Monthly Archives: February 2011

Heat is On

No… I’m not talking about the cricket World Cup. šŸ˜› I’m talking about the season. Summer’s here. šŸ˜¦ Summer last year had been really tough for me. Having come to Chennai in April I was in for big trouble.

TheĀ numerous sleepless nights when sleeping right under the fan also made no difference. Times when I was almost in tears as there was a power cut in the middle of the humid night ( yeah now people must be rolling their eyes thinking “Aah… these people from Bangalore!!” ). But that’s how nice it has been for me always. Having lived in Bangalore, I used to never used a fan even in summer, in fact always used a bedsheet. But things have changed a lot over the years there as well..

Here, I remember tossing and turning at night trying to fall asleep, washing my face umpteen number of times, the time when me and my roomies stood outside the house at two in the night as there was a power cut. I gave up sleeping on the bed and slept on the floor for three to four months.

We have just stepped into March and I dread to think about the period from April to July. I remember the wordsĀ that my friend had told me when I had told him that I am going to Chennai. It was “there are just three seasons in Chennai, Hot, Hotter and Hottest“. Though his words have been true to quite an extent, I have been lucky enough to have experienced nice rain here last year. šŸ™‚

Gone are the days when summer meant two month long vacations, playing throughout the day not bothering about the holiday homework until the last week of the vacation. The time when there would be at least three bottles ofĀ Mum made Rasna concentrate kept in the refrigerator, apart from the Roohafza, which only Dad liked. :-/ Now all that we do is try and reach the office early before it gets hot, spend the rest of the day inĀ an air conditioned room and come back home after sunset. šŸ˜¦

To all people living in places like Chennai, “all the best” and for the ones who are planning a long vacation to hill stations to beat the heat or better still, live in such places, “hmmph!! I amĀ SO jealous“. :-/

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Ashaayein

The advantage of having a birthday on days like Jan 1st, Feb 14th, April 1st, Aug 15th etc is that a lot of unexpected peopleĀ also remember it…Ā 

The birthday was filled with fun, happy, sad and lonely moments. IĀ so wanted to write this post on the same day, but as usual ended up finishing everything and sleepingĀ late night with no energy left to write anything. Well… Better late than never. šŸ™‚

A lot of people called up but a few dear ones missed out (probably forgot). Had fun at office with the team members of the new teamĀ getting a cake for me.Ā Came back home to find that the room-mates had also got a cake. šŸ™‚Ā The best part was thatĀ both were chocolate cakes. But some how theĀ party at home turned out dull, with the usual noisemakersĀ missing.Ā Missed home and family a lot.Ā It’s the first time in all these 24 years that I had to celebrate my birthday away from the family. šŸ˜¦

I received lots of gifts.. šŸ˜€Ā I got the best gift the next day though. Sometime late in theĀ afternoon I saw a mailĀ in the official inbox which had the details of theĀ previous Quarter’s award winners. Attached with it was an excel sheet having the names of the winners. I was about to delete the mail without reading it, as usual, and a thought crossed my mindĀ “when willĀ IĀ win any such award?“. IĀ joined a new team just a week back and had worked in the old team for a little more than five months, with most of the initial time spent in learning about the product.Ā So my chances of having done any significant work and that being recognized by the manager was bleak.

I opened the excel sheetĀ with no expectation whatsoever and the firstĀ name that I laid my eyes on was mine. I couldn’t believe it!! I read the employee id, the project name and the remarks,Ā everything matchedĀ my details. Reading the remarks by my previous manager made my day… šŸ™‚ The award though small is a huge achievement for me considering the fact that I was least expecting it. The expectations now created have to be kept up.

All in all things turned out great.. šŸ™‚

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Of Crimes and Justice

Friday, last week, an employee of my office was murdered. The lady had left office by the regular shuttle and then the local train. Her husband has supposedly called the HR official past midnight, that his wife is missing and hasn’t arrived home from office yet.

The police investigation reported that the body of the lady was found at a place about 60-70 km from the place where our SEZ is present. The lady is said to be identified by the tag of the ID card in her neck.The lady’s neck was almost severed, with just one inch of it hanging to the body. Her arms, legs and face are reported to have been broken and mashed. The possibility of rape hasn’t been ruled out either.

More than one person is suspected to be involved in it. There is also news going about that it could be done by some people known to her as she wouldn’t have accompanied any stranger to such far distances without protest and discussions that nobody would be so brutal if it was for any monetary gain. How does anyone decide how much is brutal, isn’t murder by itself brutal and heinous?

The lady on the other hand was apparently the youngest woman to be a Team Lead in our company. She had two very small kids. Was busy and happy preparing for the house-warming ceremony of a new home. As a person, she is supposed to have been a very disciplined and completely straight forward lady, who did not care about speaking out. This is deduced to be one of the possible reasons for her to have got into trouble.

Since the incident there have been meetings about security, work timings for women etc, which brought into light a number of measures which weren’t being followed and a number of managers who cared a damn about the women working under them. It’s so horrible in certain teams that the girls of the team are working almost on all days throughout the year, staying almost everyday until 10 or 10:30 pm, being denied early cabs, forced to stay even after the senior/manager has left. The meetings were a good opportunity for all of this to be discussed openly. In fact what was a significant thing that came into notice is that the ladies are travelling alone in the cab late at night after work, while the company rules clearly state that no woman will travel alone by cab after 9pm. She has to be accompanied by at least one male employee who will be the last one to be dropped off. In case of absence of such a person a security personnel will company her.

I remember that these rules came into effect after the Pratibha murder case in Bangalore. So many new rules came into existence especially in the BPO industry. Vehicles were not supposed to have tinted glasses, the cab drivers would change everyday etc. No matter what huge decisions are taken when the matter is new, the effect of it, the seriousness of it slowly goes down with time. Time and again it has been seen what fate these cases meet in the court. With the judgement being postponed and the cases running for years, the family members lose the energy and faith to fight for justice. (On this note I remembered, please watch “No One Killed Jessica” if you haven’t watched it till now. Awesome movie.)

As of now investigations are running in full swing and hope that something significant comes out of it. It has left different sorts of fear in everyone’s mind in the company. I just wish and pray that her soul and family get justice and she Rests In Peace.

PS: The irony is that just one day prior to this incident I read an article on the front page of a leading newspaper titled, “Chennai safest for women, crime bureau data shows”.

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