Monday, January 29, 2007

Day 34 - Why Chennai?

“In touch with reality, decisions are meant to be rational. But some decisions don’t have any rationale. They are not the best. But for a few people they might make a difference. So they become the right decisions.” – Leo da Mirci.

Why did you choose?

Almost every interview I attend has a similar question.

Why Engineering? Why Cognizant? Why MBA? Why HR? etc. etc… I never thought much about these questions. I don’t have the answers to these questions. I had doubts regarding every one of these choices. I still have. But there is one question I have clear answers to. Might not be understandable to others. Might be childish to a few and I might even be a fool to many for making this decision. But let it be so. I know that this is the least I could do.

Why Chennai?

I remember walking down into this institute around 2 years back. I was 23. Still my entire family accompanied me. With pride. Around 20 years back when they were married they would never even have imagined that their son would do an engineering in one of the top institutes in Tamilnadu, leave alone an MBA. They were proud, but I am not sure whether they were happy.
“It was a few months after you joined your first standard. One evening I came to your school to pick you up. I entered, You were waiting for me and you ran towards me holding your report card shouting ‘Amma, I am the first in class’. That was the most happiest moment in my life.”, my mother often says. My father’s is so easy to predict. “The moment I first saw you. They gave you to me and I was holding you in my hands. I can never forget that”. But my happiest moment - it does not involve them. I don’t think anybody’s happiest moment involves their parents. It is either getting into an institute, getting placed in a company or getting a girl friend or something that you got.

When I receive a call from my home, I look at the number and tell myself “Ok. I have something to do now. I am busy. Let me talk to them later”. They never asked me why I did not pick up. They always assumed that I would have, if I had time. But then, even my father is busy. Busier than me. But, I have never waited for more than three rings when I call my father. My call comes before any job for him. Not for me. I know I take them for granted.

My mother often tells me “Nowadays, you can’t expect your son to stay with you after he gets married. At least once in a while, if you are able to see him parents should should be happy. I can understand that. But you know, many of my colleagues are not like that”. I tell myself “Amma, I know you want me to be with you.” - But still it is not going to happen. They would never come out to live in a city and unluckily my education says that I am overqualified to get a job in my hometown.

Three years back, I decided to resign my job and go for an MBA. I had to take a break for an year to prepare. I called up my father and said “I am going to resign my job”. The first thing he said was “Take your own decision. Anyways, me or you mother don’t know anything an MBA. So you do whatever you like. But never worry about money. Whatever you want to study you go ahead. I will somehow arrange for it”. It has always been like that. Money they earned was not meant for their future. It was for their children. If I call my father for money any time, it would be there in my bank account within two hours. I never had any problems with anything….anything. Even, if I had, I would always find them by my side.

One thing is surprising. That they have never asked me anything. At least I can’t remember them asking me for anything. But, two weeks back when I told my father that I am going to attend interviews for a job after much of hesitation he told me in a low tone as if he was requesting, “Ashok , Chennaila job irunthaa paaru. Vera engayum venaam” (Look for a job in Chennai, nowhere else).” Two things were different. One he never called me by name. Two, he never requested me and it was not followed by the typical 'Anyways if you feel that somethin else is better go ahead with it' that comes after every suggestion.

I could have told him that Bangalore was as easily accessible as Chennai and is almost the same distance from my hometown. I could have told him that I could shift to Chennai after working somewhere else for a year… or another umpteen number of reasons. I could have asked him whether it was Chennai that he meant, or any place that is as near as Cehnnai. But, I could not tell him anything. I mean, I did not.

And that’s the answer for Why Chennai?
My parents want me to be in Chennai.
Could be an irrational decision for others. Not for me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Day 33 - Engum Ta Mil Ethilum Ta Mil - 1

After the entertainment tax relief for Tamil films, the Tamilnadu Government might even announce tax relief to all Corporates who get their employees to talk only in Tamil. If this happens, a typical conversation between two software engineers who meet after a long time would be…

ஏ, நண்பா எப்படி செய்து கொண்டிருக்கிறாய்?

நான் நன்றாக இருக்கிறேன் மானிடா.

அதனால், மேலே என்ன இருக்கிறது மானிடா?

ஒன்றுமே இல்லயடா மனிதா. எதுவுமே நடக்க மாட்டேன் என்கிறது மானிடா.

நீளமான நேரம். இல்லை பார்வை.

ஆமாம் நண்பா… நிறைய அலுவலடா, உனக்கு தெரியும்.

அதனால என்ன நடக்கிறது, உன் காதல் முன்னாடியில்?

முன்னேற்றமே இல்லை. நேற்று கூட ஒரு பெண்ணிற்காக விழுந்தேன். அவளை அடிக்க பார்த்தேன். அவள் என்னை அறைந்தாள். அதனால் இப்பொது மீண்டும் முதல் சதுரத்திற்கே வந்துவிட்டேன்.

ஓ என் கடவுளே! ஓரு பெண்ணால் அடிக்கப்பட்டாயா!! சரி போன வருடம் நீ ஒரு பெண்ணுடன் வெளியே போய் கொண்டிருந்தாயே, சரியா, என்னாச்சு?

நாங்கள் மேல் உடைத்து ஒரு வருடம் ஆகி விட்டது.

மாட்டு சாணமே!! நீ உன் மனதுக்கு வெளியே இருக்கிறாய். இதையே தொடர்ந்தாயென்றால், எனக்கு என்ன சொல்வதென்றே தெரியவில்லை.

வாடா மானிடா!!! நானே இதை எளிதாக எடுத்து கொண்டிருக்கிறேன், நீ ஏன் வருந்துகிறாய்? அதை மறந்து விடு. சரி ஒரு முக்கியமான குழு சந்திப்பு இருக்கிறது எனக்கு. இடத்தின் மேல் இருக்கும் ஆண்கள் கூப்பிடுவார்கள். சாவுக்கோடுகளை சந்திக்க வேண்டும். எனவே செல்ல வேண்டியது அவசியமாகிறது. சென்று வருகிறேன்.


கடலா மானிடா!! தொட்டுக்கொண்டே இரு.

(For the English translation, go to the end of this post)

For those who cant read Tamil,

Yae nanbaa, eppadi seithu kondirukkiraai?
Naan nandraaha irukkiren maanidaa.
Athanaal, Melae enna irukkirathu maanidaa?
Ondrumae illayada maanidaa. Ethuvumae nadakka maataen engirathu maanidaa.
Neezhamaana neram. Illai paarvai.
Aamaam nanbaa… Niraya aluvalada, unakku theriyum.
Athanaala enna nadakkirathu, un kaadhal munnadiyil?
Munnetramae illai. Netru kooda oru pennirkaaha vizhunthaen. Avalai adikka parthen. Aval ennai adithuvittaal. Athanaal ippothu meendum muthal sathurathirkae vanthuvittaen.
O yen kadavulae! Oru pennaal adikkappattayaa!! Sari pona varudam nee oru pennudan veliyae poi kondirunthayaae, sariyaa, ennaachu?
Naangal mael udaithu oru varudam aahi vittathu.
Maattu Saanamae!! Nee un manathukku veliyae irukkiraai. Ithayae thodarthaayendraal, enakku enna solvathendrae theriyavillai.
Vaadaa maanida!!! Naanae ithai ezhithaaha eduthu kondirukkiraen, nee yaen varunthugiraai? Adhai maranthu vidu. Sari oru mukkiyamaana kuzhu santhippu irukkirathu enakku. Idathin mael irukkum aangal koopiduvaargal. Chaavukkodugalai santhikka vaendum. Enavae sella vendiyathu avasiyamaagirathu. Sendru varugiraen.

Kadalaaa Maanida!! Thottukondae iru.

The English translation would be,

Hey buddy, How are you doing?
I am fine, man.
So, whats up man?
Nothing man. Nothing’s happening.
Long time. No see.
Yes yaar! lots of work, you know!
So whats happening on your love front?
No improvement. Even yesterday I fell for a girl. I tried hitting on her. She slapped me. So now back to square one.
Oh my God! Got slapped by a girl!! Ok, last year you were going around with a girl right, what happened?
It has been one year since we broke up.
Bull shit!! You are out of your mind. If you continue this, I don’t know what to say..
Common man!! Even I am taking it easy, why are you worrying? Forget it. Ok, I have to go for an important meeting. Onsite guys will call. Have to meet deadlines. So, Got to go. Bye.
Cyaa. Man. Be in touch.