Friday, 31 May 2013 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

New Guy In The Office by ISHITA BHOWN (Guest Post) !!!

MEMBER's BLOG POST -->>


       Miss Ishita Bhown is one of the youngest authoresses today. Her first book- "To Get Her" is already one of the favorite novels of youth. I have been her friend since her book released. I generally don't talk to authors but her humbleness is something that is to be complimented. She has promised to write on our Blog space every month on 13th. Though this time I am late in publishing her Blog as I got confused between 13 and 31. :-) Ok Sorry. But her post next month will be on time. Now let's read her piece.


NEW GUY IN THE OFFICE ….

New city, new project, new office- my life was suddenly set to witness some major changes. This is what corporate job does to a man- makes him ready to adapt to changes in return for a few extra bucks and some more years added on to the resume.
During the time of recession, and being struck with cliche technologies, in IT world,its a 0-1 situation, either you lose your job, or you lose your dear city. I had to opt for the later. After a lot of pursuation, my manager had agreed to cut short my stay and re assign me a new project in Chennai within 2 months again..yet 1 month away from home was not a very welcoming idea for me.
With a heavy heart,bag full of wonderful memories about the city i had always lived in, and tears in my eyes, I stuffed all my other belongings into two suitcases,ready to accept the challenges that life had to offer.After a comfortable flight of 2 hours, i landed at the Pune airport, apprehensive about the new city, about acceptance of a Tamil guy among the marathi manoos, about my ability to mix up with the people and make some friends.
I didnot know hindi or marathi- so English or Tamil were my only ways to communicate with the busy people in the city. I signalled an auto driver and tried my luck with English, least expecting him to understand. But , the city offered its first surprise to me- The pot bellied driver, with a  white kurta and a ‘gandhi topi’ on head nodded and signalled me to sit. I was pleasantly surprised when without a word, he put the meter on running. i was saved the trouble of negotiating for the fare.:-)
The office was to pay for my accommodation for first 20 days, and so i settled in the luxurious hotel that had a corporate tieup with my office.
The next day, i got up with the excitement of a kid going to school for the first time. After the sumptuous breakfast of ‘meesal pao’ , a dish i had never tasted earlier,and a quick call at my home, I finally reached the office at around 11am. Soon i was introduced to my new team mates- just 3 of us. I was told that other members worked from Sweden. I was a bit disappointed by this discovery. My previous team size was close to 20 and so we all operated from a separate room. This gave us a great chance to know each other and office was a fun because of that interaction we had between work.
But, on the very first day, I figured that Ganesh and Vitthal, my teammates were both marathis and preferred to talk minimal. Most of their conversations were in their own language, which made me a little upset. I was lonely.
There was no one to talk, or nothing to refresh my mood. During the occasional tea breaks, Ganesh and Vitthal preferred to keep quiet, or at times ask about my previous project. They had 7 years of work experience and treated me like a kid, with my 2 years into the corporate world, i was actually a kid! A kid, who was sad  at the uninteresting office environment.
The same continued for around a week. By now, i was quite used to the work life. The work pressure had taken its toll, and or rather i had engrossed myself completely into the new office and its dull life.
The code freeze was scheduled for the next day, and there were still some debugging to be done, so i had to stay a little longer, while Ganesh and Vitthal, bailed out stating some family obligations as an excuse. I was a bachelor, and my room too had no fun to offer, so i was still working.It was around 9 at the office and the workplace was almost empty now.
Suddenly a voice caught my attention.
“Ohh noo….i think i did that mistake Rohit, can you please check if the SAP files are properly installed!Or else i will be doomed.” The innocence in the sound made me smile. It was rightly said that females have the sweetest of voice.
“Rohit! Rohit! Please check na!! ” the girl was restless. I smiled at her.
After a few minutes, a guy replied.” Offcourse madam! Its properly installed.Afterall,you doing mistakes is as unlikely as Siva working overtime”
And both of them laughed.
The careless laughter, which made the hectic  and silent office very lively and cheerful.Although I could not understand much of their joke, but still a smile popped up on my face.
The next day, the code had gone for freeze and so i was comparatively free. The sites like facebook etc are blocked in my office, so I had no other way to pass my time. I was surfing wikipedia to find out the places to visit in pune and its vicinity, when the same voice caught my attention again.
“Hi guys! Very good morning! I am so sorry for being late..there was so much of traffic on the bhel chowk, and then my mother called up, she kept on chitchatting and i just could not put the phone down.Did Siva call for me?” she asked her teammates, all at once.
“Bhel chowk! The name sounded interesting..i had often heard my North Indian colleagues discuss about a dish called Bhel . I had never tasted it. I immediately googled Bhel Chowk, to see what was the place about. Was it some eating joint? I smiled at my own foolishness when i discovered that Bhel chowk was some area in Pune. I further read about more strange names of the places in Pune.
Throughout the day, i kept reading more about Pune., and in between i could hear her occasional conversations with her teammates. Apparently her team had 3 other girls, and Rohit was a guy whom she often asked for help.The other girl had some complicated name and was the most sincere in team- she spoke very less, just like my own teammates.But unlike my team,their team talked in english most of the times, and the ascent of Lavaya made me assume that she was from Tamil.:-)
I assumed that she was a reason for their team to talk in English. I was happy, because unlike me, Lavaya was lucky in that regard..she had good company in an alien city.The sweet voice often dragged her in the talks and was more like the communication center in their team.
I faced my desktop, smiling at her innocence. I even tried to locate her, but the high walls of the cubicles blocked my view from the team that sat on the opposite side.
From the next day onwards, her voice was a part of my day. I still didnot know her name, or her desk number..all i recognised was a sweet and innocent voice- that often got late and offered unasked explanations..that kept on doubting her own work and asking Rohit or Lavaya or another complicated girl’s name for confirming is she was doing alright..the girl who would suddenly sigh loudly and say “bahut pakk raha hai yar” and would start humming some songs.
I smiled whenever she brought upon the topics for discussions..most of the time about the movies….I smiled at her reviews, which she gave in an animated voice with proper expressions and dedication  
She was fascinating..and so were her talks.
Her voice clearly spoke about her mood- in the morning, fresh and energetic..then in the noon,she would feel sleepy and would complain about her lack of sleep due to hectic office..as the evening approached, she would daily start backward counting for the time to leave office.” Rohit, review my code, I have to leave in another 2 hours.” she would chirp.
“Lavaya..I clocked in at 9 AM today..do you think it’s okay if i leave the office at around 6.I have to go to MG road and shop. Will you accompany me?” she had asked with excitement brimming from her voice.
When Lavaya excused herself , saying she had to “complete her office hours..” i could sense the disappointment on the girls tone, when she said a soft “ohhhkaay”.
That very moment i longed to see who was that sweet voice..a person so simple and bubbly.I had known her for almost a month now..still i didnot even know her face or her name.
I focussed hard on listening more and more talks of her team, in hope to catch her name..
My office became interesting because of her talks..though i was in no way involved in their conversation..yet i often smiled and felt involved.
After almost a week, i figured out that her name was Maya. I looked for her name in the people directory of our company and was upset to see over 100 Maya’s listed.
It was impossible for me to find her out or locate her without raising doubts in the minds of Ganesh and Vitthal.
I had always been a shy guy, I knew it was not that difficult to get up and look for her on the benches around..there were hardly 8-9 girls in the rows adjacent to my seat. She had to be one of them..yet i was scared..scared of upsetting her..scared of making her quiet.
Over one month had passed by now.Within that month, i had explored Pune through her eyes.sometimes she mentioned about MG road, and the next day i was curious to visit that place..she talked about the Inorbit Mall, and i had to visit it once. She described about Lavasa and its beauty..the very next weekend i witnessed how well she had described the place. She was like a local guide for me..the only little concern was that she was unaware of being eavesdropped– daily– for around a month now.It made me feel a little guilty,but to befriend her..i had to know her…
One day, i got a call from my manager, confirming that my request for transfer to Chennai had been accepted and I could leave Pune in another 7 days or so..
I was happy about the idea of returning to my own city..and among my own people..yet I knew i would miss Pune..the beautiful city i had explored through the eyes of an unknown girl.
Hectic office had not given me a chance to make any friends in this city..yet i felt connected to Maya…I could recognize her mood by her voice and her mood even changed my mood at times…
I knew this was my last chance..I wanted to talk to her ..just for once.
For the next week, i kept on making plans to face her..to talk to her..i mentally rehearsed the dialogues i would say to introduce myself.I was scared of making her angry. Afterall, i had been evading her privacy for quite a long time now.
It was my last day at the office.Quite surprisingly Ganesh and Vitthal had planned a farewell for me. Over the days we spent as teammates…our relationship had not changed much. They just considered me as a sincere teammate, who was an outsider , non marathi speaker, and who smiled at the conversations of other teams.. Yes, they had noticed me smile, but thankfully, had never mentioned that to save me from the embarrassment.
” Lavaya! I have a headache today. I need a strong coffee! Is anyone coming along?” she asked.
Suddenly my attention was on their team. No one replied to her.
“Comeon guys! Just a 10 minutes break! My head will blast! ” she pleaded.
“Maya, yaar, today you go alone na please…you see Siva is gonna kick us hard if we miss the deadline!” Rohit responded.
On usual days, I knew Maya would not have gone. By now, i had figured it out that she never went alone anywhere- for lunch, for evening tea or snacks, or even for the walk..she was always with her team. That was also a reason, why i had failed in recognizing her till now.I knew the 3 girls , one of them was Maya.But which one, was an unsolved mystery….Today was my last chance to know that!
“Ok Fine!” she clearly was irritated.
My excitement level knew no bounds.This was a chance i had been looking for!
Immediately i locked my computer, and moved towards the coffee machine.Despite the hurry, i did not forget to take the strip of “Disprin” which i always keep in my office bag.
There she was…she was the tallest of the 3 girls in their team.
She had often smiled at me, while passing by my side.
She was the face i had seen almost daily, the voice i had been listening for weeks..the only person who made my stay in pune worthwhile.
I smiled at her….she reciprocated.
She was about to take her cup of coffee towards her desk, when i finally managed to call her name ..
“Excuse me, Maya!” i almost mumbled…
She suddenly stopped.
“how are you?” i asked.
She looked at me , puzzled.
Before she could answer, i offered her disprin. “Take it, It will help in your headache.”
She was all the more confused..still she took it.
“Hi, I am Venkat, from Pega team.” i initiated a handshake.
After initial hesitation, she shook hands with me.
“Hi, I am Maya, from SAP” she introduced herself. Mentally, I smiled at her.I already knew a lot more than that about her.
“Yes, i know!” i confessed.
“How?”  she was obviously surprised.
And then i honestly told her about the unique one sided bond of acquaintance that i had developed with her.
She merely smiled…and quite unexpectedly she even added –” I never knew i talk so much and so loudly. It must have been disturbing for all others! Gosh!!! that’s bad!! I will try to speak softly next time onwards!”
With that we shared our first and the last cup of coffee together, she told me about a few more places that i had not yet visited in Pune..and with that the sweet meeting with my only friend in the new office  ended.
We walked back to our desks, and continued with our work.
After around 20 minutes of settling in, I heard her voice again….
“lavayaaa, you know what, i speak soo loudly.There was this guy from the Pega team around and he…….”"” and then she narrated the incidence to her team.
I merely smiled!!

ISHITA BHOWN!!!

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