Friday, July 11, 2008

A day in the life of..........

It’s a Friday night. Cool and windy and here I am, reflecting over the week that was. What a Wednesday! I set out to work, expecting the day to be like any other day at a new workplace. Definitely a special day for me, but I was a bit downcast, since I knew no one at the new place and no one in turn knew me! Quiet, aloof, totally sequestered. So I never expected any warm fuzzy, effusive treatment. Indifference, apathy….. ‘just another day in the life of….’ Was what I was expecting. But I should perhaps have taken a hint from the way the night panned out, given the fact that some of my buddies decided to celebrate the joys of having endured me for so long, and felt that the moment wherein I added yet another year to my existence, was by and far, most opportune for doing so! Well, Yanni who was ‘playing by heart’ had to be paused as the wishes came pouring in. One of them was actually awake waaaay beyond his bed time in his time zone, to do the honors…..’you really should have slept dude!!!’ Although no doubt very sweet, all this in no way came even close to being the proverbial swallow foreboding a summer.

The actual day started with a call from a long lost friend, someone I hadn’t spoken to ever since she’d left for the US. I, for one, never expected her to remember, let alone call!!!! Thereafter a bunch of friends who had been associated with me through different stages of life called up. We have this typical ‘calling group’ so to say, although we never refer to ourselves as such. Though the crossroads of life have managed to take us to totally different corners of the world, both in terms of our respective fields and in terms of geographical locations, we ensure we call each other up on our birthdays at least as a means of keeping in touch. As one of my friends remarked, ‘Isi bahaane saal mein do baar toh we touch base’. That is what happens. Like Davies has said, “a poor life this, if full of care… we have no time to stand and stare.” But then every year, we solemnly decide to be more punctual and focused on our meetings and ‘keeping in touch’ acts, although the ‘I’ for Implementation is essentially missing. Well, my only saving grace is the fact that we, till date have been up to date on the major milestones in each other’s life! (we all know who is seeing who, we also know when who is tying the knot. – essential information you see… our shopping calendars have to be adjusted accordingly.) Anyway, enough of of reflective musings. Back to more mundane thoughts!
It has been over a month since I last bid adieu to the i firm. The i firm………..My first job, my first exposure to the big bad world of corporate garbage. My first friendships in a setting not allied with assignments, projects, mid-terms and first class. Many old uncles and aunties who had braved the corporate stormy weather, had warned me that the workplace is where you work and only work. Relationships – at the altar. Well, whether they meant – forged at the altar or sacrificed at the altar, I didn’t understand back then. I wasn’t even interested in finding out. So at the end of my tenure at the i firm, the cynic in me just said that having good relationships with a handful of people at work was just a coincidence. The guiding dictum would most certainly be - out of sight, out of mind. I knew it too. There would be many people waiting in line to occupy the ‘window seat’. That I once occupied the same, would be a fact pretty much forgotten. My ego wished that the forgetting didn’t happen too soon. But even if it did, I was prepared to be ready for it… or at least so I thought! However, when the people I had interacted with at work began to call and wish me, I felt humbled, small, emotional, moved. You name it, I was it! They called... From my first friend at work to the last one I made before I left, they called. Even people I had interacted with during a small project in South Africa, called, not minding weird time zones.... They took the time out to wish someone who had just been a passing phase in their lives. And this list, believe me, included the likes of the Chieftain of our whole division, my ex-boss, who incidentally happens to head our whole tech team! And of course, the rest of my team mates!
As if that were not enough, around mid afternoon, the security guy comes in saying that I have a special delivery. And what is it? A 2 ft tall huuuge bouquet, addressed to me at my new workplace, sender – our secret code word – privy to only my ex team! Everyone in my new workplace was shocked! Surprised would be an understatement. Shell-shocked! Stunned! Yeah maybe even all of those feelings combined. When I told my friends about this gesture all they said in return was, “you are lucky to have had such a loving team!!!” One of my friends said, “for the past so many years, I have been seated under the very eyes of my supervisor. People around would come and wish me, and a mail from HR would go out as well. But bouquet toh chhod, ek patta nahin diya kabhi kisine!” I guess that just about sums up the magnitude of the gesture as perceived by the rest of the population!

As I sat back, thinking about my day, Goldsmith’s words very succinctly described my position – ‘And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray!’ so I expected a quiet, lonely birthday surrounded by people I didn’t know…. Yeah right, certain others had other plans!!!!!
So, a huge thank you to Chief, Pa, Teepoo, Bond, Dakumom, Nadzz and all the wonderful people out there…… you all made my day…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

No comments: