Monday, February 25, 2008

It was almost 8 months ago that I joined Schlumberger and it would be easy to say that I have had an amazingly exciting time so far in the company. I have been traveling and my longest stay at a particular location was 11 weeks in Scotland. The unfortunate part being that i haven't had the chance to really explore the ways and streets of Mumbai. It was around 4 weeks ago that I was asked to come to Baroda to get "more experience" as if I had any!!! I was excited about the idea of putting into place all that i had learnt but was disappointed that from a "happening" place like Mumbai I was moving to some small town in Gujarat.Well it seems I was wrong, Baroda it seems is well developed city with more malls per sq km than Mumbai and the people here definitely love to spend their money.What has surprised me is the prosperity in the state of Gujarat, be it the amazing sights of Ahmadabad or Surat, the sheer absence of slums. Now I have always been a foodie all my life and I have always loved the tastes and sights of street food. Be it the chat and vada pav of mumbai or sarafa of Indore but what I have seen in Baroda is nothing like before. Near a mall called Vadodara Central on the roadside you will see a huge row of hawkers serving the most amazing Chinese, Punjabi, Italian and of course the good old omelet. The amazing part is that these hawkers have proper menus and will provide bisleri if u ask for it too.You will see people coming in the swankiest cars with their friends just to savour the pizza the hawker has to offer.This amazing mix of the street food and yet trying to achieve the finesse of a restaurant is something I have never seen before and I really enjoyed my time there. Another interesting restaurant that I visited is called "Sasu Ki", Its a thali place and it is pretty amazing,the food is really nice but what kept me wondering throughout the dinner was the queer name the owner had picked, unfortunately for me the owner wasn't there that day and this is one question I hope I can get an answer for before leaving Baroda. Well iIdon't know where my job is going to take me next and to what interesting experiences but till then i guess I can make more trips to the roadside fiesta!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Marriages or for that matter any celebrations at home are fabulous times, You get to meet relatives you haven't met for a long time and also relatives you have no idea existed. The last 15 days have been such at my home. One of the disadvantages is that you hardly get to even watch television and it was at one such time when my 8 year old cousin Prateek was hogging the remote that I asked him to switch the channel to MTv and not to my surprise and huge disappointment the hugely “talented” Emraan Hashmi was dancing to one of the Himesh numbers. It was a few seconds before Emraan went on his usual smooching spree and prompt came this cry from my cousin, “ Cheeee, Aap gandi cheezein dekhte ho, main kaku(my mom) ko bataonga”. As I quickly changed the channel he went on to amaze me.This was his interpretation of Emraan Hashmi’s choice of lips or movies. Prateek said,” There are two theories why Emraan does what he does. The first is that Emraan is such a good actor that all directors select him to act in such “gande” roles or the second is that he is a BAD person and thus by choice selects such movies which involve this “gandagi”.” As I stood speechless as how to respond to this interesting theory I preferred to switch the channel to Hungama Tv and let the cartoons proceed. If this wasn’t enough Prateek’s sister Priyanka turned out to be a great soap opera buff and had the most interesting advice on how the bride and aunts should wear their sarees and the matching makeup. Trust me she seemed more equipped to run a beauty saloon than the professional who had turned up. As I wondered how the influx of media in our lives has changed the way kids think and behave and how they probably mature at an earlier stage than all of us of the Raj Comics and Archies generation I had to rush to Bareilly to get my passport. On my way back I stopped in Delhi and went to watch Cheeni Kum but more than the wonderful movie what left an imprint was a scene from the movie. The scene is where Amitabh goes to a medical store to buy a condom and as he asked the chemist a 7-8 year old sitting in the row behind us innocently asked his mother, ”Mummy condom kya hota hai?” The flustered mother was dumbfounded for the next few minutes before the kid questioned again and this time the mother could only reply that it’s a medicine while me and my friend died laughing. It was a very funny situation indeed but then it makes you think, how does one handle these questions?. While sex education still remains a taboo in schools, we as a culture never talk about “IT” at our home or with parents. It is not normal for us to see adults kissing as an expression of love and thus it is “bad” for the kids. Although the trends are changing and public display of affection is getting accepted but still you see police driving couples away and so we are in a transition stage. The only source of sex education perhaps remains some friends at school or some encyclopedia in the school library. The way the media has made inroads into our lives it's high time that this issue be tackled by parents especially in metros where you hear 12 year olds talking about girlfriends and boyfriends and 16 year olds are losing virginity. I guess we need to revise the age for "the birds and the bee talk”. What is the perfect way to do it and when it should be done is something that is debatable. Let the debate begin till then I guess we can stick with the medicine and gande scene routine.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It was finally the time when nostalgia rules your whole are walking to the department and smack it hits you in the face, you go to UG and there are the memories and it was tough forgetting all the amazing times.Luckily for me as I was headed home there is my sister's marriage on the cards{ :D} and I guess it has meant that the last few days I haven't had the time to feel sad/bad about leaving Roorkee. So as I left a phase of my life and was preparing for another one I thought that this was the opportune time for me to learn the trades of the ladies of the house. Might help me understand the female psyche much better{ Havn't had great luck with that ;) } so here I was trying to help my mother with the washing machine, the peeling, cooking etc etc...It was in this piece of learning or training[:)] as my relatives are calling it I realized that this is one of the most tiring and unrewarding jobs one can ever do. Its amazing to see the amount of work that a mother performs in a day and how from the outside it seems all so easy.I guess we never truly understand the great feat that the mothers and wives of this country perform by ensuring that those mundane daily chores are performed to perfection.Its no space research or scientific breakthroughs they are making but they are making life so simple and easy for all of us and we never even care to appreciate it.Its a sad comment on the kind of sons and daughter we prove to be when rather than appreciating our mothers we end up criticizing one thing or the other.It really has been an amazing learning experience helping mom with her work and I hope anyone who reads this gives at least a week to their mothers and they will understand what I am talking about....In the meanwhile i can cook macroni, paranthas, pizaa etc etc so all of you may line up outside Golu's Diner :D

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It seems like yesterday that I had seen my counseling result and found out that I had got production and industrial engineering at IIT Roorkee. Now I am sure after the results the period of excitement, preparation and sheer anticipation began for all of us but it somehow was a little different at my home. My Dad you see was a pass out of the 75' batch of industrial engineering of the then UOR. I am sure it was an emotional and a proud moment for him to see his son traverse his footsteps and he was more than eager to share his memories of his time at the place. Be it the late nights in ganga bhawan to the bakar sessions to the chapos to the dreaded Roorkee holi to the amazing friends he made. I was introduced to it all before even reaching the place and I was least interested in the stories. I as usual made fun of the place and his memories and wondered how even after 28 years dad had so fond memories of this place which I was seeing as some small town without any semblance of modernity. Its only now as I have reached the threshold of my own little story that I realize how insensitive it was of me to ridicule my dad’s memories (sorry Dad) and how I fight at home if anyone even dares to make fun of this place, I have grown to love and call home. Its been the most amazing 4 years of my life where I have had the great opportunity to understand the person I am and the person I want to be. I have met the most amazing people and it would be unfair to list names as I might miss out on a few but I would like to thank each and every individual who became a part of my life and gave me moments that I will treasure forever. I can see now how even after 28 years I would remember the night outs @ IMG, the bakar and movie session before the exams, the time spent at Nescafe and UG, The bun butter samosa of alpahar, the most amazing quizzes ever with litsec guys and almost everything about this place. I love every bit of this institute and its almost impossible to believe that come 2nd June I would not be a part of IIT Roorkee or would I be.I don’t know what the future holds in store for me but one thing is for sure that the 4 years I have spent here and the friends I have made here will remain with me for my life. I would love to say that I would stay in touch with you all but one thing is for sure I would miss you all and would remember you all for the special ways in which you have touched my life. Thanks a lot.
And despite my ramblings about not letting my children do engineering I wonder how it would be if they too happen to enter this magical place and then be bored by my memories to later on rediscover their own….If history would repeat Itself!!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Abe yaar,tu mast blog likhta hai" a comment from a benevolent batchmate that reminded me that i had a blog to maintain.So here i am 1 hr before my 21st birthday knocking off the keyboard.Its been and eventful semester in more ways than one.There is strange kind of purpose and focus in all the 4th yearites in the campus.The usually chirpy fooseball table,the buubly nescafe and the late night shouts of "fir in the hole" are missing as people prepare for their gre,toefls and cats.Although the 2nd year and 3rd year are doing their best but something is amiss.Thankfully i have a lot of people around me who have not got into the serious trance and that means besides the cat preparation i can still maintain some civility with the ocassional cs game,movie or prison break episode.But essentially this semester belong to the new found indus camraderie,I never thought going to classes in 4th year would be so much fun.The bonding that has emerged in the guys is amazing and it just livens up the atmosphere even in the most boring lecture.Imagine people talking at the top of their voices or sleeping on the third bench and that too in a class of just 22!!!! Classes are just and occasion to meet and it hardly matters whether we are inside or outside as long as we are together...and yes attendance is not a problem kyoonki ali bhai hai na(dude has attendance in single digits in almost all subjects).But the worst part of all this is the bumps on the birthday...It's like these guys have been released from some jail or jungle for that matter...the passion almost borders on wildness!!! I call it worst not because i am not like the clan but because in 50 mins i am going to be the centre of their "affections" So if i survive the night we you will be reading more ;)
Pray for me

Sunday, June 04, 2006

India managed to lose a series to the lowly west indies,I got weird messages at midnight asking me to either not go to office or wear black clothes instead of the uniform(only the shirt is what they gave)as a for of protest against the reservations, Arjun Singh ensured my chances of clearing cat are reduced by 27% and the sensex took a dip(u cant blame it with all this heat!!!!) and lot of other things too happened that I could write about. But then instead of labouring on for pages about any of the topics I will continue what I promised, I will continue memoirs of piyush khandekar.I guess it was also the fear of doing a kaavya that stopped me from doing it although i would love to finally have something common with her but then you have to sacrifice certain pleasures:(
15 days in maruti and i am still trying to figure out the ways of this place for eg..
1.) Why in the world the play this chameli song in the morning and then at evening "kahin door jab din dhal jaye".....God!!!!
2.) They couldn’t use their brains enough so just named the administrative buildings mezannine 1 and 2(will explain this at a later stage)
3.) Why you have to take food only once?

So after my dream was so hopelessly shattered that unforgettable evening. We(me,jhootdeva,ash,2 Canadian, and one surly faced dude whose name i still don’t know and i don't care now) were expedited to mezannine-2 and a smiling, beautiful lady called Mrs Seema Sahukar(Me and sach had a huge debate what her last name was...apparently it varied between samahar to sahutar) and we were ushered into another a.c. room and with a cold drink in our hands so that we will not bicker much were given our departments.I got WDE(weld engineering) this also is mr kunal kapoor or nitin's department so i was assured of a cool time. The first day in my department i was tossed around from one person to another as no one wanted the responsibility of an intern under then until finally they found a bakra to take me around the shop floor. So in comes jayant:Has the hair of a dhoni,a goatee that would put aamir khan to shame, says he plays like federer, believes sex is the way to achieve nirvana, somehow graduated from dce, and apparently is a good time pass when u have nothing to do(which is always) and if he is not talking to his gf on his phone cleverly camouflaged in his locks. The weld shop is perhaps one of the best in the business, its right out of a Hollywood sci -fi film with almost all the work done by robotic arms you get the feel that Dr. Octavius's hands came off and started working for maruti(its that good).But you soon get tired of the robots and more importantly the heat and realise that the air conditioned mezzanine was always the better option. With practically zilch work and the four roorkeites on the same floor (joothdeva,ash,phodu and me) it was time to find a new nescafe or should i say induscafe to hang around and there it was, the visitor area with a vending machine,a fridge stuffed with all the paraphernalia for our rescue.So we spend all our tea breaks, lunch breaks, and the time that is left "brainstorming" in the new induscafe. Sachdeva is the proud president of our small society as he spends the whole day there..poor guy still doesn't have a project. One of the very noticeable things at this place is the absolute domination of the japanese in all influential get the feel that Mr. Khattar is just and Indian face for the public whereas the show is run by the japs and mind you there is a lot of animosity amongst the maruti employees about this.The japs are real hard-orking chaps, they come to the office with a bag so huge that you wonder whether they came straight from IGI and straight into the conference room and they come out either for a sutta break or to go home. The main point though is that it's like they have ensured everything is automated and organised in such a manner that its almost impossible to get anything wrong and as the indian employess are practically not required except those on the shopfloor. The 600 acre plant is not just about machines and japs but I really have a good time with the seniors of my department,they are very friendly and we joke around and pull each others legs like we knew each other from times immemorial....just fun but I was definitely not prepared for what was in store....
\nOne fine afternoon as we all were sitting in fron of our comps and doing something or pretending to do something at least a monkey decided that it had enough of strolling about in the ventilation shaft and decide to simply drop down on one of the comps in the \ndepartment.There was complete chaos in the department as the monkey ram amock,with files flying all round and people diving for cover.I took great courage and management skills on the part of all the department heads to firstly vacate the hall and the call the security to nab the \nprankster.And in between all this one could see a jap still sitting on his comp designing a jig oblivious to the bedlam around him.Finally as all the employees enjoyed a 1 hr break from work standing in the lobby,gossiping,cracking monkey jokes and drinking tea the monkey menace was finally \nresolved.An interesting observation was that the monkey looked like the japs without the tail so probably he had just "dropped" by to say hello and people made an unnecessary fuss.One of the things that has changed in me is my new found love of drinking tea,i gues with nothing to do and 2 tea breaks a day it had to happen.

One fine afternoon as we all were sitting in front of our comps and doing something or pretending to do something at least, a monkey decided that it had enough of strolling about in the ventilation shaft and decide to simply drop down on one of the comps in the department. There was complete chaos in the department as the monkey ram amuck, with files flying all round and people diving for cover. I took great courage and management skills on the part of all the department heads to firstly vacate the hall and the call the security to nab the prankster. And in between all this one could see a jap still sitting on his comp designing a jig oblivious to the bedlam around him. Finally as all the employees enjoyed a 1 hr break from work standing in the lobby, gossiping, cracking monkey jokes and drinking tea. The monkey menace was finally resolved. An interesting observation was that the monkey looked like the japs without the tail so probably he had just "dropped" by to say hello and people made an unnecessary fuss. One of the things that has changed in me is my new found love of drinking tea, I guess with nothing to do and 2 tea breaks a day it had to happen, I mean you even get tire of just roaming around and lounging about after some time. So now I have what is supposedly a project and I was told in no less words by my boss that I had to complete the project in 2 months and not come back and eat his head and pester him to give him some work because he basically doesn’t have any, but Mr. Fate had to intervene and I found a Canadian intern who happened to be assigned the same project so the two of us(More him than me) have already completed the project and I wonder what I will do in the coming days. Well, the only positive that comes out is I get ample time to read novels and I would like to recommend to everyone a novel by the name, ”Anything For You maa’m-An iitian’s love story” by tushar raheja(an iitian obv).Enjoy the novel and until the next time happy reading!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Finally 4 months of promise and some despair ended in my hitting the road to Maruti,Gurgaon for 2 months of training.It had been 4 months of waiting for that elusive internship,trying to make that foreign trip but then it had to be that i spend my 2 months in the NCR which if Mukesh Ambani has his say will soon become one of the four SEZ(special economic zone) of the country.Nevertheless i left roorkee with hopes of a invigorating experience and obviously the ultimate dream of an iitian a beautiful damsel from some local college as an intern in the same company.
15 May:- My first day at maruti begins with my entering the 600 acre campus to the sound of "main teri ho gayi yaar sajna" from chameli blaring from the loudspeakers at the entrance making me wonder if i was at the right place(One week and i still cant find out why the play these damn songs).Nevertheless all the interns were asked to wait in a room where i found an old friend who is studying in iitkgp.So time flew as we both chatted about days gone by and the life@iit and i realised that more than the 2 yrs we spent at school it was the iit camraderie that made it so easy to bond.Soon a haryanvi peon came and asked us to fill some forms and then all of us were ushered into a a.c. room and asked to wait.So here we were around 7 iitians 2 from kgp and we 6 indus dudes having a blast making jibes at each other,discussing about placements and obc inter iit when the dream came true.This beautiful damsel comes and sits next to me and i can hardly imagine my luck.The peon then comes in and tells he is an mba from pune(What!!!) and i am left reconsidering what am i doing preparing for an mba..The poor guy had he not told he was not an mba would not have had to face the brunt of jokes that i decided i should start making and the "miss" surprisingly found the jibes funny and was laughing throughout the day.We waited,waited and waited some more when we were asked to go have lunch and come back to collect our uniforms....The post lunch session turned out to be a damper as i found that the dreams i had of a wonderful interns came crashing as the damsel told he was pursuing an mba in marketing and it was obv she will not be getting the department anywhere near me and in this huge sprawling dreams came crushing like the blanks under the 4000 tonne press.
So we collected our uniforms and that was the end of my first day @ training.....Well my first day cannot be complete without a mention about my illustrious roommates who have so kindly agreed to find some space for me in their hostel like apartment in guragaon....
Sachin---- nice me a lift everyday to the company....i wish i could write more but i am not allowed...
Nitin---- Well if he had the long locks he could sure give kunal kapoor a run for his money...plays guitar(will teach me hopefully),plays tennis,hates cricket and football....and is going abroad very soon.
Kataria----he is the guy who picked me up on his sexy bike at the bus stand...very nice guy with a better girlfriend(no hard feelings man)...has a night shift so more will come with time...
KV----again night shift guy...loves his food and drinks....
ISH----9 point and more to come from thapar...doing 6 month trng....very hard working..studying for gre....
There is so much more that has happened in the last week for me to put here but i guess with so much shopping,eating,training,reading and all this interspersed with cat preparation the blogs will take time but will keep posting....
till the next time....keep moving