Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lost and Found

The joys of finding some object after having lost it ( unless you have lost it intentionally ) is something of great elation to all of us. Many of us go to great lengths to find the stuff we lost, look for divine intervention and are persistent at finding and in such cases, most probably, we always find them. I have an experience of finding a pendant gifted to me by my friends which I have described here.

We also lose track of people – don’t we? There are some people from our childhood or from our past that we have lost touch with and spend many precious moments in nostalgia about the good times we have had. And however much we want to be in touch with them, somehow destiny wouldn’t allow you to reach them even in these days of technical brilliance, information transparency and availability of all details public social media. Actually I think it is very difficult to hide from public eye these days. Every action of yours, even your trips to the loo in a public space is being tracked. LOL.

Some very precious people from my life too have vanished altogether and many attempts to reach out to them have been in vain – I am persisting and hoping that will yield results. One such instance is my friend Sumai, who kind of left me in the lurch 7 years back. ( I am not sure who left who in the lurch but I guess each of us had a good role to play in that).

I was hoping that time would take the sting away of losing her, but surprisingly it didn’t. We met while at work in my earlier organisation sometime in the year 2000 or 2001 and we were not the same kind, I would say we were kind of opposites – She was quite, mature and grounded and I was all that she was not. She was a Bengali and I was Malayalee, non-resident in our respecitive states and were in Chennai together (that probably is the closest we could get on similarities) Opposites attract and we hit it off pretty well and in a large group we always knew we were there for each other.

We could see the same ironies of certain situation, humour in the most intense stuff around us and most of all we understood each other – quite deeply. I remember she noticing my slightest mood fluctuations, knew my innermost fears and sometimes put my vagabond soul on a leash. We laughed, talked, shopped, worked, gossiped and were partners in crime and humour during those 4 – 5 years that we knew each other (and that’s a considerably long time). We went on for official get togethers, lunches and dinners shared our simple joys and sorrows, cried on each others shoulders, laughed our guts out at most ridiculous stuff and most of all were good reliable friends.

Sumai had to move to Calcutta as her better half was getting a transfer and it was quite painful for all of us in the group to let her go. She did, only after sharing all co-ordinates and numbers - We were in touch initially exchanged mails, called each other, updated our day to day stuff and she even came down to Chennai once after an year and met all of us. I don’t know how and when but I guess we moved away from each other, slowly but steadily, drifting away only to lose sight of each other completely.

By the time reality hit me, I had a server crash, my email account changed, lost my mobile contacts a couple of times and in short lost Sumai. Then there were frantic attempts to track her down. I was surprised our common friends also had lost her contacts and due to reasons similar to mine. I rummaged through loads of mail and pulled out her home contacts, left scores of messages on the answering machine, called her office only to find she moved out of that organisation long ago and was beginning to lose hope.

While rummaging through the mails I also happened to get her email id and I had shot out a mail to her, expecting a reply immediately which did not happen. Anyways in the first place that didn’t look like an valid email address.

One of the days last month I had a message from an unknown number and it had the most profound message – It said “Hi… Sumita”. I literally sat up for a couple of minutes with a wide grin. Called her and it was as though we didn’t lose each other at all. My first question was “where were you, I have been looking for you for such a long time” and her reply was so much herself “ Vincy, you are in a very good position now, so don’t lie” in a very laid back manner. And we laughed and laughed like old times.

Lost, but found.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A talk at Industry - Institute Conclave

When the invite to be a "Guest-of-honour" came, I was a litte surprised as I wasnt expecting these kind of stuff, while I am in my current organisation.  In the organisation that I had worked earlier, this was common - I regularly travel to various institutions to give them pep talk and speak about how they can prepare themselves to enter into IT industry, the crucial shifts the students need to make in order to be industry ready.
It is Indian tradition to light a lamp before any occasion
and is considered auspicious

While I was happy that I was called to share my 2 decades worth experience in the Industry-Institute Conclave, to let them know what the industry expects from the institute, I wasnt sure what to expect for.  The organising committee happens to be my ex-boss' freinds and everything went without a glitch. The programme was on 9th of June, a Saturday and I was told it will be attended by people from various institutions ( like the heads of institutions, professors and lecturers) and people from IT industry and after a couple of rounds of discussions, I was clear about my target audience.
Yet another Indian Tradition - Ponnadai
A superfine looking cloth generally made of silk in golden
colour used to put around the neck like a garland for
respecting the august presence of a VIP

The talk I prepared and delivered had the central theme of what the IT industry in particular is expecting from the students who are their resources. So my talk had three parts - After breifly touching upon our Indian Education system, the pros and cons I went ahead and focused on  What can Institutions do proactively to prepare students for their career in IT, What can IT industries in turn can do to prepare the Engineering Students and finally what does the IT industry expect from the Campus Force. My talk was laced with my own experiences of dealing with the Freshers and the IT workforce in my previous organisation.

The presentation went on well, good reception, many people ( especially the institute that organised this conclave) told me that they had some good pointers for the current financial year and every one who spoke after me, referred to many of the points that I brought out.  So, I guess it was a good one - I have some pictures of the Conclave that I was into.  Made sure I was formally dressed for the occasion - am rarely draped in a Saree ( traditional Indian dress), and this time I made an exception to be in one.  :-)  thoroughly enjoyed the session. Hopefully that was the case with the audience too.

The Talk by "Guest-of-honour"
I should mention about how a picture of this talk came in some of the the local dailies and more than me, my parents and family ( including my son) were thrilled to bits. :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birthday Wishes in many forms

I still look forward to the birthdays and get all excited when family, friends and loved ones call to wish me, and when I get gifts.  I kept wondering if Joe or Dennu would forget my birthday and if they were planning to buy me gifts and what will those gifts be. Silly me, defnitely the pussilanimous species. I know I am opening up on my blog these days, more than ever, but that's immaterial and  does not matter.  I have decided to let my hair down on my blog and be myself.  Thats the prime objective of me having a blog space in the first place.

So, for more than a couple of weeks I have been wondering if my birthday was on their minds and wondering what their plans are and all my doubts were put to rest, when Joe very lovingly asked me what would I want for the birthday.  I guess all my pent up anxiety just peeped out, just the way children run out of classrooms during recess time,  at that very question and I blurted out a long list to Joe ( the list was so long - number one,  he had a wierd expression on his face and number 2.  after a while I guess, heard him snoring).  He never brought up the topic again, which kept me thinking that i over reacted a bit at the slightest prodding.  anyways.

As a mentioned in the earlier post a couple of days prior to my birthday, my brother and I finalised my dad's surgery and somehow my birthday went deep down in my priority listing and infact, didnt matter anymore.  All I wanted in life was a safe and successful surgery and quick recovery for my dad.  The night before my dads surgery, I just could not sleep and was fretting over the surgery to Joe and didnt let the poor soul sleep till 2.30 in the night.

So i didnt read the midnight messages that came to my message box, or the mails till quite early in the morning, while we were driving to the hospital.  Every call that came, I only saw that as an opportunity to ask for a prayer request for my dad - and am thankful I had many.

My Dad ( and ofcourse, others in the family) wished me before he could be wheeled to the Operation theatre and the day was filled with anxious moments of dad being wheeled out of OT, then to the ICU for observation, his first liquid meal, his first solid meal, all those catheters on him and  left for home in teh afternoon only  to check on my twin nephews who were there with my MIL.
Two little fellas, the dizigotic twins ( like the ones in Arundathi Roy's Novel) completely different from each other in their looks, height, weight and mannerisms, that noone would call them twins if not for the similar clothes that they wear.  One of the little fellows announced to me the other  day, they are just 9 years old, that when they marry they would marry twins.   LOL :-)

So, in the evening my brother kept insisting on me coming back to the hospital and I thought it would be a good idea to get my son and nephews to meet dad at hosptial and was trying to get the three musketeers ready and I found them all huddled together over something and the moment they spotted me got into dumb charades.

Birthday card by Jerry
I quickly asked them to have a wash and get ready and I myself was getting ready, which i can do real quick, and when i walked out of the room, the three musketeers had this for me.  The birthday had gone out of my mind completely and so this took me by complete surprise.  My son had a nice gift for me and big card down there you see in the pictures were his and the pink tissue wishes were the ones my nephews made extempore in less than 5 minutes. So lovely they made use of the stuff around and created birthday wishes for me in a jiffy, the moment they knew Dennu had a card and gift for me.

Birthday Card by Jeffrey
Felt very touched and had some wonderful Mamma melting moments along with the Aunt moments and was unprepared for what was awaiting me at the hospital. The men in the family (Dad, hubby - infact, he had to leave for Delhi in the afternoon on an official visit and bro) planned a little surrpise, which had me with moist eyes.  There was a birthday cake, some pizzas and a nice gift from my parents and brother and I had to cut the cake on the trolley table that is used to serve food for the patient - in full view of the patient and surprisingly it was quite Joyous as I could see my Dad smiling through all this.

Dennu's Card

Thursday, June 21, 2012


My dad has been in the hospital this week for a surgery ( actually a couple of them) and is recovering well. I am sure prayers from all corners would help. Readers of my blog, please do say a little prayer for him.

I believe in two things in life from the bottom of my .. hmmm..toe… Number one. Prayers. Number two. Positivity.

The decision for a surgery had to taken in a kind of hurry with my brother in town and wanting to complete in when the legal heir ( LOL :-) )  is present. A comfort for my parents. Gave in to all those sentiments while my brother and I had a lot of discussions in finalizing the dates, hospital and doctor. When it comes to a loved one, we are naturally worried and sought after all the prayers that we can garner for.

Had some nice reverse-parent moments when I was waiting for my dad’s reports to arrive and the doctor proclaimed “ You cant ask for a better report” with all results tilted in his favour. I felt so happy and I realized this was how my parents would have gone through my parent teacher meetings :-)
So it was natural that I called my friends, who are really close and the surgery happened to be on my birthday and it helped when people called, I thanked and asked them for a little prayer in return.

My friend Anita as usual was full of support and strength, inspite of the loss she was going through herself, her aunt had passed away suddenly a couple of days back. We comforted each other – She being so far away does not help.

There were scores of cousins and friends of yesteryears, who kept checking on me and dad, constantly, on how he was recovering and assuring me of prayers.

I should mention about Daniel, who was himself in hospital for his daughters’ appendectomy, constantly checking on my dad.

My friend Petula, surprised that I hadn’t mentioned a word about this surgery so long, asked me about the hospital to visit my dad. So I gave her the address and I knew with my parents she is quite comfortable and my mom called back to tell me later in the evening that Petula brought dinner for my parents when she went visiting.

So touched they were about the dinner, they couldn’t stop speaking about it. Its not the dinner, but the intent behind the dinner that overwhelmed me. Inspite of her busy schedule she could make time for this. It is at times like this you realize the one’s who really care ( however far they are from you) and the ones who don’t.

Feel blessed for friends who care, love and allow me the grace of friendship especially when they themselves are going through tremendous pain. I wish I can bring the same care and comfort to all my friends too.

A birthday at hospital ( my birthday folks was on 18th June - wishes still accepted in cash or kind), nevertheless was joyous, no matter what life throws at you, because there is a lot of joy in having a great family and lovely friends along this ride, called L.I.F.E.

P.S:  Dont forget to say the little prayer for my dad :-)