Sometimes, some memories stick with you forever just for the simple fact that you just can’t forget about it. (Yea, like that makes sense!)
Anyways, this is one such memory for me – a memory about two wonderful years I spent doing… almost nothing… learning almost nothing. Nevertheless it was such a poignant phase of my life. I was just out of college, another memory thread, quiet powerful and affecting, but just as weird.
This particular time period was one of the hardest, dreams crushing, self-worth doubt inducing yet the most fun days of my life. No reason to feel happy about and get all goose-bumpy, but…
We were this bunch of people who graduated from one of the esteemed institutions of the country and had taken up the job in one of the mass recruiting, quiet respected (at least, our moms and some mamis they met in certain weddings did... and the mamis are o statistically never wrong… so there you go) multi national software company. They put us through rigorous knowledge training, because they knew and understood that college education was all eye-wash and that we needed some professional training, that ‘real-life’ so direly required. So the group was split and each segment posted off to different towns, new to few, almost home to some others. Although cut short, the groups attracted other available crazy souls, and turned the training sessions into such a farce, that at one time a instructor walked in and almost had to, at great physical effort, restrain himself from yelling, ‘That’s it. Now all of you stand up on the bench’. So juvenile was our crowd that they decided enough was enough and sent us back to the real world to fend for ourselves. So again the group split and regrouped, quiet ethnically. And again it was nothing new. At one time, some HR folks got together and had us go to an informal gathering, addressing us in the pretext of orientation, and gave out advices to survive in this big bad world, and one memorable quote from that was “Remember! This is not college”. But honestly, there was no motivation for us to change. We were the same bunch of people at the lunch table at the food court, as we were at the mess hall of the college. We had this insane slang, which quite frankly lot of people found offensive, because our talks were littered with it. And to add to all that we had a weird sense of humor, if you could call it humor. To be fair to us, we tried bringing people into the group. The fact that it turned out to be an epic fail was not our fault. Then there was this, ‘Bigheads, so you come from that college doesn’t mean you know everything” thrown at us, which easily baffled us, because not one of us would ever own up to the fact we know anything, simply because we don’t know anything! Some people pitied us, pitied this floating bunch of kids, trying to fit in. Few others were arrogant and tried to establish their superiority/ hierarchy over the kids with good pedigree to prove that they had bigger... whatevers!
We played cows-and-bulls in the project meetings, exchanged ring tones in town-hall meetings, missed office bus and chased behind it in autos, text flirted during open sessions, never missed office unless really sick or there’s project deadlines, slept on the morning bus ride, blogged, read novels under the desk, punctually attended coffee with friends, bitched about seniors, crushed on the same guy, giggled when some people moved out of ear shot, played translate crapy-FMsongs-to-English on the ride back home, play FRIENDS trivia, group participated in almost all extra curricular, non-technical quiz activity and cheated and discussed crossword puzzles and all other silliness. True to every word, we had FUN. We were this spoilt, respectable outcasts, detestable trainees and weirdos with college syndrome, with an air of detached interest in all things Work. Almost all of us would be hanging out in the public or creative domain – commenting or posting or reading and re-reading archives – sometimes in technical areas and most times in Leisure and Cartoon areas. Some people wondered why in the world we were there if we hated it so much. But the fact was we didn’t hate it. Not so much, at least. We just saw that as a venue change, a place where we continued to live in the way we had for the past four years, only difference being, we get to go back home (or PGs) instead of the dorm rooms/ wings. Rest was just technicality.
Then slowly the inevitable “growing-up” happened. Owing to a number of reasons – Some unfortunate souls, from different background, volunteered to become our friends and thus bringing in some sensibility; Reporting managers tightened the reins and loaded us with work… something we seldom had any clue about; Or maybe because the ‘other’ folks figured out that divide&dilute was the only strategy that could work. We tamed down a little bit, and leashed the inner college kid to surface only on command, and settled into the grind of work! And I’m happy to report we thrived. Or changed projects to a saner lead!
And it was all just a decade back. Almost!
Weird, no? Exaclty!