Sunday, 10 April 2011

December at Ahmedabad

6 am.Alarm ringing,but unlike most of the times,I dont snooze it.Why? Because,its my roomie's bloody cell thats ringing.Covering my ears with the pillow,I try to go to sleep,but soon I realize that today is my 'First Day at the Office'.Quickly I get up,and start getting ready.Meanwhile,Mr.Cisco too is busy getting ready for his 1st day at the office.Combed our hair to perfection,polished our shoes as clear as a mirror,tied the perfect tie-knot,prayed to the Gods,took our folders and we were off to the office.If life had background music,surely "Aakhon mein sapne liye,gharse hum chal toh diye" would have been the apt song.

Dressed and raring to go,we made our way downstairs,waiting for the others.Alongside were 200-odd people,with the same nervousness on their faces and the same list of documents in their hands.As the others came,we left for the a memorable,yet terrifying experience of our lives.The 10 minute walk seemed like an eternity,with mind wandering away into thoughts of cubicles,projects,deadlines,team members,etc.Finally reaching the building,we were directed towards the cafeteria,where oddly enough,the ever hungry yours truly didn't even look around for food.Shaky hands kept on checking the documents every couple of minutes,as if they were going to vanish in the thin air.The chitter-chatter of the 200 nervous people amplified through the cafeteria,eventually inviting the security guard to intervene.Don't know if it were my anxiousness or the noise around,but i all i could make out was snap,blah blah,bang,blah,snap,pointing towards one end,blah blah and suddenly there was a pin drop silence.The ephemeral silence ended as soon the guard made his way out of the cafeteria,as people resumed to their chitter-chatter.Eventually,we were told to make way to the auditorium.

There is something about auditoriums that always make me feel sleepy.Nothing different was this situation,and so I tried to find a seat at the back rows but being a 'late latif' didn't do me any good.All the preceding seats were occupied as well.During this row scanning process,certain vacant seats in the middle were occupied as well,and the only vacant seats left were the first and the second rows.With no other option left,I went and sat at the seat which seemed relatively farthest from the speaker.Soon all the higher authorities came and gave us an introduction about themselves and the organization after which we were off for lunch.Post lunch,we gathered again in the auditorium, completing the document formalities and called it a day at around 6.30.

2nd day began in pretty much the same fashion.Sleepy from the oil-laden food I had for lunch, I made my way to the auditorium .This time though we were gonna be told our batches.Being an introvert,I wanted someone from the 10 odd people I was acquainted with in the 2 days,to be a part of my batch.One by one,names were being announced.As Mr.Cisco’s name was announced,i crossed my fingers for my name to be a part of the batch as well.Sadly though,I wasn’t a part of the 1st batch.Zaina !

Then came the names of people from the 2nd batch.4-5 names were called,after which I heard my name,and I rose from my half sleepy state and I started noticing the people who were there with me.Soon the list of 40 people was over and as I looked around,none of them were of my acquaintance.Hell,more than 80% of them,I was seeing for the first time.I couldn’t help but bombard a series of swears(in my head) at the person responsible for making these batches.Rubbing salt to the wound was the fact that all of my friends had atleast 1 person of their acquaintance with them.

Still upset with the batch allocation,I made my way back to the hostel,asking people,”Hi,u from A-44?” Dinner was over,and we headed back to the hostel.Met K-pill on the way,cribbed in front of him too about the allocation.K-pill with his ever smiling face told me,”Arre,A-44 na.Yeh bhi A-44 mein hai”,and I met Mukesh Uncle,who also was the CR of our batch.Wow ! My first friend from the batch.Happy I was returning to my room,where I was stopped and invited to Room 201(miss that place),to play the game of Mafia(miss that too!). Ecstatic,I RSVP’d a confirmation.
As I made my way to the room filled with 15 unknown people,playing an unknown game was no different what my situation would have the next day at office,except that the number of people was going to be more.In a way,this was kind of a trailer.Though the trailer seemed like the trailer for Paranormal Activity,a few minutes into it,I turned into an Adam Sandler flick.Soon,I was acquainted to everyone present there,and got a hang of the game as well.1-2 rounds in,double entendres made its entrance and introvert-ism took a back seat,as we laughed and cracked jokes.What started off as a crappy day,turned into quite at eventful one.I returned to room a content person and called it a day.

1st day with the batch.Nervous,I made my way the classroom,as I searched for a familiar/friendly/beautiful face,with a vacant seat besides.Since many had already utilized the output from the above search function,there were barely any places left.I made my way to one of them,and introduced myself to the person next to me,Danny Boy a.k.a. The-man-with-the-golden-voice.As the first session began,our facilitators made us introduce the person sitting next to us,along with his/her favourite food.So ,we got down to work,and to my amazement,Danny Boy was a meat lover like me :).Having introduced my newest buddy,’Sorpotel Danny’ to everyone,I geared up for the next activity. Made quite a few friends by the end of it too,and soon I wished for more of these activities.By the end of it,almost everyone knew everyone.The technical sessions began later,though I’d rather not talk about them.
Next few days were pretty much the same,with an entertaining non-technical session,and 3 technical sessions per day,and mafia in room 201 at the end of the day.Singing,dancing,laughing,coding we made a week into training.Soon tests were announced and sooner tests were conducted as well :P
Finally,the day I was looking forward to since the past 2 months had arrived.As my roommates got ready to give me a sore ass,i prepared myself by tying a pillow to my ass,a method which was used by my roomie,when we gave him a sore ass some days back.As the clock struck 12,phones calls,messages kept coming in,as my roomies waited eagerly for me to hang up,so as to begin the ass whopping.Next day,we headed to the office,as we had an exam the next the.Still,I got a nice surprise birthday celebration amidst the preparation :).
Post test,we were divided into groups for case study.Though was friends with just Danny Boy,soon gelled with the rest of group members as well.Case study was probably the best part the entire first phase,as Petrol Pump and me kept on bugging Danny Boy with our endless pjs.It was during this time that RP and me started our double meaning talks as well.Soon BP joined us as well.With our terrific trio of brothers in place,all that was missing to complete the picture was Mumma.Having recruited her,we went our in search of our dad.Soon Mumma became Mother Ahmedabad,as everyone addressed her as Mumma,with a new brother/sister being added to our family everyday.With project work aside,RP,BP and me kept on making more and more senseless double entendre,from almost every word that ‘came’ from people.

As the year drew towards an end,we had a small celebration organized by our employer.Music,food,fashion show,and a hell lot of a dance as we bid adieu to the year that was,a day before the actual new year(the only sad part about the ‘New Year’ celebration).Though we had a little celebration of our own on 31st night,as well went all over  the hostel rooms,wishing everyone,playing music,dancing and as always,at the end of everything,headed to room no.201 for Mafia :) .

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

.. And the journey begins

December 12th,around 5.30 am
After a long,tiring journey,sudden commotion woke me up.People were getting ready to alight,as Ahmedabad station was almost in sight.Quickly,I got up and started taking out luggage hidden under every seat.Half asleep and a bag in each hand,I got out off the train,and looked around at the place which was going to be my home for the next 2 months.I couldnt help but dislike every single thing which I saw.Call it being narrow minded,but still the fact still remained,i missed Mumbai.Though,I loved the cool weather over there.Its the one thing i didnt miss about Mumbai.

I as got out of the station,i saw a bus waiting to pick us up.Alongside were 100 odd aspiring engineers,people who were going to be a part of my maƱana.Tired and weary from the journey,didnt really make an effort to know anyone.Loaded my bags in the bus,and climbed aboard.As the engine roared,we began our hour long journey to the campus.The driver,probably pissed at the fact that Vijay Mallaya didnt sign him for Force India F1,decided he didnt need VJM04 to show off his skills.He maneuvered the 5 ton bus,like a 500 kg F1 car,through the streets of Ahmedabad.Cutting corners,running red lights,left side overtaking,u name it.Lewis Hamilton would have been proud of that man.

45-50 mins later,the bus finally halted in front of a gate, and we knew we had reached the campus.Happy not only coz we'd reached,but also the fact that bus had not become a hearse.A few people got down to enquire about our campus.Though we were at the right place,we were at the wrong gate.Arrrggghhh ! Damn these people.What difference does it make if we use a gate for entering as well as leaving the campus.Disappointed we headed back into the bus,only problem being the road was too small to turn the bus around,atleast thats what most of us felt.But the driver had full confidence in his driving abilities.Like before he maneuvered the gigantic vehicle like a hot knife through butter.Michael Schumacher would have been proud of this guy.On we went from one gate to other,through a beautiful road surrounded by trees on both sides.Though this beauty was making it difficult for the bus to make way through it.Slow and carefully,the driver made his way through the road,to reach gate no.2.This time too,the 'Team Leads' went on to enquire about our hostel,but the result still remained the same.Thankfully,this time around we kept the bus on the road.Moving on,we finally reached gate no.3.Team Leads on their work,but surprisingly,this time we got a yes.The bus entered the huge campus and navigated through the roads towards our hostel.

We got down,unloaded the luggage and made our way towards reception.Pacifying myself with the thought that i'll be off to sleep in about 10-20 mins,I made my way to the reception,only to find everyone already in queue,waiting to 'get a room' and doze off.I joined the ever increasing line and waited for my turn.According to my initial research,these rooms were already assigned to each individual and this was merely a handover of the keys and signing of the agreement part of the deal.Surprisingly,rooms were not pre-decided and were alloted to each individual as he came.Seeing this trend,everyone started switching places to be next to their friends.I too squeezed between Mr.Cisco & Dino,either of whom,or even both could have been my roomies.
As I told the receptionist my name,he handed over me sheets to filled.Completing all the required formalities,i handed those sheets back and was told the room I was assigned to.Mr.Cisco was my roomie and Dino was alloted the adjacent room.

Me,Cisco and our newly made friends made our way to the apartment.Making entries in the attendance registers we made way to our room.Ringing the bell,we woke up our roomie on a sunday morning at 7 am(not a pleasant thing to do to an engineer,especially a working engineer).Though he was kind enough to not take offence and showed us our room,where our other roomie was fast asleep.Leaving him be,we kept our luggage towards one corner of the room and left for breakfast.

Having a quick breakfast and making a few acquaintance,the Idea of getting a new SIM struck us.So we said Tata to our new friends and went SIM shopping.Explored the place a little,but the sun got the better off me and I headed to my room for a nice nap.
Waking up in the evening,I started preparing myself for my first day on the job,asking roomie about his experience.Having an early dinner,I headed off to sleep,as the day drew towards an end.

Oh yea,I did miss the fact that I could no longer stay awake till the wee hours of the morning,watching movies,playing games,or just staying awake !