Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The 12 hour Ordeal

8.00 pm

'The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings..', Jini read out loud from the internet.
Just then Monty, my cousin from Dehradun, clad in loose fit Tees and long sporty shorts, came and sat besides me. He wore a Nike band around his wrists and was looking like a mini Rafael Nadal. Way too trendy for a 15 year old I tell you.

'No shit.I ain't watching nothing but horror, alright?'

I lay on the bed adjacent to the computer. I had been yawning incessantly whereas people were getting excited at the idea of ordering a DVD. I was just too tired to get excited i guess.

'Oh cmon. English horror scares nobody. You remember Dead Mary, don't you? We had as much fun watchin it as a one legged man would have at a butt-smacking party!', Jini retorted back. Her face wore a naughty grin at the apparent smart-ass comment.

I admit Dead Mary had to be one of the lamest movies I had ever seen. It was about these 6-7 teenagers who travel together to a cottage nearby a lake to spend the weekend. Obviously it had some busty, hot blondes or I wouldn't have ordered it. Anyways, they end up playing this insanely retarded game called 'Dead Mary' which causes one of them to be possessed or something. Then they get slaughtered one after the other. Thats about all I can recollect.
Anyhow forseeing a debate getting underway, I quietly took my pillow and helped myself to the the adjacent room.

Earlier that day,
7.00 am

'Baby, I gotta deliver this today', I said. My voice was shaking. I was holding a legal document in my right hand. 'If I don't, Marsellus Wallace gonna fuck us both.'

'I love you baby'

'Yeah, I love you too baby, but this is not the time!'

'There he is, shoooot!'
The cops had zeroed in on me.


The next instant, I was in bed , still trying to feel the shot from the Smith and Wesson handgun. I had, in the language of counter strike buffs, been headshotted point-blank in the middle. I wonder what happened to my baby after I conked out. Man. She was so bloody HOT.

'Uff, 7 already?', I thought, as I tardily dragged myself into the washroom.

By 7.30, I was all set to leave for another day at Whirlpool.

11.30 am
Whirlpool Of India Limited.

Kuch khane chale?', I heard Mayank as he ambled towards my cubicle.
I had been facebooking/orkutting/blogging since morning and had been on just a glass of milk, so was a bit hungry myself.

'Haan theek hai. Khattri se bhi pooch lete hain.'

However Siddharth had to supervise the manufacturing of a machine, so he asked us to go ahead without him. So Mayank and I went to this clumsy little dhaba a few km from the plant. I would have surely told you its name, if there would have been one. Anyhow, we gorged on some double egg-butter-bread which satiated our tummys atleast till lunch. We returned soon after and it was facebooking/orkutting/blogging, once again for me.

1.20 pm

'Chal Sagar, its time.'

I closed all windows adeptly. It was lunch. Well actually lunch was from 1-1.30, but everyone preffered to reach there not before 1.30. They would get a longer break this way.

'Ahha shahi paneer today', Khattri read out the food card for the day as we all sat down to eat after a hard day's work!

4 pm
PDC main cell.

It was usually around this time that the staff got fiercely active. Actually Mr. Bhatia conducted a meeting at 5 everyday, without fail. He would ask each one of us as to what we did the entire day. As a result the office would go up in a cacophony around this time. People used to scamper to get details, by hook or by crook. Thanks to the innumerous frauds at iit, we had adapted pretty well to this culture.

'Sir and PE sleeve wale project mein kya chal raha hai?', as I caught hold of Sunil Sir who seemed to be running around hastily.

Mr. Sunil was the senior engineer at Whirlpool and was
probably one guy who had impressed me the most. There was just this air of carelessness about him and yet, he somehow managed to wind up all his work before deadlines.
'We have picked up the samples from the line. Tension mat le. Now it just needs to be handed over to the quality control department for testing.'

I memorised each and every word. This was the way we usually did our projects.

5 pm
PDC conference room.

The meeting was underway. Everyone was present. Mr. Bhatia threw some volleys at Mr. Shreekant first. Shreekant was responsible for the cooling projects going on in the company.

'If YOU can't do it, then give it to ME. I'll do it for you. This way I'll atleast be able say SOMETHING in the inter-department meetings!'

'Sir the testing report has come from Pune today only. We'll start working on it as soon as possible ..'

'Ahh. Whatever. Please see to it that you complete it today before leaving.'

I was next.

'Yes Sagar?'

'Sir I have picked up the samples from the line today. Now it needs to be handed over to the quality control department for testing.'

'Hmm. Ok. And who was dealing with the evaporators?'

The meeting went on till 6pm.

It was time to hit the road finally.

6.30 pm
Badarpur border.

♫ ("Ek ucha Lamba Kad,
Duja soni vi tu had.
Teeja roop tera cham cham karda ni")♫

(Katrina Kaif = wow!)
There are very few things in this world which are close to being called as universal truths. I guess even Einstein would have found her hot! I was sick and tired of the song though, was hearing it for the zillionth time.
FM sucks. The RJs, even more. Try listening to the Battle of the Sexes at 7.30 in the morning on 93.5-'Bajate Raho', and you'll know what I mean. And yes, I go to office THAT early. Thank you.

My car was swivelling amidst the erratic traffic on NH-2. It was particularly challenging considering the roads were packed with trucks on the right lane and bullock carts/tractors on the left. The fastest I managed was around 40 kmph- that too with a fair amount of risk!
People who know me would be familiar with the kind of risks I am talking about here!

7.00 pm

Honey, I am home- So not the way I usually returned.

The house was empty as usual. I gulped down my evening shake and hit the sack, in the same breath. It was time for FRIENDS. 'Hmm..Episode -412- The One With The Embryos!', I recalled.

7.45 pm
My room.

Jini and Monty returned after their tennis sessions.
'Monty was like all over today', as Jini threw her racquet and unwinded on the computer chair next to me.' Not even a single half a decent serve!'

'It was my shoe.. my feet were hurting.'

'Yeah whatever. Achcha bhai you've seen 28 Weeks Later right? The DVD?'


'Chalo good. Then I'm ordering another movie..Umm..but which one should I order?' She logged onto imdb, moviemart etc and started checking out some new releases.

'Hey bhai have you've seen this one? Big Fish? Its been given an 8 and got a decent caste too.'

I kept mum.

'Wait. Lemme tell you the plot briefly... The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings..'

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Dress Code

May 26, 2008.
9 am

'Hmm I've told you to put on the uniform so many times, but you don't seem to be listening.'

Bhatia had spotted me as I was ambling towards the coffee machine, early in the morning. I was clad in a low waist denim jeans with a white shirt, shabbily tucked in. Bhatia was very strict for the dress code.

' Sir, my trousers have gone for shortening.'

' Since TWO weeks?'

'No sir I gave it on Friday. But the tailor didn't show ..'

'But what about the entire last week? I had given explicit instructions on the very first day as far as I remember.'

He was bang on. All three of us had been asked to adhere to the dress code from the first day. I had known this all along but I guess I was hoping that it would slip off his mind and I'd be saved from having to buy a brand new shirt-trouser combination. That too, just for a two month period. Anyhow I had to come up with an excuse. Fast.

'Sir my family had been out of station for the last week. So I didn't have enough money then. Anyways I'll surely collect my trousers today.'

Bhatia nodded casually and signalled me to go away. He was engrossed in typing an e-mail or something.

In the hindsight, I admit it wasn't my best excuse but atleast my ass was saved for that day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day One.

May 12, 2008.
8.40 am

'Bhaiya yeh whirlpool ki factory kahan hai?', I asked a rickshaw wala frantically.


'No. Whirlpool?'

'Are haan. wunphool.'

'Nahi whir..'

'Wo washing machine waaali na? seedha ja ..gol chakkar aaaga..mud mat ..seeeeedhaa..ulte haath pe naala dikhe? Bas wahin.'

I was back on the cracking road. Bikes meandered ahead of me, like they always do in congested traffic. I hate them for this. I must have been the only chump riding a car on that nightmarish road. My windscreen had been beclouded by the fumes churned out by innumerable autos crawling ahead of me. Forget about the time, I was fighting to just make it to the factory today.

Anyhow I finally managed to reach the factory by 10 am. The stupid rickshaw guy had sent me to some small home-appliance maker shop in old Faridabad.

I had to park my car outside the gate becuase the guard wouldn't allow me to park without an employee card.

Whirlpool of India Limited. It was a huge unit. It had several sub units too - sheetmetal, vacuum forming, paint etc. Each of them were enclosed in a separate buildings having alternating shades of blue and white. The employees too were all neatly dressed in blue shirts and black trousers.
'Some kind of colour code in the company', I thought.

I was required to report to Mr. Rakesh Bhatia, who was the senior manager there.

I called up Mayank.

'Kahan aana hai yaar?'

'Come to Mr. Bhatia's room. Hum bhi yahin hai.'

Mayank and Siddharth were the other two trainees from IIT Delhi. They had reached there long back. I was over an hour late.

'Hello Sir.'

'Hi. I am Rakesh. You must be Sagar?'

I nodded obediently.

'You guys make yourself comfortable here. I'll be back in a minute'.

After some random chit-chatting we decided to take a stroll around in the factory. On our way out, our eyes independently browsed for any signs of the female species among the employees. It is almost like the foremost principle of guy-hood. In college, Pushkin- a friend of mine, used to joke about guys having radars for sensing the proximity of the female species. The signals from here were however, expectedly negative.

As we walked past the different shops, there was this entire humanity engaged in assembly lines. Unit after unit, they worked without a pause. I think If ever one of them was asked to read out its job description, it would be like:

Pick the compressor.Place the compressor.
Pick the compressor.Place the compressor.
ad inf.

And yet there were people who had spent a good 20 years in their lives doing this. Bloody hell.

In the middle of acquainting ourselves with a heap of technical crap, we came across the pantry for the first time. It was a small-ish room having all the stuff needed for making your own coffee. It served as a kind of a breathing space for everyone within the ruthless confines of the corporate world. It was also home to some of the office gossips and rumours that circulated around.
We were to visit this room a LOT in the next two months.

After that we rambled about some more till the clock stuck five. Time to hit the road.