Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nothing like dancing and partying with a bunch of 20 year olds... make one realise how old and uncool one is.

I'm still, of course, very young. And I normally laugh at those who constantly worry about their age and crib about losing their youth. I've also always been a firm believer in the tenet that age is a factor of the mind, and not the body.

Yet, in a space of a few hours, I was forced to revisit my views. I was jolted out of my comfort zone of calm self-assurance and forced into a situation where I didn't how how to react. I can't believe I'm saying this, but - relatively speaking - I felt my age.

3 a.m. is not the best time for these ruminations... I know I'll pooh-pooh all this in the morning, but it feels rather strange and unsettling nonetheless.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A few days ago, a minor milestone in my life passed by almost unnoticed. I have just completed one whole year here at Gurgaon, and my first complete year at a permanent job. Time seems to have flown - it seems like only yesterday that I was embarking on my career, wide eyed and eager to show the world who's boss.

It's been one hell of a learning experience... and several small things - managing expectations at work, shopping for groceries, hanging out with friends, managing household and personal financials - have taught me so much, have helped me grow as a person; have helped me become - I'll say it - a Man.

Here's a little ode to the last year.

(With due apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can drive your car when all about you
Are crashing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself not to hit the bulls and cows,
But make allowance for their movement too;
If you can wait in traffic and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being faced with cops, bribe them selectively,
Or, being honked at without reason, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't act too aggressive, nor drive too rashly;

If you can dream for your clients - and not make them your master;
If you can think complex strategy - and convey it with simplicity;
If you can meet with both triumph and disaster
And treat great client feedback and lousy reviews with equanimity;
If you can bear to work long slavish hours on occasion
Up to fifteen or twenty hours a day,
Yet find time for the occasional brief vacation
And satisfaction in adding value and earning your pay;

If you can make head or tail of all your earnings
And understand HRA and 80C calculations,
And deal with the landlord’s infrequent rantings
And pardon the help’s frequent excuses and explanations;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To subscribe to responsible expenditure and thrift
And so sniff out “Buy X get Y free” deals anew
Yet splurge when the occasion demands it;

If you can talk with crowds and use less than two swear words a sentence,
Or walk with kings – and avoid a pickpocket’s touch;
If you can tolerate local FM, irritatingly vacuous and dense;
If paneer, vodka and Subway count with you, but none too much;
If, in this unforgiving life, you submit
Yourself to incessant 24x7 Punjabification
You’ll have conquered Gurgaon and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

(Original poem: If, by Rudyard Kipling. One of the most incredible poems ever.)