Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Comfortable with Strangers – Part II

On the professional side things are no different.

Not long ago, there was a time when people actually met each other in an official setting and got to know each other as a person. People were warm in their reception extended to the new entrant in the office.

A number of people if not all in the department, including the dept head would actually take time out and talk to the new member. They would take them out for lunch, take them on the tour of the office, get them introduced to the people around, and all in all give them a decent chance and time to settle in.

But in today’s day and age the very thought of something like this happening is absurd. With the environment of Hire and Fire, relocations, work at homes, consultants and many many other modern concepts, it is rare for a new person to get the time to get acquainted.

Typically the new person meets the manager, who shows them the designated work area, the Cubicle, settles them down with a word ‘Welcome!’ and then hands them a bunch of documentation to read. By the end of the day the new person has a bunch of meeting invitations on his/ her calendar, from people that he/she has no idea about.

In the meeting itself, the newbie is bombarded about who is who and where they are located, (coz people in the same department are now spread across the world). There have been times that I have spoken to a person on a almost daily basis on the least for a year or so, and have never seen who they are, all I know is what they sound like.

People in big organizations, talk to each other either with emails, or thru some kind of instant messaging. Forget meeting the person, there is a certain reluctance now to even pick up the phone and call someone. There are no more ‘How are yous’ and “How you doings’, all that remains in the name of conversation is ‘Hi, can you send/give/forward to me this&that’

I must confess that though, this kind of working is now something I am totally comfortable with, I still look forward to the 15 mins everyday that I have to STEAL away from my desk and meet my buddies for lunch with my colleagues.

On the other hand I have become friends with people sitting halfway across the world. The daily Hellos and the interaction sometimes extend into conversations about weekend activities, movies, food and drink. There have been moments when you can message this person and talk for 5-10 mins and unload if something is bothering you, without the risk of the person judging you…Hell they don’t even know what you look like

The long distance and the online environment have created something that helps a person work and connect with people in all corners of the world, without having to REALLY connect with them…

Friday, September 14, 2007

Comfortable with Strangers - Part 1

The Introduction :-

This world at this time is a strange place indeed....we are now more than ever interacting with people online and looking towards strangers for love for friendship.

No its not what u are thinking...I am talking about strangers we have never seen never met....strangers we meet online...we seek online....

This morning I saw something on a online news channel, about how boys from rural areas, get all dressed up on weekends and drive to the nearest town, where they get on these internet public chat room and are actively looking for love, looking to meet women from far away, looking for something that they are supposedly not finding in their physical world around them.

These are the same guys that are considered shy and have no real contact with a woman, let alone go out and date women, these boys havent even had a chance to have a decent conversation with the opposite sex...but this might be more a rural setting situation right?

Wrong!...for the most part whoever reads this entry or this blog is a complete stranger to me as I am to them, barring some of my buddies from a review site (u got here mostly thru there)...and u are still here relating to the blog in some way or the other.

Talking about the review site. I hold that place very dear, because of the people I have met there, the poeple I have interacted with and the admiration we have developed for one another, not only reviewers but also as exceptionally wonderful Human beings.

Infact the reviews, the comments and the mails have stemmed of this whole new camaraderie....we now have regular interactions, find joy in sharing news, tell the other person how wonderful a review they have written, look forward to everyones comments on our review, discuss shopping and anything else under the sun, create groups on Orkut and other site...network!

Orkut...another boon for the virtual world....How many of us, go in and see how our friends are doing? find new friends and see if someone is trying to connect with you. Orkut is great for connecting with existing friends too right....scrap each other, send messages, create and join groups? Extend ur hand in friendship to other people on the site, ask them to come and join a group, send them a scrap, and reply if they send you one....pleasant or otherwise.....

Long story short.....I find myself online constantly....not only has all my professional life gone online...looks like most of my personal one is going there too...

to be continued!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Day of the Tornado

For many a days now I have been racking my brain to come up with something to write about…..coz the truth is no one wants to put down stuff that sounds totally idiotic…even if the Blog is really supposed to be a virtual diary……yeah! But everyone reads it!

Irrelevant…now…what is relevant atleast to me is what happened yesterday on the 8th of August 2007. The day the rain gods and the tornado gods decided to pay a visit to NY.

The night before we were issued a minor warning that there will be thunderstorms in the area, nothing major. In the morning though around 6:00 there was terrible thunder and lighting….and it was pouring cats and dogs!

But that lasted like an hour and then it was all quite. Commute was a different story altogether. As soon as I got to the Subway, I was told that all the trains were shut down. When I looked up, I saw thousands of people, stranded! Waiting for the bus that refused to come, trying to get into work!

I managed to get on into an Express bus, the driver of which was way more grumpier than the weather that had just passed by. He kept screaming at the top of his voice that there were only 5 seats on the bus!....yeah right! Like that message was going to get across to the thousands waiting to storm the bus.

Anyway as soon as I sat down, a very heavily pregnant woman got on and was standing in the Aisle. Not one person had the courtesy to get up and offer the poor lady a seat. I figured, that she needed to sit more than I did, and asked her if she wanted to. The relief on her face was unbelievable! So I got up ad let her sit.

The journey on that bus lasted for around 2 hrs during which I kept standing, during which time, a man kept making clicks, coz I was standing too near his seat. I was literally at a point where I would have gotten right near his face and screamed “Shut up u moron, atleast u are sitting.! This aisle is hardly 2 feet wide, a little inconvenience is not gonna kill you!...and stop making that noise…if it bothers u so much…leave the seat…and go upfront and stand’’ Idiot!

Oh well….the journey lasted a long time….infact it lasted 3 ½ hrs….it usually takes me like an hour and a half to get to work!...but at the end I was proud of myself of never loosing my temper, inspite of all the annoyed and annoying people around me, and more so for doing atleast one good deed on a day when it would have been much easier to turn a blind eye to the inconvenience of another

So from now on, I am going to do atleast one good deed a day…and everyday there are many such opportunities…it is just that many of us choose to ignore them….but not anymore…not me!

So my good deed for yesterday was giving up my seat to a pregnant lady…who needed it more than me….lets see what today has in strore!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Prejudiced Reaction?

After a long day of work, I was thrilled to get back into the subway to start my journey back home. Lucky me I found a seat, and I gladly took the chance to sit down, and read the days paper, glad that it was not another computer screen, that I was staring at.

In the middle section of the paper, there was this really interesting article about money management, more specifically loan management. Being in a reasonable amount of debt myself, I was engrossed in the article, desperately looking for a way to manage my credit cards.

From the corner of my eye, I saw a bright pink and white kurta, pass in front of me, and sit in the next seat. The Kurta was a stripped pink and white kind. It was I think made of either silk, or was a synthetic material, not sure didn’t really pay attention to it too much.

But since the kurta’s colors had caught my attention, I kept looking. Only to notice, that the person sitting next to me was wearing a long necklace. A trendy one too, with stones wrapped with metal and spaced apart.

Suddenly the sandal the person was wearing caught my eye. Flat sandals, with golden straps and Rhinestones. But the feet looked big, by girly standards, but very well maintained.

With those thoughts in my mind and the curiosity to know who was sitting besides me, I broke the unspoken rule of the New York city commute. I looked at the person beside me.

Normally I would look away, but then, this time, it was not so. I looked for a good 30 secs…and not deliberately, but blank, just couldn’t look away.

The person sitting next to me was a guy!...and he was reading one of the PRIDE publications….I guess that explains a lot…..

Now sitting here I wonder, even though I consider myself to be a very broad minded, liberal person, is there a chance that might not be true…I mean I was not disgusted, I was a wee bit shocked…So what made me keep looking….was it just the shock…or is there something more to it.

I would like to believe that it was just the surprise of seeing a man dressed like a woman, that made me stare…I mean reactions cannot be termed prejudiced right? Or can they? If so what does that make me?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Wishful Difference

I hear the birds singing,
But, my heart does not sing along ,
I see the sun shine ,
But the day has, already gone too long.

I dread the evening as it comes,
Because it brings nothing but cold ,
Sitting in this empty space,
I have none but myself to hold.

I wish, I could be there
where ever love resides,
And not have to fret about
Anything, you and me besides

Alas, peace is not meant to be
for Social Norms, a lot prevent
Only thing that remains now, love
I wish everything around was different!

Friday, May 25, 2007

A helping hand

Travel has it seems become a huge part of my daily routine. Sitting in the Bus and Subway and catching up on a snooze or listening to songs, oblivious to the hundreds of people around is now second nature. But then again , this is probably the story of every person in a major city! On my way back from office today, as I got into the subway, I noticed a man slumped in the seat, fast asleep, with his hand on his stomach. So as usual no one wanted to be seated near him. People it seems avoid anything that can become remotely uncomfortable. I wonder if the man was drunk, that's the first assumption isn't it? or maybe he was just really tired from a hard day of work...but hell no one dared to go near him....let him be...all by himself..till the very last stop...and even then...no one dared to go near and wake him up....I wonder if I am a coward like everyone else in some way or the other....or have I become that cold? With those thoughts running thru my mind, I boarded the bus for the next phase of my journey. A few stops later, a man boarded the bus, limping, using his hands to pull himself up, at the same time, trying to balance the shopping load. He had a huge knee brace on...so he stretched out...and people just kept bumping into him...unconcerned..cold! When his stop came, he got up and tried to step down the three steps to the ground....I never knew that taking three steps is perhaps the most daunting thing in a man's life. He struggled and struggled , unable to take a single step....but no one got up to help him...even I sat there...in waiting to see what he does. But I couldnt stand it anymore...couldnt face the voice within asking me to help this man....so I got up, and asked if I could help by holding his shopping bags, so he can use his arms to help himself down....at the same time the driver came to help ...not out of concern...but knowing he wold be in trouble if this man hurt himself. I got off the bus a few stops ahead...and I turned back to see....a few people looking at me from the passing bus window...thier eyes cold!..while I walked away feeling the warmth!

Here I go

At last I took the effort to sit myself down to create a Blog and pen a few words.

Not going to go on and on in my very first post....its useless, not that I think this blog is going to be useful to anyone but me!

So here I go, Om
Sai Ram....setting a religious tone already??? only time will tell how much that will hold up.