“Mujhe Infinity tak le chalo”(take me to Infinity), I said to the Rikshawpuller as I got down the bus at DLF in Gurgaon. It was 7th of Sept 2006, my first day at GESBI on the 12th floor of Infinity Tower C at DLF Cyber City in Gurgaon. After that day, I have travelled about 45 Kms one way everyday for some 80 days, from Noida in UP through Delhi to Gurgaon in Haryana. Thus I’ve literally travelled to infinity, and now when I’ve come back from Infinity, I sit back in retrospection, trying to figure out if it’s the beginning or the end of a journey to infinity.
My journey to Infinity started with a major change in my life. I had to start my day quite early in order to catch the GE bus ( a typically red ‘CITY LIFE’ bus numbered 6438, popularly known as ‘Lalpari’ (fairy in red)) and hence I started getting up as early as 5:30 AM, first time ever in the past five years. Fortunately for me, the bus had a trend of tuning to some FM station. In fact, my decision to commute from Noida and not to shift to Gurgaon was highly influenced by this. I really loved listening to great Hindi music in the cool mornings, while observing the beginning of morning life in the city. Having understood the fact that life is embellished by the happiness gathered in bits and pieces, I made every efforts to garner as much as I could. And today, I have reasons galore to be happy.
The day at Infinity started with a rush in the lift every morning. And the next step would be to be questioned by the security at the entrance “sir aap ki access card” (Sir, your access card please!).Initially I didn’t bother about having an access card. Later, I requested for one but never got issued. Consequently, n number of times have I written my name down at the entrance, and answered uncountable times ” mere paas nahi hai” ( i don’t have one).
I would be incomplete at Infinity, had there not been Sameer Boxi. After my two months’ interaction with him, I found that a character only imagined by great authors in the best of their works, even existed. It might be my sole interpretation, and highly biased because of the visible and invisible affinity I grew towards him through time, but I found in him a similar character personified. I have millions to learn from him, beyond just the SELECT statements, or which table existed in which database, or what the username and password to a certain server is. I understand that life is not just Poblog Tickets. The big truth is, one must try to get what he likes or else he has to like what he gets. We don’t always get what we want. But one must learn to live with what he has, and with happiness, patiently waiting for the D-Day to come when judgement is done in one’s favor. A belief that the day comes keeps us going. Sameer has been a great Guru of my corporate life. I’ve learnt how to laugh at all the troubles I have, and realized that they vanish the next moment.
Day began as I logged into the Poblog-a problem tracking tool. After that, its all tickets, and tickets and more tickets. At the end of the day, you are just a SELECT somebody FROM yourself WHERE everything is NULL.
And then there would be a missed call from Ruchi or Mukul or Eddie, or some or all of them. And it would require a few more missed calls before I managed to lock my PC and go for the breakfast (as if a busy person, but still playing with some basic data queries). A cup of lemon tea and a veg-sandwich in the cafe of the 11th floor marked the beginning of yet another weekday. Few minutes of fun, few SMS jokes, few Shayaris, few songs, few stories on NIT engineering life and that’s it. The rest of the day is all about confronting the monitor and banging on the keyboard.
Few more missed calls at the time of the lunch, few minutes of standing in the queue, the 25 Rupee coupon, Rice, a Dal, a Subzi and two Chapatis!!! Oh, what a routine, what a corporate life we’ve opted for. May be life is as scheduled elsewhere as well. May be its me who is supposed to add variation to the routine I follow. May be, well not just may be but in fact, its me who decides how I want my life to go on. I obviously can’t change the world, but I can always change myself, or at least the way I look at it.But, beyond the philosophy, at the core of reality, life is still a routine. A cup of milk-tea in the evening (except for the days when tickets keep you tied on your seat), and twelve floors down on foot (as if lifts were ‘one way’), and finally a sigh of relief ” Aaj to nikal gaya” (Thanks!! a day is over!!). Five such days and a longer sigh “Thank God Its Friday!”.
We have been dragging our lives each day, all our life, at the time when we should have been flying by our wings!!
And suddenly I realize that there is no more Ruchi in life. There’s no Mukul, no Eddie nor Ranjan. Its said, “to meet and to part is the way of life, to part and to meet is the hope of life”. But how unfortunate it is that people finally turn into emails, scraps and messages. They don’t exist anymore. And they are missed forever. There’s no more discussion on sketches with Ruchi, no more exhibiting each other’s sketch books. No more close company. No more outings…!!
There are no more lectures on Patriotism, Lucknow or Lajpat Nagar. Now that there’s no Mukul, there’s no more asking about Urdu or Hindi jargon.
No more complaints on projects or systems. Eddie, who could never learn Hindi in all these years, will not be there anymore to complain about ‘everybody speaking Hindi’. No more struts, no tech-discussions, no going down during lunch break, no waiting for Mukul till he brings his stuff from the room for his weekend trip to Lajpat Nagar or Gaziabad.
And the person who turned up late, with an entry as that of a Hindi Film when everybody says “Aap ki hi kami thi” ( you were the one missing). Now no more Cancerians, Saggitarians, Librans or Pieceans, no more 12th Jan, 8th Nov or 27th March. Stars couldn’t help, the planets couldn’t manage, the people are no more people, they are just electrons flowing in the wires, waves propagating in the free space. No more discussions over Shef Ali Khan or Tom Hanks, no Bob Dylon, no Mirza Galib.
No more ‘you must complete it today, i don’t know how’ form Srikanth, no more tickets from Richa Arora, no more request from Malarvani that the data is required in priority. Now I understand the perishable nature of life. Everything just vanishes. Life is like that magician who creates rabbit out of an empty hat and hides it into nowhere.. There was no rabbit and there is no rabbit. The moment we shared together, had a good time, was the time when the magician created the rabbit.Life is just an illusion of snake in a rope.
I tried my best to give my 100%, but as an Electronics Engineer, I never could. I have always dreamt of working in chip designing and becoming a research scientist. Contradictorily, I came to work everyday with pending tickets welcoming me. Someday, I finally decided to change the content of my life just like the ‘beeper process’ page, which when refreshed always has something new to attend to. I just decided to quit, in order to start off yet another journey. I understand that journeys aren’t always fun. I can foresee the obstacles. But I choose to face them. What is life, without challenges???
Life would still go on, with or without Ruchi, Mukul, Eddie or Ranjan. Had I never seen Sameer, life would have still been running. But the fact that I had their company for a period of time has changed the person I am, for the rest of my life. At some point of time, I sit back to think and find that these people are missed so much. Oh goodness, the beauty of life!!!!
On my last day at Infinity, Mukul kept on repeating “yeh tera aakhiri din hai”(this is your last day), or “yeh tera aakhiri chai hai” (this is your last cup of tea). Ironically, there’s nothing like ” Aakhiri” (end) in life. I believe life is either the beginning of something new or the continuation of something old. Its not the end but the beginning of yet another journey to infinity.
I know there is no end to infinity.
PS. I mentioned singing for 100 times (literally) and nobody (Ruchi, Mukul) bothered. Grrrrrrr….!!!