First day at work!!!

Journal Entry
Created: 05/18 04:18 PM
Modified: 05/18 04:56 PM
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So the first day of work is almost over. Started off with many apprehensions, many expectations but with an open mind all the while; and its just been great. I had not really thought much about the place before; therefore I was all game for whatever I was gonna see. Most of the things have surprised me gladly; specially the attitude of the people here which has been fantastic till now. My “boss”, Neil Brown, though being really really tall, is an extremely pleasant person to work with. All the people are really helpful and always smiling.

The place where I am gonna work has four more people out of whom, three are Chinese. What surprised me was the warmth with which they three received me. They are really nice and hope to have a great time with them. The table I am gonna work for the next ten weeks is great…with my own computer, a telephone, cabinets etc.

I was taken on a quick tour of the whole facility by Neil and he introduced me to most of the people working here, the different labs and so on. Had lunch later on, after which I sat down with an HR pro to finish off some paperwork. Then finally I was introduced to the project I would be doing here – relating to gold plating for a customer. We are studying different processes and would finally choose the best one after studying the various responses. I would be working with Yuo, a nice chinese lady. Though it becomes really difficult to understand her at times because of her pronunciation, but I guess I would get used to her soon enough. There were times like when she was explaining a process through a presentation and I wouldn’t understand a thing. After she would finish, I would just quickly read the slide
again and tell her what I understood. And she would be like ‘Yesss, yesss’ 🙂

On the whole, it’s been a great first day. The only thing that sucks for now is that my computer is not yet hooked up to the internet. There is some problem with the port or the cable. The connections guy would be here on Monday, so nothing for now. Also, I would be introduced to a New Hire Orientation presentation on Monday and also to the safety aspects of working in a plant.

One more thing that sank my heart a little was that I would be TAXED. Yeah…the little money I make here is also gonna be taxed by the government here. So it kinda sucks but well…this is how it is and no one can do anything about it. Also, I have to gonna open a bank account here where I would getting direct deposits instead of the company sending my ‘valuable’ paychecks by mail at home.

Well nothing more actually happened worth mentioning. The work place is really cosy unlike the rainy chilly weather outside right now. I can get tea, coffee, or coke as much as I want. I gotta go now and see when Chacha would be ready to go back home. I better start driving here. It would be great fun.

Really excited to see how the next ten weeks are going to work for me.

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Chak de India!!

On Sunday I watched ‘Chak de India’ – a great movie with rock-solid performance by SRK as well as the girls. The characters were beautifully sketched out and the script was amazing.
It isn’t to say that the movie was flawless. The thing that disappointed me the most was the lack of a solid inspirational speech from SRK to the players. I am not trying to say that the movie required such a speech – its just that, I don’t know why, but I was looking forward to an awe-inspiring speech from the coach throughout the movie. Maybe when India would play its first match in World Cup, then maybe before the start of the semi-final. Just before the final, there is a speech but not as awe-inspiring and not as beautifully delivered by SRK as I was hoping for. I am again not saying that in real life sports, there would be such speeches but being a movie, I really expected one.

Anyways, it was a brilliant movie and one I would love to watch again (few movies fall in this repeat bracket). At the same time, Chak de India cannot be bracketed with movies like ‘Rang de Basanti’, ‘Swades’ that were just superb. There are few things in life that have stirred me more than these two movies.

And it is in the context of such movies that I religiously read the special newspaper editions today on our 60th Independence Day. Now what makes this Independence Day a little different this year is the fact that I also witnessed the Americans celebrating their Independence Day on the 4th of July this summer while I was in States.

Now before I start, let me state very clearly that it is very hard and at the same time not fair to compare two such vastly different societies.
One has been celebrating its Independence Day for a couple of hundred years and more; while the other is still comparatively young at 60. One is a developed nation, with nothing to frown about but politics – “how best to deal with the situation in Iraq and other such nations”, “why we see China everywhere now”; while the other is a developing nation, and a rapidly growing economy that discusses all issues that fall within the purview of mankind. It is not to say that politics lags behind in such discussions. This point was all the more reinforced in my brain when I picked up yesterday’s TOI edition, where I read about the people worried about the state of our politics the most and as such, ToI has launched a India Leading campaign kinda stuff, searching for young leaders across India. The concept is interesting and though very new and a grand idea, it somehow lacks punch; however I wish it good luck and sincerely hope it to be a huge success.
One nation is the lone world super-power; while the other yearns to be one in the near future.

The idea of a holiday on Independence Day is, I guess, very similar in both countries. Americans crave for that extra holiday and if falling on a Monday or Friday, it becomes a holiday weekend and a big thing to look forward to. If falls on a Tuesday or Thursday also there is no problem as by taking a day off, it becomes even a longer weekend. Its just Wednesday thats a problem and it so happened that this year it fell on a Wednesday. Also, it so happens to be that today also is a Wednesday – a similarity that Chacha and I had observed during the summers…the largest and the most powerful democracies in the world celebrate their Independence Day on the same weekday every year. Talking of a holiday, in India too, 15th August means an extra holiday at least for students like me 🙂

The only major thing that “I” observed (maybe its not actually true) to be quite different in both countries, is the way the media presented the day. Talking of newspapers, even on normal days, the NYTimes lacks the glamour and brightness and the feeling of freshness that breathes out of Times of India here. While the NY Times would every day cover the war in Iraq on its front page, the ToI has that India Poised theme attached to the front page that screams for every Indian to hear that India is “in”. I may be wrong, or probably I am wrongly analysing the right observations. But this is my blog, and my space 🙂

So, on this special day of Independence Day, while Indian newspapers shower us with different survey results, comparison charts and stuff on the cover page, I noticed no such stuff on NYT. I might have missed stuff hidden deep inside the thick newspaper, but whats the use of such information that most people won’t find as they would be sleeping by the time they would reach to that page. No, seriously, I don’t understand the need for having such huge thick newspapers. Even though it might carry useful information on each page, but who in the world has the time and patience to go through the whole paper to look for information that he wants to read. At least I didn’t have it and as a result, from being a newspaper-aholic for the past, say, eight years atleast, I never looked forward to reading the newspaper while in States.

Apart from this crap, the nice thing about States was the grand fireworks that go off all across the length and breadth of the country on the 4th of July; the one at NYC of Macy’s being the largest show. The one close to our home was cancelled owing to a severe thunderstorm that struck Long Island that day (It actually was a very gloomy day to be an Independence Day…that might have made a difference in my observations). Therefore, I watched the Macy Fireworks on television. It was a half an hour affair but it was really awesome. There are like millions of people gathered on the streets and buildings to participate in this grand celebration. And it is this oneness that people must feel during such celebrations that I would really like the Indians to emulate. I guess the huge gathering at Red Fort during the early morning hours when the Prime Minister delivers his address, makes up for that; but I am not sure as I have never witnessed it for myself. Hopefully it does inspire that feeling of oneness and patriotism in each person listening to the PM’s speech.

The two countries are miles apart and it is just so unfair comparing them so objectively; but thats the way I am 🙂

Happy Independence Day!

The grass is always greener on the other side!!

Its a little baffling to me as to how my mind is leaning more into analysing stuff…analysing situations, people, my own ideas etc. It wasn’t so at all a couple of years back. That was the time when an idea would strike me and I would set to work on it religiously. I never analysed people before. I have never been a good observer, atleast not consciously – neither of people nor of objects. However, I still consider myself to be creative. And that could be explained by my higher sense of imagination that I use to put into my design pieces. However this doesn’t have to do anything directly with what I intend to write in this post.

Its been almost two weeks now since I came back from States and the feelings spawned since then have been mixed. It felt great hugging my parents, meeting my college friends and visiting IIT again. However it hasn’t been so easy. There are a number of things that I NOW value about USA that I didn’t when I was there. I went there having the idea that being a new place, I would present a new “me” there – breaking all shackles and barriers and just have a blast. I made my intentions clear pretty early. However as things weren’t turning out to be so good and as thought out by yours truly, I got itchy. I wanted more fun. I wanted to experience the States as the Indian youth imagines it to be – visit new places, take pictures, eat, sleep and do whatever I wish without ever worrying about anything – not worry about how others feel, how others interpret the stuff I do and most importantly not worry about how others think about me.
However, things have changed. I have realised the importance of thinking for other people after balancing and taking into consideration the ideas of two different people at the same time. I have also realised that I had not been such an irresponsible person as I thought I was. I did always consider what the others might think of what I do.

On the whole, I have realised the complexity involved in relations. It is just so easy making people close to you happy when you are a child and they never take you seriously. However, things change when you grow up. Your every action is debatable, a step into a discussion that you won’t like; and thats I guess what adulthood brings with it – the complexity in relations that children never realise.

However I still have two more years of college and this internship period has made me realise the importance of this remaining time. It appears in all probability that this is the last long period when I can enjoy life to the fullest – with not much tension and surrounded by my friends. Chak de!!!!!!!!