Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ctrl+Alt+Del

It was raining. Not that he cared, but he wished he could just look at the tiny drops of water fall under the spell of gravity like he did in his childhood days. At 2 AM, the whole bay was deserted and he was the sole occupant of the area which was usually filled with around 400 insomniac busy bees.

It was not scary, but depressing. Abhishek was not able to concentrate on the error message and the bug really bugged him. The developer who developed the module was out with conjunctivas and hence his senior and Mentor Abhishek had no choice but to fix things up. It had been quite a while since he had done any sort of coding stuff since being promoted as a team Leader.

Cursing the bug, he decided that maybe he needed coffee to refresh his senses. He went down to the first floor and found the coffee boy sleeping sitting in the chair. Not willing to disturb him, Abhishek placed the coffee cup beneath the machine and pressed Strong coffee. It was his 7th (or 8th?) coffee of the day. He wondered if someday his blood would turn brown in color. After filling the cup to the brim, he picked a 50-50 packet and placed exactly Rs.8 near the book log. As he walked back, he saw a pair walking to catch their late night cab.

It reminded him of his friend Murugan who worked in the same project a few months back. There was a girl called Manasi in their project and she was a gregarious and a nice girl. Murugan mistook her openness for liking and out of the blue proposed to her. It’s quite strange but men do not realize the consequences when they like something or someone. For them the ultimate aim is the possession of it at any cost. Practicality takes a holiday on those issues.

Women on the other hand are mature. They draw a line in relationships and do not cross it. They are clear about what they want from life and also look at every possible impact of a decision that they make. Manasi politely refused and said that they could be friends but not life partners. Murugan behaved good for a while, but soon his impatience and stupidity took over and he made threats of suicide if she didn’t oblige. Unable to take it no more, Manasi complained to the HR and Murugan was terminated. It was sad that no one even bid a goodbye to him nor felt sorry for him as he packed his belongings.

Ironically life does not come with a Ctrl Z option to go back and correct our mistakes. What’s done stays done and things come to a dead end. The rule applied to Abhishek as well. He wanted to be an IAS officer in his school days. But fate played a different role when he got selected in the campus and gradually lost the motivation. He had worked unearthly hours to earn the good will of his superiors, but had turned an insomniac in the process. For the outside world IT is a lucrative world with fat paypackets and rich perks. How many wondered what went behind the closed doors and prison like enclosures?

He was reminded of the trick used to catch monkeys with peanuts. The monkey clutches the peanuts placed in a small jar that is tied to a tree. Since its fist is full of peanuts, it will not fit through the mouth of the jar, so the monkey’s hand will be stuck – he won’t be able to get his hand out of the jar that is tied to the tree. The monkey will let himself be caught by the hunter rather than let go of the peanuts. The monkey does get the peanuts...but only behind the bars.

Not to sound very pessimistic but there were perks of this profession. He had bought jewels and gifts for his mom and wife, had admitted his daughter in the top school in the city, traveled to foreign countries with his family, bought a house in Ashok Nagar and of course the huge pay package he received every month end. But he had butchered his ambitions as price for the happiness.

He saw the rain drops on the window go down at a leisurely pace. Some things go at their own pace irrespective of the way the whole world functions. Inspite of the coffee, he felt sleepy. Unable to concentrate and unwilling to work anymore, Abhishek decided enough was enough. He locked his machine and walked out of his bay. As he almost placed his access card, he heard the phone ring. He knew that it must have been from the onsite coordinator about the status of the bug. For once he thought of returning back, but changed his mind.

He knew what their next target would be. He picked up his mobile and switched it off. As he did so, unknowingly there was a smile on his face.

22 comments:

Nivi said...

Hard Hitting! What hit me the most abt this post is the truth that was so simply put.so true Harish.
How i wish i could ctrl Z the whole engineering path ;)

"But he had butchered his ambitions as price for the happiness"
Awesome line! made me go numb for a while and think abt my butchering.

rocking post harish!!!
and yay commented first.. after what seems like eons.:)

G3 said...

//He picked up his mobile and switched it off.//

Ironically, I have my mobile switched off now to avoid calls from my office :P

prithz said...

It all sounds so familiar. :)

//Practicality takes a holiday on those issues.// - I was literally thrown off my feet reading these lines.

//But he had butchered his ambitions as price for the happiness.// - You play with words i tell u. You know what, you can so easily flatter a girl if u go on like this! :P

Good job :)

priyaiyer said...

good one! brings out the pain of those in such professions beautifully! :) and :(! very much heartfelt..

priya said...

Nice writeup buddy. Its pretty practical about life of everyone who face in their jobs.

Vidya said...

This is such a common phenomenon in the Service Industry here in India, especially with the Global Delivery Model!

Truthfully put!
Vidya

Anu said...

As usual AWESOME...

this post totally mirrors what every software guy is going through...

"For the outside world IT is a lucrative world with fat paypackets and rich perks. How many wondered what went behind the closed doors and prison like enclosures?"... very true man.

The sarcasm, the raindrops and the way his thoughts flowed were all so natural and yet added flavor to the post...

kudos!! keep churning them...

Dreamzz said...

//Women on the other hand are mature. They draw a line in relationships and do not cross it. They are clear about what they want from life and also look at every possible impact of a decision that they make.//

Disagreed. I call this, "good enough to talk, not good enought to be friends, good enough to be friends, not good enough to be lover, good enough to be lover, not enough for Husband" mentality! heh! I am officialy giving up understanding girls!

ambi said...

another good one harish.
i wonder all of your stories are like short serials in maniratnam touch. :))

*ahem, so ponnu peru manasi rite..? :p

Raghs | இராகவன் said...

Harish,

The title gives me some hint that its to deal with some technical stuff! Is nt it?

Just an attendance post boss. Rest in next! :)

Sangeeta said...

Brilliant. I think at some point most us 'butcher' our ambitions!
So true...

I have been reading your short stories for a while now...very intriguing.

PS: I read your posts on breaks between documenting bug fixes ;)

Marutham said...

Yemadiyovvvvvvv

Anaachi- enama ezhudhreenga!! :(
//Murugan mistook her openness for liking and out of the blue proposed to her. It’s quite strange but men do not realize the consequences when they like something or someone. For them the ultimate aim is the possession of it at any cost.//
Been there - heard it :)
Super'a solirukeenga! There is nothing to complain- they are just darn straight & yes POSSESSSS is the word.

Marutham said...

//fate played a different role when he got selected in the campus and gradually lost the motivation//
Indha placement ethana peru life'la velayadiruku..PST PST!! Adhu oru super dilemma :)

Marutham said...

I should not have read this posttttttttttt ...

I already know this is not the profession that i wanted to do... I wanted something that is not very mechanical & blah blah....And the delay fromt he company to give t joining date makes me wanna think AGAIN!!
And ur postttttttt :((
mummeeee- i have a bad feeling am making a wrong move...

I wanted to take up a different course - that is so not what a engineering life wud be like..it was more poetic... but i have walked past the path - my days as a teen... :(

THE WORDS- Butcher, U r gonna get hit for this post!!

How dare you tell the bitter truth so easily & very deep in this wonderful style !!! :)
Awesome harish..Just awesome! :)

Marutham said...

@Ambi,
Summa pinni pedal edukreenga..
Neenga moola karar dhaan :P

//*ahem, so ponnu peru manasi rite..? :p//

Apdiya harish?? :P
Appo andha vella kari??
Sari avalavdhu pozhachupa..andha karuppi??
Pavam ilaaaaaaaa :P

dakaltiz said...

nice one harish... u do give life to these kind a simple reality stuff and boy it does hit hard... it was nice to blend the murugan affair stuff..so common these days esp in the s/w thozil..
hats off thalaiva !

Raghs | இராகவன் said...

Hi Harish,

What an excellent post and writing skills you possess! Really a fantastic flow and feel bad for not having known this so far though we know each other for about 2 years!

Beautiful coining of words too in a rhythmic manner and compliant to the situtation!

I do totally agree with the way you have portrayed the IT lifestyle and commented about the individuals happened-to-surrender situation!

But then, what exactly is the need of implying Murugan's story here? Perhaps, it is just to show that Abhishek's memories have been actuated on seeing a couple rushing to get a cab?

No matter what sense it makes to this narration of depicting the IT lifestyle, there you have penned down a beautiful thought about the way Men and Woman perceive the things and people!

Quite agreeable though subjective to an argument as there are relaxations everywhere. But that suits with the majority.

I expected something about the 'Ctrl+Alt+Del' and finally was satisifed through the line 'he locked his machine and walked away' :)

Life needs a pause at times certainly!!

Your post definitely left a great impression in me..

Keep going..

Best wishes!

Cheers,
Raghavan alias Saravanan M.

Karthik B.S. said...

At last able to complete this post, huh? EValo naal aachu idha ezhudharthuku!

Ironically life does not come with a Ctrl Z option to go back and correct our mistakes.

There is a reason why you bold-ed it.

Harish said...

@Nivi
We all have come thru something like that isnt it? And yeah...that butchering line is quite personal :-(

@G3
Hee hee...unga office la yaarukkum unga aathu number teriyaada :P

@Prithz
Inda lollu daane venaamgaradu. Post a avamaana paduti irunda kooda paravaala...ippadi image a damage pannitiyae :(

@Priya Iyer
yeah. Quite personal :(

@Priya
Hmmm...well...I guess but the stress levels and stakes are high in this profession. Frankly...if not for these high bucks how many us would do this job?

@Vidya
Yeah. I just tried to mirror some thoughts :(

@Anu
I wish I had the resources to make some short film. I visualized a MATRIX line scene where the protagonist watches the scene outside the window and outside a guy is window washing and they look at one another. Well....they are best left to visuals :(

@Dreamzz
Boss...At least they are clear that way and hence dont turn maniacs and psychopaths. Some men on other hand behave like kids who throw tantrum for toys :(

Harish said...

@Ambi
Hee hee...its Maniratnam and Christopher Nolan.
Aaha...anga suthi ingae suthi en kannayae kuthiteengala :P

@Sangeetha
hee hee. As long as you are entertained....I am previleged :)

@Marutham
"Indha placement ethana peru life'la velayadiruku". Same blood :P
Smetimes the truth hurts...Reality bites. Well...lets see how long we cut our dreams and aspirations to pieces :(
"Appo andha vella kari??"
Adangokka makka...onnu kuditaangayya...onnu kuditaangale....

@Dakaltiz
Thanks Thala. Quite ironically...it happens in a decent to work s/w industry :(

@Rags
The Murugan story is a true incident that happened in my comapany. We were all surprised to see it happen so up close and personally. Agreed that most men and women are good friends when they work in one concern and help each other, but there are some odd 10% people as such who do not let go and hence spoil their own lives. :(

@BSk
Ennapa panna. had to fit it in a story :(
Obviously...as I wrote it...I loved it. we all experience this at some point in our life isnt it?

Padma said...

The thing abt boys and gals are very true indeed :)..
also the monkey and peanut story is the bitter truth of IT industry. People earn more and spend uselessly and there by hitting the economy :).. anyway good one..

Dimplicious said...

Several things to be learnt from a single post...nice one!!!bt the ending was too sudden...i expected more..