Thursday, June 21, 2007

The makings of a shirkaholic

This template quite suits me and my blog, methinks. Most pretty. I'm quite delighted with this template and this I will keep for much longer. I've also (kinda) figured out how to play with the fonts and colours, in case I am bored, so I am feeling rather proud of myself as I survey my blog's new and pretty look. I'm not so much into pink for blog colours you know - I like pink but no, not for my blog because it makes me think I should change my writing style, so I'd rather change the colour.

And yeah, finally, managed to add links to other blogs - which has been this blog's lifelong aspiration, I solemnly assure you. No, really. So if you want me to add your blog to your blog roll (ha!! you say?), do let me know. I'll only be most delighted. Though I suspect I'm more likely to have the people I've already added come and tell me to remove their blog from my blogroll. Gah!

Anyway, this was the conversation between a colleague and me sometime before lunch today –

Me: Today is Thursday, no? Hmm…I wish today were not a Thursday.

P: Why? You don’t like Thursdays?

Me: No. It’s just that Thursdays is Aloo Tikki or Paneer Tikka.

P: Paneer Tikka.

Sigh. This is what happens to people when they eat at Subway too often.

I’ve lost all motivation for work these days, and I do hope none of the bosses are reading this, or yours truly is bound to get the pink slip. So I leave everything for the last minute and then submit it hurriedly. I open a document to read it and while I am reading it, turning pages, my mind is elsewhere. I start to write reports but even after an hour, barely half a page is done. And before I know it, its 7pm and I haven’t done anything at all. I feel most guilty and mortified and decide that I will go home and complete it – if I do manage to open my laptop once I’m home, I fall asleep within minutes of doing so (though if I’m reading a book or watching television, I can stay up all night).

And then, I’m so ashamed of myself and so guilt ridden that I wake up bright and early the next morning, determined to work so hard that I’ll finish the entire week’s pending work in this one day. But again and again, it is the same story, day in and day out. And when people all around me are discussing work, drawing complicated diagrams on the board, firing printouts, exchanging important reports on pen drives while I sit and stare blankly at the many, many windows open on my system, my ears go red, my heart beats wildy and I fear they will all find out my dark secret and surely, I will be ostracized, maybe even excommunicated.

After pondering for many days on why I am like this, I have come to the conclusion that I need 2 things – a BREAK and a CHANGE. I’m getting my BREAK soon (and it couldn’t be soon enough) for I’m off to Calcutta this Saturday, where I will join the family to proceed towards Sikkim (bounces around room in joy). My dad says he is already practicing to be his annoying best so that we all heartily regret planning this trip at all and then literally blackmailing him into coming.

As for the CHANGE, I don’t want a change from my job really. Because there is a lot of variety in the project we do so I’m quite happy with my work actually. But I’ve been in Hyderabad for over a year now, and it’s the same old routine and I’m most bored with it. Sure, I have lots and lots of friends here, and its very cheap here and all that jazz but I’d really like to move out and experience life in another city because I’ve only lived in Hyderabad ever since I left home.

Well, yes, I did live in Bangalore too but living on campus in a city is not the same as living in the city. So Bangalore wouldn’t be a bad place to try out. I also loved Mumbai when I went there a couple of months ago, for the weekend. There is SO MUCH to do in that city, and so many people to do it with. So I was vacillating between Bangalore and Mumbai but finally settled on the former.

It took me well over a month to gather the courage to tell my boss that I wanted to move to Bangalore. I tried presenting a strong case for me to move, but I’m sure he thought it was rather immature of me. So he said that he and the Partner in Hyderabad were going to Bangalore and meeting the senior people there for a ‘Discussion on Resources’. Now he is back from The Discussion and I need to gather the courage to go and ask him about the outcome and my fate.

Oh, I will be most broken hearted if I am not to go to Bangalore. Ever since telling my boss that I wanted to move, I’ve been planning out my move to Bangalore. I will stay in a PG so I get to eat atleast one decent meal a day. And I will go for dance classes after work or on weekends – not the ubiquitous salsa, for I have my heart set on learning belly dancing or getting back into the Bharatnatyam groove. And I will enroll for weekend language courses (French/German/ Spanish).

Now if only I could go down and ask my boss.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So much to do, so little time

I don’t know if I mentioned it on my blog before but a few months ago I was working on a Big Life-changing Personal Project, henceforth called BLPP I was quite secretive about it then because I didn’t want anyone to know what I was working on in case it didn’t work out but since it did, I cant quite be stopped from announcing the news from the rooftop.

I have an offer of admission from the London School of Economics and Political Science, no less, to study the MSc Development Management. Mucho awesomeness methinks. See, when I was in college, I thought if I couldn’t make into one of the IIM’s I’d like to study at Oxford or Cambridge. There were 2 major reasons behind this – one was my fascination for England, and especially the aura these universities have, and the other was the almost exotic courses they offer.

So I did get into the IIM’s but I always thought I’d like to attend do course in one of the universities. Now that’s the flashback. Sometime last year, I went through the university websites, almost casually. I did want to study further, preferably something in international relations or development studies, but I had no intention of doing so until I had 2-3 years of work experience behind me. But what started as a casual glance at the websites quickly turned into a deeper interest so I outlined the courses that interested me, my chances of getting into them, course reputation, faculty, future opportunities etc. and finally went ahead and applied.

I applied to M.Sc Global Governance and Diplomacy in Oxford but sadly didn’t get through. I also applied to M.Sc Forced Migration in Oxford but I don’t really want to do the course – I just applied because I could use the same material as the earlier course. So Oxford is ruled out. My only other application was to LSE. I first applied for the M.Sc in Social Policy and Development and got an offer. However, my first interest lay in the M.Sc Development Management course but since it’s a very competitive course, I didn’t think I’d get through and didn’t apply.

However, LSE has this wonderful system where you can change your course after you have an offer. If you don’t get through the new course you opted for, you can always take up your original offer. I was very pleased about this of course, and applied to DevMan and actually got through. I am most most most kicked about this cause Dev Man is a very popular and competitive course – in fact, it is the 3rd course to get filled up and close applications, among the LSE masters courses, after International Relations and Global Politics.

The only nagging worry I have, though, is that I got a mail from Dev Man saying my application has been accepted but I need to decline the SPD offer first in order for them to make an offer. So now it’s been like a month since I declined the SPD offer and haven’t yet received the formal offer letter by post from Dev Man. I’ve mailed them but no response yet so I am kind of worried.
Anyhoo, while my offer is for the September 2007 entry, I won’t be joining this year because I just don’t have the money for it and LSE is VERY expensive. I didn’t apply to scholarships this year for a number of reasons and I don’t really want to take a loan unless I get atleast partial funding, especially since I don’t think I’d be living abroad after the course but coming back to India. So I’m hoping to defer my offer to September 2008 entry, apply more wisely and early to Oxford once again, and give the scholarships my best shot.

I’m also not sure if I want to take a loan and pursue the course if I don’t get any funding. I don’t mind doing it only if I think I’ll live abroad for a year or two after I complete the course. So it all boils down to whether I’m ready to live abroad for 1-2 years after the course, in case I don’t get the scholarship.

So that was the BLPP and once it was successfully completed, I was left feeling pretty aimless on that front for a while now. However, just a few weeks ago, I have started on BLPP 2. It’s taking up as much time and effort as the earlier one and promises to bring about significant changes to my life. This means that every morning I check my mail with sky high expectations for ‘the mail that will change my mail’ but it looks like that mail is going to be a long time coming - not that I really mind because the wait is part of the pleasure.

Anyways, for a number of reasons I need to keep BLPP 2 top secret but am hoping that something will materialize in a month or two. But since I’m an impatient and excitable girl, I can’t really sit around twiddling my thumbs - so I have undertaken another Small Not-so-life-changing Personal Project which shall not have any acronym. I’m going to take part in an essay writing competition with two others. Now I can hear all the sniggering and scoffing, I can, but this is no ordinary essay competition – the prizewinners from last year are all professors, senior guys in think thanks, PhD’s and whatnots – but we are 3 of us who will work on it for the next 3 months and even though we are most unlikely to win anything at all, we will pretend that we have an equally good chance because then it will give us something to do and look forward to.

So that’s how life is right now. There’s lots happening, there’s a lot more in the offing, everything is in a state of flux, I’m reveling in the endless possibilities and the uncertainty of it all. It almost makes up for the utmost rottenness of having to spend summers in Hyderabad AND miss out on munjulu. Dayymnn. But I’m going on a holiday to Darjeeling and Sikkim next week with the family, so all is right with the world – for now.