‘Today, we have two new “resources” who’ll be joining us from here on’. It was with these words that I was led into my team by my manager on day one. I still remember those lines to this very day. Why? It felt rather very awkward, that’s why. It’s more appropriate to refer to an individual; a being that’s merely human by his name rather than refer to him as a mere blender! It struck a wrong note somewhere and, something definitely didn’t sound right. It even had me wondering whether if it was some unsaid and undefined protocol that was upheld all throughout. This was my first project; all excited and at the same time, jittery and downright nervous. I saw curious fresh new faces everywhere; in that small conference room, right in the middle of nowhere in the Deccan city of Hyderabad. When I say ‘in the middle of nowhere’, believe me, it really does mean nowhere. Faces that were curious; sizing me up from head to toe. Some had smiles on their faces with a pinch of sarcasm in it (new guy in town, boy! you have a long way to go), a few who weren’t the slightest bothered (the kind I prefer the most) and a couple of others who were genuinely excited; fresh blood I guessed, maybe from last week’s intake; all smiles and jumpy.
It was with this welcome note that I had started off work in the corporate poop chain. The ‘Great Ugly Indian Software Dream’ as I call it these days. If someone came up to me and asked me to describe myself in a line or two, this would be my best answer: ‘A job level 3 Systems Engineer who prefers not to work on weekends‘. It’s as simple as that. I’m that one in a million young lads in this country who got lured into this ‘promising’ rat race. The money smells good. I’ll never say no to that (when has it not?). Satisfied? Obviously No. I’m but only flesh and blood! But like many others, I sin myself everyday, waking up and going about the same mundane tasks day after day, year on year. Well, if the non Indian reader wonders out loud as to why we keep at it; well, it’s because this generation of mine is cornered to use such opportunities as mere lifebuoys. We make use of these to survive not our marriages, but those of our kin, our close aides, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and so on. For you see, the moment you’re 22 in this country (I speak from a male perspective), and if you happen to be unemployed, attending your best friend’s/sister’s/brother’s wedding or any other occasion for that mater, will be your exclusive access to hell or a dimension that’s closely parallel to it. I’m sure anyone who’s gone through it, agrees best. You’ll find yourself alienated among-st the mob of people who jeers you at the back of his/her head. You find people embraced in unison, laughing, making merry, but, somehow you feel the jokes on you. You try to converse, but conversations don’t last. People don’t seem interested in you anymore. In short, you smell money everywhere, and for once you despise it. Society is by and large a devilish reincarnation of the devil himself. Period.
And, that my friend is why, those like me sin myself everyday; and, not because we embrace it. Because, for you see, as long as I have this lifebuoy on, my next door neighbor won’t shoot me point blank for stealing a wink at his daughter, to name another, I’ll always be treated with respect and courtesy the moment I step into a bank. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you the reader happens to be a Job Level 1 Gardner preparing a bed of roses or a Job Level 1000 President of some Third World Nation planning to nuke someone; the idea is to keep marching forward. To keep searching for what truly excites you, to what you desire the most and to persevere until the day you reach the blessed shores of what you had been yearning for and on that day you’ll finally get to shed off this lifebuoy of yours for all of eternity.
– Just another blender.