Sunday, 3 May 2009

The year that was …

When it has been over sixteen months since my pen smelt paper, it would only be natural to expect a few lines... soon. Like a painter with palette full of colours and the finest brush, waiting for a good scenery, I have been waiting... waiting for a day with a few minutes just for me. It is yet to come..

First, a few lines about the past year.

How am I doing? Wonderful. My professional life is doing pretty well. I can't say the same about social life, though. I do have contacts with many of my friends from school and college. But something seems to be amiss. Maybe I need to be more active online. Naah, that isn't the same as meeting in person. Some serious thinking needed here.

I got to visit Texas last year. The company took my team to their labs in Austin to give some on-the-job training. It helped us guys a lot in getting to understand the job needs better. What’s more, we got to do a bit of sightseeing too. NASA centre at Houston, a beach in Galveston, an overhead aquarium, biggest mall in Texas, a superb amusement park and almost all the tourist places in Austin. We wanted to do more. Work and the limited time at hand didn’t allow that.

Keat Pecking, one of the protagonists in my previous post, got the pink slip last December. Being a contracted employee, there are no surprises that he was among the first to be pushed down the plank. He had seen it coming and had prophesied, "..problem is that with a bad economic downturn, I would be one of the first to get walked out the door". tells me he's still looking for a job. So you got a guy with 30 years of experience sitting at home, waiting for a look-in so that he can fend for his 3 kids and physically challenged wife, while people like me with much lesser qualifications still have a job!!! That's economics and globalisation at its best.

Speaking about economics, the current recession seems to be bottoming out. Atleast that is what I feel. But I can be wrong. After all, people who peddle economics for a living never foresaw the current meltdown. The situation in most companies is edgy and tense. Forced vacations, bonus cuts, longer working hours, near-zero recruitment and frozen promotions and salaries are the order. Forced vacations are a sweet way of saying that you can't choose your vacations; the company will. Tough luck for the batches that are passing out now. A piece of advice for the youngsters still in college; the days when a B.Tech/B.E. degree from any college with scraped through grades gets you a high paying IT job are over. Work on your soft skills as much as your tech knowledge. With companies planning to stay lean and fit, it is survival of the fittest.

My reading in the past couple of years has plummeted. From atleast 2-3 books per month while in school/college, it has dropped to 2-3 per year now. I am struggling to find time to read books. The ocean of movies residing in my laptop is the culprit. I am more tempted to see them than read books like "Sea of Poppies". By the way, that book by Amitav Ghosh can be side-stepped. "Why is it that only books and movies that portray India badly get awards?", is a question one of my colleagues asked. And it isn't a bad question at all, if you have tasted "Sea of Poppies", "The White Tiger" and "Slumdog Millionaire".

I am starting Yoga in a couple of days. I wanted to do something different and thought this would be a nice thing. My body can use it too; my back and joints are already feeling like sixty.

The Last Ink-Drop : This post rose out of the prodding and pestering of some of my friends . I am thankful to them for that. I realise that this post isn't enough to alleviate their complaints. But I hope to be back soon.