A griping tale of a troubled land…

Book: The Girl from the Nongrim Hills
Author: Ankush Saikia
Publisher: Penguin Books
Page: 231
Price: 299

Intending to start the New Year with some new books, we visited the Sapna Book Stall – the most popular book store in Bangalore. Suddenly my attention was caught by a particular cover page – a girl firmly holding a gun. Picked up the book and immediately the Assamese smell of the author’s name struck me. Out of great curiosity and exciting (because the author is from my native land), bought the book. And once I finished reading it, felt a great need to share my experience. In one word it is a “wonderful” read. Continue reading

First Impression Counts!

After leaving my current job, I was in search of a new opportunity. And to everybody’s utter surprise, I left my job without having an offer in hand.  I started appearing in   interviews in a relaxed manner while, simultaneously continuing with the projects that I had with me.

One day morning, I received a call from one of the consultancies in Bangalore. After asking so many questions and verbal verification of my credentials, they  sent my profile to their client. The same day, I got a mail saying that my profile had been short-listed and I had to go for an F2F interview on the same date. The urgency of the tone somewhat surprised me…I was told that ‘ma’am, why don’t you accept what you have received since you don’t have an offer with you…The suggestion given by the consultancy employee made me pause and think…did I make a blunder by quitting my job without an offer?   Yes, I know how difficult it is to be jobless in a city like Bangalore, but this does not mean that this attitude is applicable to all job seekers. If you can afford to be jobless for a month or quit your job without an offer, it is your decision and must be a well thought one. So, who are you to enforce on me what the majority believes… that you quit without an offer means you are a  gone case!

However, I said yes for the F2F on the same day considering that I can afford to go. I reached on  time and waited for the concerned person. Finally, my F2F interview started and I responded to his each question confidently with enthusiasm. Having worked on that particular domain for almost two years, I was quite confident. From an interviewee’s standpoint, I could feel…and judge that my performance was good. After two days, I received a call from the same consultancy saying that I had cleared the interview and I had been called for the final round to discuss about my remuneration.

In the meantime, I decided not to join the organization even if I  would get an offer from it. My reason was simple. Firstly, I did not like the very process of conducting my interview and secondly  the not-so-relevant questions that my interviewer asked me. It gave me a clear idea of what kind of work culture the organization would have. The questions like what kind of boss you would like to have? Do you like a Boss? Would you like to be under a strict boos or would you like to work individually? How was your previous boss? I don’t know why…but the questions sounded so immature and unprofessional to me that I became  skeptical about the work ethics they might be following. That first impression got set in my mind and I took a decision of not getting associated with the organization any more.

The same day, the day when I got the call from the organization where I had decided not to join, I came across an article in LinkedIn by one of the influencers that I follow; and interestingly  the article resembled my thoughts..that a that good work culture matters a lot  than the numbers for many people. It said “Whether we’re talking about your personal salary or your project’s budget, making decisions solely based on money is almost never a good idea. Sure, it’s important to run the numbers, but there are dozens of other factors — including your gut feeling — you’ll want to take into account”. It is an article titled “Career Choices you will regret in 20 years” written by Bernard Marr. It boosted my morale:)

A prologue to my Blogging!

“Blog”, the very word sounded so interesting when I first came across the term… say around 9/10 years back, the time when I was pursuing my graduation. The first person who constantly advised me to write a blog is my friend turned husband…but without any materialisation on my part! One day I opened by blogger profile and posted a few posts that I had written earlier. But, with years of discontinuity, I finally lost track of it. I was less enthusiastic about updating my blog, than writing for the newspapers on theatre, film and my social concerns.
Then…the shift in my career. I came to Bangalore and joined a company and started my new career in content management. Reading, researching, writing…and finally creating a web article on Healthcare. In my case, the shift was from English literature, gender studies and theatre to healthcare writing; a shift form academics to corporate and a shift from students to customers and business partners. It was heavy on me… a new place, new life and new domain. Somewhat, I became too engrossed in my new work… and a bit of boredom as well.
Well…What all these narratives have to do with my blogging??? Narrative continues…In my new company, I got a chance to work with someone who is a regular blogger and has expertise in blogging. Now, it is her turn to influence me to update my blogging. And, as usual, I had the same answer to her motivating question “why do not you start you own blog as you like writing?”, I don’t get time to write, that was my answer. Then, one day, I got a mail from her… it was about her recent blog post where she has very beautifully recorded something related to my life…
Suddenly, something struck me…I thought, what harm in giving it a try again! But…again there was a pause…Finally, I left my first company in Bangalore. Blogging not yet resumed.
All of a sudden, one day, the phuska wallah (a small boy) who stands just below my house in Bangalore drew my attention. I had never tried his phuska till the other day, although he comes everyday with his portable phuska stall. That very first day, while having phuskas, I initiated a conversation with him. Without any hesitation he addressed me as “didi” and shared his dream that he too wants to study and be a successful business man. In two/three interactions with him, we (me and my husband) got to know a lot about him such as where he is from, which class he is in, and also the sad reality that his parents are no more in this world! He also said that his profit from this stall is very negligible, but he is without any option right now because he is without any capital to start a new business. He has to take care of his study as well.
His phuska stall is clearly visible from my balcony…and I started having phuska on regular basis (although I don’t have the craze for phuska) thinking that I can add a little to his profit. The other day, I was standing on my balcony, standing for quite a while. Suddenly, my attention got directed towards his stall…A bleak face! There was hardly any customer that day…and I could very well read the helplessness in his face!
Thought, I will resume by blogging with him…
His stall will be closed in the coming month (January, 2015) as he will be going back to his native to appear in the examination. His story will be continued…