game. Seeing how miserable I was, he took it up as his mission in life to train me to be good at something. And according to him it was badminton for me because I had the height and the right shoes to play the sport. This time I should say I did show some perseverance and we played this sport for close to four years. At the end not just that I dint get good at it, he confessed that playing with me caused his standards in the sport to drop drastically.

That’s not it. There is a pretty exhaustive list of things I thought I was destined to do. To list a few of them
• An actor – cos when I look at myself in the mirror I get this strange feeling that with a makeover I could be the hottest guy in my friends circle
• A politician – Manirathnam thinks educated young people could do wonders in politics
• A soldier – because I have this feeling that girls fall for guys in uniforms
• A Cop – Cos you could jump a traffic signal and not have to pay a fine.
• A Super model – cos I could be the brainiest supermodel if I ended up as one.

Well the point is I have never figured out to this day what my special gift is and how I can nurture it with having to work hard on it.

A thought just flashed me while writing this blog. May be I could become a writer and end up having a huge fan following of pretty girls with an above average IQ.

Corporate Onboarding

January 9, 2012 2 comments

I had just managed to scrape through a course in mechanical engineering from one of the better known engineering colleges in Bangalore. If you are an engineer, you must be well aware that the only advantage of getting to study in a reputed institute is that your chances of getting to hold an offer letter from one of the mass recruiters of the modern-day white-collared Slavery industry when u r still studying are pretty high. And that is how I got my hands on my first offer letter.

Result: Elders of the family unanimously nodded their head in total consent when one of them delivered the nauseatingly disgusting, terribly annoying and highly overused phrase “the Last time I saw this kid, he used to wet his bed at night, now look at him. He has grown to be a man capable of supporting him and his aging parents” and it doesn’t stop there. This is further followed by advises “Your parents need your support now, You got to take care of them. You sister is old enough to get married. Now that’s your responsibility. “ Hey come on, I don’t deserve to have all this dumped on me just because I decided to pay for my own pocket-money. And an offer letter does not in any way make one competent enough to handle all this stuff overnight. To make things worse these embarrassing statements are almost always made at public gatherings where there always is this one girl whom you find particularly cute and you are trying you best to make an eye contact with, without catching the attention of your aging and irritating relatives.

But this is when you also begin to realize that you that going forward you will be known by your own name and not as the son of Mr. So and So. This idea does sound exiting especially for people like me (which makes the majority) who never had their own identity at any point before in their lives. But my specific case was different. I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of becoming a so-called adult or did I dread it. But one thing I know for sure is that I was absolutely in no hurry to build my own identity. Now when I think about it I guess I dint have the maturity my age demanded to comprehend certain ideas.

Trainings and tests are an integral part of the on-boarding program for freshers in most IT companies. The scope of these trainings vary from soft skills to an exhaustive list of technologies, most of which would end up not being a scope of your work. And the marks to be scored to be considered as pass in these tests are generally more than the average score most of us have been able to achieve during our college days. Contrary to notions that most of you might have that you are done once you receive an offer letter, it is mandatory to clear these tests to continue receiving your pay-check. And I could now obviously not go back and ask my dad for my pocket-money. I had to make it through. It was a question of survival. In these companies, tests are not always a method of judging the caliber of the candidate. It instead can be a very useful tool for these corporates to cut down on their workforce if they realize that they have recruited too many people or more people have turned up on the orientation day than they had expected. I can be pretty sure about what I am saying because the passing criteria and the toughness levels of these tests pretty much vary every batch. Meaning to say the number of people who clear these tests is generally directly proportional to the requirement in hand.

Being from the So Called Not IT Stream of specialization, the training was obviously pretty hectic and tough. I was for the first time beginning to realize that an open book test can be tough. Each time the trainer asked me a question, I made it a point to bring on a nerdy expression. And each time I tried to add the famous “I am thinking Hard” expression onto my already miserable face, I was the target. “Yes RK!!.. can you answer that one”. Hello!!! Cant you see I am thinking. I still haven’t figured out what is it about my miserable expression when I sit in embarrassment in the training hall that my trainer fell in love with. I even began to think that she trying to strike a conversation with me through these quizzes and finally ask me out. Well one of my friend later clarified it saying her joys were more on the sadistic note.

Life was particularly hard when the JAVA training was going on. I felt like that dyslexic kid in Tare Zameen par every time I made an attempt to read the training manual. I always asked myself this question as to why the hell do you want to write something on a notepad, then save it as a “dot” Something and then type out something on a black screen with some familiar looking white symbols (MS Dos) just to get the computer to add 2 whole numbers!!!. You can instead write it down on a piece of paper and add it yourself manually or better use a calculator. I was sure God was punishing me for my sins, just wasn’t sure which of my sins pissed him off the most.

To make things worse my misery seemed to make my parents feel complete in life. They always wanted to see their son work hard and be competent for 22 years. None of the “Sama”, “Dhana”, “Bedha” or “Dhanda” tactics had worked on their son (Alias me). But now as if by magic they realized that I was working, Working like a Turbine at a hydel power plant. 24/7!!!. And every time I decided to crash onto my bed, my mom would walk in with a cup of steaming hot Black Coffee and say “Have this, It will keep you awake through the night. I am so happy you have decided to stay up and study for your tests.” And like all mothers a conversation with their son can never end on a peaceful note. No matter how small or insignificant it may be. To keep up this tradition my mom would go on saying “Had you done this in your 10th you would have scored more than 95%. Had you done this in your 12th you would have made it into IIT. Had you done this during your engineering days, you would have got a university rank. Anyways whats past is past. Now you keep working hard just like this and try to be the best and climb up the ladder as soon as possible. It will help you in your CAT!!!”.

What!!!! Don’t you understand amma, I don’t want to be a 95+, I don’t Want to be in IIT, I Don’t want a University Rank. I just want to remain a sane human being with just enough money to lead a normal lifestyle. And now when I am trying to regain my sanity by catching some sleep, not just that you force a full cup of steaming hot black coffee down my throat, you threaten to spoil all my nights in future with a CAT!!!.

I wasn’t sure if recent changes in my working habits had instilled new desires in the hearts of my parents, but I was more than certain I was not in the right state to take on more trouble by nodding to that statement. I pointed out at my dog that was sleeping blissfully under my cot totally unaware of the intensity of the discussion that was happening between me and my mom and said “He doesn’t like CATS”. I had never seen my mother’s face turn red this fast ever before. She dint say anything though, instead she choose to walk straight out of my room after banging the empty coffee mug on my table. Am not sure but maybe I saw fumes shooting out from her ears.

Thanks to my ability to get my answers from the answers scripts of the skilled persons sitting around me in the test halls without their knowledge or the knowledge of the invigilators, something that I had perfected during my engineering days, I did manage to scrape through these tests as well. At the end of the two long months of training, I really felt I had learnt how to survive a crisis situation. I wouldn’t say I had learnt to fight the odds but I certainly had learnt to duck away the bouncers. What actually kept me going through all these tests and training that seemed to add absolutely no value to me was a promise of close to ten days of bench before the rest of my life would be sucked out by real-time monsters “Team Leads!!”

I had heard from friends and Cousins that the Bench period in an IT company was like the last supper offered to a convict the night before his execution. But I had made up my mind not to let the thought of the noose spoil my last supper.

I was sent off to warm the benches to an upcoming facility which was still under construction close to around 35 kms from what we called the city. This meant I would have to spend close to 5 hours everyday just travelling to and from my new holiday home. If this kind of travel was for a school picnic I am pretty sure most parents would not be very open to sending their kids on the trip. But I was willing to take up this tedious journey everyday in exchange of being paid without having to work.

My first day there was an experience worth describing. The moment I entered the campus with half done buildings, I took a deep breath to feel the fragrance of freedom. I am not sure if the true fragrance of the “Áir of Freedom” is quiet different from the air we normally breathe but this particular sample was so dusty it made me sneeze. And the sneeze was so loud that it would probably have set off a safety alarm in one of the buildings if I was a couple of feet closer.

Although the surroundings made me feel like I had just walked into a professionally run pig farm, I should say the ambience inside the tower was pretty comforting. The reception had sparkling clean granite flooring and cozy seats spread out aesthetically. The whole atmosphere made me feel very little like this was a place of work. My intentions of being there dint help me either. With all those designer walls and real looking artificial plants, It felt like a five-star hotel. What added to it were the people. They hardly looked like a corporate workforce. Some guys had shirts with stripes running diagonally across. Am not a fashion expert of any kind but that is definitely not formal. And the way the girls dressed, honestly I dint mind it one bit that they were not in formal. It was a treat for the eyes of any guy of my age with a straight sexual orientation.

I somehow seemed to fall in love with this atmosphere. Everything seemed so very casual with absolutely no sense of urgency in anything. I had been allotted a workstation in the fourth floor. I dint know why I needed one when on bench. I mean that was the whole idea of being on bench. As I walked towards the bay area with my colleagues, I overheard them talk. They seemed so very enthusiastic about their first visit to their private work space. There were hot discussion about the configuration of the systems the company provides its employees. Some seemed very much concerned about the speed of the internet connectivity some of them wanted to know if the monitor would be a LCD or a CRT. There were also a couple of people who were discussing the company policies and Core values. But these hardly seemed important to me. All the while the images of the cozy sofas in the reception kept popping up in my head. I was hoping that our chairs here would be at least half as comfortable.

When I actually got there I wouldn’t say I was totally disappointed. Although the desk was a little too high which meant I would have to use a few muscles to get my feet up to rest it and the light were a little too bright to let me catch a good sleep, the chairs did look pretty comfortable.

I sat down on my private chair in my private work station with my private computer and stretched my legs while I was looking at my monitor screen. I just realized that the same machine that scared the life out of me during the practical tests in our training no longer seemed to threaten me anymore. May be this was because I had not yet turned on the computer, but anyways I was feeling totally at ease sitting on a chair facing what used to be a nightmare to me less than twenty-four hours ago.

All of a sudden life seemed too perfect. I felt like I was back in college the only visible difference being that a few people here seemed keen on working hard to progress in life. I had also regained my lost passion for ornithology. Our cafeteria could actually be nominated for one of the best bird sanctuaries in our city.
Although it was the hope of this paid freedom that kept me going during the training period, I was soon beginning to feel like a retired person with a solid pension plan. Killing time was becoming a task by itself which required meticulous planning. I was actually getting bored with being idle. Talking about transitions, this was the first major transition. My biggest issue or rather scare was what if this boredom forced me try to get back to work. Try out some projects when on bench. What if I decided to do something which involved utilization of my body and mind. I so knew I dint want to let this happen to myself.

As I had told you what the training actually did was teach me how to get through a crisis situation. And as far as I was concerned this definitely was one. This is when you start looking for all the help you could get to help you get through your current phase in life. I had my plan in place. It was simple. I was running out of ideas to kill time. And always there are people around who share the same concerns. The first task in hand was to create a team of like-minded individuals who shared the same passion of wading away their time as I did and use each others’ ideas to kill each others’ time. Use the team for similar activities which require participation of multiple individuals.

At the end I had my team in place and trust me it was a lot bigger than I expected. And the effect of team work, we actually came up with a time schedule of what to do at what time to effectively kill time. And I did follow this pretty much till my last day on bench.

9:00am office
9:15am to 10:15am, Breakfast and watch Chanel V in the cafeteria.
10:30am, back in Work station.
10:30am to 11:30am, read articles of interest on the internet
11:30am to 12:30pm, coffee at the pantry and gossips about girls who travel with you in your shuttle.
12:30pm to 2:30pm, Lunch
2:30pm to 4:00pm, visit other bays to check out the birds that newly migrated and rate the attire of birds that are on our watch list.
4:00pm to 5:00pm, a group discussion on individual opinions on the previous activity.
5:00pm to 5:30pm, back to work station to check emails that might have come to you.
5:30pm, leave for the day.
Sometimes we also did manage to squeeze in a couple of hours in the recreation room for playing table tennis or pool or a couple of games of Foosball.

Life was heaven again. But just as much as we all hate it, something that is inevitable is that all good things have to come to an end. And I knew that it was time for me to face this reality when I got a project interview call from the first lead I worked with.

I really did not want to end this up in a note where you begin to feel sorry for me for what was to come. But trust me she was calling for trouble by taking me into her project. Neither she nor I knew it though when I was interviewed for the project and selected for the same given that I did not have the right answer for a single question that was asked. And what happens there, watch out for my next post!!!!

Categories: humour Tags: , , , , , ,