October 31, 2006

Saucy Seconds

For the second time in as many months my Arnab Sense failed me, and again I was the unknowing victim of an aerial assault. I only noticed the malodorous kernels once I had sat down and my hand had skimmed a gooey substance. I discovered a partially dry beige stain on my right pant leg. Previously, I had disregarded the stench as that of the sweaty locals, my own ArnabBO, or a potent combination thereof. It must be mentioned that ArnaBO (Body Odor) is most effective in neutralizing the raw attractive force generated by the ArnaBeard. Following the advice of my elders who had informed me that heavenly bombardment is a blessed event after the previous incident, I wore the same pants for the rest of the day.


Advice on ARNABride from a concerned citizen: "You have to find the girl who you can always want to take care of her because you so so like her."

October 11, 2006

I'm Not Your Mom

Female Korean flatmate (no longer beguiled by my masculine charms): Like you know, I’m not your mom who have to do everything for you.

Maid in Hyderabad

At my Hyderabad house, not to be confused with the restaurant Hyderabad House where I partake in some delightful biryani, we employed the services of an old and rather useless maid. Her daily routine consisted of clearing out all the empty cans, glasses, and bottles she could find in the flat and then getting a refund for it. Dishes were halfheartedly washed, the floor was swept once a month, and the bathroom was ignored altogether. With heavy hearts, my roommates and I decided to terminate her employment and acquire a new maid. After heated debate, we settled on a teenager/young adult who lived in our garage. Very enthusiastic at the prospect of regular employment, the new maid regularly made us tea, folded my clothes, made my bed, etc...

As was the case with the previous one, this maid also did not speak a word of English or Hindi, knowing only Telugu. Communication occurred primarily in the form of hand gestures and facial expressions (of which I have a limited repertoire), but was largely successful. When she appeared at the doorstep decked out in her finest traditional Indian clothing on the day of the Ganesh festival and kept asking if I wanted her to sweep the floor, it was easy to determine that she was asking for a day off. The occasional misunderstanding did occur though, such as when my flatmate from Dubai could not locate his CD collection. He queried the maid for the whereabouts of his media, but the maid confused his question for an accusation of theft. For the next few days she had a sad face containing evidence of heavy tearfall. The source of her misery was deduced through masterful interpretation of linguistic nuances, and the Telugu speaking landlord was asked to speak to her and clarify the situation.

September 10, 2006

Satyam: Cyberspace

After two and a half months, the powers that be at Satyam decided that I should undergo training in Hyderabad, before being shipped off to Bangalore. Thus I made my way to Satyam Cyberspace, an office located in Hitec City in the heart of Cyberabad! Here is a brief timeline of my first day at work:

10:00 am - Arrive at workplace.
10:15 am - My reporting manager (boss) gave me detailed instructions to locate the offices of my unit (Consulting and Enterprise Solutions). Following his advice I reached a door with a sign taped on it - "Use other door".
10:20 am - Reporting manager tells me to wait in front of the door. Contact person will come to meet me.
10:50 am - No one has come to meet me.
11:05 am - Stumble upon alternate entrance. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "He is out for lunch. Come back in a few hours".
1:30 pm - Return to office after a refreshing buffet meal at the cafeteria. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "He is out for lunch. Come back in a few hours".
4:00 pm - Return to office after a refreshing sleep in the sofa located in front of the women's washroom. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "I'll let him know you are here". I find an empty workstation and sit in front of it.
6:00 pm - Contact person arrives and informs me that the training session has been postponed for two weeks as an empty conference room in which to give the lessons was not available during this period. I will have to train myself until that time.
6:30 pm - Leave office.

For the following two weeks I spent my time going over documentation related to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and the particular software I would be working with (Agile PLM).

One fine Tuesday morning, I was strolling down the street looking for an auto rickshaw to take to work. Suddenly, an unidentified flying object deposited its droppings on my shoulder. Due to the harsh climate, my excrement detection and avoidance system was malfunctioning. Without adequate warning, I was unable to react to the incoming aerial bombardment. My shirt was left with a greenish stain resembling the gravy of the mint alu (potato) found in the Satyam cafeteria lunch buffet. I had to quickly return to my abode and change garments, before continuing on my journey. Apparently, this auspicious event is a sign of good luck in several cultures.

September 01, 2006

An Important Lesson

A French Canadian intern was confused as to why Indians used water rather than toilet paper to cleanse their cheeks and the chasm between. An intern of Punjabi descent recounted his father's explanation for this cultural phenomenon: "When someone drops some food on a table, wiping it with a paper towel is a quick fix. But to really clean the mess, washing it with water is a much more effective solution."