Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oops...I Did It Again!!!

Hmmmmmm! Well forget two months of stayin away from blogging...I am back to where I belong in less than two weeks...and i feel real sheepish forcing you guys to leave comments on that last unneccessary post. Oh...well 10 days is a short time, but thats more than enough to change a lot of things in my life. I quit my 85k job, my fourth job in little over a year and am back in the cool confines of my apartment living out my last days in America. The trip to India will actually be the last return of this native. Never thought i could do a nri-returnee so early in life, infact despite all my boasts never thought i could summon up the guts to ever make this decision. Sad part and hard part is i have no absoluting freakin idea what to do next in life. I have tried four times and failed to find my space in IT...I dont wanna be pressured by monetary concerns to be led down that way again. WTF...I have known hunger already in life...with Rs.30 a day I could have two square yummy meals a day and I am no stranger to travelling on ksrtc buses, if I spend wise, I have almost an year of savings to fall back on. There's a lot I hope to do again...like travel across the length and breadth of India. Be with me, my God...go with me all they ways I need to traverse, before I find my right calling and can safely say its time to settle down.

Well, it all began the night I decided to quit blogging...Oct 6th...I had the "Never Say" post ready to go out that day, had just been offered a full-time position by Universal, I was ahead with my work...my whole life ahead looked blissfully comfortable, decided to wait a few more days till my blog anniversary to see if the wait would change my mind about blogging. But then, then I got struck down by a flu...what seemed like a normal fever still hasnt left completely...I didnt give it the rest it deserved I guess, I was back to work in a hurry trying to keep ahead of the schedule, but that messed up my body totally...and with that my work went downhill...thinking about the work gave me trouble sleeping, a whole vicious cycle started and before the last week ended I was totally fatigued, my mind had numbed out, I hated my work and I hated myself even more for trying to become somebody I was not...I was never meant to be a programmer, looking back every struggle be it the MS, be it the 4 jobs later, all today look like an attempt to cover up a decision made 7 years back about doing my B.Tech.

Except for collegemates and my sis, nobody in my family knows about my resignation and the decision to leave America...i havent told my schoolmates yet, coz then my fone wont ever stop ringing. I know all hell will break loose...my parents are away in Kashmir where my dad has a conference besides they both takin a much-deserved, though ill-timed vacation...when they know of it I hope they back me to the hilt with this one as they always have. The rest, my uncles, aunts and cousins...I know what they will say...there's a lot of flak awaiting me from that quarter for "squandering" my good luck(read green card!)...my phone is switched off all the time now! I guess they cant be blamed...my application for US citizenship has taken dust over the last few months as I baulked at mailing it...what I am doing I agree wont make sense to 90% of practical people. My sister has decided to return back to US after her xmas vacation...I wuz scared my decision would make her position weak...she has a wonderful job she enjoys doing and has a good set of friends too now. I was never ever a good brother to her...I should have stayed on till she got married...but I am thinking selfishly...I am not getting younger and time's running out on a life I've not ever had regrets to this point...I still need to find out what to do with my life and in America, with a Master's degree in Computer Science, plenty of software jobs and an Indian accent I know I'll forever be strait-jacketed in the IT field. I wonder if a better future will await me in India.

Before leaving work yesterday in frustration and a last-ditch effort to find an answer to how fast everything could turn upside down in life, I typed God on google and hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. It took me to the Interview With God site. Whenever friends have sent it to me I've never been in the mindset to see it. I have realized for quite some time God has stopped talking to me or hearing what I have to say...well I've not been to a church for almost two months to hear His Word either. After the presentation, I knew I was doing the right thing, there would always be God to back me up, whenever I had nothing, whenver I was empty-handed, whenever I looked to him for solace...those have been the times I felt his presence and I have felt then I was the luckiest boy alive, not the times when I was happily surrounded by friends, not the times I achieved anything, not the times I looked at my little wealth and smirked I never saw or felt Him around me. I have 50 days to rethink...after that I can walk in to an IT firm in tvm, cochin, madras or bangalore any day and get my developer job, I have 5 months to the IAS prelims and almost a year to the CAT...none of these vistas appeal much to me, besides there's always a road open to self-ruin I have seen too many people walking into. Instead of a hallowed royal arrival - of relatives and family friends inviting me to dinner, and of nights spent at resorts and houseboats with friends, a damp welcome will await me...none of that scares me, all I know is I just cant wait to rediscover my India and rediscover myself, the India I came so close to leaving behind forever in memories, God willing, I want to once again believe in the saying I once vouched for...Everything Happens for Your Own Good!

27 comments:

Jiby said...

I got a lot of emails of support, words of wisdom, theris and words of disbelief from my friends...but this email from Arun Hari really touched me. He has beautifully expressed most of the questions that will play out in my mind in the coming days. Thought this should be a part of the post...

Jabba,

You have made a decision. A big decision. And we will all stand by you (even if it is with the vested interest that you will be amongst us). But being a fellow savage, I will take some liberties at what could be a very significant juncture of your life. I know its kind of stupid to ask at this stage, but I will still risk asking it: I hope you have thought this through, and its not a spur of the moment's decision. I know you are fully aware of the consequences of all the things you are planning to do, and willing to take it head on. (Viswan gave me a brief). Excited that I am, it shouldnt be a case that you are jumping not knowing how strong the landing spot is.

Im not bothered about the cliched remarks like "How can you leave a green card in US when others die for it" "What about all the money you could make?" "what about all the struggles you had in the past?" "Why did you study so hard for GRE?".... Knowing you, I know there is a reason stronger than just the 'grass is greener on the other side' syndrome to justify leaving all that behind. Or at least I hope there is. I know you are fed up, and want to do things you really want to, at a place where you want to be, but you should remember its a one-way trip you are going to take. There are no return tickets on this flight.

This is how I see it - After 2 years, if you are glad you made the decision, and feel good that you left all the riches and glory behind, and risked everything for your inner voice, I will appreciate the greatness of a friend who knew what his heart wanted, and followed it. Your place in my personal rankings will go up quite a few notches:) Instead, if you regret your decision after 2 years, and feel you were better off being where you were...then it would leave no choice for us to think you are impulsive, and irrational. And that then, would be a shame.

The choice is yours. so are the connsequences. think about it. I know you must have thought this over a million times in your head, but for our friendship's sake, just once more. After that, if your decision is still to come back, you are f****** bloody welcome. We've got some serious catching up to do for the 3 lost years. :-) and yeah, dont worry about the place to stay in bangalore.

Playing the devil's advocate,
Arun

Nagu said...

i remember the gr8 saying "Nindre vishwasam nnne rakshikatte" U have seen greeneries on both side..so i feel u have taken the decision after analysing all. All the best my friend. At first i knew you as Jisha's brother, but when posts by posts we got much closer. may be that why a sudden shock as well as a surprise hit me. any way welcome back to India. So one more guy to be bangalored?

silverine said...

there would always be God to back me up

Something I firmly believe in too. And I am sure, with that reassurance, you can confidently make the choices that will make you happy. Best of luck!!!

Geo said...

Dont think you are right
Know you are right

Do what you wanna do
Be what you wanna be....

Geo said...

Forgot to add this...

In case ur gang is sleepin after a heavy dose of Vodka, do let me know...
My enticer and me ready to pick you up at Bangalore :_D

I guess couple of posts and comments are enuf to identify a good friend :_)

Neil Padayatty said...

You'll get by, with a little help from friends! Hope 'Swades' turns out a superhit for you!

Matter of Choice said...

welll..

this is big news indeed!

congrajulations for gathering the courage to do what you really wanetd to do. so many of us go through our life never having that courage. I am sure you will find your path soon!

good luck
anish

Praveen said...

Its great that you have made a decision. I think making a decision and then sticking to it no matter what is the biggest thing. Hope you have a great future in India.

Anonymous said...

Just as I expected, your friends who are in the same boat as u are, shows great support. True friends! So, I think I don’t need to be that supportive or I don’t feel like. You are in a dream world! Every field is a challenge in the beginning. In order to be good at what u do, u need to have experience. How in the world u get experience if u are a quiter in couple months? All your values are so great but not so practical. Most of us who lives in different parts of the world have a heart for our own country. We love to be there, we love to enjoy all the good things, and we have lots of good memories that lie behind us; It’s equally hard to find a job and stay in it even in your own place. I believe that it’s not the IT field that made u quit, it’s the work environment. Since u can’t change the past, here is my advice. Go ahead and enjoy your vacation, write as much as u can during this time. Come back and start again. You might end up in a better work place. Look for small companies where your work is recognized. Remember, u have to face even worse problems in life and don’t be a quiter. Tough times in life is there for you to learn, not to escape from it!

Jiby said...

nagaraj, thanks man...i dont want to be bangalored...but i am unsure of the reception and the kind of passing snide comments that will get thrown at me in tvm...by then i hope to have a nice dialogue ready to silence those people.

anjali, the only thing i am confident of right now is happiness...guess i'll find the other answers to what needs to be done along the way.

geo, thanks man...i'll definitely be coming often to blore wherever i am gonna be based...many close buds stationed there...and i'll definitely look forward to meeting you...guess we have so much common ground already in all those fabulous college experiences.

neil, swades better be a super-hit in my life bcoz i sure have earned more money for its producers than any desi in america...taking the countless times my friends and i watched it. unfortunately any noble motives i harbor besides the return have to recede for a while.

anish and praveen, thank you so much guys. your comments have always been so encouraging to me.

anonymous, we are two different people and you know so little about me...i have dreams and I am determined to find out how many of them I can make real...anything and everything i've dreamt of achieving i have and i've reached the limit of where I aspired to reach in IT...i look for a greater purpose in life now. what you said maybe true of a person who is looking to gather experience in IT but as my closest pals know but never voiced it for fear of hurting me I've been a misfit in this field all along. Its not home that draws me back, I had a jolly great time in America, but I have not enjoyed my field of work and that has affected everything else. I was working in a great environment...infact the best team i could ever have got. Well I'm not a quitter and I'm not even trying to escape...I think I've finally found the courage to do the things i could be better at in life...I dont need the money I make here, and I realize neither does my family if it doesnt make me happy...i know just being back in india my confidence will zoom...whatever little insecurity i have now will disappear. Would have felt better replying to your comment if you had left a name but thanks for being frank and honest with your opinion.

Anonymous said...

If I reveal my name, then I will lose my good intentions here and become much softer with you. You don't have to be very practical, but there are some practical things u should be aware of...You need atleast a degree in any field you want to pursue. u need to build up experience to become good at it. In your path to success u may face crap from others...I doubted if u can handle a lot of that. "To dream of the person you want to be.........Is a waste of the person you are!" unless u know what u really gonna do. I was mostly thinking about your parents who have gone through a lot to send u out here, but after all your happiness is more important. U have all my best wishes. This is so soon to decide anything. Just relax...Right now "Of all the things u've lost, u miss your mind the most"

Jiby said...

I know what's best for me...hey comeon, my mind is very much in its place and i have given this decision enough time to mature...i know you have my best interests in mind...its a pity you wont reveal yourself to me...atleast email me...its jjkattakayam@gmail.com.

I havent been my normal self to my parents for a long long time...they know me best...and they have the most confidence in me...for the last one year they have been telling me to return but I was determined to stick it on a little more to see if time and getting the best job, all could change things...well it hasnt...and i dont wanna waste a few more years...

and i know what i am gonna do too...its a hard road...it might take me a few years...but i'll make it...once i feel fully confident with that choice i will announce it!

Anonymous said...

You are right, we don't have same views. U come from a very rich and understanding family, where as my folks always had hard time to try to meet ends. I rest my case here...There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wondered what the hell happened. I hope you belong to the first. Good luck.

Jithu said...

sambhavikkunnathellam nallathinu vendi ennalle parayaru :-)

Jiby said...

anonymous, lets stop it here...i had a feeling this argument would get here...my parents are not rich but they get by...they have their needs, their debts and their aspirations for me...but i am not doing any of that any good in the long term...i have had to worry much about the troubles they faced...maybe thats why i took the roads i did and led me to this point...but I have always worried about not living up to what they achieved...if you ask me that is as difficult a cross to live with as any other. I have been among the last two kinds of people u mentioned for a long time...but not anymore! If you are one of my good friends here whom I suspect you are...please dont feel disappointed in me and please dont scold me.I am more confident after this debate and you have nothing to worry about.

jithu, very true man...i have been restless for quite a long time...i just reached a snapping point...then i made the decision which i have thought about a lot but never could act upon...and i can feel its all for my good.

Anonymous said...

No..I am not done yet...I will haunt u down ....no, just kidding. My reply atleast made u think how to answer few of those out there who would response the same way I did. Right? I had no intentions to argue, but again to plant some seeds of prickly plants in your mind. And I hope u would come back if u ever gonna take another IT job in INDIA. Unless u become a great screen writer or journalist one day. Like u said there is no point in writing back and forth, right. Okay. I leave for now and will comeback someday to celeberate your victory. Yours.....

bips said...

Jiby,

Please give me a call!

Shan said...

I couldn't resist myself..

Anonymous says "Every field is a challenge in the beginning. In order to be good at what u do, u need to have experience. How in the world u get experience if u are a quiter in couple months?"

Its not about how good you do it or how bad you do it. Its about the liking to do it. No matter how good I do it, if I dont like what I am doing,I should either leave it and do something that i have the liking for. And if I still decide to do something for the sake of money or the lack of courage to change, I would call myself a coward.

I admire Jabbans fearless decision. Not many can take a decision like he has taken, it sure is a gutsy one!
Anonymous, you think like most humans do but cetainly not like the greats!

Anonymous said...

Ofcourse I am not great! Majority out there are ordinary people like me who try hard to keep up with troubles of life and bills to pay off. If I generalize, many people don't like what they do. I am glad to see great, gutsy people like u guys. I would still advice u not to jump into decisions so quick. In america people quit (not only jobs) all the time, not a big deal and Jibi did the same. Jibi said in his post, quote:
'sad part and hard part is i have no absoluting freakin idea what to do next in life.'

Does that say he is confused or am I just over reacting? I hope he finds an answer soon. I don't know him real well So, take it easy...

My opinion become stronger by your responses. Thank you.

Jiby said...

shan, just leave it aliya...now i am sure this person is not somebody who even knows me well like u guys...he/she is trying to poke holes now in my post and interpretting what i wrote in his/her way...again calls me a quitter...to defend against what you wrote. anonymous, you disappoint me...i wonder now what wuz the point of all that arguments as all along i thought u were one of my close pals...if u knew me well u wud have known what my real strengths were, and what a coward I have been so far to play along with the status-quo...i will again be that person like you who pays bills and fends for a living and maybe someday even raise a family but doing what I want to do and in my home state and among my people...i thought we ended our debate...plz leave it at this!

Shan, though i have said it earlier in one of my posts having friends like you who dared to achieve things out of the ordinary have been a big inspiration man and like you said in your email and experienced...there will be no dearth of doubters and ppl who talk shit if we feel like swimming against the tide. For every person like this one above, I am glad I have people like you guys who know I have the goods to back up this decision.

Arun said...

Anonymous(even now), You dont know him well, you dont even know how his name is spelt! In which case, please dont bother to sit in judgement on what he should do in life.

And no, this response doesnt 'strengthen' your opinion. Anyone reading through the thread will be smart enough to figure that out.

Geo said...

If you guys don’t mind me intruding...

Arun, I know you are irritated when some ‘anonymous’ has come in and criticized your best friend. Even I will get protective about my ‘gang’.

Steba!!! Cheers!!! :_D

And Jiby, I am sure the arguments the ‘anonymous’ has come up with hasn’t affected you much as I am damn sure that you have thot a lot abt this entire stuff before taking a decision. I can understand your feelings completely, I can even identify with it myself. For me, ‘do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be’ has always been my motto.

Now finally ‘anonymous’, there are certain people who do things in certain ways. You or the general public may think that its absolute craziness. But for the concerned person in question, that’s the only way things CAN/SHOULD be done. He has thot abt it well, he has analyzed all the options, and he has come up with a decision. I don’t blame you for coming up with your arguments, as I strongly believe that ‘this net world is a free world – free as in freedom of expression’.

So Jiby, should we welcome more anonymous devils advocates? ;_))

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I annoyed u ‘friends’ enough. Too bad u guys took everything I said negative and thoguht I was criticizing. Don’t think those who are not supportive have bad intentions. None of u disagree that my points made this person much stronger. We can feel that in his replies. I just happened to be in this site and found his blog interesting. I thought about my teenage son who could make such a decision any day. If u all read my comments all the words are encouraging…..’More u dream, more waste of a man’….means quit dreaming and do what u want to do. ‘Among the most you lost, you miss your mind the most’ – in a way that’s true right? U were a bit confused after u made the decision, I believe. ‘In America people quit all the time – doesn’t mean you are quiter. People quit smoking, drinking, bad relationships, bad jobs’. ‘Three kinds of people – and I hope u among the first one, who make things happen’ – supposed to be encouraging. ‘Rich and understanding parents’ – (financially well of parents, and I believe u won’t be here if that’s not the case). ‘every field challenging – is true isn’t it, even if that’s what u want to do. I also wanted u to go forward….may be the way I expressed wasn’t so cool like your friends. I wouldn't come back if I didn't mean what I said. but My mistake. Your blog is only for friends, right? I wasted my time including this. Good luck from a stranger - even though u don’t need it. Thank u all for your time and patients in reading my comments.

Jiby said...

hey, no hard feelings...i did welcome ur contrary opinion and appreciated it but after that the argument just got pointless. we both just seemed to be going on and on justifying our positions which in ur case irritated me and provoked my friends bcoz u were typing as an anonymous person and could have left it at that. i am sorry if ur hurt, i welcome comments from one and all, but i hate getting into debates bcoz of how pointless they are.

A friend from school emailed me this saying, from Bismarck which our vice-principal used to quote to inspire us, "Either I'll become the Chancellor of Germany, or the biggest scoundrel in the world"...thats the attitude i am gonna have now coz its all abt belief in myself that can get me going and not what anyone says...Geo, seriously man, nobody wud wanna be in my position now...no more devil's advocates...haha!!!

Arun said...

All's chill from my end geo...:-)
Feeling quite guilty for turning this into an argumentative thread. Have to admit, I was irritated at that point...especially because i thought it was someone who knew Jiby(at least a bit), but I had no problems with the stand he had taken. (Even I had warned jiby of the dark side of the decision in my email, which he posted as his first comment to the post).
Maybe anon. did not express himself in the right way, and his intentions were genuine...I agree this has instigated us to think, and made us rethink about priorities in life...Lets take this debate forward on a positive note.
This is not a blog for only friends..its a place where you can make friends, like Jiby already has.
I still believe people should dream...because dreams drive us- "The reasonable man adapts himself to the environment, the unreasonable man adapts the environment to himself - and hence all progress depends on the unreasonable man".
Jiby is confused as to what he should do in the future, agreed. But he is sure about one thing...that what he is doing now is not what he wants. And I think that is enough to make this decision. After all, such risks can be taken only in early stages of one's career. Its great if you can find a job that you love doing early on. But if you dont, the only chance you have to move is early on in life.

The best and closest example being Shan, who has commented on this blog a couple of times...Know him quite well. He graduated with top %ages which could have landed a job with any s/w major. Instead, he launched a fledgling startup. The going has been tough, but now he is a successful entrepreneur, giving employment to many other people, in just 3 years. It was a risk, and could have gone either ways. But since it was early in his career, he could easily find another way.
Jiby is also taking a risk, it may or may not pay off...he might not end up a rich and famous screenwriter :) But the point is, after several years, he will not turn back and say, I never gave it a chance, when I could.

Jofu said...

Aliya Jabba !!
All the best in your new journey. I am sure that you will make it BIG!! Make all of us proud !
Will call you one of these days !
-Jofu

One More Reason said...

Hi Jiby,

A very thought provoking post and a very engaging set of comments. It takes courage to make such decisions. I wish you the very best. I sincerely hope you make a good and sincere IAS officer. We all badly need good ones.