Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The music in their hearts

I prefer to travel in public transport. Somewhat due to environmental reasons, somewhat due to that I don't own a personal vehicle. The second reason may seem to have more weightage, but that is up to you to decide.
The fact (annoying fact rather) I am trying to point here is a new gimmick. It is often visible in public transport and I (may be you too) get really irritated.

With the advent of super low cost cell phones with hundreds of features, the mass now has access to the technology. I'm not against it by any means though. People should have access to technology and it should not be confined to only a handful of rich men. I support consumerism in India. But there are some cons as well of the mass availability of technology. There is a remarkable line in 'Spider Man', one of my favorite movies - "with great power comes great responsibilities". And the problem starts here. All of us are pretty much ok with having 'power' but most of us are not used to behave like a responsible one.

Coming back the actual issue, there is a very common feature in all cell phones now-a-days called "loud speaker". What does it do? It plays the music loud, as simple as that. As I understand, the intention of providing such feature was, a group of people with common interest can listen to something together. The feature is great until it is used among a group of people not sharing common interest. If you board a public transport, often you'll see some people playing music of their choice in loud speaker mode. They do not care about their co-traveler's preferences. If you are not carrying any music player then you've to listen to something you don't like or understand throughout the journey. In case you carry your own music player (I fall into this category), you can try to beat the noise by increasing the volume which may not be enough sometimes though.

The trouble worsens when there are more than one in the same transport who likes to show off the wattage of their loud speakers. It creates some intolerable fusion music which can arrange for a day long headache with guarantee. I have personally witnessed many such situations, where ghazal was mixed with kannada dance numbers and some tamil oldies with latest hindi songs. One more thing, if you are lucky you may witness a competition for the title of the loudest music. Don't they know about a gadget called headphone?

Someday I tried to convince a such type of music lover by requesting him to turn down the volume a bit, so that I could hear the important phone call I was getting then. The response was typical, he may do whatever he likes in a public place like the bus. That is where I say, people love power (of technology) but never wants to act responsible. It seems to be a cussed behavior, resembling a child, on their part.

I never found much sense in the act of playing loud music inside a public place. I could not convince people either (not tried much though). So, I have made up my own reasoning (or consolation?). May it be right, may it be wrong, I think it is the flow of the music in their hearts. At least this explanation makes me bear the unbearable. Still it doesn't work sometimes. Then I reluctantly push up the earphone volume of my music player. Ear drum damage !!! who the hell cares?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

End of a friendship

Being greeted by a huge six in the first ball, the bowler had to bounce back. His dreams of getting into national side were destroyed by the batsman, his best buddy. While walking back he was thinking of a way to get the batsman out.
A quick delivery, a cracking sound and the batsman perished.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Token of Love

Have you ever been fooled by the title of a movie or a book. Well, I must admit, I have been. I call it a googly (it’s a cricketing term. come on! I am a cricket fan). This story is similar. It will not live up to its title. So, it is my duty to warn the stray reader that it is going to be a googly.

With this little preface (or warning!) we may continue our story. It is about a rather funny incident (may be a sad one as well for someone) I witnessed in my previous organization.

In my short career till now, I have spent a rather long time in one project. It was my first as well. I have made some good friends during that time, also there are lots of memories I cherish. The big team was like a family where every emotion used to flow. Here is a funny part -

Mr. Raman was a cool guy with real talent in software programming. He used to handle complex problems in our software product single handedly. Most of us respected him for his knowledge in the software field. Everything was going well till the time recession had surfaced. During recession time, my organization did similar things that other organizations were doing. Layoffs, no pay hike etc. to name a few, though pay had not increased the volume of work had increased a lot. As more and more employees were removed from the project the work pressure was raising. All of us were trying to cope with it somehow. But the hostility came when employees saw the light at the end of the tunnel, market started to show signs of an ending recession. It was our ray of hope. We expected a compensation hike for people who had survived the worst.
But the hints of an ending recession were not enough for the company management to raise the pay. They wanted to maintain the status quo to make a bigger profit which can overcome the losses incurred during recession.
This was the time when Mr. Raman and many others started to re-think their career plans. Actually, they were opting to leave the organization at any given opportunity.
This rang the alarm in management; they realized the risk and found a cheap solution quickly. They announced number of awards to be awarded to the employees. The awards policy was pre-existing, but it was hard to come by for a normal employee earlier. This time though, most of us got one. Even if it only included a certificate and a stress ball, we were happy and felt motivated as getting an award till then was a big deal. But Mr. Raman was not moved by the awards, a man with his intellect (and experience) could substantiate the actual intent of the awards. It was to distract him (and many others) from their prospective job hunts, though it was not enough. Still he had shown no signs of his feelings in the award ceremony and accepted the award cheerfully. He looked equally thrilled like us, with the award nomination.
After the awards, Mr. Raman wasted no time to pursue his interest and soon enough he found a better one. Then started an epic process, officially called ‘separation’, which normally takes couple of months to complete.
The last day of Mr. Raman had arrived and as always, we had arranged a small send off ceremony. Manager gave a talk about his ability to achieve best results and things like that. He (or she? I don’t remember exactly) also mentioned the number of awards Mr. Raman had received over the years shows his excellence in software field and he should cherish those esteemed possessions (read awards) for his life time. The event ended with some gifts being handed over to Mr. Raman.
It was time, Mr. Raman to leave the work place for the final time. He picked up his things from his locker and started meeting each of his colleagues / cubicle mates to say good bye. There was the surprise. Few youngsters used to sit in proximity of his work place and he had developed a friendship with them. When he met them he had a gift for each one of them. Can you guess what was it?
Mr. Raman approached his young colleague with one of his esteemed possessions (as our manager had termed it in award distribution ceremony), award certificate and said “I enjoyed working with you guys. Please accept this small Token of Love.” Nobody could react to it and by then he was gone. Finally when at the afternoon tea break we gathered at the open terrace of our floor, we could link the story. Mr. Raman had distributed all his certificates awarded by the company among us. He had made a mockery of the management’s award policy and in a nice way. Soon enough the story was circulated to different groups and every employee were laughing at the awards they were getting from management. Mr. Raman had disclosed their (management’s) intent to retain employees by luring them for awards.

That’s the end of the story. But, what happened to the “Token of Love”?
We never took it to home. It should still remain in someone else's locker as we passed on our esteemed possessions too when we left.