Monthly Archives: May 2004

Winds of Change

Am talking about winds only. Winds that have changed the weather entirely. That have disturbed the season cycle so much so that now I have to remind myself that I am living in Delhi. The Delhi which was never extremely hot, extremely cold or extremely humid et al. A couple of years back, Delhi used to have regular seasons. Yes, the winters used to be quite cold and the summers quite hot and then the rains would come lashing down. But all this used to happen with a certain finiteness and regularity. There were no major fluctuations like we have seen in the past couple of years with the winters starting only when they were supposed to end! Summers were as bad as they would be in Rajasthan. Rains have no timing or mm attributed to them anymore. Everything is random. It’s as if God’s weather changing software has started picking up a random type and time (within limits so that we dont get summer in winter and vice versa) for each season.

Just day before yesterday, winds changed the face of Delhi yet again. Cyclonic disturbances were the cause of sudden rain, lightening and also hailstorm (in gurgaon). The usual followed. Traffic snarls, water logging etc. But it wasn’t so bad. That night, I experienced the strongest winds I had ever experienced (the previous record being held by Pune, when I actually felt that I might fall down because the wind force was so much against me). In the middle of the night, the winds came blasting in. The whole neighbourhood’s doors/windows were banging. Objects were falling off because of the sheer force and adding to the noise. The sound that the wind generates was yet another eerie sample of what was to come. For the first time I felt as if the building would just blow apart because of the high velocity of the cyclonic winds swooshing right in.

The next day found Delhi in a mess. Trees uprooted in several places. The barricades for the road widening happening at NH-8, collapsed on the road, occupying a major chunk of the road. Electric poles bent/fallen in places. Water logging showed a desi version of Venice. One could actually take a boat and cover distance without rowing. There was so much flowing water.

But the point is not the mess. The point is the irregularity with which seasons are changing. This year, I would’t have been surprised if Delhi had experienced snowfall. After all several places in HP got untimely snow this year (on the onset of summer) and that too after a big number of years. The last time that the rains had lashed with this fury, our office faced one of the biggest stops in its daily business. Though we got an instant holiday then, hope it doesn’t do the same this year!!

The million dollar question

It literally is about a million dollars. When I started with my career, the personal questions that interviewers would ask were not many. They were all the usual ones with typical answers. Positive points, negative points, strengths and weaknesses. Typical HR speak. Now that I have worked for several years and after an era of inertia, I have *finally* managed to push myself in the ‘assessment of my market value’ whirpool, the questions are again typical. But somehow I have still not been able to conclude what the best answer should be. One should always be prepared not to be caught unawares. I thought, with practice, I’ll be able to conclude the answer to that million dollar question – why do you want to leave your current job? But time and again, the reactions of the interviewers perplex me.

You should not appear as a flyer – changing jobs as quick as maybe clothes.. well ok, maybe not, maybe as quick as toothbrushes. So at least no flimsy reasons. The first approach I decided was to be honest. ‘More money’, I would state blatantly along with the usual, by now rattled-off-my-tongue kinda practiced sentences. After all, we all know that, that *is* the main reason. I soon realised. One of the companies had an HR interview with me. They asked me the reason why I wanted to shift and I stated the above, though of course coupled with a lot of other stuff about challenges at the workplace, growth, work culture and the usual yada yada. They never got back to me. In discussion with one of the consultants, who happened to know the philosophy behind the elimination process of this particular company, I was made aware of the fact that ‘money should not be the main reason’. In fact you should not sound ‘greedy’. ‘But that’s a major reason why we all seek change, isnt it?’, I asked. Still. That’s what he told me. Well, dunno why I shouldn’t demand what I think I am worth. If its too high, may be we can negotiate, but at least I should be made aware.

I started concentrating on other issues. Like growth for example. Role enhancement for another. If I say I am not getting these at the current workplace, the next question automatically is whether I ever raised this issue with my supervisors and what was done about it. If I say that I did and nothing was done about it, that perhaps give a wrong idea again. May be about my performance. May be about my relationships with my seniors. May be about my competency or my persistence. Whatever. To say that I never talked to my supervisors regarding my problems would be foolishness. I give different answers based on how I perceive the interviewer to react.

Another point is work culture. If I say that there were some things that I didnt like, the interviewer tries to probe into what kind of things. Ultimately it boils down to the same things happening in all companies. Does that imply that I’ll never be able to adjust to the work culture of any job? If I give a slightly positive picture of the work culture then we come back to square one. Why on earth would I state work culture as a reason for my shifting if it’s quite commendable!

There’s a fixed trend according to which ppl’s priorities change. When one’s a fresher, one is very enthusiastic and is ever willing to take on all the menial tasks and even do it for free if asked! But as you grow, things start getting to you. People realise that the company shouldn’t get to have its cake and eat it too, all the time. Priorities change.

But the million dollar question still remains unanswered. If I ask for a hefty (ok, not so hefty) pay package, is it ‘bad’? Negotiation or feasibility are other things. But mentioning that I am in this thing for money, is it really the wrong move? I don’t think so. Not all ppl survive on the usual idealistic criteria for a dream job. Good work, good work culture are all passe. What matters today is the big bucks and the time that you get for yourself. Good work and hence work culture are also very important, but I have seen ppl reach a compromise with them, as long as the other two criteria are getting satisfied. Is that approach wrong?

Puppy Love

There she was, not very neatly dressed, cowering over something or rather someone in her lap. ‘Must be her baby’, I thought. That was the only seat empty in the bus. I decided to grab it before anyone else rushed to stake their claim. I went and sat besides her, glancing casually at her baby. ‘What!’, I glanced again. Instead of a human form there, I saw something else. A little one nevertheless, albeit not of the human variety but of the canine! (no wonder the seat was empty!) She had a small little puppy in her lap and she was trying to make the puppy sip some water from a small ice cream cup. She held the pup carefully in her palm with its legs dangling out. The tiny little thing had the tiniest paws. They were about the same size as the lady’s thumb. I dont need to say anything about the Delhi heat. It speaks for itself. The pup was only too delighted to have something to drink. As I watched, the tiniest snout sniffed about and the teeniest weeniest tongue popped out to sip the water.

‘Aw.. li’l ones are always so cute, be it any species’, I pondered.

The lady seemed to be turning more and more onto one side (towards the window). She somehow blocked my view partially. I could not understand why she would sit in that crooked, discomforting position. It seemed as if she wanted to hide something. Umm.. could she be thinking that I and a couple of others who were watching intently would cast an evil eye (‘nazar lagana’) on the pup? Well, I wouldn’t blame her if she had that sentiment. In sometime she turned a little outwards and I could see her patting the pup gently. As the bus had reached my stop, I got off the bus with a big smile on my face.

You’ve got spam

If ever there was any four letter word that could be done without, it is SPAM. A total waste of everyone’s time, money, effort and bandwidth. Apart from the usual ones, this piece that I am writing is about something peculiar. I have known spam mails enough to know that no such googlish intelligence exists with them to send spam related to things that we write about in our mails. Forget urging you to do something, this one has crossed all limits and already *done* something!! I have been receiving spam from since quite some time now, all urging me to use their services. I have been duly deleting those mails. I have an account on hotmail which was the first email account I ever had. Its my spam account. Whenever I have to give my mail id on the net, this is what I give. I still continue checking it coz I opened this account when I was in college and *all* my college friends somehow remember this mail id of mine. My irrepressible efforts to educate them about my new mail id’s have never borne fruit. For some reason everyone from college ‘remembers’ this id and straightaway uses it only.

So as I said, I had been diligently cleaning my account of all mails, when one fine day I saw a couple of mails from with various subjects. One of them read ‘your profile is being screened’. A later one read ‘your profile has been approved’. Yet another one – ‘Your profile has been activated’. More mails were all prospective hopefuls trying to get in touch with me!! I was shocked beyond my grey cells about the audacity of the chaps! For one, I dont share my passwords, so it wasnt someone’s prank. How dare they make a profile on my behalf and even *pretend* to approve it!
I wondered how they could have gathered so much data about me to even make a working profile which was getting responses! Even if they had used a bot, it would have to have a lot of intelligence.

I checked up the profile and this is what it said.

I am 23, single, Hindu female living in Maharashtra, India
>>> how did they ever guess that!! I never knew that I had a GPS device embedded and they had a tracking device!

My Basics
Age: 23

>>> am sure this will make age exaggerating 🙂 really jealous LOL
Marital Status : Never Married
Children : No
Height : 5′ 7″

>>> wow what a height!!

Complexion : Very Fair
Body Type : Slim
Manglik : No

My Education & Career

Education : Bachelors
Occupation : Designer

>>> just how did they know that this was what i wanted to be when i was a kid??

Annual Income : Rs.5,00,001 and above

My Lifestyle

Diet : Non-Veg
Drink : Occasionally
Smoke : No
My Religious & Social Background

Religion : Hindu
Caste : –
Sub-Caste : –
Mother Tongue : Bengali

>>> aami bengali nahi jaanee chhhe (whatever)

Family Values : Liberal

My Location

Current Residence : Maharashtra, India
Residency Status : Permanent Resident
Country Of Birth : India
Sun Sign : Capricorn

My Personality, Hobbies, Long-Term Goals, etc
i love reading, traveling, music, playing games, dancing, cooking, excursion, sleeping, singing. dynamic personality.

>>> basically generic hobbies.

i love to love.i hate to hate.
>>> err.. i cd have been a little more poetic than that!

i like to eat. i like to drink occasionally

>>> in other words, wow! what a profile!

Just what on earth gave them the right to impose themselves so much on anyone! Going by the text in the description, it doesnt look like an automated job. Or maybe they chose a standard text and made several profiles with that. Thank god they didnt morph some picture into anything resembling a female and upload it on my behalf! Am pretty darned sure the matches that came would have been some other spam created profiles, created like mine!