The muddled heart wasn’t ready, the scars were still fresh and the mind was worried about the little crease in the ivory shirt that flashed in the somewhat spotty mirror. There was a definite lack of synchronization today. Life never follows the path you want to fly on and it rather drags you along on that sloppy muddy trail left behind by millions of others unless you are somewhat close to being batman or something.
The pumps pinched a little, made me a little higher as I checked myself in the mirror for the nth time. Yes, I was the spitting image of my mother only modern. I shot a look at my new gleaming bag which was supposed to bring good luck and grabbed it to head out for the first day of the utterly sophisticated world of consulting.
I was a mere 6 days old MBA graduate. A 25 year old sailing on 18 with a pair of shorts and t-shirt on the exact same day a second back it seemed and everything was wavering now from one extreme to the other. I was hysterical to be honest more than anything. Yes I had the dream job, good city and what not, but the mind and its anxiety are like hindi movies and overdramatic mothers, made for each other material, truly.
The first day was of course all confusion and more confusion, trying to open doors which wont open without a card which i didn’t have and so on. The clank clank of the heels, the fake laughter and those crisp business suits. Everything was new and exciting. People call you the ‘chosen one’ when you get your first assignment within the first two days of joining. Hell yeah I felt like Harry Potter until they told me that they were flying me to Varanasi, the land of bhang and everything else that you haven’t seen in life.
When I stepped out of the crisp aircraft environment into the warm breeze of Varanasi, I saw a small yellow building with a tilted board announcing I had finally arrived. The journey from the airport to the client site was amazingly disturbing for some one who had just commenced a new chapter in life with a long list of plans to visit all the pubs and weekend getaways, those dreams were now taking the shape of temples and severely damaged roads which transformed into a river as soon as it rained.
After the initial shock I was finally adjusting to a whole new world yet again, like they say, only change is permanent, well, that is the only permanent in my life these days. The town was new, the culture; quite old and an atmosphere where everyone was so laid back that it induced a sort of laziness in me and all my team mates. The rickshaw pullers slept on their rickshaws, the auto guys would rather sip tea than take you anywhere and the waiter would spend a good five minutes understanding something as simple as getting a straw to test your patience and I could go on and on.
I am a part of Financial Services consulting, I loathed finance back then and maybe even now. Suddenly I had to become a core banking solution person. I had to know how a bank works and how the whole system works. I had to make killer presentations to look intellectual, I tried to learn everything very fast similar to drinking a scalding tea so quick that it burns the very inside of your stomach and throat, such is the humor of life. I was a marketing person all my life and God conveniently picked me up from the world of philanthropy and pinned me to this giant stodgy finance monster.
That also changed after a few months, I was sent back to where I belonged, well thats what I think at least- Delhi. My Gurgaon office is sprawled with pubs and night clubs on both sides, it stands tall and handsome. I like it here other than the fact that its a long travel for me each day, but what is perfect? I see my life as this emotional dramatic movie, people call me a drama queen,well thank god I am not boring!
I have learned this, when we are in college we think the life after this is going to be awesome, we are wrong. We think this lesson on blah is boring and practically it doesn’t get used, well, we are wrong again. I invite you to spend a day with me and see how people talk about blue ocean strategy and product mix strategy all the time. I wish some one told me that!
When life gives you the best of everything, it also takes away a little from you. When you crib about the present and reminiscence the past, remember this should be the day you cherish so that you have difficulty picking out the best one. My job maybe perfect to some but it has its own very real struggles which not many would even want to face but to them my life is perfect. You know why? I choose to show the best of it and that should be all of us. We should be an epitome of life well lived rather than a life well slogged and made blotchy with tears of complaints all the effing time.