Hue Of Silence

Hue Of Silence
Hue Of Silence

Silence eh! It has made its presence felt in my life in many very different ways. Let me take you through some of them and why it is so special to me.

When I was growing up, when my parents took all the decisions in my life, I remember my brother and I once getting enrolled for a christian camp in St. Theresa School. I was in 8th standard, too young to understand what was going on inside and outside my head. We had no friends there and we were all we had. If I remember correctly it was a 3 days camp. I don’t remember the routine too. I just remember few moments very clearly in my head. We were all sleeping by our ages in different classes and I happened to wake up very early on the first morning. Now I’m not talking about a city with a lot of hustle and bustle but a very coy town of Bhopal in 1997. It was so quiet, so so quiet that I could feel my heart beating. I looked outside the window into the deep green forest behind the school and went outside to the balcony and nothing but leaves had gathered enough energy to move. It was the start of the winter for us and temperature was starting to dip. That silence and I saw my brother sleep. I felt love, lots of it. He needed me so much. I still feel that depth inside. I’ve been ever since trying to emulate that feeling but have failed, although I have come close to it. But that was one morning I’ll never forget. There was another in an evening right at the twilight. As I stood in the balcony and looked left from above the market into the horizon, a strange calmness prevailed inside me. I still remember the other boys making a total ruckus inside the classroom behind my back but it couldn’t bother me then. I was lost. I was new.

I was lost when I was travelling alone for the first time to my college in a train. I still remember the Walkman and a few of the songs and their albums. I have travelled so much during and after my engineering years that I’ve lost track of the exact time and the song but yes I definitely remember if it was raining during some of them. Since, it wasn’t exactly the digital age that we revel in now, I had to carry a lot of cassettes in my bag pack and some of those albums were trance. If anyone remembers it, there was a series of trance collection remixed and redone by Sony Music that went by the name – A Trip Of Trance. They came out in volumes 1 to 6 till I followed and I lost count of them after that. In volume 2, was a song Toca’s Miracle by Fragma. It’s still fresh in my head like it happened yesterday. The rain seeping from under the train window and how I just absolutely had to open the window, drench my face in the rain water so I could let some of my tears out and not look unstable to my fellow passengers. I really needed a miracle to pull myself through it all. I was very alone and I couldn’t show it to anyone. I couldn’t look weak. I was anxious.

I remember the hushed silence beneath that tree-lane when my dad and I went to meet his friend in the CSEB colony in Bhilai for we had to look for a room for me to live in. It was a new place, a new phase of life and somehow I felt my weakness pouring out through my sweat and tears. While he sat in the office with his friend, I felt so alone I had to get out and walk. I still had my walkman and the album this time was Significant Other by Limp Bizkit. The song playing was Don’t Go Off Wandering. I was wandering, wandering in that heat on a lonely road, 200 meters back and forth when my dad fetched me. I still remember looking out through the window on the day dad was supposed to leave while I was in college. He looked at me and all I could do was hug him and plead to not go for another day and well I cried too. I dreaded loneliness.

I’ve also tried to manufacture silence. Satyam Computers were in for campus recruitments. By the time, the interviewers announced our results, it was already 11:30 pm. The results were right as we’d expected – they selected me. There was no end to our joy. The smile got glued to my face. But the way I am, I had already started wondering about my future while me and my friend were on my bike headed home. We kept shouting and singing throughout the way for there was no end to our happiness. I was trying to create silence in my head. I was trying to kill all my thoughts with the shouts and abominable singing. I somehow had a feeling that this wasn’t going to last long. I was confused.

Songs have forever been my way of creating silence. I either sing or listen to them but that’s the only time I feel silence. As I write this post, I’m listening to Game Master by Paul Oakenfold. Another song that I’d patronized for the start of every exam. It just gave me the strength and enough violence in my head to do something unthinkable, write something better to someone elses satisfaction. Not many people exist in this world who don’t know my love for songs but what they don’t know is how songs influence me and my head. It’s my cure. It fills me. It calms me. It silences me.

Then came my wife and a new way I felt silence. We’d been having a rather tumultuous time with some situations in our life when we went on a trip to Goa sponsored totally by my brother. Only the two of us can tell, how much we needed that trip, her more so. It was our second day there when we went to Vagator beach. We knew there was something really special about that beach just by the road that led us to it. No rush, no traffic, trees all around and we could smell the sea and hear waves as we approached it only to get beholden by its sight. While I laid down our bags and got down to my bare essentials, she had already made her way into the sea. She kept walking and walked quite far when she sat down in the sand. I got my camera and was quite excited by the view when I saw her crying. She kept crying and I knew what it was. That silence only interrupted by the sea waves and shrieks from some far away kids was what she sought from this trip. Love and responsibility have never been her cup of tea but I could see now how hard she had tried all of her time with me. All negative energy seemed to abandon her and after about 5 minutes she looked at me and smiled. This was my silence. She finally had what she wanted.

Lets check out what others have got for this challenge

  1. WWC: The Sound of Silence | The Crucial Kiwi
  2. The Sound of Silence | The Joy of Health Nutrition and Beauty
  3. A Silent Hunt. | The Shady Tree
  4. Silence Speaks Louder Than Words | Creative Mysteries
  5. Silence of the Cat | The Adventures of Cat Madigan
  6. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence #writing | Of Glass & Paper
  7. The sound of … | How to write a memo
  8. Behind the Facade of the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment | An Upturned Soul
  9. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence – Breaking the Barrier | humanTriumphant
  10. The Painting On The Wall | Midnight Butterfly
  11. Weekly Writing Challenge: Silent Screams | NOWHERE TO RUN
  12. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
  13. The Sound of Silence | 101 Challenges in 1001 Days
  14. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | To Breathe is to Write
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  16. Hush me again, I can’t stand it. | May van Reenen
  17. it’s haircut day | Musings of a Random Mind
  18. My Quest for the Sound of Silence | Schizo Incognito
  19. No Curse | scottishmomus
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | The Wandering Poet
  21. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  22. Weekly Writing Challenge : The sound of silence | Loin de zanzibar
  23. Silence between us | Scent of Rina
  24. The Mountain and the Apology | Keep It Real Sister
  25. Children Say It Like It Is | Not the Family Business!
  26. Excruciating Silence | Life Sans God
  27. A Vow of Silence? | living my life
  28. Silence is the greatest enabler of abuse. | My thoughts on a page.
  29. The Sound of Silence | Cafe Reading
  30. Weekly Writing Challenge – Silence | Niki’s Thoughts
  31. I Answer My Mom | angieinspired
  32. The sound of silence | Boulevard Bellerive
  33. Hear no evil | Jenna Dee
  34. The unbearable sound of silence | Outmanned
  35. The Sound of Your Daughter’s Silence | smallandbrown
  36. The Grab Bag Empire: The “Silent” Challenge | britzersleigh
  37. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Mirth and Motivation
  38. Thought Processing Centre | I’m Drew Llew, how do you do?
  39. Keeping Score is the Worst Kind of Habit | Rewriting Your Heartlines
  40. My silent battle with Harold | Dianne Gray author
  41. a one-sided conversation | memoirs of an unremarkable man
  42. Silence is Louder. | TNT
  43. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence « the barren page
  44. the silent heartbeat | lifeinthedport
  45. Salt Eater | field of thorns
  46. Clamorous Silence, What A View | Wandering Gypsy Spirit
  47. Born into Silence | Running Brook Reflections
  48. Silence: Bus Minutiae | WWC | i dont even know what im doing here
  49. TURBULENCE: Prelude | mesardonicmesarcastic
  50. Weekly Writing Challenge – The Sound of Silence: Where are the Christians of Christ? | The Latest Word
  51. The Sound of Silence | The Nameless One
  52. The Sound of Silence | Living in the Moment
  53. Write, instead of think/talk.. | davidriswanto
  54. Stop and Be Still | davidriswanto
  55. My Relationship With Silence | misserinterese
  56. Silence of the Night | tuckedintoacorner
  57. Practicing Silence – The Key to Finding Inner Peace | Vida Manejo
  58. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | my random writing zone
  59. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | Morrighan’s Muse
  60. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | becoming a family
  61. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence/ The cost of silence in Ukraine | veryukrainian
  62. The Sound Of Silence | farmerfarthing
  63. Silence – Another way to show your love ! | Out of reflection
  64. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence | I Hope You’re Taking Notes
  65. Silence And It’s Lessons | the TEMENOS JOURNAL
  66. Silence And It’s Lessons | the TEMENOS JOURNAL
  67. DP Challenge Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound Of Silence | Sabethville
  68. On Silence | Chasing Yellow
  69. The Blog Farm | Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
  70. litter | yi-ching lin photography
  71. Break the Silence | Living Dead Girl
  72. Anatomy of a Difficult Summer | I’m Supposed to be Doing Something Else Right Now
  73. Silencing My Mind | Sentiments of a Working Mom
  74. You forgot to say your new job was ‘Back Stabber’ | Blogizing
  75. The Sound of Silence | Venti Mocha Moments
  76. Coerced into Silence…..(wp weekly prompt) | Daily Observations
  77. The 31st of March 1994 – Minneapolis, Minnesota | Forgotten Correspondance
  78. BREAKING SILENCE – A Pet Peeve Comes to Light | Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner
  79. Listen to Silence | Human Nature Coaching and Development
  80. Unceasing Silence | undefined by design
  81. Grass, what are you telling me? | The Seeker
  82. The Sound of Silence: Twelve Hours Without Media | suzie81’s Blog
  83. Weekly Writing Challenge: When Dreams Die Do They Make a Noise? | The Day After
  84. There Is Wind [Weekly Writing Challenge] | Thoughts from Elysium
  85. Hurtful Silence | Me – Who am I?
  86. Scarcity of Silence | Artfully Aspiring
  87. DP Challenge Rachel Carlson – Author of ‘Silent Spring’ | Midwestern Plants
  88. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence (Tell Me If You Ever Hear A Sound) | THE BLACK SPAGHETTI CHRONICLES
  89. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence (I hate total silence, some one should break the ice.) | THE BLACK SPAGHETTI CHRONICLES
  90. A Post About Nothing. | Sandalwood
  91. From the Once Loud House – Evelyne Holingue
  92. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Other People’s Silences | Pop-Culture-Referenced
  93. Enjoy the Silence | Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings
  94. NaNoPoMo and the Way into Life | Rose Red Stories
  95. The intimacy of silence | SomeThing Different
  96. The Sound of Silence | Starting write now
  97. Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | rachelcurry95
  98. THE SOUND OF SILENCE … | Reflectingpool …
  99. War’s Profound Silence | Lewis Cave
  100. Shh…It’s Krantz Cake. | The Novice Gardener

Leisure Redefined

Fortunately I have a lot of options to spend a leisure day that I never opt for. My usual cooling time doesn’t include anything but a pizza and tv/computer. But I have done a lot on some of my yawning days and this one takes the cake beating the next best only by a thin margin, a very thin margin indeed.

I spent it on my trip to Bhopal recently. After a very sober morning that included tea and some camera work, my parents and I had all the time to ourselves.

The Star Attraction
The Star Attraction

My adventurous parents, who always have a hard time cooling their heels in our super comfy home, took me to a fair. Yes, you heard that right – I… WENT… TO… A… FAIR!!! The moment I heard Fair, a creep crawled up my spine which I tried hard subtly to put to rest. My last trip to a fair was nothing but dreading. My mom and I had gotten into a fun wheel called TORA-TORA and a clumsy me just couldn’t get my weight balanced throughout the ride. Except for the start, I felt myself falling down some crazy height all the way through and I dread it even today. Hell I even cried like a baby, so embarrassed was I. But then I remembered that they have aged too and may not want to take that risk. I acted cool and they got my lazy bum off the ever so comfortable sofa and into one of the cars and off we went to spend the evening in a craziness called FAIR.

So what was I to do in a family fair visit – I started clicking using my half charged cellphone. Here are some of the clicks –

The Masks We Wear
Toys For Fun
Toys For Fun
Indian Snacks
Indian Snacks
Loved the Colors
Loved the Colors
Ladieeesss - You're Welcome!
Ladieeesss – You’re Welcome!
Color Splash
Color Splash
Paani Puri - Hog All You can
Paani Puri – Hog All You can
American 3D Show - Like Indias wasn't enough!
American 3D Show – Like Indias wasn’t enough!

There’s a place known as Boat Club that Dad was throughout interested in. Apparently, he wanted to show me something spectacular but he wanted to keep it a secret and so we reached this “Secret” destination. But What A Bummer! The glowing sign board that seemingly had to give a “HOLLYWOOD”-in-LAS VEGAS feel in the night, won’t glow for a couple of weeks more for repairs. But we had some fun time there too with a few ducks –


After a satisfying dinner, we all headed home and called it a night. And regarding the question if this is the way I would have loved to spend my day, I can say that I Won’t Mind it at all! 😀

Lets see what others are writing about their leisure time

  1. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But a Good Time-Planning life | Journeyman
  2. The Riddle of the Sands | Exploratorius
  3. The Genie Lied And The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  4. Where in the world is my Postcard? | Greg Urbano
  5. Master Manipulators: response to Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  6. Let’s Get This Party Started ! | Knowledge Addiction
  7. Good Times! Daily Post | Destino
  8. Magical moment | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  9. I can catch that shark with my eyes closed 🙂 | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  10. couples massage | Life Love Lily
  11. Nothin’ but a good time | The Shevster’s Space
  12. Mirth Sublime | Eleazar’s Writing Space
  13. Fun | dandelionsinwind
  14. of dreams and nightmares | Anawnimiss
  15. Zip. Zero. Nada. Niks. Nothing! | thoughtsofrkh
  16. Tonight I fly high: Spiritual Tankas of Fun | 365 days of defiance
  17. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  18. She’s whispering in colour… | Hope* the happy hugger
  19. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Awl and Scribe
  20. a suicide for a free day……. | ensuing light…
  21. Nothin’ But A Good Time | The Nameless One
  22. Friday Fast One – Fun | Tommia’s Tablet
  23. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Cee’s Photography
  24. Resources for taking a geography-based literary tour of the US | Andrea Reads America
  25. 2 Core Beliefs For Having A Good TIme | Ako Si Ehm Blog
  26. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time « Mama Bear Musings
  27. The Crazy Next 24 hours | Phelio a Random Post a Day
  28. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Basically Beyond Basic
  29. Fun | Poetry response to Daily Prompt | Focal Breeze
  30. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  31. Nothin’ But A Good Time | Flowers and Breezes
  32. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  33. DP: Good Times Planned | Scorched Ice
  34. West of Eldora | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  35. Among the Whispers
  36. Nothin’ But A Good Time On Sunday Drive Anytime | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  37. A Perfect Day | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  38. Tunzo Funzo: A daily prompt blog | Maria For Real
  39. Like my birthday, perhaps? | Casually Short
  40. day one of a fun filled future forever | peacefulblessedstar
  41. One Crazy Mom » A Day Off
  42. Having a good time | Processing the life
  43. The Best of Life | Emotional Fitness
  44. A good Time | Life is great
  45. A Day Without Stress – Wellbeing | WANGSGARD.COM
  46. The Rock Anthem by Poison and the Temptation of Eve | meanderedwanderings
  48. All But A Simple Day | Navigate
  49. Ooo ye sweet freedom !!!! | Life Confusions
  50. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time « cognitive reflection
  51. Do Anything! | Cats, Coffee, And Life At Random
  52. Whimsy in a bottle: Rock concerts, road trips, cocktails and slides « psychologistmimi
  53. My super/awesome/spectucular/epic perfect day(s) | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  54. Vacation Wishes | Thoughts Less Traveled
  55. Day of Procrastination | djgarcia94
  56. The Fun In Between | Stiletto Momma
  57. Busy doing nothing. | Tales of a slightly stressed Mother!
  58. Fun | The Land Slide Photography
  59. Daily Prompt: Being Free! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  60. Six Things You Can Do To Help a Friend With Depression Have a Better Day
  61. Land Of Mike
  62. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | snippets and words
  63. The Red Baron of Kauai | Jaspa’s Journal
  64. Have ALL THE FUN! | Thorough and Unkempt
  65. My Ideal Introvert Day | 61 Musings
  66. Nothin’ But A Good Time | melissuhhsmiles
  67. Day of no obligations: Chattanooga Style | Relocate to Chattanooga
  68. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | A Day In The Life
  69. A Day Without a Mental Illness: What Would I Do With Myself? | Schizo Incognito
  70. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But a Good Time | Life’s So Sweet
  71. Day 52… Nothin’ But A Good Time… Lazing about | Dear Blog ’14
  72. Daily Prompt: Fun | Occasional Stuff
  73. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Brittney Ortega
  74. 267. A Day to Myself | Barely Right of Center
  75. Daily Prompt: My Day | Lady K’s Lounge
  76. we explore with our | y
  77. Owl Be Back! | Overcoming Bloglessness
  78. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ but a good time | Occasional Stuff
  79. Suicide no. 28: Limerick | derekalanwilkinson
  81. That Was Kind of the Plan | My Author-itis
  82. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time | Yowza, Here We Go!
  83. How to Spend a Snow Day | Kosher Adobo
  84. Playing Hooky | Edward Hotspur
  85. Nothin’ But A Good Time | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  86. fun…our fountain of youth | In The Moment
  87. Beware: Nothin’ but a good time | The Christian Gazette
  88. Daily Prompt: Fun | That Montreal Girl
  89. And it don’t get better than this! | artymaz’s inky fingers
  90. Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Thing | Christina Designs Art
  91. | preethikarthik06
  92. Fun is not the word I’d use… | Making Life an Art
  93. Tales of Tails | field of thorns
  94. Wrapped Up In To One | Wanderlein
  95. Daily Prompt – Good time – About town on the velo |
  96. Saturday morning good times | Empressnasigoreng’s Blog
  97. My ideal introvert day | Susi Matters
  98. Daily Prompt: Nothing But a Good Time | SIM | ANTICS
  99. Happiness is… | Rima Hassan

How Wrong Was I?

Dhanolti - A glimpse of heaven on Earth!

Innocence in flesh and bones – that’s what kids are. They know no trivialities, no problems and the world around them more often than not turns perfect if they are born in a family of more than mediocre means. They are well provided, loved and taught.

On my journey back to Delhi, I met two such kids. Lovely and energetic duo. Would have loved to give their names but after a lot of thought, I’ve decided to keep them anonymous. They were students from 5th grade, on their way to Agra for their annual school trip. They took the window seats beside me and the train started chugging. I pulled out my headphones, grabbed my novel and started reading – The Associate by John Grisham.

At first they pretended to be shy and didn’t talk much, but then the tea arrived and with it came our first conversation while I was preparing my tea from a tea-bag, dried milk and hot water –

“Bhaiya (elder brother), would you mind if I watch you?” he said pointing at the tea.

“No, not at all!”.

And then I taught him how to prepare tea while his all-knowing buddy kept instructing him from behind. They had very sweet voices and I may sound soft for such a hard spoken man but I have no better words to explain how their manners combined with their voices, won my heart completely. They kept asking me questions about myself – if I was married, if it was a love marriage and we kept holding the conversations. I liked answering them even when they never cared to let me read my novel. There was something very satisfying to go with their flow. They kept asking me to leave some space to let them use the loo and I obliged. On other days or with other kids, I may have even kicked their teeth in after the third or the fourth time but not them. With every passing quarter-hour, they kept spreading the word about a “Super Cool”, “Super Awesome” Bhaiya who would let them listen to the amazing songs on his phone. They even learnt the password for my phone the very first time they saw me drawing it.

One by one each of their mates came and shook hands and told me – “You are truly awesome Bhaiya!” full of reverence. I could only smile.

They kept arguing about my age, if I am 18 or 40. Some told me that I look very fearsome sometimes and some said I looked sweet and cute. Some were confused whether they should call me Uncle or Bhaiya. For them, Uncles are married and Bhaiyas aren’t. The two beside me had a strategy and I’m gonna lay it out flat in front of the world – “Their Secret” – both of them were very adept at impressing their teachers and used their impression to get extra marks.

At some point there was a cut throat race between the students to impress their teachers with food. Our lad here, who had a pizza in his bag, held all the aces though. When the rummaging was going on, he, with a bang, pulled out his box and offered the entire thing to his teacher. He looked all around and with this move stopped all the scuffing for food.  He was proud and it showed on his face. It wasn’t going to last long though. When he landed back on his seat, he wanted his pizza back. He now wanted to share it with his best buddies and not her but couldn’t ask the box back. He kept cribbing for next 20 minutes about it when the box landed in his lap and the teacher, who wasn’t too interested in the pizza, asked him to offer it to other teachers. The boy though had other ideas. He quietly slipped it back in his bag and pretended he hadn’t heard what the teacher had told him. I was laughing my ass off!

They kept offering me eatables though (including the pizza) but I stuck to my philosophy to not eat from any strangers when travelling.

They even made me give their parents missed calls, so that they could call back. I was the main subject in those calls too.

But what happened at the end of their journey struck me the most. One of those two kids, came running back from the door and touched my feet as mark of respect to the elders. I just touched his face and said – “Now go. You are late!”

When they left, I could only think about my mortal nausea at seeing so many kids together at the platform and dreading my journey from there on. How wrong was I?

Bhopal, Here I Come!

train from bhopal


Aaaaahh it’s a nice feeling, ain’t it? When you head home after some real routing at the hands of life. And now you have your hands full of the positives that life offered you and bad days are apparently over! This is my first trip in a long time when I’ll actually stay stress free at home. Let me not jinx it by saying it again and again but I’m a little light-headed these days. For the first time in a long time, I may feel the light and the wind battering my face and nod and say – Yes… this feels good!

It’s not the destination that I’m very excited about, not that I’m not excited about meeting my parents after 3 months, but I’m really excited about the journey. I may even not sleep tonight. I may read. Yes, I’ll read. The book will be decided at the railway platform. And that’s why I want to reach early. I want to carefully select a book and improve my reading skills. Care to suggest one to me anyone?

For any of my friends there reading this post, if you are in Bhopal, I’ll be there for a couple of days and may have a few leisure hours (give and take) to spend. Keep me posted!

For my readers, I may not blog at all or may just write a couple of short pieces. No serious effort will be made to post for I’ll unwind in the silence of those lazy weekend afternoons on a couch that’s made for a slouch like me. I may even write a review of the book I’ll read. Good things are on their way!

Daily Prompts: Nice Is As Nice Does

Life to me, doesn’t exist beyond a certain set of people. Beyond them, life is farce. I don’t mean to be rude to this world but yes, till I haven’t seen you, heard you and sensed you, you don’t exist for me.

And so, my best and my worst has only been with and to the people who are around me.

I was travelling from Durg, Chhattisgarh – place where I studied and completed my graduation to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh – My Home Town. This evening, to say the least, had been frantic. And then there was this train Amarkantak Express that usually left Durg at 4:20 pm sharp. But it left 45 minutes late and in India, there’s a saying – if a train leaves late, it reaches even later.

A calm night later in the morning, I got up and found myself scratching my head on the small side lower berth of the bogie. As I watched the scenes go by rapidly, I found after passing an intermediate station that we were late by an hour. By accident though, a prick pointing out from the damaged plywood berth pierced and got stuck inside the nail of my right index finger. It was really thick and I now had to bear that pain for next 6 hours.

My mother was to pick me up at the station. We were in touch over the phone and she told me she was on her way to the station. I reached but didn’t find her in the parking. I called her and she gave me a news flash – “I’ve met with an accident. Please come home by yourself”.

“Are you OK?”.

“Yes, I’m fine (sobbing)”.

I reached home 45 minutes later worried sick. I looked at our car – the drivers door on the right was badly damaged. I could only imagine what may have raged. Mom took me in, we sat on the sofa. I was so angry. How could someone do this her? She started explaining out of guilt – “A biker came from the right and banged into the car. He went through the window across my face and banged into the left door from the inside”.

“A lot of people came running in. I was very scared and couldn’t talk. I took him to the hospital. And by the time you came, I had come home. I was very scared. Someone stole my purse too”.

She was crying her heart out now and for a moment, I totally forgot the pain in my finger. I took her in my arms and covered her ,for I don’t know how many minutes.

When she finally stopped crying, I explained to her that it was not her fault and she did very well to take the guy to the hospital.

The brave woman that she is, she started getting better.

That’s when I found the pain throbbing in my finger again. I showed it to her and she ran for the cupboard. She brought a pin and started scraping my finger for a sight of that prick wound which had already healed.

She scraped and scraped and finally when reached the prick, she pulled out nose pliers and dug them into my finger. Only I know the pain that seared through my finger that noon and when she finally dug it out and pulled it, blood finally started running out and the pain relieved considerably.

Since then, she has told me a countless times, how my hug showed her that I had grown up and will take care of her. That she was really relieved when I did that and she remembered it too because I did that for the first time.

Both of us will never forget that day.

My first successful job interview – The Bangalore Fiasco & Conclusion!

So my journey continues from –

In the morning when I failed to register my alarm on the phone, people around me woke me up.

Ok, a fresh day and a fresh start. I reached the center this time without getting a fool made of myself by any auto driver.

Now was the best part – they didn’t make us wait, in the batches of 20 odd people, we were given a written aptitude and English test. This being my forte, I cleared them without a hitch. Then came the first written technical exam and it turned out to be a cakewalk too. It was already 3:30 pm and the results were announced. I just never had been so sure about myself and knew that I’ll crack both of those tests – AND… I DID!

The next surprise in store was thrown at us and we were in shock of our lives then – we had to leave for Bangalore ‘coz the next 4 rounds of interviews were all scheduled to be held there. It was very hot in Chennai then (as usual), we wore all the sweated shirts and since I hadn’t brought anything except a pair of utilities and a pair of interview clothing, I now knew I could be in a tight corner later. I knew no one in Bangalore and was very lucky to have the phone number of a friend of mine. I called him up and he gladly invited me to spend my interview days at his place. It was the thrill of the unknown and we kept acting on instincts. We got tickets on a bus and started rolling at around 11:30 pm. That would be the last time I’ll ever see Chennai – got a bit nostalgic then!

We reached Bangalore on the morning of 19th December and it seemed so nice and cozy from inside the bus! The bus stopped at Magestic bus station and those who had been around the city anytime before at that time of the year, knew what they had to do after getting off the bus – COVER THEMSELVES WITH A BLANKET ‘COZ IT WAS FUCKING COLD!!!!

I didn’t know and so it was chills all over my body and spine which was yet to recover from my first journey, which you can read about here –

Some good soul, while I tried to get a hang of the cold, brought us tickets to our destinations and we boarded our respective buses. That was the first time ever that I sat in a public Volvo bus. A nice cozy experience – it could have been – had I got a seat but that was not to be. It was around 15 kms of journey again with a bag full of very ordinary items on my back, which then felt like a bag full of boulders! Unknown as that place was for me, I mistakenly got down a good 2 kms ahead of my destination for my fear of getting lost.

But after some running around, my friends got me to their flat and man it felt cozy just like every guys place does. I was given a place to sleep for a couple of hours and I slept. Woke up to the sweeper sweeping the floor and ran like a wind for Accenture – Bang 4, Marathalli. I was late by around 10 minutes but apparently, many of my people were yet to reach the place themselves, so that calmed me down significantly. I HATE BEING LATE!

I have to admit, I am quite good at group discussions (GD) and when I heard the first round at Bangalore was a GD, I couldn’t help but smile and concede that at least one more round is through. GD’s proved to be a huge filter and left a very few people who would appear for the next round of interviews. This was the only round that day and we were given the rest of the day off. I used it fully to prepare for interviews the next day and thanks to my room mates there, they provided for me. One more thing was to be done though. I had to buy a new shirt for the one I had been using for Accenture round of interviews was now DIRTY!

So I called my father, asked him for some money and got myself a new light orange shirt. I still remember, since it was bought on discount, it had a manufacturing defect and a hole near the seam of my chest pocket. But since that was the best that was available cheaply, I bought and slept content that I would rock the interviews the next day.

Next day morning, Accenture were kind enough to provide for our breakfasts and we started with the round of technical interviews. COBOL was the first and I got through it rather easily. CICS was next and this, I knew, was my Achilles heels.  As I have written on my first post, I was yet to cover my last module in my Mainframes training and CICS was the one left out. I could hardly answer any question at the start and the interviewer understood that I was very nervous. To get me comfortable, he started small talking and got me into the groove and in between he would shoot a technical question, and now I was answering. I came out an hour later from the interview room and was very nervous as I was very unsure. We were then made to wait in a room which incidentally was freezing cold. It seemed to be a sort of chamber where agents like James Bond are tortured. The fear of the unknowns wasn’t helping either.

After our lunch, came in a female with a lot of pink dots on her face and asked me to come out and took me to another room. She told me that this would be my HR interview as I had cleared all previous rounds. Now to settle everything into perspective, I am quite good with interviews that are NON-TECHNICAL. So this round too would be a cakewalk and since I knew there would be no salary negotiations, I wasn’t worried at all. The surprise was to come after this interview.

They told us that we were gonna have a practical exam and that we would have to write a code in COBOL to prove our coding skills. I did. It compiled the program fine and ran the job. But I forgot the most important part – HOW TO VIEW THE RESULT!!! As I sat there in front of my PC, my palms kept over the keyboard and my fingers were trembling with sweat pouring from my forehead. The invigilator saw that and asked me what happened. I told him the truth and he decided to help me with it. And VOILA – there was the result and it was correct!

I was the first one to be pushed out of the room once my exam was over and the invigilator was satisfied with the result. Nothing was said or told and we (a few others who had completed their test and were asked to wait) waited patiently at 7:30 pm. An hour passed and the HR came and announced the names of the ones who had been selected. Mine was FIRST!!!

It took me awhile to absorb the sensation that I would later come to know as HAPPINESS. For so long I had remained devoid of it that all of my positivity took awhile to wake up and charge me.

We were told to come the next day to collect our offer letters. As soon as I left the building for the night, I started running for something strange was burning inside me. I ran and ran and didn’t stop. Reached home and broke the news to my friends and one my seniors, threw a party that night. I didn’t know what I was going to do with all this happiness for it knew no bounds. It took a lot of effort to sleep that night for I couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive.

In the morning, we went to the Accenture building again and were given our offer letters. I caught my first bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad that evening and slept. The bus was overcrowded, and we reached Hyderabad, next day evening after our bus had had multiple tyre failures being overweight. For the first time I saw South Indian Dhaba’s and tasted food in one of them too. Thank God I had some money to spend on my food.

I had to leave my PG room, got my advance payment back, got a ticket reservation for next day morning train with the same money and went on to find a huge plastic bag to pack all my stuff in a closed market. Packed my PC and got ready for what I knew was gonna be a tough next day.

I woke up in the morning, picked up all my stuff, boarded an auto rickshaw and went to the Secunderabad station. Got all of my stuff booked to be taken in a good’s car and waited and boarded my train. This was not a reserved journey and I was travelling in a General class compartment and some jolly people let me have a share of their seat. I sat, ate, slept, then ate and slept again till I reached my home Bhopal.

The entire journey from Bhopal – Chennai – Hyderabad – Chennai – Bangalore – Hyderabad – Bhopal comprised of 3 train journeys, 3 bus journeys and countless hours of pain and restlessness and the part that I’ll remain most proud of – An offer letter from Accenture in my hands!!!

My first successful job interview – Fool Fool Fool!

I have so many of these memories when I have felt my heart would absolutely burst out of my chest and run away with fear – fear of losing!

I’ll keep writing them down – these memoirs – for my reference and to share my experiences with all of you beloved readers.

This is about my first successful job interview with Accenture and the story before it that eventually led me to it. Due to the length of this story, I’m gonna break it down into a few short ones for better readability.

This is my trip from Bhopal (my hometown) to Chennai (place of my first unsuccessful interview) but before going any further, let me remind my audience of

I am always home sick – have always been. One of those guys who’ll for example return home from work without any fuss every evening and stay there till apocalypse would set in or another freakin’ day arrives and I have to go to office again. And so during my training, I often used to run away to my home for some peace. Whether it helped or not, guess I’ll never know but it ensured that I remained tired enough to sleep better.

So, this one time after completing 4 out of the 5 modules included in my training, I again ran away to my hometown only to receive a phone call the next day while I was watching ‘Casino Royale’ late after noon. It asked me to return asap so I can attend an interview in Chennai with L&T. Since, the notice was quite short, I decided to hop on to the first available train and reach Chennai directly from Bhopal. The journey in an Indian train can get quite horrendous but nothing can beat this one. In a train overpacked with people and no reservations, were factors that would cause me enough grief to permanently hurt my back for the rest of my life. Sitting on the edge of someone elses side-upper berth with my legs placed across the aisle on the small stairs, I spent the entire journey sitting right there on that one spot so no one else could grab my place. After 22 hours of back-breaking journey, I woke up with a stiff upper back and felt a knot on my lower back that had settled in and wouldn’t go even after some running. Not having time to get rid of the pain, I decided to live with it for another day and forgot about it.

This was my first trip to Chennai and it was an aura of visually ‘different’ people. The station is a dead-end for all rail networks in South India or so it seemed from the way the platforms on the station have been built. Smell of fish greeted me on the platform when I got down and a language absolutely unknown but like many northerners, I too could see in many a peoples eyes that I was not from the crowd, not knowing whether I even belonged here. I think this is a feeling every traveller must get used to. Anyways, starting on my feet after frantically trying to get rid of the knot in my lower back, I got out of the station only to find myself surrounded by three-wheeler drivers (auto drivers) who simply didn’t speak Hindi or English. They failed to recognize it and appeared to have never heard of it and I felt miserable. From the broken conversations I had with around 5-6 drivers, I could make out they were talking about 15-16 kilometers of travel and one of them boldly came and asked me if I would be willing to pay Rs. 350 for him to drop me at the company’s premises. I had to agree!

We started and I started playing Snakes on my Nokia 3315. After around 45 minutes, we stopped and I looked out. I just couldn’t believe that we had travelled the distance in such short interval of time and after paying the amount to the driver, asked the guard  what was the distance between the station and company and he told me, it was around 8-9 kms. Ohhhhhh I was so angry then but I was the fool and had to accept the ditch face first.

Fool Fool Fool!