Thursday, April 26, 2007

Minutes of Meeting.....

When someone said, There are other things in office premises that can actually happen, I would have been the last one to believe it some two point five years ago.... But not any more!

Instead of asking me why... you would rather read the following.....

The only dismal thing that can match remotely to learning “Garbage Disposal Techniques” are my office gossips. Now - I do know it very well don’t I? What with my notion of perfecting the art of story telling, I am always super-keen to yarn the incidents with a little nuance of austerity and loads of subtle sarcasm as some might call it.

Well yes, for those that are alcoholics of work and those that aren’t, office is an inevitable part where maximum of their active time is being spent on work or on other things – they get to choose!

By far, in the closely knit clan of veteran software professionals, most of their life’s interesting incidents, both pleasant and unpleasant seem to happen in their office times.

In a cubicle of 6, more than 3 are either in love or about to get married or already married after going through the saga of “I came, I saw, and I conquered the love!”

And for the rest of the 2 or 3 that are no more than bottled specimens labeled as “Chemically Ineffective”, have nothing interesting in life to do, as neither could they fall in love with someone apart from themselves nor could they stop themselves from brooding over or bickering about their (happy) counterparts.

Eight hours of work demands 3 coffee breaks and one lunch break.

And these are probably the most monumental time at work where in gossips across Accounts/Projects/Cities/States/Continents are being discussed.

“Hey, wow your turquoise blue beads necklace is looking amazing on you!”

“Wow, what a vivacious olive green nail paint color Rev has launched yesterday…. did you get a chance to see that new commercial on the TV?”

“Oh boy, did you check-out Harry’s new Tuxedo in last evening’s episode? Wasn’t he looking stunning?”

“BTW, Lisa dumped that Wild-Life Photographer boy friend of hers and is into this young businessman that visits her place often during the evenings…. Hmmm… I just happened to peep outside my window and he was there at her doorstep loaded with big gifts and flowers. Boy, he’s quite something that she’s laid her eyes on!”

“Tina got married to Arijeet last weekend, neither of their families is aware of this and you know what????? She is been put-up at Arijeet’s place even before they were married…that’s something her parents should not be…………..”

And………Kweek kweek kweek kweeek kweeek …screeching away like an audio tape that’s lets out a sound when fast forwarded.

Well, obviously there are these moderately handsome guys who almost every time pass these chemically-ineffective creatures aisle, just to ensure that they’re being checked-out for at least half a dozen times on an average in a day, which gives them pure kick to derive pleasure out of and bloat about an inch or two with the pumped-up ego!

Couple of such days, and then these chemically ineffective creatures struggle hard to concentrate on their work, but end-up failing at it miserably almost always………

Pantries are entries for budding love…

You get into this pantry trying to get a mug of coffee for yourself but
not-so-accidentally bump into this smart guy who’s trying to get his drink too and then happens the introduction scenes, followed by periodic coffee breaks as a port for checking the guy out (or Vice versa) and then getting to know each other. And then getting married to each other or at least one step closer to it.

Similarly, Lunch hours are the times for these software buddies in unlocking the zip-locs, which result in the eye-locks; from there progress further on to lip-locks and eventually turn them into wed-locks.

And there are these Classical Office Romances, that which are truly geeky.

Endlessly tapping away on the keyboard, and staring hard to blindness into the monitor, to give out the best deliverables and staying over the night for completing such tasks, for which obviously a company is more important than food. And a subtle relationship blooms there, sprouting from a sweet admiration at each others dedication towards work and moves further on to the next stages. Man, this cant really be avoided…...No wait, if that ever happens that would only make them retarded or stuck in a time warp and or clueless, or all three together, welcoming them as a highly dignified golden member of the “Club of Insane Genre”.

Every relationship that a man and woman shares, are bound have some unwritten yet mandatory rules. If you fall for someone who’s extremely far better qualified and in a high designation, your chances are abysmally low with that person for he/she would always look for someone who’s at the least on the same levels with him/her. And then there are these snobbish, high-hat crowds that don’t gel well with the floor-ticket cases. For them any resemblance to the filmdom or an association with the tabloid world, both living and dead is an utmost insult and a longstanding one in that order!

Office is indeed a colorful place to begin your life or rather look out for beginning your life, if I must put it right!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nice Anomaly

I can’t believe Ms. Libra actually had a longest possible argument and a serious squabble with one of her closest buddies sometime ago on a phrase which sounded pretty much close to an Oxymoron.

The phrase in subject that led to a serious discussion between them being “Nice Anomaly”

Well, the source of this phrase dates back to November – 2006 when, She had to point out a defective scenario in her project-work and drafted an arm-length email to her manager, for which her manager responds back saying, “It’s a Nice Anomaly”.

Exactly, here’s where it all started….

Ms.Libra tried to reason why it’s an Oxymoron.

Mr.Scorpio would not agree that it’s an Oxymoron and he had his own sweet reasons justifying his stand.

When it gets to an argument both Scorpio and Libra are pretty much bent-up on winning over the other and each of both, prove to be very crotchety, about the other one not accepting their way of throwing some light on things inclined to their perceptions which each assume to be the near perfect one.

Libra’s way of looking at it:-
An anomaly is an abnormality or a malfunction or a defective or faulty behavior.
How something that’s defective can be nice?
How something that’s faulty can look or sound nice?
How something that’s wrong can be nice?
Here are the following oxymoron’s that substantiate Libra’s point
Awfully Pretty
Almost Ready
Terribly Nice
Well… here goes a classic one … “No Comments!”

Scorp’s way of looking at it:-
An anomaly is something abnormal yes, but it also means irregularity or a difference.
Something that’s irregular need not have to be defective. Similarly, something that’s different need not have to be defective or malfunctioning.
Anomaly can be thought of as a strange happening….an unusual behavior.
Think about this example…
Someone having 6 fingers…doesn’t make them defective or flawed, instead it makes them different from the rest of the world and probably a unique one at it!

Well, that makes sense too… but shouldn’t decisions always be based on the statistical data or on the basis of an opinion poll?

Can we say there are no clear statistics to support either result as a norm?

Well, that’s a tough question to provide an affirmative with a 100% endorsement.

Dictionary references are below….

Anomaly:- a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.

Nice:- pleasing; agreeable; delightful, amiably pleasant: a nice visit.

Based on the above meanings provided, we can assume a “Speculative Inference”*** as follows:-

"An Anomaly, Which is a deviation from the common rule or form, can also be pleasing or pleasant or delightful or NICE."

Thus, a “Nice Anomaly” cannot really qualify to be an Oxymoron, but it doesn’t fully endure to be thought of or considered otherwise, is what Ms. Libra feels.

Now, The Scorp being a true Scorp will not agree to this…

But the truth is no-one really knows if a “Nice Anomaly” is an oxymoron or not!

Although many seem to be saying “No” with not much of supporting evidence to rationalize their argument….Our Ms.Libra isn’t really up to believing it for some strong intuitive feeling that she has towards this phrase.

Hail the manager who came-up with this and ask him what he feels!

And the argument continues……………..



P.S: *** "Speculative Inference" also qualitifes to be an oxymoron!!
subject to discussion, Conditions Apply..........

Simile and Metaphor

I was talking to a good friend of mine this morning and found myself groping around with the usage of Similes and Metaphors!

For heaven’s sake, I had almost forgotten what was a “Simile” or a “Metaphor” was for that matter!

[Pal - My Friend & Sal - I, Me, Myself & Saloni]

Sal: “ So what exactly is a Simile? ”

Pal: “A simile is the comparison of two unlike things using the word 'like' or 'as', e.g. an example of a simile would be “As big as a bus” says my dear friend with a proficient cadence of clarity and cognizance.”

With embarrassment painting my cheeks red, I was chagrined of my oblivious mind.
Nevertheless, I cheerfully offered a bunch of Similes, as if to imply my effervescent memory had suddenly found its lost lost family!

Sal: “Hey, I remember it all now…… listen to these…
For the starters:- As agile as a monkey (That’s you! HeHe) and As big as an elephant (That’s me! HaHa)

So here's another one....
Right now, I’ve got an eye “as black as coal” because of the blow that you just gave me, making me feel as “as blind as a bat”, but I am “as brave as a lion” so I am not going to be troubled by all these and my heart is “as cold as ice” and I can be “as cunning as a fox” too, with which I am sure to make you feel “as crazy as a loon”………..”

Pal: “Stop it right there!!!!!!!!!!! I have already gone crazy, don’t even try any further please…..”

Sal: “Oh.. But I haven’t completed it… I was only trying tell that I “SO” understood the usage of Simile.”

Pal: “Yeah..Right(Ugghh!)..”

Sal: "okie.. Alright lets move on to Metaphor then?"

Pal: "Yes, very gladly, But on one condition…"

Sal: "(Doubtfully) what would that be?"

Pal: "I don’t want to be a victim of yet another spell of your “Playing with the words”…rather “Playing with Simile/Metaphors!”......."

Sal: "(Defensively), But I was only trying to say that I remembered it all! "

Pal: "tut.. tut… "

Sal: "(Disapprovingly), FINE! I am not gonna speak anything. I am DUMB listener. Go on Mister!"

Pal: "There you go! Completely missing out on what I was going to say! "

Sal: "Well, Whatever it is, I said, IT IS OKAY & You can GO ON."

Pal: "Alrightoo Madame… If that’s what you want, That’s what you’ll get!"

Sal: "yeah, thanks… So, what is a metaphor?"

Pal: "A metaphor is like a Simile or almost like a Simile. That's because it is a comparison that is made between things, which is not always likely or obvious."

Sal: "However, I remember, the explicit use of the word 'like' or 'as' which we see in a simile, would not be used in a metaphor which is rather a comparison of two unlike things using the verb "to be"…. Is that right? "

Pal: "Perfect!"

Sal: Pat myself…. & Gleefully "Thanks!"

Pal: "Hence, a metaphor sounds more forceful and suggestive, but is still very common in speech. Basic Rule: If a sentence uses the words "is like" or "is as", it is usually a simile; if it uses the word "is", without "as" or "like", it is usually a metaphor."

Sal: "Hmmm… Right!"

Pal: "So Can you think of an example of a Metaphor?"

Sal: "Sure why not… Here it is… the most famous one “Apple of my eye ".........."

Pal: "Good one, These Metaphors are similar to Similes – except they do suggest a comparison but do not make it explicitly. We often use metaphors without realizing it. For instance, when we say that your Teachers 'bark a command' at you, you are comparing them to a dog, and hence engaging in metaphor!"

Sal: "That was very profound!"

Pal: "Cool. So, if I say “You are the light of my life” …What comes to your mind? "

Sal: "Ummm… Yes, This actually roots back to a word that originated because of its usage in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the good old ancient days like almost in 8000 B.C."

Pal: "Whoa…. What’s that now?"

Sal: "Well, A Sandal…but a real dirty and battered one for you!"

Pal: "Heeyyy, I was trying to test your knowledge on Metaphors.... come on… That one was a METAPHOR babe!"

Sal: “Oh realllyyy????? How come you couldn’t think of any other example for Metaphor dude? And you want me to buy that this was the only thing that first struck you, when there are much mundane ones like “Food for thought” or “Apple of my eye.”

Pal: “okay alright, alright.. I give-up!! I can never win over an argument with you!!”

Sal: “You better realize it….”

Pal: “Okay, Here you go, lets finish this conversation in a nicer note..
Here’s a short list of distinguishing characteristics on Simile/Metaphor that I read in a book recently.
"A metaphor is an equation where a simile is an approximation."
"A metaphor can always be greatly extended, while a simile quickly reaches its limits."
"The words like or as are widely known hallmarks of the simile - but there are so many faux similes bearing these hallmarks that further appraisal is always needed."
"A metaphor dies of exhaustion; a simile just gets more and more tired."…...............”

Sal: “Hmmm, now that was some interesting info! Thanks Dude!”

Pal: “Anytime for you Maam!”

Sal: "Thank You Sir!"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On a Friday evening with “S”

Phew. The week's finally over. I am really glad. This week was a pretty heavy one. And, the good part is: the storm's finally over. So I can breathe easy!
There were tons of deadlines to be met by today. It’s good that I met all of them on time. The mad rush was done and over by 4pm today. Suddenly, things took a leisurely pace.
So I returned home with an exuberant mood, full of energy to do some good amount of talking that I always wanted to do with S.
S and I sat on the lounge to just chill and talk. It was great. I love being able to just sit down and enjoy great company.
We had a guest at home, one of S’s old schoolmate and she was all so happy about getting her first job…so ‘S’ was catching up with her and I was into my weekly clean-up activity. An hour later she left and then I and ‘S’ were in the hall trying to watch some TV. Neither of us is an ardent TV watcher, with the exceptions of course given in for “FRIENDS” & “Everybody Loves Raymond” !
Half hour past we were talking about general things on what’s going on presently in each others life and what are the short term milestones and stuff like that and suddenly we were both hungry. Eh heh! Our stomach was grumbling with full-force and just about ready to start a third world war with us demanding sustenance. So we decided to grab something from outside rather than cook & loose the residual energy cells that were keeping us active. That decided, we pulled our coats from the coat-stand and sneaked into our shoes and locked the door behind us and got onto the elevator to set-out for a food-hunting. It was very cold outside; temperature was close to -2 degree Celsius. And we kept walking on those long deserted lanes hoping to find a place to extinguish our fire of hunger as soon as possible.
Fifteen vain minutes would have trudged by, and we were still fruitless in our search, and the climate was getting more and more chilly & windy making us barely able to step forward and walk. Groping with intent eyes hitherto, I jumped out of joy at the first sight of success that came our way after 20mins of tiresome scrutiny.
There was this McDonalds board glowing bright in that dark and windy Chicago night, around 2 blocks away, which lit up my eyes with a glow like a treasure trove of gold, platinum and diamonds being found! I nudged S and pointed to the direction of Our-Treasure-Trove and we were tempted to buy some food right at that second... which we did after 5 more minutes –which was spent in reaching that place. We both got one each of veg & cheese sandwiches. Well ya, sure shot it weren’t enough and I ended up having an additional French Fries and Sprite combo pack while she went for a Thunder Apple pie. I got a bite of the pie and it was triple delicious…Better than the best one could ever have laid their mouths on (For consuming food of course!). It was really tasty and delicious…Ummm….. Yummy…… That was the closest to heaven experience that I had in the recent past…

S and I were chatting while we were together just then on our way back home. Talking to S is so easy. There’s no effort required. I am very comfortable around her. We were talking about the future and what it might hold. I found out that both of us are super idealistic. We have dreams which we will have lotsa difficulty fulfilling. Anyways, I wanna wish S good luck! Am very sure S can accomplish and achieve what she wants if she puts her mind to it. She’s got the skills and the brains.... She’s got a damn cool temperament, which one hardly finds in youth of today’s world. She’s what you call a Gem-of-a-Person. She’s real witty, real cool and smart brains who can get things easily done in her own way – Not the materialistic sort, if you know what I mean!
Well, of late I am not finding S as cheerful as she used to be in the beginning. I can feel something is terribly wrong and it’s just that she hasn’t chosen to open-up yet about it.
It makes me feel bad sometimes at such junctures where in you are left clueless about what exactly should your next step be towards lending a helping hand to someone you know whom you love is in deep trouble. I wanted to bring on the topic somehow; although she always makes sure that she talks about my work, my day, the climate today, my taking care of health and other stuff. I wanted to be stubborn for a change now, so I just slightly hinted on saying that work’s getting hectic for me and might lead to an extent of staying back late in office or working too late into the night.
She responded with her usual “oh that’s so sad… but don’t worry it’s gonna pass shortly, things will be alright soon”, I immediately jumped on to my question understanding that this is the best time to pick-up talks about things happening in her life.
“So how’s it with you… what are your plans after your graduation? Do you intend to go for higher studies or you wanna go back to your parents and start practicing?”
There was a long pause, a deep sigh and then comes an answer. “Well, ya I haven’t decided as yet. I wanna get to my parents though, cos I aint doing a jackshit here except for wasting all my savings, that’s gonna make me bankrupt soon. So, if not for anything else at least for the heck of cost-cutting I would fly back to my parents.”
Crap she’s so shallow. I need to help her, in turn help myself cos she’s the only good soul around and I don’t want her to go back to her parents because of some COST-CUTTING-FUCKING-CRAP; Money should never be a deciding factor in ones life. Why are people always handicapped with financial matters? Talk More...Talk More…. Someone inside me was yelling at me… And I wouldn’t get even the world’s worst thing ever as a topic to discuss. My mind just went totally blank!
Suddenly, I feel overwhelmed with tears just fighting to burst out of my eyes; I just wanted to dig my face deep into her lap and sob-it-out. She’s probably one of the very few people that I met here who has contributed to my rational self. I just cannot let her go-poof all at once when there’s so many things that are happening at work life and I’ve been speaking to her barely in the past couple weeks that was no more than an infuriating rush-of-life.
So, at last I muster all my strength and try to put in words cautiously the subtle message of my not wishing her to go, which had been looming large in front of me, ever since she spoke-out about her future plans.
“So…you’ve decided to back to home? What about your job? Chicago’s probably got better opportunities for you, a job with a good pay and stuff.. Not that you wouldn’t have considered it, but just curious to know.. did you try applying here?”
“Ah, right… Ummm.. I …Hmm… Ya I have applied to a couple of places though… but haven’t heard from any of them so far.. So, its not bad news, but its just “No News”.. so, Ummm I’m kind of thinking more on the lines of trying my hand at full length for job search once am back at my home town.”
And then, she wouldn’t look at me… Now I am at a loss for words, I just couldn’t think of anything else more to speak. She puts her arm around my shoulder giving me a quick squeeze and telling me that everything’s gonna be alright and that I am to visit a bunch of places before the pleasant climate changes its face.
She would never buy-in my idea of going back to home; In fact, she even made me write an email to my boss asking him to extend my stay out here so that I can get to know more of this place and have some good time before I return.
We had a lovely time on the New Years, watching the Fireworks all night at the river bank and walking down all the way in the stone-cold night exploring the colossal and bright-lit streets of downtown Chicago and talking about the opportunities in US and back at home. Those were days to be cherished for the rest of my life. I am generally not this kind to break down with tears…. But today I badly wanted to cry for someone who is so nice, so pure and so good in heart and mind you, this is not just an acquaintance. We had grown to be good, pretty good friends…
I was walking at a much slower pace in the gray patches of my memory lanes while in reality the time was clicking away… and we were just sitting there, staring at the space with that impending silence eating our souls….. No words to exchange… I knew I was losing her…..She knew she was going away from me…sometimes, you just can’t do anything about people walking out of your life.
- On a note, of losing one of the brightest feathers of my cap!

Monday, April 9, 2007

What’s the STATUS?

After a long break I wish to pen-down my thoughts that had been randomly strewn across my grey cells for sometime now.
Wanted to name this article/post/scribble whatever you wish to call it as “Corporate Crap”, but airing it publicly on that name would probably make it look like a raw wound being rubbed-in rigorously with salt.
With a deep sigh, a loud “anyways & big deal” and a quick shrug of my shoulders…. I set out for this write-ur-heart out (no-) contest competing all alone, shredding even the last strand of trepidation curling over-my-forehead in the name of sweat-beads ……

What happens when two most frustrated souls meet each other over a cup of the most insipid coffee, one would ever get to taste…..”$%#$%#%$%$ Dooom-Daasshh-Duffff !@#$% **&%^$%#%#$#$@#%%@$” – Well, those were various forms of vexation taking the phonetic means of enunciation, and that piece of text enclosed in quotes, is probably what would have appeared in those chat-dialogue boxes that usually appear over the person or character in the scene, that we get to read in our childhood comics if at all this short story would ever be made a comic.

Well, this time around I don’t have a counterpart to talk this one out, so I decided to print it on papers.

My Monday morning 9am begins with the following and my Friday evening 11pm ends with the following, trying to follow my highness’s orders for the day to complete my tasks assigned for the day which includes multi-tasking, parallel processing, conscientious and diligent output, robust performance and last but never the least, high-quality and timely delivery of the product.

Did you do this?
Did you do that?
Was this updated?
Was that updated?
When will this be done?
This needs to be completed by today, end of day can this be done?
How much more to go?
Do you think this can be done?
A status check every five minutes once is way too much to abide by…. With the bunch of above listed questions tossed at a maddening frequency making me go berserk!!

And that leaves me at crackers!!!!!!! guhhh!!!!! Darrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn…… Give meeeeee a breaaaaaakkk!!

Wanted to scream at my supervisor left-right-n-center for not having given me an inch space to move around, breathe-out … [Well, breathe-in at my ease even for that matter!]

After sweating it out in front of my PC and reading the incomprehensible defect description over a million times now in my defect logs….“Nobody understands!!” – I put my hands up and with a dull, given-up-nod I blurt out in a desperate measure to knock some sense into my boss’s head who gives me prolonged, but of absolutely no-use lectures on “How to Effectively Resolve Issues”. Just so I know, it was a futile effort into a deaf man’s ears!

I was getting sick and tired of this indefinite-listen-only syndrome that was getting to the levels of a malignant disease which would eat me alive one day.

I have to do something, which I know is not the right thing to do, only because my supervisor wouldn’t understand that one always got to choose the best over the worst.
And come to think of it, I have been doing this almost always and I just didn’t feel like doing it all over again. I loathed myself for NOT being able to be in a position which demanded power and which MADE me do something that I felt was right, rather than listening to bullshit and doing the same in my work all the time.

I was thoroughly exacerbated! This is it!! I decide, I give up, Lock my computer pick my handbag and walk down to the parking lot. Once there, I was busy kick-starting my bike as I always do, but this time at a single go with all the anger and frustration piled up at the kicking feet and with one of those powerful strokes of mine, I even succeed at it, thus, waking my vehicle to a loud & roaring life!

I drove like a maniac... with out paying attention to any of the traffic signals that were on... and eventually ended up getting caught by a traffic cop! I paid the fine for not following the traffic rules and at that; I suddenly realized that I was supposed to send the updates to my onsite…..Holy cow! I returned back to office... BACK to SQUARE one... telling my nosy supervisor that I had just been out for a coffee break....

What a whacko life one’s gotta live?!

I tell you dude, Alls not-well that never-ends-well!!!!!