Goodbye Mu Sigma

Finally! That's the word. Just like all innumerable good bye mails, here's mine. I am writing a blog because most of the people mentioned here have moved to greener pastures. I have a sense of dilemma regarding these good bye mails. I mean do the writers intend to say "kaise kahein alvida mehram" or are they like "o manu mera to ho gya ab tera kya hoga".

When you talk to that person, the first question you ask is "where are you going?". And when they answer something like Google or Facebook. You go through all stages of break up in a minute. 
Denial- "yaar iska kaise ho gaya"
Regret- "mujhe bhi 6 mahine pehle apply karna chahiye tha"
Anger- "bhai mai ghar ja raha hun, kheto me hal chalaane"
Sadness-"mujhe lagta hai mere resume directly spam me ja rahe hain"
Moving on- "arre mera pyaara dost, bhai jaate hi referral daal diyo"

We all have been on the worse side of this. Doesn't look that bad in retrospect. Anyway, I must shed some light on my journey. It started way before I joined Mu Sigma and I think it will continue way beyond this day. Around 11pm, I guess 23rd Feb 2013, I got my offer letter, the moment was precious. Before joining, I came across Facebook group Mu Sigma Freshers 2013 created by Saket. I made quite a few awesome friends there including but not limited to Ayush, Subhojit, Akanksha, Shounak, Vishwanath, Srishti, Shradha. We would share tiny details from cafeteria, lakes, coffee vending machine and free hot chocolate. 

I landed in Bangalore on 30th August 2013. Bangalore welcomed with cold wind and ankle high water. I was supposed to join office on 5th September but I came early so that I could find a suitable accommodation in time. To which Yogendra says, "ek flat nahi dekhne gya, 5 din sterling me baith ke bus Facebook karta raha". This way I met awesome 29th August batch people, Shubhendu, Shubham, Ashwin, Ashish, Protik, Amrita, Ahana, Aparajith and many more. I personally feel I belong more to 29th August batch than I belong to my 5th September one. 

I landed in a MSU batch which had 3 Malyalam evangelists and 1 Hindi speaker, my poor self. I still remember getting a call from Deepak on Sunday that our mentor wants to kill us. And we worked like crazy to create the presentation. Thanks Vinaya and Sachin for entertainment at expense of Deepak. That truly kept my motivation level up.

Post that Swedish House Mafia was brilliant experience too. Defining problems which we ourselves had no idea about. Talking to Ravish and Aditi in Hindi was an enlightening experience. Still remember Gaurav 'Kalam' Arora written on my desk because I always ended up saying "kalam hai?" when asking for a pen. Had a lot of fun with SHM team the boss, Rohan, Arshdeep, Kavya, Pratik, Ashish, Pavneet, Anoop, Hardeep and our oil well owner Abdul. 

Would also like to mention my first trek to Skandagiri with Pushkar, Ashwini and Akanksha. PFB some pictures. I fell in love with hills like fell literally. After my accident, although Mu Sigma management responded as ridiculously as it could, my colleagues truly kept my spirit high. Surbhi, Guneet, Karishma, Priyank and Amrita visited me almost daily when I was hospitalized. I and my family still can't thank you enough for your support, love and care. Goutham and ADG ensured that I handled a lot of office fuss for me. Truly indebted.

Flew back to Delhi, came back to Bangalore after a couple of months. Shifted to PSN. I belong more to 6016 than my own flat. Saini, look I wrote your name first. Bhai dunia ka akela banda hoga tu jo pyaar pyaar me R seekh gya. Bipin, bhai dilli chalo. Mojo, bhai elaichi wala paneer is the best I ever had. Kurju, launde sher hote hain. Gautam, antakshri champ hai launda. Akshit, hum bhi Gurgaon aa rahe hain bhai. Bansal, tanfeeth ka bataaya nahi yaar tune. Dera(Devansh), mera naam daal lio reimbursement me. 

I must put of record our super talented, enthusiastic and energetic Nautanki group. As Shashwat once said "hum jahan khade hote hain line wahin se shuru hoti hai". You have to be a veteran to remember the response to it. It was a great experience working with co-actors like Anubhav, Surag, Meeshu, Newbie, Khanjan, Shashi, Hitin, Chinmay, Nupoora, Amrita, Pavan, Harsharaj, Pranjal, Sushmita, Divya and Asad. Our expose performance mimicing key guys was legendary. Trust me the video will never be released.

I learned a lot during my transportation project. Varun thanks for accompanying me in office on my birthday till 6am. I know how much you appreciated me inside for that. Hope to see you in the US university jisme wo apki lambiwali gayi hai. Rohit sir, I learned a lot of management skills from you. I hope I can leverage them someday. Rajashekar, can't thank you enough for fixing my SAS and ccliisa issues. Bennett, you would remember me for long. Wait, "that's what she said". Apoorva, keep smiling like you always do, while I wonder how could you come back. How! Vichoo, if lives could be saved by Tableau, the ALs would declare you God. Aashish, we will meet in Delhi and crib and cuss together over coffee. Niyanta, would always be a big fan of your hairdo. Shreeya, wish you become next Indian idol. Chirag, all the best for CEO position. Shruti, thanks, KT really helped. It ruined my life perfectly. Manali, may the green tea business prosper with dedicated customers like you. Annesha, sunflower smile and sunflower color suit you. Vaishnavi, I know you can't hate me enough. Arun, I need to learn how to brainwash people. Piyush and Deepti, welcome to the account, hope you enjoy your stay here.

Asad, hope your wings don't get cut like your hair. Tanjul, hope you are having a great time at home. Ruchika, one day I wish you earn more by your paintings than your paycheck. Surbhi, become the best analyst of the universe and stay as good at heart as you always are! Dhadheech, all the best for your future(aur kuch samajh nahi aa raha). Guneet, now I know amusing things people say and do when drunk. Will miss our enlightening discussions while roaming with you, Akanksha, Hemant, Init, Karishma and Chourasiaji. Guneet(male), I always see you as a powerhouse and one of the very few who give a solid handshake. Shrutika, do become the best TT player of the planet. Nibedita, you exemplify sweetness of rossogulla. 

Finally since I will be leaving Bangalore, I would miss my poetry open mic group a lot. Anshul and Priya the contenders for next chairperson, Sanjay-the deputy, Paridhi-ministry of home(read PSN), Sudhanshu- law ministry, Prakhar, Gurdeep, hope you all keep it up. I keep getting messages asking for meetups, so let's keep what we built over time. Akshada, sorry I missed my piano lessons.

Pouring more nostalgia, I suddenly came across a poem about first job,  I wrote in March 2013. I will miss you for sure. 

Just a spark | Sweet lie or a bitter truth, Poem

Most of us evaluate the book by its cover. We have this disability or should I call it lethargy that we do not read a person page by page, and wonder what might be on the torn ones. Rather we take a short cut, we see the content that is presented to us and not the intent which carries actual value. This is how we buy products, choose dates and hire resources for companies. Presentation! No one truly cares what is inside. And certainly no one is going to take the pain to uncover you layer by layer. So even if you are rotten inside, if your outside is ripe and shiny you will end up in that basket. Yes you will be paid for. I might be perplexing you. The poem might seem highly unrelated to what I just said. So, just enjoy what follows independently.

The love of my little life
Asks me with a smile
Do you love me or not
With all your pretty heart

I'm thinking, I'm calculating
And she doesn't like waiting
Annoyed she walks away
I don't know what to say

Only 10% is the working lot
I love her with all that I have got
The night is long and dark
I am just a spark

The night is long and dark
I am just a spark

You know what. You might be paid for. You might end up in that basket but in order to be consumed, in order to meet your life goal, in order to be accepted you will have to opened up, cut through and torn apart. You will have to be uncovered. You will have to be vulnerable. This realization will happen for sure. When? You decide. It is like a car going downhill. If you do not guide it yourself, you might end up reaching the bottom lot quicker than you might like.

You become vulnerable and you open yourself to be read. But you know what, people are so lazy these days they don't even read open books. So it eventually boils down to it. You either tell them what is right for them or what they wish to hear. Usually, these two do not coincide. The funny thing is people would hate you for telling them what is right for them. So be very sure of what you want, peace of mind or just this pleasant moment. Once you decide it your subconscious backs it big time. Your decisions would become reflexes and you won't need to think ever.

Worth dying? | Poem written atop Kunti Betta

The thin line between life and death
Admires you as you gasp for breath

It asks ever so innocently
What do you desire so ardently?

That you annihilate your last slice of fear,
In this hysteria of uncertainty, your only savior

Skin looks too easy to scrape
Warm blood won’t be too bad to taste

Those fragile bones I might spare
If you tell me what brings you here

The stars over my head
The stars under my feet

Unsure if worth dying for
Sure not worth living without

I don't remember the exact time. It might have been 1 in the night at the base of the hill named Kunti Betta in Pandavapura. It was after 10 months that my palms felt the texture of a rock. It was different this time, very different. Last time I was climbing like a monkey. The feet were solid. The grip was firm. Breathing was smooth. All had changed. Every time my foot landed a little harder on a rock, I could feel a tremor through the leg. Hands had been reduced to a set of fingers. I could barely grip anything. I breathed heavier in first 20 steps than I did in entire ascend the instance before.

A person who would lead was one being looked after. It seemed I was having my glimpse of old age. A stone would slip here and there, and the tremor would travel deeper than just the leg. I saw downhill a couple of times and could visualize how easy and plausible it was to slip and just keep slipping and skidding. It didn't instill fear. It simply created a 3-D visual complete with audio effects in my head. Good imagination hurts. I kept going, sometimes against my will, sometimes with it. Body learns from defeat, heart doesn't. 

We reached the top. Everybody just lied down.  The last memory I had of lying on a rock was resting my broken spine on one like a cushion, waiting. I myself felt I was over thinking. That moment had gone but my mind was just correlating everything. I just admired the stars over my head and the lights underneath. The nerves calmed down. I breathed in the cold breeze and closed my eyes for a while. I felt peace, which I don't feel on a 6 inch thick mattress. 

Almost everybody had slept. It was at least 2 hours to sunrise. I pulled out notepad, pen and torch out of my bag. At an elevation of 2882m, I began to write. The only instance about which I can say I wrote a poem when high, like truly high. I tried to answer the question, which I knew would be asked again if I reach the ground. I got up and sat near the bonfire. On top of a hill, in the light of bonfire, this poem was written with a half keloided hand, which makes it pretty badass. 

Kunti Betta picture from the base
Kunti Betta, Pandavapura (130 km from Bangalore)

Putting this picture, just to tell that I reached ground on my own two feet. It was fun.

Thanks Abhay, Kurju, Mojo, Akshit for the laughter, support and uncle chips, in short for being brilliant comrades. Thanks Saumya and Nivedita, for making the tempo traveler time melodious, and sorry for stone age songs.

I would like to conclude it with enlightening words of Shri Shri Saurabh Kurjekar,
"Launde, (pause) sher hote hain"

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