Monday, January 26, 2009

Bye, Bye, Hyderabad!

Once again, it’s time. Did 2008 really fly by or was it just me? It just seems like yesterday. Walking into this apartment with our luggage; going shopping for some household stuff; setting up the house; making friends. And now, it’s already time to move out; pack everything; and bid adieu. Hyderabad turned out to be one of our favorite cities in the world – apart from being the first (and only) Indian city that both M and I seem to agree about a long term future.

Reminding me of Grissom’s exit from the lab and the slow motion movement with which he notices the things around him, all the things that I took for granted all these days seem like the things I’ll miss the most. The walking around the lush green campus, the peacocks and the other wildlife, the shopping at the MORE store, the periodic visits to the city, the learning at the swimming pool, the lazy lunch at Goel’s, the late night library sessions, the punctual housekeeping staff, the numerous parties, Ten Downing Street, Satish’s backyard... Life gave us one more chance to great college fun and we absolutely loved it!!

A crooked twist of circumstances takes me back to my home town – Bangalore, where I shall continue to fight the traffic, the pollution and the damned infrastructure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The truth and only the truth

Well… I’ve been debating whether to write this or not. Then I finally picked up the courage to tell M about it.

I asked him to guess.

And he guessed it!

‘What shit!? How does he do that?’

He laughed.

‘So it’s a fake? Do they know it’s a fake?’

‘Of course it’s not a fake. What do you mean it’s a fake? I did slog for it. Well, a little bit…’

It all started that Wednesday morning; that tainted Wednesday morning. After going down a couple of wrong roads, I reached the building thirty minutes after the appointed hour. It was still early during the day; the market was doing ok so far. There were even talks of the market ending up higher by the end of the day given the positive signs from the global market and some FIIs returning; even the rupee was rising. My meeting went off rather well. It was just another meeting. And I was even wearing my lucky data collection dress – it ought to have gone rather well. I got the information I wanted, pocketed the business cards and said adios. Ten minutes later, M calls.

‘You’re not going to believe this! Ramalinga Raju has quit.’

Oh! How long is this Maytas trouble going to last? Get over now! I think to myself.

‘He admitted to fraud.’

‘Fraud? What Fraud?’

‘Inflated accounts, cash, profits… the works.’

‘Oh! This is big!’

I get back home with doubts in my mind about the relevance of the morning’s meeting after all this. What if I had decided to go tomorrow instead? I make a mental note to personally wash the dress, lest it gets spoilt by the maid’s regular beating. Then something else gnaws my head. Something about that guy – something. We talked later the next day – AN and I; just some general catching up.

‘It’s so funny. Do you know how many of our convocations and functions he’s attended? I guess next year they’ll have to bring someone else!’

Oh yeah! Of course!! That’s it! He was there and I was there. He gave me my certificate. Well not just me, he even gave the gold medallist in our batch her certificate. I even have a photograph. The photograph that parents typically, proudly display in their living rooms. The photograph that I’m supposed to show to my kids and grandkids. The photograph that later in my life is supposed to get me all nostalgic about ‘those’ days. Well, this changes all that – the photograph has Mr. Ramalinga Raju and me in my smart graduation robe receiving my MBA degree from him… Does it really change all that? I called UV, for a quick ‘did-you-know’ conversation.

‘It’s ok sweetheart! That doesn’t change anything. It’s just weird, that’s all.’

Ok ok… I’m convinced.

‘It’s not fake, ok?’ I tell M.

‘Oh, wait till I call your boss and you tell her that.’ He teases.

I’m not worried about my boss. But this does rule out something. I guess I’ll never be able to make it to Infosys and oh… nor will M. Tainted and all. Not that I wanted to, but it’s nice to know there’s an option.