Coincidentally, as I think of how to pen my thoughts, I remember that for some reason I had posted The Summer of 2008 last year around the same time. That time I was filled with mixed emotions of leaving a place so dear to me for four years but at the same time embarking on something I have always wanted to do.. which in a certain way was a step up in the ladder to success...
Fast Forward one year.. History repeats itself.. The Pico from IITM is still alive and kicking.. Somehow people here have caught the name, the name I am so dearly in love with. But it just does not end with the name. I had one glorious year at IIMB. Sometimes I was cynical about the place. Very much I should say in the first term.. but then I got in line with the people, with how it is outside your comfort zone.. And then I felt so much better handling it and using it to my advantage. If I look back, I have always been the player catching up.. Catching up in skills, talent and whatever many consider an art.. But for the first time, I feel the pinch.. To stay ahead.. And when today, I heard about some of my colleagues cracking it at BCG (hearty congratulations to them), I felt.. its time to stop running and take stock of whats in the plate. So, here I go with one of the longest I would have ever written.. So, pardon me for the boredom.
I arrived in Hong Kong with loads of expectations, the first time in a corporate environment, the first time in a bank and the first time outside my country. It was not difficult to settle in. I must say that for a first timer, I got out of the currency syndrome, of trying to convert everything into INR, rather quickly. Being with the favourite of all Bajaj did help.. :) Ask him about others, and you might get some strong words.. Yeah.. So back to me.. The trading floor overwhelmed me.. But the pressures of the declining industry and a bad economic slump were weighing on my shoulders. I did not know how to think. Whether this was an experience to learn or to just crack PPO. I can say the two paths might be different and the black box never reveals what is the path treading both. But at first I chose the road oft travelled. To crack it and lead a life of luxury. But somewhere down the line, I felt this is not what I would do. I have some luxuries not to be so desperate.. I can do as I want. With the time, with the floor, with the money. I am 22 yrs and barely broken out of the cocoon of the IITs and the IIMs.
The flow of random thoughts continued within my head for about 7 weeks in which I worked as I was told to, but more importantly spoke to people who matter and decide where I want to head after this. I enjoyed quite a bit of Hong Kong and only glitch was the black lining in the sky.. I lived on the 15th floor, worked on the 38th floor and travelled below the earth's surface. I seemed to have forgotten the where the ground was for a moment. The skylines beautiful and the city dazzling. Enjoyed my first salary to the core. And the icing on the cake was Macau, an artificial Venetian and the Vegas of the east.. A night of one of my other firsts gambling.. So there was much awaited experience of being abroad.. under the pressure to deliver..
But then came Anusmaran, which I think was the most eventful evening I have had here.. I played football in the rain, had good Indian food and met people whose experience was more than my age. But the best thing that could happen to me was the 2005 batch people. They were in a similar situation that I think my batch would be on the back of the bad 2004 season. But now, everyone is well settled in. And it would seem as if everything was rosy then. But the fact remains, one can reach any place he wants.. he just needs the desire to reach there. And when I heard today morning and seen my friends delighted, I was thinking, it is sure good to get a PPO and make your life simpler. But this is life and the only way to win it is to keep running.. However fast you are the tortoise will find its way slowly and steadily..
I am reminded of a dialogue from Om Shanti Om :
"itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai
ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai"
I am starting to believe in it..
Will come back with a much more jolly post sometime soon. :)