Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I am this person, who hates eating from the office canteen.
Lunch for me is elaborate and generally as a rule I like having lunch only with people I love. So lunch partners for me are sacred. I just stop short of worshipping them.
So every day, considerable amount of my time go for planning lunch.
It requires great organizational skills, persuasion techniques and above all follow ups. You don’t want to be stood up right?

Also I love having lunch with people who love to eat. Strictly no dieters. It’s also an added advantage if they are non vegetarians.

A typical day of planning lunch goes like this.

Scan the phone book for prospects. I avoid my new office colleagues. Cos I think they really don’t need to know what I eat and also going through the “getting to know you” kind of conversations can make the food insipid and process torturous. My ideal prospect any day is LENA.
Our appetites match and the conversation is fun and we both don’t really dig veg. Only in the food aspect, being mallu is an added advantage. To say that we loooooooooooooooooooove food is an understatement. And there is absolutely no guilt factor about eating more and more.
When she is not available, is when my lunch plans go haywire.

SWATHI is fun for the conversation part but is strictly vegetarian and has a tendency to eat leaves or cabbage tossed in olive oil (eeeks). But the conversation is worth it but if u really ask me she is a great choice for coffee.
God forbid , if Swathi is not around. Then it’s ARAVIND.

But the problem with Aravind is that he hates fish and has a strong inherent trait to criticize any food preparation. He is a perfectionist and generally suffers lunch with me.
If by some misfortune , all three are unavailable, I just walk and have lunch by myself which I don’t mind at all which of course is the last resort.

If by any chance the above mentioned, agree for lunch. I do follow ups and get ready to masticate.
But all these people have some pet peeves.
With Lena: there is no concept of sharing food
With Swathi: you don’t want to be late , Better to be dead if u are.
With Aravind: What is continental?

Would have loved to write more. But gotta go for Lunch . At last.

Yup, my lunch partner is on the way. Make a guess who it is.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I don’t know where to begin...whether the beginning is right in the first place. Well...I joined this new company on May 5th. The first day went on with the induction process, filling up forms, doing the medicals and so on. It was a bit tiring but I was charged up and dying to get into my new role and be creative and productive and happy. My new boss was in US in a conference, I met him twice before he left to the US. He gave me a brief about my role, KRA and things like that. We discussed certain marketing ideas that would be great to implement. Our thoughts matched, my ideas were well received. Both the meetings went well, I was all ready to bloom in his guidance. Plus he was also pretty young , so his ideas were not closed or constipated . All I needed to do was to work and prove a point. Which I was willing to do. So there is no problem right?

May 6, 2008

Turns out to be a really bad day. Well, When I got dressed for office that day , I didn’t know that. I had bought a new pair of formal shoes which I am almost in love with and a new bag( which is okay but formal looking to carry my pens , books and stuff like that) I was adamant that I am going to be organized. I remember singing in the morning and even had a huge breakfast made by my grandmother. What I am trying to say is that I was so happy and cheerful that morning on the way to office.

When I reached office, everybody was helpful. They told me that my new boss would be delayed and he would take a month and a half to be back. I was a little disappointed because he told me that he would be back in a week. But it didn’t really matter. They also gave a temporary system to work on. I was browsing extra carefully about the company website and looking at the marketing collaterals and a million ideas were taking form in my mind. “This is my calling”, I thought. Then, another colleague pops up and says.
"Namitha , Can I talk to you."
It's always a bad thing when someone says that they want to "talk". I should have been warned.
"Sure" I say in my most professional voice, with the right hint of a smile.
You know our boss is hospitalized. He wasn’t feeling well when he reached there. He collapsed and they had to call 911. His Liver has collapsed and even the kidney is not allright. He is almost in a coma. They have kept him in the life support."
My eyes start tingling and I walk to the loo.
I cry my eyes out. I cry for him because he was so young and vibrant and he did not deserve this. When he was giving me the brief, he would have been really ill and I had no clue. I cry for myself because now I have no idea where I stand. The tissue turns soggy in my hand and I hate that.

I come back to my bay composed and a little red eyed . ‘I should not let this bog me down’. I thought. And for conversation’s sake I asked a colleague as to who was previously using the system that was allotted to me. She says, "S".
"Where is he now", I ask.
"Well, he died of brain tumour ", she says.
Okay now I was getting psyched. So I must be the first person to be using this comp after that. I felt as if I was violating something.
Then after sometime, I learn that the HR head I met sometime back is in the hospital having a surgery.
The guy who was sitting next to me is on leave, because he has acute jaundice and it seems his eyes had become deep yellow.
Okay, so every is sick, dead or dying. Great.
I rush and met Lena for lunch and tell her about my jinxed joining.
She looks at me solemnly and says "it's the earring"
What, I ask? excuse me?
“The earring that you are wearing that you got from me yesterday. I think It's jinxed. Even when I wore it the other day and it turned out to be the worst day of my life , i swear. Just throw it somewhere”, she says vehemently.
In my state of mind that day, it didn’t take a second to be convinced that it was the earrings . So I removed it and hid it under the paper napkins. I dread to think about the fate of the person, who would find it. All said and done, the earrings were actully nice looking.
Well, do u believe it, after throwing the "jinxed " earrings, my luck became better. I meet a collegue whose wavelength really matched with mine. We hit it off. I did some constructive things too.

May 7, 2008.
My new boss is much better. He is gonna come back, everybody says. I do more constuctive things, have coffee machine chit chat and life almost becomes normal.

May 8, 2008
My new boss is off the Life Support. He has been shifted to a room.He is taking to people and asked something about the "super Kings" Also He is eating idlis . We are all happy. I even write a poem.

Leader , O, Leader

The leader lies in pain
in the foreign shores
unknowing that each moment
a tear falls in vain
Someone says "I know him
all these years
My mentor ....my friend"
"I am so lost."
Another says,
"I met him just yesterday
and it hurts
I am the clay waiting
to be moulded"
Eyes are bleary
Heart very heavy
Then someone says,
"Our leader is a fighter
he will be back
to guide us all".
And sun smiles in that office far far away from the leader
knowing in a weird way that he will be back.

No matter what.

May 12, 2008
That's today. He passed away.
His sister said that he didnt want to die till the last minute. He kept telling th doctors, "operate on me do something"
He just didnt give up.
I just met him thrice.
The first time when he interviewd me.
The second for the meeting about my role.
the third when he gave my kra's and put me on to people till he comes. I remember telling him "happy journey" I had no clue that he was even ill at that time.
I feel as if I’ve known him for a lifetime.
Also came to know that he's been battling cancer for 13 years and he is only 30.
Our leader was surely a fighter.
But the rules say that you cant win all the time. Though everybody wanted him to. Just this once.
May your soul rest in peace. I promise, I wont let you down.