Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Random thoughts of nervous soul

... today is my last working day at my firm and I don't like changes
... I have no idea how I am going to fare from tomorrow in a totally new place with lots of new people and new kinda work. What if no body talks to me :( :( *sniff sniff*

I have a colleague of mine who is now a neighbor and I sometimes do catch him crossing the courtyard to work. From Wednesday if I see him, I am surely going to think about my last place. From my living room window, I can see the bus that used to ferry me to and from my office. Whenever I catch a glimpse of it, I am going to have mixed emotions.

I know in the bigger picture of things all this is going to melt away. Soon I will get on with my new work place, maybe get someone to talk to :) 

I was asked to join immediately post completion of my current role. Which means the big 'break' I was fantasizing about is never going to happen. I anyways have taken a couple of days off to get some shopping done, sort out my wardrobe, get the fridge packed with all grocery to last a week since I won't have the luxury of being able to shop after work. Why you ask. Oh I forgot to mention I will be working full time going forward. Which give the additional jitters. I have been used to working 5 hours everyday for the past 16 months. 5 hours makes the morning and 2 hours of the afternoon. Which gave me time to sort out chores at home and take care of the little birdie. I have no idea how a full working day is going to feel like. It is going to be 7 hours everyday which  is a mere addition of 2 hours, but then, I have no idea whether they will feel like 2 never ending hours, or nothing at all. Only time will tell.

The kid also has to stay extra.I have been acclimatising her to this imminent change by keeping her a bit longer every day. But  some days I make the surprise visit and pick her up sooner too. If nothing else, it is the 'option' that I felt I had of picking her anytime I wanted after 1430 depending on what I intended to get done. Now that option is going away. I hope that she adjusts fine and likes her slightly longish stays.

I hope all goes well and settles in a jiffy. It will take quite  a bit of time am sure, it is going to be a run for sanity as we scramble through home and work. It will definitely be interesting

Friday, April 25, 2014

What has been up

In fact a lot. Things have been moving at a slow and steady pace but there have been so many things, that I feel like a silt bearing river. Ready to dump everything :)

My work place moved to a different location. I had spent close to 2 years in the building (as had lots of colleagues). It was a very central location with shopping places and restaurants close by. It was a quaint little building too, with nothing funky or state of the art. But I liked the place a lot. Most importantly, it was walking distance from our home which gave me the daily dose of cardio on the way to and from work. Well... now with the move, I ended up taking a bus. Gone were the days of inhaling fresh air while listening to music at deafening volume and having the most relaxing 'me' time at the beginning of the day. I had to take a bus and seeing a lot of strange faces on my way to work. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people. People don't work too well for me. Again I think that last sentence did not come across correctly. How to put it better .... I am a bit unsocial. Not in a very extreme way. I prefer being alone, I prefer no one talking to me... just like I prefer writing to talking about my thoughts. I am not sure if any of this is projecting me in the correct light *worries*.

Getting back to my original rouse, I have to deal with the bus driver, maneuver through the different charts and fare rates and specify mine (mind you all this in my Indian accent which gets a bit troublesome to the man behind the plexi glass). I have to get a seat and adjust with another person for the duration of the ride. (Yea maybe the other person also has to adjust with me :P) What do I mean by adjust you ask? Well.. just the human proximity at the minimum and body odour at the maximum :P 

Not to forget bus constitutes a dependency on an external entity. As a seasoned software professional dependency is something we are advised to avoid like a plague. And this dependency is a heavy one which makes us a tightly coupled system. Again a no no for a programming person. 

Now to take care of some of this, we decided to move closer to the bus station. An added advantage was the kid's day care was close to the coach station. So drop the kid, board the bus and we are all singing and dancing :) Moving houses is much more painful than the above mentioned lines.  It involved surfing for homes. Luckily I was recommended an apartment by a colleague. It was the first and only apartment we visited and we gladly liked it. We had kept the day care and the bus station as our light houses, and since the apartment was a stone's throw away from them, our decision was easy. K would have to forgo the luxury of just crossing a street to get to his work. In fact it was going to be 20 mins walk for him. How the tables were getting turned. The 'walker' sits in the bus and the 'non-walker' gets it.(So much now he is loving  it! Even though there is a shuttle drop,he prefers to walk!!!)   Finalising the house was just the tip of the ice berg. There was the whole lot of sorting, packing, booking a mover, moving, unpacking, arranging. Finally trying to settle in. The old house had seen the milestone of having our first child and all the preparation around it. She had spent her 2 gorgeous years there. We moved on to a new home to create new memories and experiences. 

As all of this was happening or about to happen, I was getting a bit bored at work. I was feeling un-challenged and felt my potential being under mined. That is when I started to look outside. I managed to secure a new offer. Well secure a new conditional offer subject to a whole lot of verification. The whole journey was a nightmare - we were changing homes, our work permits were up for renewal, I had a 12 week notice to serve, which I was 'persuaded' to kick start as soon as possible to make my joining in the new firm quicker. One box ticked, another was a question mark, one seemed close to a check while yet another seemed not OK. It was a veritable see-saw. I had the phenomenal support of K and the recruitment consultant with whom I was dealing. Without getting into too much details, the gravity of the situation could be summarized as being close to 'me ending up jobless'. Those were anxious days. Finally there was a glimmer of light at the end  of the tunnel. Things started falling into place with me being merely 2 weeks away from finishing my term in current office. Today was my last working day at the first company in the UK that hired me! It seems like the end of a monumental chapter. I was so new to the whole set up, I started at a very small firm at a role way below my qualification and experience. The company grew by leaps and bounds and is now a mid-size firm and in fact one of the top 3 companies of its domain in Europe and the biggest in the UK. I grew in roles and responsibilities and even secured a promotion! I was supported through my maternity leave and after with change of my working hours to part time. I had a chance to work with some great technical brains and awesome people from whom I learned a lot. I would have loved to continue but its better that some things are brought to an end before the bad parts start. So brimming with nostalgia today I bid adieu to the big flashy building that houses the growing firm.

In the midst of all this flux and  a couple of other happenings at both home, things were a bit too aberrant. I hope for some sort of consistency to return :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Thankfully I have finished the book and have some content for my post. Not that I did not have anything to write about . There were too many balls in the air and juggling them was getting a bit tough. I had so many thoughts to pen down but then laziness and lack of clarity held me back. 

Anyways now with the book review I intend to get my momentum  back. 

The book as the title suggests is about the journey of Harold . The synopsis states' When Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter, with his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea rage he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone . All he knows is he must keep walking . To save someone else's life '. 

In a nutshell it was just the kind of book I love. Of surmounting all odds and achieving.  It is the tale of the journey of an old man who has not got much to show as remarkable. It is the tale of the journey of someone who has never evoked any confidence from anyone else either. This would be his only chance to attain something . 

As he walks he gathers discouragement and doubt . But as the miles keep piling behind him, it changed to attention and even a fan following as one walks. The flashes of Harold 'a life are projected in a very interesting way. They do not have anything ground breaking but they are the stuff ordinary lives are made up of. The characters of Harold 's wife Maureen , his neighbour Rex , his don David are very well inter twined. We also catch glimpses of the personality of Queenie- the collegue Harold sets out to meet. Once he starts gathering interest is the point in the book where I started loosing interest . I wish the author had contained the characters. It could have continued in its non descript pace. Many a times less means more and the writer should have remembered that. 

The other thing that slightly annoyed me was the reference to walking as 'putting one  step in front of the other' It sounded nice once, maybe twice but after the third time seemed repetitive and unimaginative. 

The book is not remarkable but the idea is. It is not an amazing work but worth a read. The climax is very poignant. It is worth a read for sure if you happen to bump into it, but would not ask you to go searching for it :). 

As usual some quotable quotes :-

It's the job that's never started that tales longest to finish .

It surprised Harold how fast and angry cars seemed when you are not in one .

Life was very different when you walked through it.

'You'd think walking should be the simplest thing.' she said at last. 'Just a question of putting one foot in front of the other. But it never ceases to amaze me how difficult the things that are supposed to be instinctive really are. ' She wet her lower lip with her tongue waiting for more words. 'Eating.' she said at last. 'That's another one. Some people have real difficulties with that. Talking too. Even loving. They can all be difficult. She watched her garden, not Harold. 'Sleeping', he said. 

He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was also his journey to accept the strangeness of others. As a passer-by, he was in a place where everything not only the land was open. People would feel free to talk, and he was free to listen. 

In walking, he unleashes the past that he had spent twenty years seeking to avoid, and now it chattered and played through his head with a wild energy that was its own. he no longer saw distance in terms of miles. He measured it with his remembering.

He fell silent, and so did Martina. He felt safe with what he had confided. It had been the same with Queenie. You could say things in the car and know she had tucked them somewhere safe among her thoughts, and that she would not judge him for them, or hold it against him in years to come. he supposed that was what friendship was, and regretted all the years he had spent without it.

Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before. He had faced his shortcomings and overcome them, and so the real business of walking was happening only now.

He had been alone for so long he found it tiring to be constantly in the company of others. Their questions and their enthusiasm both moved and slowed him.

If we cant be open, Maureen thought, if we cant accept what we dont know, there really is no hope.