Sunday, August 23, 2009

Memories of Ramazan

From today, begins the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. To the Muslims all across the world, this is not only the month of self restraint, but this is the month when Muslims ask for forgiveness for the past sins and pray more often then regular, as the rewards are manifolded in this sacred month. So, as I have nothing to do since morning (no eating, no drinking and therefore no nature's call itself :-), so I thought of just sneaking into the past and relive some of the old memories, which are associated with this holy month.

I remember the very first time, I did fast was when I was 11-12 years old. My younger sister had already practised this in the previous year, so I was kind of feeling humiliated within myself . This year, I must do it. Also, there was the feeling that if I do fast, I am grown up, I am no longer a kid, I am also fasting like the elder do :-) Even though there was no compulsion from my parents, but it was a challenge for me within myself. So, it all started very good, the lunch time passed smoothly. It was all going fine until the afternoon. As my mother started preparation for the Iftar (the evening meal we take to break the fast), the smells of good sweet dishes were flowing all over the house & it was raising the bar of the difficulty level for me with each passing second. That is the first time, I remember when I realized how long each second, each minute can be. Anyway, finally the TIME came for Iftari and what a sense of achievement!! I still remember the feeling when I drank the first drop of water, it was as if the whole world surrounding me was cooled down, as if some one poured a big bucket of cold water over the universe. That day, I literally understood why water is called an another alternative of "life". So many Ramazan have passed by since then, but that very moment of drinking water after a day long fasting is very much live inside me!!

I remember I never liked going to my Mama bari (maternal uncle's house) during Ramazan. They had a big joint family of over 50 members and it was a Herculean task to prepare the Iftar for all the people who were fasting. So, we the kids only used to get the left over after all the fasting people were well served and I was not satisfied. Where did it mention that if we are not fasting, we should not get our share of Iftar ,too? And as a trick, the elders encouraged us to play outside till late evening, even though in other months, there was a strict rule as what time we should be back from business (playing)!!.

Once this holy month is over and the new moon is observed (which means tomorrow is the Eid-ul-fitr), I actually go through a mixed feeling. I feel happy that the month of restriction is over but on the other side, I feel sad that one more Ramazan has passed by. This month, the blessings from the Almighty becomes manifolded and the believers pray more and more to extract the most benefit out of it. So I feel sad whether I have utilised this month to the maximum, whether I have secured enough points to secure my place in the heaven, whether I will get to see the next Ramazan. But as the day goes by, a new day comes and we start celebrating the holy Eid, we prepare to live our normal lives for the next 11 months until the next Ramazan comes.

Finally I would like to end with a relatively funny story. Once I was returning from US & I was fasting. By the time, when I boarded the flight, there were still 2 hrs to go before I could break my fast. As soon as the flight took off, we were served evening snacks and I just kept them aside to wait for the Iftar timing. There was an American old lady sitting beside me. Now I realized that the lady had already started having her meal but after some time she stopped & asked me,

"Why are not you having your meal"?
"I am fasting because of our religious belief, and I can eat only after 6.30pm", I explained.
As soon as the lady heard this, she was like shaken, got bit scared, kept her meal aside and sat silently.
Being curious, I asked her,
"Why did you stop having your meal"?
The lady replied, "You are fasting, and if I eat in front of you, what if your GOD curses me"!!

I was totally taken aback, but quickly realized it would not be decent enough to laugh in front of her.I calmly explained her it was OK, if she eats in front of me. There was no problem either with me or with my GOD and the GOD will also not punish her. Being ascertained, she continued having her meals & I just smiled :-)

**************Added Later ******************************

How could I forget my memories of Hyderabad, where I had spent more than half a decade!! I doubt in India, there is any city better than Hyderabad to be during the month of Ramazan. Be it the famous Haleem or the Khurbani ka Meetha (I think I got the spelling correct) or the numerous Chicken/Mutton dishes available almost at every corner of the city during Ramazan. I wish I could just go there, spend this one month and again come back, I am really missing Hyderabad and its Haleem beyond words!!

Also, how could I forget my good old friend Motorola!! I should be severely punished for this!! Even though we used to pray our daily prayers together in the office, but the month of Ramazan was special. Everyone used to get something, which we would then share among ourselves during Iftar, the true spirit of brotherhood:-) These are all history now, gradually becoming faded memories...

Please do share your memories of

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The day I became a Motorolan

It was one of those busy college days (it was 14th Aug'2001) when the campus placement was in full swing. The result for ST Microelectronics' written test was just out and as I could not make it, I was just thinking of what next. One of my friend (it was Kusumita for whoever knows her)suddenly came running to inform me that Motorola would be coming to our campus day after tommorrow(16th Aug'2001) and she seemed to be very excited. But my reaction was expectedly indifferent as I used to consider Motorola to fall under that elite category, where I can't belong!!

Before that, I had failed in 6 consecutive interviews, had tried every possible combination to perfect my attire, with tie, without tie, full sleeve, half sleeve and all sort of technical preparation,too, but nothing seemed to be working. Today I took the approach of nothing more to loose,nothing worse could happen.So, on the morning of 16th August,2001, I went to the college hoping that it is better to be rejected as early as possible so that I can come back home and prepare for the next MNC coming. I was wearing a half sleeve shirt, a trouser which I had alredy worn before, unlike a new one taken from the almirah which I used to do for my previous interviews, there was no tie, I even did not shave on that morning!! And as if this was not enough, I appeared for the CS written test where I am from ETCE background and I had applied for ETCE tests in all my previous attemtps. The test was over and I was eagerly waiting to know who among my friends got through as I had no hope about myself.

After couple of hours or so, the results for the test was out. Kusumita came all smiling as she cracked it. I went towards the notice board and I must admit there was a little hope (without any reason)at the furthest corner in my heart.After all, miracles do happen!!

And miracle did happen. I found my name at the end of the list, I thought may be I was better in CS than in ETCE and was cursing myself for wasting my 4 years studying ETCE. Then I was just browsing towards the top of the list to find out who all made it and suddenly, to my utter shock(I will surely not call that a surprise) I discovered that I was being listed in the ETCE list, where as I appeared for CS test. All my smiles evaporated immidiately, as I was more than sure this was a mistake. I came out from there, sat alone under a tree and was going through numerous thouhts as what I should do now, should I tell them that they have done a mistake or should I just keep silent and let them find out.

After a lot of brain storming within myself, I convinced myself to let the truth prevail. I went to them, informed everything and expressed my opinion that there might be a mistake somewhere. Here came another surprise, a bigger one when they told me that it was not a mistake. Thanks to my hard work during my school and college days, because of the excellent academic record I have, they thought of giving me a second chance to see whether I can prove my potential to be a Motorolan. The rest is history. After several round of interviews ( one round extra for me as I had to start from scratch to prove myself in ETCE) the final results were out around 11pm and I had made it. What was impossible for me just 2 days back, is now a reality. If ever I had any doubt about the existance of GOD, it was gone for ever that day. I dont know and I will never know why almighty chose me, but according to the religious belief, I might have done some good work in the past and this is the prize I got.

From that day onwards till the very last day of my tenure in Motorola, whenever I was down, whenever the thought came to my mind of leaving Motorola, whenever something was not working for me in Motorola, I used to remind myself of 16th August,2001 and tell myself that may be, may be GOD chose Motorola for me and if it is not working for me, it is my fault and no one's else. That gave me motivation to go forward, to work harder and made me feel I belong to this place, I work with those elite group of people, which I had thought I could never belong to.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Love Aaj Kal - A food for thought

*** Just a word of assurance that this is NOT a movie review. I am not telling you about the movie storyline, rather sharing my thoughts only after watching the movie ***

Saw Love Aaj Kal today, simple, beautiful and very cute, a must watch for everyone, specially for today's generation. It is gloing to teach you a lot. The subject is so close to my heart, that I thought of just sharing my thoughts without leaking a single scene from the movie.

The movie not only reminds us once again what relationship is all about, but also tells us how much we try to fool ourselves, we have to face ourselves one day. And that day we go through unbearable pain, if all along we have tried to live our lives to the tune of others, if we have not listened to our heart, if we always tried to be smart and practical. The problem with today's generation is that we get everything, yes i mean "everything" so easily, that we never realize the real worth until and unless it is being snatched away from us. And then, who are lucky, get a second chance, but most of us, being not so fortunate, live the rest of live with the thought "I wish I could have...."

In today's world, where money comes before relationship, brain always overshadows heart, sex precedes love, we need movies like this which teaches us the fundamentals that basics are always basics. Values never change. The time changes and so does the context, but there is no replacement for honesty. However difficult we might feel at times to face the truth, but once we take the step forward with courage and conviction, the mental peace we get nothing can be compared of.

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