Drifting away!

Have you ever noticed that the life is just drifting away slowly leaving you behind in some sort of confused and ever nagging loneliness? This feeling starts hitting you when you miss your friends, friends who have been your part and parcel of your life, with whom you have spent all your time and one day they all are gone away and you are left alone to your self. You get to meet new people with whom you are forced to make friendship or sometimes it just happens due to similarity in thoughts or due to interactions that makes it necessary to extend the hands of friendship. Well everyone will have to pass through this situation. You become so nostalgic and would subject oneself to constant rewinding of past incidents through photos stored in your hard disks or videos taken in your mobile phones.

The sheer thoughts about your college days brings back the hero in you. The days spent with friends keep flashing in your mind and your mind starts drifting itself into its past. Friends always stay near you at some point of time. You hang out with them, talk with them, go for trips, treats and eat outs. This creates an itch in your mind that keeps itching you, making you addicted to them. You start loving their company and  would want to meet them as frequently as possible. This is just like a recursion logic that keeps calling itself until one day it finds a condition to terminate that loop. Life also provides such conditions for people.

As I’ve already said in my previous post about “moving on” in life. So the life keeps moving on and so are the people in our lives. Many of them change company, some change the country. This happens one by one with the people in our lives, leaving you stranded in a lonely island full of new people. You miss their calls, messages. The numbers stored in your mobile phone’s contact list becomes obsolete one by one and each one of them gets removed from the “fwd msg” distribution list. The local number becomes a national one and the national number sometimes becomes a Skye contact. You have to depend on Gtalk, Skype and various other social networking medium to contact them and talk with them.

You slowly realise that, you are growing up and your are somewhere in the mid twenties. All college and school students become “kids” and you hate people shouting and chatting loudly in the buses. Group talk becomes nuisance and you prefer silence in the buses and cars. You prefer plugging into some iPod or mp3 players and listen to music rather than having a talk with someone sitting beside you. You realise that you have conversed so loudly and laughed so much in the bus when you were with your best buddies and everyone sitting around you turned and gave a cheap stare at you. Now that you have become one among them staring at loudly talking people. You have become a “Grownup”!!

One day, you realise that all your friends who joined with you in the company you are working, have left one by one and you have to remove them from the official instant messaging list. Their official email ID becomes obsolete and you practically understand that when you receive a message from the postmaster with the subject “Failure Delivery – Couldn’t find the address or mailbox doesn’t exists”. Friends are a major part of our lives. We spend time with them and share almost everything with them – likes, dislikes, food, money and even crushes. Our mind is reluctant to accept the fact that, we cannot be always with them. We have to move on.

Life keeps us busier always with something or the other. First its the school where we made friends. Later we finished schooling, wrote slam books, shared contact number and email IDs. Then we joined college, again made friends, had lot of fun, shared our lives in and out in classrooms, canteens, labs, mukku kadai-s and in hostels and mess. But we never felt the distance anytime. Even when we get jobs and start working, we keep in touch with them though forward messages, group mails, weekend meet-ups and movies. But when the life gets more busier, we find less time for all that. Weekends becomes “Dorm-ing days”. We sleep, sleep and sleep out of hectic-ness that has crept into our life. Everyone becomes busy. Some move on for higher studies and some change jobs and some get married. Your friends circle shrinks its diameter and at one point of time it becomes a straight line.

Friends at work come to your rescue. Again you start living with a new circle of friends and this time the diameter keeps increasing and you again start enjoying your time with the friends. Chatting with them for long, hanging out in the weekends, movies and much more. You even find your girl. In-spite of such new relationships, you enjoy being with your friends. Life moves swiftly with college friends at one side and your work friends on the other side.

One fine day, you find your job sucks big time and you desperately want a change. A change that will bring a big change in your life. You think about it and finally make a decision to change your job. Fiasco sets in and you start missing all your friends again. You are not just changing your job but altogether moving away from all of them with whom you have been with, for the part years. Now that you are losing your own official mail ID which you have acquired long back and to which your inbox gets flooded with heaps of “Forward mails”. Again you become sentimental. You curse God for making you missing friends. You leave and find a new job. Now you find yourself stranded in a place of unknown people. You find everything new. you have to get accustomed to new way of living and working. You miss your old cubicle and your company. You start saying “It wasn’t the way it is here…”. You envy on people who hangs out in gangs and laughs out loud (Yea the same LOL!). You are just left to yourself. You have to eat your breakfast and lunch in the food courts alone. You don’t know where to keep the soiled plates. You don’t know in which counter you have to get the ordered item in the FC. You consciously walk towards the hand wash area. You realise that people around you are staring at you with the “just joined” or “new guy here” looks. *Sigh* what a comfort zone I’ve created for myself and now I’ve come out of it. You have to make new friends again.

You again wish for all your old companions. You see everyone is worried about their families. You see all your colleagues talking about their son or daughter. You are put into constant speculation about things around and about yourself. You are not the one you were some two or three years before. You find yourself still worrying about your friends. You then realise that you have to start worrying about yourself. You have to start working towards supporting yourself. You are a grown up now. You are no more a kid or immature just-out-of-college guy. No one likes your SMS, few likes them very much and asks you, “Why didn’t you send any messages. I was waiting for them”. You laugh at yourself. You still have hopes to be a kiddish, carefree, lazy, sleepy immature boy. You keep reminding yourself of not to become one of those serious, worried and always complaining jerks. You still remain a happy, friendly, always-smiling, humorous chap who would want to be open with everyone you meet in your life and create an interesting chapter of them. You make new friends and keep adding them to your “Besshht Friendssss” list.

Life is just drifting away. There is no time for hatred, jealous or regrets. Keep yourself open and welcome everyone. Love them all till you find friendship and love everywhere around you and you are fully drenched on it.

Thank you all my friends for becoming a good chapter in the pages of my book. You are “THE BEST”. You have made my life worthy and cherishable. “Hello” to all my future friends who would start making an entry into my pages of my life. Welcoming you all.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  ~Chili Davis

Be cheerful and love all!!

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Nostalgic Moments – A tribute to Infy

The mail that I wrote to my friends on my last working day……

Amigos adiós…

Guess it’s imperative to say this now!!
Yes, Today is my last day in Infosys. Memories dates back when I was waiting unsettled with my conscious disputing over the subconscious, in my college conference hall, my name was called for making it to the final round of interview. From that time, I’ve been very much inquisitive in looking out for new opportunities, new people and a new life. Life wasn’t bad to me either. I was in the best place where ever I’ve been to – my schools, my college and the company. Infosys didn’t stand as an exception. From the terrific Mysore training where we racked our brains, to the marvellous buildings where we roamed around, to the work, the values and the culture, everything was the Best.

Life changes its course like river. As the life moves on, you get to meet new people from different places and style. I’m very much blessed, fortunate and privileged to have associated with the best people and have been with the best of them in Infosys. They might not have same likes and dislikes as of me but to live with those differences is what I would like to appreciate. The differences did make a difference in my life. Thanks, to all those wonderful people reading this mail. More than the professional contacts, I’ve acquired more friends here – through Infyblogs (many!!), lunch-mates, bus friends, event organizing friends, BB friends, few Hi-Bye friends and many more smiling faces which I cross daily from boarding my office bus in the morning till alighting the same in the evening. Many of them remained as friends, who were not just friends, but friends who always stay in touch, who slap me hard, who hug me tight and hold me close whenever and wherever I thrive and stay in my memory forever.

There are times when things around has put me in a state of joy and times when in despair too. Bad times don’t last long and so are the good times. Good times transform into memories and bad times translate to lessons. I’ve accumulated lots of memories but have learnt good lessons as well. But looking at the good times, the bad times just drifts away with the wind. We need memories to cherish things and lessons to remember. Both are essential.

Time changes and so is the life. It’s been a wonderful journey of 3 plus years in Infosys and at this point of time, I’ve decided to change direction and explore further avenues of my career. This change is inevitable and I’ve to accept this and I’m fully aware that, I’ll be a little more distance away from you all. But the undeniable fact is that, this world is too small to get lost in the crowd. We will meet again for sure and I’ll be at a fathomable reach. You can always drop me a call or draft me a mail and I’ll be very much glad to listen to your stories. Thanks to all of you who made my stay in Infosys a memorable and cherishable one.

There is this song titled “The Reason” from the album Hoobastank, which I always listen to…

I’m not a perfect person
There’s many things I wish I didn’t do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you…

Though the song is meant for someone, I relate that here to something which I’ve been related to almost more than three years. As the saying goes, “no one is perfect”; I’ve always strived to achieve perfection in whatever I did here. In whatever position I’m now, everything attributes to you & the reason is you – Infosys. It’s not the end but it’s going to be another new beginning for me!

I really don’t know if I’m happy for any reason or sad for no reason at all. There are many things here which I held so close to my heart. So close that I cannot really put it in words. I’ve never tethered myself to anything so much, but the people and my relationship with them here have really made me so much addicted to them, even a gentle aberration to it causes chaos in my cerebral cortex. These benign anomalies will always stay in and keep reminding me of all those good times I’ve been bestowed in Infy.

Well, nothing more to add nothing less to miss. Just requesting all of you to be in touch and support me and shower your blessings for all my future endeavours.

Hum hai raahi pyaar ke, Phir milenge chalte chalte…!

Signing off….
Kalyan Varadarajan
(Powered by Friends, Driven by Love)

P.S: Today’s date is something special. 11022011 That’s a palindrome!

What are you doing in Adyar Bus?

Many of us assume that we are conscious enough and are aware of things happening around us. But things happen to us without our control and we inadvertently go through the situation, in spite of us being fully conscious that, we have done things right. Let me narrate an incident that happened on Friday (19th Feb 2010) that was hopelessly funny and persuaded me to give a deep thought about it.

It was Friday and I left my cubicle around 5.07 PM to catch my 5.30 office bus. I walked past the array of buses which was in the bus bay. The bus numbers decremented one by one from 128 and I located the bus number 105 which takes me to Triplicane. The bus driver was standing near the entrance with the bus register. I smiled at him and boarded the bus. He was a familiar guy as I used to take this bus in the morning near my house.

The bus was sparsely filled. I spotted a three seater and placed my bag. Just then a guy came and the person sitting in seat said that he already placed his bag. It is difficult to sit in a three seater with three people in it. So I looked for other seats and found a girl, sitting alone in another three seater. I quickly occupied the aisle seat. She was sitting by the window seat. I always find comfortable sitting beside a girl in a three seater. The reason is not because I can flirt with a stranger woman, but because the probability of the third seat getting filled is very less compared to a situation in which two males sitting in a three seater and the third seat is empty. Thus only two persons in a three seater can travel comfortably, a two hour journey towards home.

Both of us exchanged a “Hi…” and a smile as we know each other through this bus journey to and from the office campus and Home. As speculated, other seats were getting filled and no one occupied the third place in our seat. The bus started at 5.30 pm sharp and picked up speed. As the bus covered a few distance, she plugged in her mobile ear phones and was looking outside the window. I too wanted to listen to songs in the mobile. But I was feeling damn tired. I was feeling bored too. So I took my mobile from my pocket logged in to the DABR website to access twitter. Checked few tweets and later posted few tweets about bus journeys. I felt sleepy a bit, so logged off the twitter API and dozed off.

It was 6.57 PM when I opened my eyes and peeped outside the window and found that the bus is near Anna University and it crossed IIT Madras. I took the mobile from the pocket and thought of checking twitter again. Just then I got a message from my friend. I get lots of forward messages daily from friends. But I know that this is not a forward message because she never usually sends any forwards. I know that is going to be some personal message intended for me. I opened the message, it read,

“Wat are u dng in here in adyar bus? Luk bak”

I didn’t understand first. As I woke up from sleep, I didn’t know what this message all about . I turned back to see her sitting in the two seater. I was startled to see her because I know she never boards my bus and both of us catch different bus in the evening. I was totally confused and was in complete mess. I looked outside the window. The bus had already reached the Sangita Hotel in Adyar. I quickly grabbed my bag and went to her seat and sat beside her.

“Hey, I boarded the wrong bus” I said.

“Ayyo Kally, what happened, you are realizing it only now?” She asked.

“Anyways, I can get down here and catch the state transport to reach home. Tell me where this bus stops now. Will this stop under the flyover near L.B. Road?”

“Yes, you can get down in the next stop. It takes a right turn under the bridge and goes to Besant Nagar” She said.

“OK, see you Sou” I said in hurry and rushed to the front to get down.

I was so confused. Why did I board the wrong bus? I was confident that I got into right one. Even the girl sitting beside me used to come in the same bus. I thought, “OK I would have got into the bus number 112”. This is the bus I used to take at 7.30 pm. I reassuringly recalled the bus number. I had made a mistake it seems. I know 112 bus goes to Adyar at 5.30 pm. I would have boarded the 112 bus as I used to get into it at 7.30 pm. But how did I make this mistake. I remembered that few of the folks who used to get down in Triplicane were present in the bus.

I haven’t got an opportunity to use state transport from Adyar as I used to use my bike to commute till Adyar for shopping or for lunch with friends etc. I wanted my bike badly. It will take around half an hour from Adyar to Triplicane. I enquired few people standing in the bus stand about which bus may take me to Triplicane.

The office bus number 105 will drop me right infront of the street where my house is. I thought may be the girl who was sitting beside me is having some work in Besant Nagar or somewhere after that or she is going to meet  her friend. I cursed my forgetfulness and carelessness of not noticing the bus properly. It was Friday evening. I wanted to reach home early, not that I had an appointment with my girl friend or I have a party in the local club at my place. It is just that I wanted to reach home soon.

After some twenty minutes of waiting and enquiring, I saw a bus which came to a slow halt in the bus stand. It was 21H.

I enquired the conductor, “Is the bus going towards Beach Road near Vivekananda House?”

“Yea this is taking the beach road but it will not halt in Vivekananda House stop”, the conductor replied.

After a quick thought process, I enquired him again, “Kannagi Statue stop?”

“Yes, get in, get in”, he signaled and hurried in his tone.

Thank God, I at least got a bus to my place. From the Kannagi Statue stop it will be twenty minutes walk to my place. I got into the bus and the conductor handed me a ticket to Kannagi Statue. I paid Rs 7.00 and there was no place to sit. I leaned over a pole and took out my mobile, logged into twitter and tweeted,

This tweet even appeared in the Google Buzz the next day, in the wrong time line as I’ve linked my twitter account persuaded by the laziness to use Buzz and twitter separately!

I decided to call her and informed her that I got into the bus. I thanked her for messaging at the right time. Otherwise I would have slept and the bus would have crossed Besant Nagar. Both of us spoke for a minute and I disconnected the call.

I was thinking about the ordeal of walking till my house from the Kannagi Statue stop in the beach road. Suddenly my mobile ringed and it was Sou who is calling me. I thought she is going to inform me about, she reaching home safe. I picked up the mobile and she spoke

“Kally, I’ll tell you one thing. You shouldn’t shout at me” She said giggling.

I was puzzled. What is that she has to say which will make me shout at her at this point of time? She has really helped me today. How can I shout at her or get angry? I thought.

“Tell me Sou, what’s the matter?” I was so much curious to know what she is going to say.

“Kally…actually…” she fumbled, swallowed few words and finally said those golden words, “I was the one who boarded the wrong bus!”

I was into total bewilderment. I didn’t know what to say.

I was in mixed emotions, “what the hell!!!”

She was laughing madly.

“So I was in the right bus and it is you who got into the wrong one” I replied wondered.

“I guess it is true Kally” she said, “I was so confused today and I guess, I boarded the wrong bus. Sorry Kally”

Adi paavi, I would have peacefully slept in the bus till Triplicane” I spoke at her cursing myself.

Later I found that, it is her friend who accompanied her in the auto till her place told her that she had boarded the wrong bus. Her friend asked her, “What are you doing in the Triplicane bus?”

Only later she understood that she was in the wrong bus and I was in the right one. Her friend asked her to call me back and inform me about this confusion and making this poor boy get down the office bus, killing his peaceful sleep and subjecting me to run for the city buses. One has to understand that a person who is used to taking office bus, from Mahindra City which is situated terribly outside the city, which drops him exactly near the house, will find it extremely difficult and tiring to catch a state transport, get down in the beach road and walk some few kilometers into the Triplicane.

As most of the office bus used to go till Adyar then take different routes, she didn’t realize that she was in the wrong one. But it is not going to make any big difference for her as she stays in Adyar. It is I who has to travel some kilometers to Triplicane.

But all this did not make me furious. I was only laughing myself for making a fool out of me and not for being cautious and conscious. Before getting down, I could have asked the driver, just to reassure. I did not do it. It is because our sheer confidence and the sub conscious control of our mind that makes us believe things that are happening around as correct.

I was bit confused after seeing her in my bus. She had never played a prank on me which made me believe her words. This one incident I would never forget in my life as in my 2.6 years of corporate work life, I had never boarded a wrong route bus. A simple SMS from a close friend came as a bolt that hampered my peaceful journey.

The point is, we are not governed by external factors. We are simply governed by internal stimuli. We are controlling ourselves. We are responsible for things happening to us. We simply blame others or things which hamper our work or even the day. But people forget that everything is within us. I do not want to blame her for spoiling my way back home, delaying me by half-an-hour to reach home, making me run here and there for bus, making me walk a long distance. But I want to thank her for giving me an opportunity to understand life, to understand the human behavior. She has given me an opportunity to understand self and the way of life. A lots of introspection went into this.

Life is all about learning things. But as some SMS says, life is a good teacher because it teaches us things only after putting us in that situation in real time. We learn the lesson not just by reading or looking at it, but by feeling and realizing it from the incidents which happens to us.

She promised me a chocolate or even a bigger one for not telling this to anyone as this may lead to insult to her dignity and may pose a threat to her respect among friends. She even said, she will return the “Thank You” that I conveyed her for messaging at the right time otherwise I would have slept and reached a different place. But I really wanted to share this with many of them as I wanted to show how things happen to us without our control in spite of us being on the right side and so this post. Since she was my college mate and a very good friend of mine, I respected her words and concealed her identity here.  Sou is just a pseudo name I gave her, though this resembles a short form her real name that we used to call.

Thanks again!

●●●

Finding a seat

Scientists are not born genius!

They acquire knowledge from things around them. All those theories and principles people speak did not come from thin air as such. Great minds had spent time on simple things and discovered great things.

I, as a software techie spend almost one sixth of my twenty four hour in bus commuting to office which is situated terribly outside the city limits. And commuting back home from Office consumes minimum of two hours. Tired and drained after work I run to the bus bay to get myself settled in a comfortable seat for the next two hour journey.

You know what? Getting into the bus is not a big deal, but getting a comfortable seat is a big deal. I’ve listed a few findings using which you can help yourself find a comfortable seat.

Assuming that all corporate buses have the seating like XXX on one side and XX on the other side, I hereby propose the following theories.

  1. The window seats tend to get occupied first on both 2 seaters and 3 seaters except on rainy days
  2. The back seats get filled largely than the seats in the front.
  3. 2 Seaters are more comfortable when they are occupied by two thin persons.
  4. Only 2 persons feel comfortable sitting in a 3 seater.
  5. When the 3 seaters are getting occupied, first the window seats, then the ones in the aisle.
  6. The probability of the third seat in the 3 seater getting filled is minimum, when it is already occupied by two persons in which one is male and the other one is female and the middle seat is free.
  7. Stranger males and females never sit beside each other in a two seater, unless they have no other option to choose the one.
  8. A female will always give a thought to occupy the middle seat in a 3 seater when it is already occupied by two males. So if she has not other go, she gets an aisle seat.
  9. A male will never give a thought to occupy the middle seat in a 3 seater when it is already occupied by two females. But he has to give a thought on what the two ladies will think. So if he has not other go, he gets an aisle seat.
  10. ‘Love birds’ always tend to occupy a 2 seater and towards the back, so that nobody can hear the koo-chi-koo talks.
  11. Pretty girls are always engaged in mobile conversation throughout the journey.
  12. Girls open their hair, release the band then tie it again, before getting down.
  13. Long hour journey is always accompanied by iPods, mp3 players, mobile players, Portable Media Players etc.
  14. The two hour bus journey will pass like a two minute bus journey when accompanied by a friend who you meet after a very long time.
  15. We wish to sit beside the girl on whom we have crush. When you are in a 2 seater, you always expect the girl on whom you have crush will occupy the seat beside you, when people board the bus in a particular stopping and one by one fill the seats.
  16. People like to sit near the window which is under our control. The opening and closing, adjusting knob of the glass slide etc should be near our seat. If it spans to the next seat behind ours or in front of ours, those seats are occupied last.
  17. You tend to look at other’s mobile screen who is sitting in the seat next to yours when they message or make a call. This mostly happens when you are sitting in the aisle seat and the person who is sitting one row behind you in the aisle will have a clear view of yours
  18. Many guys hesitate to ask a girl “If someone is coming?” so that the empty seat beside her can be occupied, when she is sitting alone in a 2 seater.
  19. During rainy days, people close the glass slide fully, without leaving a small gap. This increases the humidity inside the bus and causes suffocation. But they cannot be blamed; rain drops find its way even through the small gap.
  20. You always want to sit in the same seat daily whenever you board the bus. If someone is sitting in your place, you feel disappointed.
  21. Our mind works like 100 core processor, when you get into the bus and scan the bus to find a comfortable seat, even though the bus is half empty.

Other things which are worth mentioning here is as below which is contributed by my friend Rengarajan. I too wanted to mention this but these thoughts didn’t strike me at that time. These points have been adopted from the comment section!! Thanks a lot for the contribution!! 🙂

22. Some of the guys reserve seats for their friends.. So that creates more disappointment especially when we come late and find few seats..

23. Although we use the same bus for many months and travel with pretty much the same people throughout the days, most of the people doesn’t know each other. Conversations will be within small closed groups. (Exactly!!! Many people are known to us just by their looks and not by name or in person!!)

24. Most of the girls sit with their legs completely folded and over the seats.. like sitting at home! They eat something on the bus.. almost always..(hehe guys too at times. Not only girls!!)

25. Some people will talk office stuff while in the bus.. like do this, do that… or taking a call from onsite or so..(Yea they do talk like open this file, login to the remote machine. the value of DEF_INIT is NULL, so set it in the second loop. Send out the meeting request. I’ll do the SLA report tomorrow and all stuffs 😀 )

26. Most of the people talk about real estate, new gadgets (mobile phones..) or vehicles or switching companies!

27. Several days, we can find a few new people.. when its a pretty girl, we wish that girl should come regularly..! (100 % true!! :D)

But, choosing seats are very important according to me.. as IT professionals in Chennai work long hours and travel long too! So.. this Bus journey which is taking a major part of the day is used by most of the people in several different ways. Like, thinking about the pending tasks, planning for the days to come, reading newspapers or magazines, for some of the people, it is the time when they call their families if they are living alone.. For some, its the best ever time to sleep!

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll try to add more if I observe anything new.  There are many more things which I would have missed. You can add it here!!

That’s the Kally’s law of bus journeys!!