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.)


Anonymous said...

Here's to many more milestones.

and kudos for the which most of us can relate to ;)
brought back memories of our good old Gudgaawan!


Nandini Vishwanath said...

:) Congrats, should I say?

Raja Swaminathan said...

Chikki, have read your blog from time to time although this is the first time I am commenting on and in it.

You really write well - I like the way you just put your thoughts out there. No inhibitions (or at least I hope this is the uninhibited version ;-) ).

I love this Kipling poem - always have. And I must say your adaptation is very well done.

Considering your blog is pretty much the only way to know about goings-on in your life, I guess I will check this space more often from now on.

And yes, congrats for completing one year at your first job.

Raja Swaminathan said...

Btw, have included you in my blogroll.

AC said...

Thanks Soundarya, Nandu... having lived the Gurgaon lives yourselves, you'd appreciate what an achievement surviving a year is :)

@Raja Mama: Wow :) I'm really happy you like my stuff... means a lot to me!

Shree said...

Love the original version:). Congrats. ur version is beautiful too!

Designing the sails o' life said...

hats off kaka! you rrrrock :)
yaar jab tu campus me tha tab tere itne hunar ka pata nahi tha!
:) hehe....hope u get the hindi ;)

squarecut.atul said...

Wonderful parody of the originalpoet. Simply great.

AC said...

@shree, atul: Thanks guys :)

@pat: My Hindi has improved exponentially after coming to Delhi :) And thanks for all the effusive praise!

Sid said...

Tooooo good... ossum!!

The one by Kipling is one of my favorites but now I seem to relate more with your version :)

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Amazing stuff...I'm blogrolling you!