Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Train trip - GVR to TCR

Since its introduction in the year 1994 this has been a memorable train journey for me. I am talking about this short train journey between Trichur and Guruvayur in Kerala, India. This is a journey that I undertake almost every year without exception

Its 35 to 40 mins of pure lush greenery. Right after starting from the Gurvayur Station and the train moves a bit, we see the level cross from where we pray for one last time looking towards the East Nada of the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple(of course we cant really see the temple from the level cross but still we try to crane our necks as if we can).

But thereafter the greenery along the route transports you to your own imaginary world and then you forget all your worries and problems till you reach your destination. Of course thereafter in my case I have to catch a train to Chennai and then a flight to Dubai. But for that half an hour you dont think about city life or work or anything and just try to store these images somewhere in your brain.

This is one of the few things that has remained the same in my life. Even the train ticket is priced at less than one dirham! Sigh , I wish I didnt have to slog it out here in the Gulf.

Career Change

We spend a good portion of our life working and it's important to make sure that what we do is meaningful and fufilling. Regardless of your current job, take time to mull over whether what you're doing is what you want to be doing. If not, consider how to take another career path. You never know where you might end up!

The above paragraph and umpteen other articles that I have read in books and internet articles have not helped my career much. I am still back to square one. I was a not-so-bad computer science engineer.
Although I hated the job I was still respected in a society which churns out God knows how many software engineers every year. But I am still lacking one important factor essential to every person's career i.e LUCK.

I know I have mentioned this before, but seriously I need this factor more than anything else now.This must be something running in my family. I mean my dad worked under a boss for more than 20 years.

My dad had been a qualified chartered accountant , cost accountant and company secretary. The boss was only a cost accountant.My dad retired 5 years ago, the boss who was almost seven years older still survives in the company!

From this example I have understood that it is not a lack of qualifications that held him back. And if anything he has worked a lot harder than I ever did in my whole life. So what was missing , of course it is LUCK.

There are countless examples that I can give of people who didnt deserve the positions or salary they held but still had them because of this extraordinary luck factor.Being in the right place at the right time is a sentence that really carries a lot of weight in today's scenario.

My first team leader in an IT company had told me years ago to always do what is it that you want to do. But familial constraints(had to relocate after marriage) , environmental constraints(limited scope for IT professionals) and host of other reasons mean that I really cannot do what I really really want to do.

Add to that is the fact that all people are selfish as a rule. And this includes even your friends. Other than your parents nobody in this life wants to you to get ahead. They might sympathise or empathise with you but they will never help you to get ahead in life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Annual Vacations

My Annual Vacations are mostly an ordeal. Its a shuttle between the place I was brought up i.e. Chennai and the place I was born i.e. Kerala. Needless to say I hate vacations, but it is a neccessary evil that I have to do at least once every year if not more. My BP shoots up higher there than my normal working days in Dubai. Because there the tensions range from why so and so commented on me this way starting from you have grown so fat to when are you giving us good news and why did you change the job line from IT!!! Like they really cared a damn about me. They just had to ask questions that hurt me. The kind of questions that bring an expression on my face that is quite similar to that lady's in the nappy ad where she sees her baby boy sitting in a pool of his urine(I think it was huggies, not so sure though) when they are playing hide and seek.

Anyways I know now that I will never be able to get into the marketing department of any company, because I have lived for five years with the most stubborn customer one has ever come across i.e my husband. I tried my level best in convincing him in going to a place other than India for a vacation this time. He happily did not cave in saying he didnt have the money. But oh yes, he had the money to turn up for a golden jubilee alumni event which did not feature any of his classmates and that too for just 3 days!! Oh ya I am not a good talker and I can never be a lawyer either cos I just dont know how to argue with this man let alone argue with another lawyer in front of a judge.

Anyway coming back to the annual vacation , I have realised rather painfully that amongst my relatives people returning from the Gulf have lower value than those coming from the US and the UK. In fact some people are wondering how come I travel once every three months to India. Isnt it recession time? Well for starters the flight is only 3 and a half hours and the ticket prices are much cheaper than travelling to US and UK. And about getting holidays , we get the same amount of holidays except that unlike the US , UK NRIs we dont travel anywhere else except to India. And we dont take days off for hiking , trekking, rock climbing etc. Our only form of entertainment are the huge malls and the cinemas. And if do you dont earn much you dont spend much in these shops anyway!

I am quite fed up of this whole vacation commotion. From now on even if I dont travel to exotic foreign locales I will be travelling to hill stations like Ooty or Kodai as they bring me a lot of calm which I just dont get anywhere else.