Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Of flights, tall buildings and convocations


As I woke up last Saturday to find myself flying over the Malacca Straits, cosily nestled in the non-cattle class of MH193, I asked myself a pertinent question which seemed very relevant to me at that point of time. What the fuck am I doing here? Last I remembered, my team mate offered me a vada pao and told me that it wasn’t spiked after failing to convince me that an issue with metallurgical undertones, required my immediate attention. A glance at my forearms gave me a clue. There was a tattoo which read ‘metallurgical emergency’ and another on the wrist saying ‘KL Office’. I rushed to the toilet to check for more and found ‘solve energy crisis’, ‘one month job’, ’Global Credit Card’ scrawled at various areas over the torso. One week later most of those tattoos have made sense except one on the back which said ‘One Chicken McGrill please’.

The first impressions of KL were clouded by the experience of a horrible flight at an ungodly hour with a brutal thunderstorm thrown in for special effects. Why have a 4hr 5 min flight in the middle of the night beats me completely. By the way remind me to tell you the story why the flight length is exactly 4hr 5 min. Interesting are the ways world economies work. The daft timing was supplemented by a cruel coincidence of my VP taking the same flight. His presence at the executive lounge and then in the seat in front of me killed all prospects of a drinking binge I had planned for the evening. Modifying the recruitment process would have been high on his to-do list if he saw me racing against time to finish a bottle of JD which recent events have confirmed is a difficult thing to do.

But I can say that KL is a striking city at the first glance, just like the way Chennai is not. I always assumed South-East Asian countries to be hot, crowded and chaotic like my motherland and I was very disappointed to find KL was not so. I will devote a separate post to the joys and sights of this city and how the ubiquitous presence of vadas, idlis and posters of Trisha in a pink saree made me feel at home.

Level 19, Tower 2, PT.

My excitement about working at the hottest address in downtown KL and perhaps one of the most striking structures made by man was very short-lived. Once I realized my desk was at the measly nineteenth floor and there are chumps working on a further sixty nine floors above me, my ego didn’t allow me to enjoy the otherwise electric atmosphere around the place. Additionaly the fact that my status message on Facebook indicating my new address proved to be too cryptic to get the number of comments to my liking, disheartened me further. Naturally I dismissed the other possibility that people just didn't care.Inspite of RMZ Centennial being relatively downmarket compared to the Twin Towers, I was at least at the top floor there (sixth) and loved talking condescendingly to the poor bastards in the fifth.

A few of my colleagues have asked me whether the office here is better. The feelings are mixed. The space is less and it’s so quiet that I could actually hear myself procrastinating. They have an inhuman practice of shutting the coffee machines at five which is a bummer of a situation with me trying to get used to a 12 hr work routine for the first time. Of course there are none of those weekly mock drills/false alarms we have in Bangalore where everyone has to vacate the office because someone wanted a well-done toast and got a bit carried away. Evacuation from the floors 18/19/20 has their associated complexities. Of course the ladies seem perhaps a bit friendlier here. Either that or I am taking too much caffeine.

The Zen Convocation

I was pleasantly surprised to see this morning that I have been included in the annual convocation for Zen Masters. The invitation to the event can be seen below.(Source: Uss)

As you can see I am nothing less than the presiding faculty himself. I look forward to this event every year and it’s such an honour to be sharing the dais with such distinguished names.

I will take this occasion to impart some ancient wisdom to the students present. For those who failed remember that failure is but a stepping stone to yet another opportunity- to fail again. So watch your step.

To the students passing, if you misunderstood the trips of your faculty members as imparting of wisdom and dropping of knowledge then my best wishes for a future you are completely unprepared for.

For the PhD candidate, I must admit, that was fast!

For a very deserving candidate of the Egregia cum laude, let me humbly admit that it often felt while teaching you that we were on the wrong sides in the classroom. As the ancient saying goes, the greatest teachers are those who feel like a student. So congratulations on a job well done on of making me the greatest.

To the rest of the faculty members, “Arey yeh qualification resume me daal sakte hain kya?”

A New Blog.

I realized that sucking at one is not good enough. Ineptitude should be displayed in an overwhelming and multi-faceted manner. I always felt the need of a forum where I can post these short, crisp reference-laden one-liners/ notions which keep striking me. When I go back and read them, it feels good to remember how I have been thinking at various points in time. Twitter didn’t do it for me though as I wanted it to look the way it looks now. Of course every statement is so vague, pretentious and inconsequential that either it would make me look mysterious and intriguing or a complete pompous jackass. As my credentials in the latter have been firmly established I decided to take this low risk initiative.