Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunglasses and me.

I love sunglasses with a passion and always have ever since I saw some movie in which Hema malini (or some other hindi actress of the 80s) flaunts a pair of darkglasses with white frames.I know.Today white frames seem eeeeeeeeeek or retro depending on how u look at it but back then, my heart's deepest desire was to own a pair of dark glasses with white frames.And we are talking about when I was around 4 or 5 years old.And then like most desires that are born during our childhood,the yearning for dark glasses was buried under more practical prayers .You cant really bother God for dark glasses when you are busy trying to convince him that he should let you scrape through yesterday's exam.Its a matter of priorities,u see.But then the Almighty has always been kind to me.And no,in case you are wondering,I didnt get promoted in the last cycle.But am sure I will get it sometime soon.God's always been kind to me.And am a firm believer in all prayers being answered and some are rightfully answered with a No like the time I prayed for a coconut to fall on the client's head but was then glad it didnt cos he drove me home later that day.See?God does take care of you.And true to that,God did remember my prayer for a pair of dark glasses long after I had forgotten.

I was doing my Masters at Coimbatore and had suddenly developed raging headaches which left me exhausted.So when my folks came for a visit to coimbatore and found me sitting with my head in my hands,they were worried.However,my cousin hit upon the idea that I was wandering about in the blazing summer sun, scrunching my eyes up which caused the headaches.And so we set out to buy a pair of sunglasses.:D.And within a couple of hours,I was the proud owner of a pair of unbranded(if there is such a word) sunglasses which were supposed to be of export quality and cost a royal Rs 350.And somewhere in the land of forgotten memories,a 4 year old was jumping for joy.I was strictly told to wear my new glasses everytime I stepped out into the sun.Chuckle.Parents rarely realise what they subject their children to when they make them do whats good for them.

I sported short hair in those days;a boycut.And 99.999999 percent of the girls in college had hair which was atleast long enough to tie back in a ponytail.Not only was my hair too short for that,but for some unknown reason,the day I had it cut from its hip length glory to the comfortably light headed crop,my hair curled with a vengeance.And when you are taller than average women you naturally stand out but when you resemble a beanpole topped with a mop of curls, bunking classes becomes tuf cos even the most short sighted professor cant possibly mistake those wild curls flying around the corner.:-(And none of the professors in my department even wore glasses.And my folks expected me to walk into that campus everyday wearing sunglasses.Now if my department had been anywhere near the college gate,it wouldnt have been that bad.But then,like I said before,God has a sense of humour.Where else wud my department be but at the farthest corner of the campus.And when you have friends who do not let you "forget" what your folks told you to do,you either have a choice of admitting that you are too chicken to wear the sunglasses or you wear them and walk in with your head held high even though in your heart you may wish that your parents had got you a burkha instead.Dont get me wrong.I loved those glasses and wanted to wear them.And to this day am grateful to that friend who told me in a challenging tone "so wear them".And I wore them.I walked along one of the busiest parts of avinashi road,braving all stares while the wind as usual wreaked havoc on my carefully flattened hair turning it into a mass of madly waving curls. And then we reached college.And I do not exaggerate when I say people stopped and stared.Aaah!!!The attention!.Am telling you that you dont need to be a filmstar to feel like one.You can very well look like a weirdo and still feel like a filmstar.Those people may have looked at me and thought "poor girl,lost her marbles and so young!!" but I told myself that each one of them was jealous of my new glasses and wishing that they had the spunk to sport sunglasses.

I do realise that some people may have thought that I was suffering from "Madras eye" or sore eyes.And then the friend who told me "so wear them" did laugh his head off and say I looked like Karunanidhi.I did not !!! I had a head with thick curly hair and I bet the guy was jealous I could carry it off.I got subjected to a range of comments from "got guts" to "must be nuts"..And come 3:00 pm,we started on our walk back to hostel.And now students standing on the main road and chatting stopped to stare as well.Anyone who missed the morning show sure got in for the matinee.One loser actually had the cheek to step out in my path and ask with a grin "May I help you?".DUH!!!My cold stare had no effect whatsoever on him owing to the fact that he couldnt see my eyes.And so I gave him a sarcastic "No".I continued to wear those glasses for the remainder of college and loved every bit of attention I got.For some reason a girl wearing sun glasses attracts a lot more attention than a guy doing the same.I wonder why..chuckle....soon sunglasses became more of a habit and I was never in the sun without them and I got used to the attention.And I loved those glasses.They were perfect.
I had those glasses till about 2 years ago when I had gone for a trip to Florida.And thats where I lost them.Well,I didnt lose them.A dumb friend of mine who had put them "safely" in his bag while we went off to play in the water,lost them.And I was heartbroken.My dear dear first pair of darkglasses.Being financially independent by then,I got myself another pair,branded ones this time, about a year later but I still miss those glasses which are probably lying somewhere on the beaches of florida.And every pair I have tried on since then have always been mentally compared with those first ones and has never matched up to them.I have had 3 pairs since then,one which were flicked by hubby for his own;To be honest they looked way better on him than they did on me but he managed to lose them and then he was broken hearted.:D Another pair which was flicked by Customs(It disappeared from its case which was in my checked in luggage.How else do you explain that?) on my way back to India from US,and the last one which am still hanging onto and love though not with the same passion that I had for those first pair.I wear them whenever I step out into the sun and its funny to see people staring .What half of them dont seem to realise is that I can see them stare at me though they cant see my eyes.:D
Thank you ,Mama and Poppa.The fact that you bought that first pair for me was the main reason why they were so very special.But I guess u wud have figured that out by now.:D

Friday, November 27, 2009

The power of No!

Last thursday,I was in a meeting with my team lead(TL) and my manager(Apm) and the conversation went something like this.

TL: You have done more than we expected.Very good work indeed.
TL:In fact we have had no problems at all
APM: yeah yeah
TL:We know its very difficult without a backup resource.
APM:Yeah yeah
TL:You must train a resource as a backup for you so that he can handle all the work in your absence.This will be your goal for 2010.
Me thinks :My goal for entire 2010 is to train a backup resource?What kind of resource are they giving me???
APM: It will be a partial resource.
Me thinks: Halfbrained??
APM:But u cant use him
Me: eh??!!!
TL:Cos client wont agree to using anyone else.
Me thinks:So am getting a halfbrained resource whom I should train for the entire 2010 but not let the guy do any actual work???
Me:How abt a promotion?
TL:We cant say
TL:But market is picking up
TL:So depending upon company decision.We dont have any news abt it right now
Me thinks:Liars!!!

This Thursday,another meeting with the same folks.

TL:You said no to working on saturday
APM:Yeah,yeah.If we ask u have to work.
TL:You told me to tell onsite that u will not stay till 11 tonight as u have been asked to come in at 6 tomorrow morning.Why shud I tell it?
APM:You must do it.
TL:Tell me .tell me why.I want to know.Tell me.WHY SHUD I TELL THEM?
Me:Well,cos everytime...
Me:Yes,thats what am saying.The reason....
APM:This is very bad attitude.You are very inflexible and immature
Me :Cos I said No once?
APM: ...irrespective of any personal needs,u must work if the project demands it...
Me:But I have always been available .I said No only this one time.
TL:Did we ever ask before?
Me:No.cos u didnt....
Me:......cos I was....
APM:Very bad
Me:... always available.
Me:thats what am trying to....
Me:I am trying to tell you.Please listen for a minute.
TL:We are wasting time going over it again and again.We are very flexible and mature and you shud also be flexible with us.In future we will expect us all to be flexible and mature.
End of Meeting.

So within a week,from being a great resource I went to being an inflexible,unreliable,immature resource.And all cos I said No???Hmmm....Interesting....Some people cannot handle a No.:D
Moral of the story : People are entitled to their opinions,even stupid opinions.Does not mean that I have to agree with them just cos they are my superiors.But dont tell them you dont agree either.Just listen quietly and then go back to doing what you do.You may get a poor performance rating and no promotion.But frankly,after 5 years in this company,my priorities have changed.I get a decent pay which I intend to enjoy.Not wreck my life trying to earn more and more and more.
And to be honest,I did pop them both into white underwear patterned with red hearts and had to keep resisting an urge to giggle.Chuckle!!!