Friday, May 20, 2011

The Perfect Pair

June 10th, 11, Coastway Highlands

Rosanna wouldn’t even have thought of attending the dinner if she knew what kismet had in store for her.Well, technically she might have attended the dinner after all. Well we don’t know.After all who are we to judge the ways of the world. And fate is a word, treacherous in itself.
Otherwise please be obliged to enlighten me on how Rosanna, twenty five years of age, five foot seven, black eyes and black hair; had gone missing on that misty November night from the sidewalk across St.Ignatius church.
A homeless boy of unknown address claimed to have seen a girl of Rosanna’s description writhing on the pavement as her body slowly vaporized in to wisps of white smoke.Phooonk…
The vagabond could’ve been lying for all we know. But then Rosanna wouldn’t have shed her clothes and other accoutrements on the pavement and walked away to oblivion, naked. Now there has to be a better explanation to this perplexity.
Oh! Ya she wouldn’t have been completely naked, she would’ve have walked away in the red silk shoes with the black bow at the ankles.

June 5th, 11,Coastway Highlands

“How many pairs of shoes can a girl have and be basking about it?” her friends asked her, slightly exasperated. Rosanna was visibly irritated at the question,” A million, if you all please and if she can afford”, she spat back and walked out of the office shortly.
It all started with Annual Dinner preps at office. The theme was red and black. She had the perfect off shoulder gown in black silk laced with red trimmings. Very elegant. Very chic. It was the perfect evening wear which would shine and shimmer to highlight her black curls and add glitter to her black kohl lined eyes.Oh!thats going to turn more than a couple of heads. Now the problem to the perfect ensemble was the absence of the perfect pair of shoes to go with it.
For the past two weeks she had hunted the entire town for the perfect shoes. Some were too shiny, some too dull, some too tight, some too slack. It just wouldn’t do to wear any shoes. She wanted the perfect pair.
“I’ll have to go in my dull black shoe and look like a disaster.” She said to herself as she was walking down to her flat which shared with two other girls from her office. Rosanna kept thinking on how to extricate herself from this sodden mess. She didn’t even have any friends from whom she could borrow a good pair of shoes. She wished a fairy Godmother would mystically appear to her aid.
That was exactly when she noticed a yard sale, two blocks from her home. A run down tent and a few tables filled with junk. There were old lamps, vases and curios. Some odd end furniture and other stuff of marginal interest filled the plot.
“Oh! A yard sale! Why can’t there be sale of shoes instead of this junk?” She cried a tad too loud.
“Ey, Missy, ye want shoes, I give em, Got many inside te tent. Come Come.” A voice croaked from the tent. Her eyes met an old gypsy crooning at her. An involuntary cold shiver spiked down her spine. The old lady wasn’t intimidating or anything, yet there was an aura about her which seemed wicked. She was queer, she had snow white hair, olive skin and a hauntingly shiny blue eyes.
“Err, Thank you madam, but I’m really in a hurry.” Rosanna piped, quickening her steps.
The gypsy blocked her way making Rosanna squeal in terror. The old one looked in to Rosanna’s eyes and croaked again,
“Nay, Ye have to see ma shoes. They all nice. You like you take. Else all swell”, pointing at her magenta heels studded with tiny white stones that sparkled in the evening sun.
“Okei, if I don’t like, I won’t take a thing” Rosanna replied, steadying herself.

“The old dame is just half my size. If she tried anything smart. I will practice my kung fu on her.” Rosanna muttered her way in to the tent.

The tent had two low rows of shoe stands filled with an assortment of sandals, stilettos, boots and kitten heels.
“Holly Molly!” Rosanna gasped as she caught sight of it. Tucked in between the black patent leather boots and a sky blue velvet spool heel, the most enticing high heels she had ever seen. A beautiful red silk one with black heels. Most attractive was the smart black bow at the ankles. It was a pièce de résistance.
“It’s not red nor is it crimson. What shade is this? The color of wine?” Rosanna spoke softly, her eyes wandering over the contours of the shoes.
“Oh! It’s the color of blood.Rich, deep and mysterious.” A smile played over her lips.
She turned over,” They are my size. I’ll take them. How much?”
The white haired gypsy gave her a smile and said,” Nay,Nay.Nay Money.Free for ye missy, Red-un free. Ye first customer, free”
Rosanna was perplexed, the shoe would’ve cost her fortune anywhere outside this tent. So she forced few notes in to the gypsy’s hand and walked out.

While she was walking, acquisition held close to her chest, happiness filling into her soul, she realized something. The gypsy was old. Her hair may have been white and her form shriveled. But her skin and her eyes, they were soft and shining. Just like a girl in her twenties.

It was getting dark, darker than any other November evenings in her part of the world.

August 27th, 11, River walk Heights

They say she is weird. May be wicked too, capable of charming little girls and boys in to her tent and transforming them to birds and animals.Well,if you take my word of advice, people are capable of knitting stories, bizarre ones at that.
There is always a friend of a friend who had met eye to eye with Satan or being of nether-worlds. So we might as well brush off this idle, yet wicked gossip about an old lady trying to sell oddities for a square meal.
Now that we are talking about the old gypsy, there is an interesting thing I noticed.Now, don’t tell anyone I said all this, I’m not a gossip monger after all. The oldie has the smoothest skin and the blackest eyes I’ve ever seen. A sharp contrast to her white curls, I should add. What I cannot ignore is the shoes she wears. I mean, at her age, one should be more delicate. One should not indulge in brightness. It is time for pastels and peace. But who cares a fig about the world and its well laid rules? She sports bright red silk shoes with black heels. Not just that it, it sports a smart black bow at the ankles!!!

Some women are simply vain.

Monday, May 9, 2011

We, the (Software) People


What is it that alienates the software industry people to the natives or rest of the universe? Do they have horns or garish tails? (Please do not confuse the ties as tails.Garish.Yes.Tail.No) Do they speak any human unknown language? Or do they live in Utopian work conditions?

Well, let me add an emphatic “NO” to all the above.Oh yes, We are oh-a-little-sauve-desi-sahibs-and-madams,Oh yes a little preposterous,Oh yes dreams American dreams and yes we would love to work a little less too. This doesn’t make us weird. Do they?

I have been working in IT industry for sometime now; giving me the right to defend any allegation against the industry. I agree we are not doing any ground breaking stuff here in office; well most of us are not. Most of us do some technical or managerial stuff, bitch about HR policies in between coffees and cigarettes and indulge in a keep-it-cool attitude towards work in general. You cannot complain, after all we are engineers. Preparation equates to last minute rushes for us.

Having said that, please note that there are many of us who slog most part of the day just to get the websites up and running (We do more than that. You might not understand even if I start to explain. What the heck,sometimes even we don’t.). You ask any software personnel if they have worked for 24 hours without a break. They would blink.
I prefer to call it the “The blink of incredulity.” “How dare you ask me if I have done night outs? Ask me how many times!” So much for Utopian work environment. Yes we have the best tea/coffee vending machines, the best infrastructures and the cleanest of restrooms. We probably don’t deserve all that but we are thankful we have a job. A salary good enough to pay our bills and save for a bike, may be a car. The industry after all gave the middle class Indian the hope to dream beyond the borders. The dream of seeing snow topped Alps are no longer in vain. May be someday, even if I have-not seen Himalayas I might see the Alps.

And as a woman, IT industry has given me the power of identity. Anywhere I go I can work. There will be an IT company wherever I go. I can work. I don’t have to stop working because I got married or was on a maternity break. Most companies provide 3 months paid leave, 3 months unpaid leave, flexible working conditions and a team willing to back you up during your pregnancy and post delivery. Maternity is a privilege and responsibility, and IT industry whole heartedly understands this. (We’ll even do baby showers if you let us!)

And somewhere in between I hear people are blacklisting IT as a career for their prospective brides. Ouch! Ouch! That hurt. So it means that if you are unmarried girl working in IT sector you are bound to be selfish, self centered, unable to make adjustments, incorrigible and money minded. I didn’t say this. And I have demanded a personal audience with “the somebody” who had the nerve to tell this to my in laws.
(As usual my slap-a-nasty-retort section of the brain was also dumbfounded and was unable to respond even when my first language is “Sarcasm (fluent)”.It created smog in my brain which obscured rest of the conversation.)
We are not perfect, but we do know life does not end with marriage.Period.If you think we are anything more than being pragmatic, please do the much needed reality check.

People have hyped up the behavioral irregularities in IT industry. Every time I walk into a bank I don’t expect myself to be treated as a princess. There are times when you are not treated well, there are times you meet doctors who are annoying. Then we know, all bankers and all doctors are not rude. Then why do this to IT industry? Calling us money minded, rude, self-centered and what not? (I’ve mentioned this before in the blog. So What? People have told this to me more than that. Sue me!) .I’ve said this before, some of us might be, but definitely all of us are not.

I’m not trying to establish that IT folks are the best in the world. I am just trying to clarify the fact that we are also normal people. We live in a virtual world. Now days in the “cloud” (Sorry that was an IT joke.).We love the chai and samosa like you do. In between those American dreams are yearnings for a simple curd rice and prawn pickles. We are nothing but a group of people who wanted our dreams to come true. Do not sledge us. We are just living our dream.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meri Maa,Pyaari Maa..

A short one for all the mothers of the world and Amma,this one is for you..

Mom,is thy middle name "Know-it-all"?
Worse is thy,"Didn't I tell you this all?"
Through those springs and summers of mine,
Filled with wrings and ponders and whine,
I know You will hold me tight,
Till I am "okay and all-right"...