Thursday, May 31, 2007

To Crib or Not to Crib..

Corporate life and its very overwhelming side-effects (plenty, on which I shall elaborate in detail later..if you haven't had enough of it so far, that is) have been one of the prime factors of inspiration (if not the only) for the genesis of my blog.

You know... I've read blogs on politics,societal hypocracy,college pressure, family knots,patriotism and some on improving your culinary skills too and all these blogs would be really enticing and not to mention, insightful.

I'd always wonder what I would blog on bearing in mind the multifarious topics that will interest both me and a common reader so that one day an arbit reader would exclaim out loud.. 'Ah good blog! I should definitely come back and learn more.'

But try as I might, I am exceedingly incapable of refraining from centring my blogs around the common-denominator, 'Work'.
And it doesnt stop with that..

From work, springs more work...which leads to pressure...which brings us to tension...taking us to dissatisfaction, and eventually my most favourite comfort-zone, 'cribbing'

Ah, cribbing!
Now don't you uncategorically dismiss this act as a trite activity.
Judgemental you!

Convincing and captivating cribbing comes only with practice and how convincingly you enthrall your sympathizing audience depends on how well you've mastered this art (and of course the sort of people you're subjected to at work...but thats just a tag added-on for humour. Or is it?)

I for one am the indeclared Mistress of Cribbing. Why, in fact, 'crib' is my middle name (after whining, fusspot, and lazy-bum of course)

And you know what?
Cribbing is contagious too. In a fun sort'ov way.

Well...picture wouldn't want your life to sound all mega 'peachy' over the phone when your poor friend's stuck at work with absurd timings, a crappy home...with crappy roomates...with an abominable boss..not to mention the miserable pay she might be getting.

So what can you do?
You can't undo her crappy life-style...No siree!
But what you can do, is make your life sound a little less chirpy...just trying to make your friend feel better, if not good.
So you do an itsy-witsy bit of cribbing in front of your depraved friend.
Like a harmless drink in front of your boss.
No harm after all.
Its not going to change anything anyway.

Thats harmless, steadfast and unadulterated cribbing for you. :)

The problem only rises when this becomes a habit and when you blame all your problems on one soul reason.
This is whats called 'uncool' cribbing
That is when you need an urgent metamorphosis on your outlook on life, in general. much for uncalled-for philosphy-preaching.
(Please dont hate me for this)

So...will my blogs be worthwhile and constructive henceforth??

umm.... Next kosteen please :D

A forward I accidentally happened to read. Somethink to think about.

Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the air-
conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel.
It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to reason with the adminperson, it was the savings in time.
As PM, he had so many things to do.

He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use.

"Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop.

Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

"You people have brought so much advancement to the country sir. Today everything is getting computerized."

"Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look.

He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and stocky like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling pass.

"You people always amaze me," the man continued, "You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside."

Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naivety demanded reasoning not anger. "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it." For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement. "It is complex, very complex."

"It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid," came the reply.

This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence came into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

"Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in.Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office does not mean our brows do not sweat.
You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing."

He had the man where he wanted him and it was time to drive home the point.

"Let me give you an example. Take this train. The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrency; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?"

The man was stuck with amazement, like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination. "You design and code such things."

"I used to," Vivek paused for effect, "But now I am the Project Manager,"

"Oh!" sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, "so your life is easy now."

It was like being told the fire was better than the frying pan. The man had to be given a feel of the heat.

"Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end always changing his requirements, the user wanting something else and your boss always expecting you to have finished it yesterday."

Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self- realisation. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth. "My friend," he concluded triumphantly, "you don't know what it is to be in the line of fire."

The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization.
When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.

"I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire," He was staring blankly as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.

"There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive."

"You are a..."

"I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a land assignment. But tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety."
"But my captain refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he commanded."

"His own personal safety came last, always and every time. He was killed as he shielded that soldier into the bunker. Every morning now, as I stand guard I can see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me. I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire."

Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of his reply. Abruptly he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a word document in the presence of a man for whom valour and duty was a daily part of life; a valour and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes.

The train slowed down as it pulled into the station and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.

"It was nice meeting you sir."

Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This hand had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the tricolour. Suddenly as if by impulse,he stood at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.
It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrates during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true-life incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight.
For this and his various other acts of bravery he was awarded the Param
Vir Chakra the nation's highest military award.

Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn!

3 Confounded-souls had something to say:

bharani said...

good one... but i can't help but to point out that even your forwards these days are dotted with something from the "IT-PM-Project" world.... good for you as far a you are immersed in it and in your work...

MaYtH!! said...

Well..yeah :)
I try not to incorporate work in my blogs...especially the exasperating part of it...but my attemts fall flat.
But its fun cribbing just the same. :)

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