January 21, 2008

The Year That Was

After the hoopla over another ‘new’ year has finally died down, I think it is worthwhile to take a stock of what has been happening over the last few months. The greatest change over January last year is definitely the pleasure of experiencing financial independence. But like with every other freedom, this too came with an associated cost - that of financial recklessness. Sometimes, I do sit back and wonder how any one of us ever managed to have a great time without spending a fraction of what each one of us does now. But that is something that can never be explained. A glass of ‘chai’ at Nutan or Athicas can never be replicated by the most well decorated coffee shop in any metro around this country. It is true that Lifestyles have undergone a complete change. A Mariott, a Hyatt are places that are visited often these days and soon you begin to realize that the thing you want most is to go back to a place called home. The glitter of the chandelier begins to fade away soon.

The other thing that has changed greatly is the meaning of the word ‘deadline’. Deadlines these days seem to have an uncanny deathly shadow around them which seem to pass only when the ‘line’ is safely crossed. There are other minor changes. I have found my long lost taste for quality tea thanks to someone who let me experiment with different blends in the cosiness of my room. As much as I would like to love my competition’s tea bags, I feel that my own products give me a flavour that I left behind years back in Calcutta.

The other day I felt a great kick as I was testing certain Networks. Finally, the time spent in my engineering days was bearing some fruit. It was a sort of redemption for myself. My travels have taken a backseat but my interactions with different cultures across the world are on the rise thanks to the work I am doing right now. It’s amazing to note how different cultures will respond differently to an e-mail written exactly in the same manner. So rather than my backpack, my laptop serves as my trusted aide to help me soak in the sunrise in Milan and the sundown in Tokyo. I miss the carefree lifestyle of a student who used to just pick up his camera and go around the country without checking how much money was there in the wallet but then sometimes things do not work out in the exact same way as you would like them to.

But the greatest change that has come in my life is through meeting new people and yet not letting go of the ones from my past who really matter. So I have this tall cynic who is one the few who can push me to my limits in order to be able to defend my standpoint. In fact, one night last year the lines below cropped up.

The A is A and the B is B

And seldom does the twain meet.

But if they meet my friend you see,

They have the world beneath their feet.

I met a CA who would rather do well as a philosopher in case he finds his tasks unchallenging, and that is a possibility since he makes all this tasks look so much easier. I also met this guy whose career path till now has mapped mine to the last detail, so much so that in the last instance we have swapped bosses and he was there standing by me in the darkest hour of my short work life. But the greatest fun is in perhaps re-meeting people. People from college who you knew to be nice but once they are your colleague, you realize they are much nicer.

So as the year grows older, I would just say, March on…

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