Farewell

With great sorrow and regrets I need to inform you about my certain departure from this country which I called home for last 5 years.

You were the first people I happened to know when I first arrived here and most of you became my good friends right away. You have shown nothing but acceptance and support for all the oddities, weird habits, creepy innuendos or sometime unintended rudeness from my lack of few gentle qualities.

My endeavour to look for a new life in a far away land was doomed from the beginning. As it happened, it came at a great financial cost which followed the cancellation of the promised 2 year Post Study Work Visa by UK government and desperate attempts landed me in the arms of employers where work, life, movements and even choice of my weekend activities seemed to be taken away from me.

Even though there is still sometime left in my visa, the employer has decided to end the sponsorship as the client projects are coming to an end. Effectively pronouncing me an illegal immigrant after 28th of August if I chose to stay without a new sponsor.

There are many contract and permanent jobs available which for which I am not just qualified but even asking for lesser money than advertised. But given the short window of time, I am not sure if it is possible to find a sponsor – and even someone who does not wish to exploit.

You know, people are asking upto 25% of my income for a sponsorship?

Which means if I earn – say £20,000 from a contract each year, I’ll pay £5,000 to the sponsor, £5,000 to HMRC as taxes and keep the rest 50% – HALF of what I am going to earn with all honesty and hard work – for the remaining term of my visa.

Plus I’ll be the one to pay all the visa fee occurred during the process, an introductory fee of about £3,000 AND monthly income tax on an imaginary income till I can find a contract.

It is illegal, referred as body shopping and leaves me at the mercy of sponsors and whim of UKBA.

Am I tempted? Yes. Will I do it? No.

Short term, long term, remote, commute, on-call – for the next 4 years before I can claim for a long term settled visa for myself. It is nothing short of slaving away without a shimmer of hope for a settled family life.

Is there really no place for the so called ‘best and the brightest’ in this country? Is there no place for a well educated, qualified, experienced, hardworking and tax-paying person who does not wish to commit a visa fraud in developed world?

So I am leaving this country to my childhood home which we sold and one mortgaged apartment to fund my studies and a still outstanding education loan to pay back.

I am not going to dilute remarkable journey I was on where I not just made friends like you but made memories, celebrated life and to some extent found myself.

A few basic lessons which I learned from all the people I knew here are empathy, acceptance, courtesy, inclusiveness and respect for individual’s choices.

Not once a person who was not from Indian Subcontinent commented on how fat I was or my greying hair or how old I was to make me feel conscious about my body image.

Just to make things clear, this post is not just complaints against the government of UK, it is just an attempt to express how grateful I am to ever met you guys and how the life sometimes plays tricks on you just by putting you at a certain geographic location at the time of your birth.

The mental trauma is unbearable. The pressure of uncertainty about life in coming weeks, resettling in India after a privileged lifestyle, change which was unforeseen until 30 days ago when I payed a deposit on a new house to rent here in UK. I feel helpless and sad. And there is really nothing I can do about it.

In the words of the famous Doctor David Tennant, “I don’t want to go”.

I wonder what visas all these taxi drivers have?

I’ll be in Bristol for a last hurrah from 1st August till 11th August before boarding my flight to Indore, India from Heathrow on 12th morning.

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Now what?

I am forced to eat my words of calling Bangladesh Cricket team a minnow in my previous post as on the fateful Saturday the thick experienced Indian side lost their first match in the tournament against the all round performance by the young Bangla guns. They were good! Indians played like losers.

Second shock of the ICC World cup came as Pakistan lost to even minnow-er (then Bangladesh) Ireland and became the first team to get out of the tournament, third was the death of the Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer in his hotel room, fourth the resignation of all the management of Pakistan Cricket board including the captain, selectors and the president of PCB. Inzamaam-ul-Haq the captain of Pakistan Cricket team went one step further and announced his retirement from the one day cricket.

Finally, in the end as consolation India registered the biggest win ever in the One Day International Cricket over Bermuda by beating them with 257 runs on Monday.

Wow!

Cricket is all around and is in the air.

I am thinking over things personally and think that the thoughts should remain in my head till I think of some conclusive thoughts.

Don’t worry! I am confused too.

Just like you.

Music is life!

Here is a small gift for all my friends, a collection of the best songs that I love. I am gonna update these songs too as I can add as many as 75 songs in the list. So whenever an update will happen, I’ll blog about it. Meanwhile, tell me your loved songs. I’d like to here them too and who knows, I might add them in my list too! Comeon people, Cheers!

A fortnight of shopping!

As another week draws to an end, we all happily await for the India’s first match against the minnow Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. I am literally dying to see the men in blue in action. It has been almost a week since the tournament has started but India’s first group match is scheduled for this Saturday.

I think it is enough for the weekend here. Last week and for the first two days of this week, I was in Indore with my family. I did all the shopping for my wedding and set up all the arrangements for the big day. Now all the things are in place and I am very happy with the settings.

It was a really huge task to do all the shopping. In first 4 days alone the figure was too high and in the end it was almost Rs.100, 000/- cash purchase has been done. It is a huge amount for Indian standards and this was only spent on apparels and traditional things.

I purchased a Sherwani, A suit, Mojadi, Kolhapuri Sleepers, Shoes, 4 pair of Shirt-trousers for my self baring all the male accessories, many Saris for Priyanka and for all the females in the family and closed relatives, suits for Papa and uncle, A very- very sweet ‘Lancha’ or ‘Sharara’ for Aarti, makeup kit for the bride, mehendi and other preparations.

Oh boy! In the end I started to hate the word – Shopping!

But it is all over now. Probably in a couple of days I’ll go out and get some cufflinks for my new shirts.

It is a holiday on Monday for Gudi Padwa (A new Hindu New Year is starting again! I don’t know how many times in a year a new Hindu New Year starts!). I am not complaining till they give us holidays for the day!

Hey! In all this chaos I got some very good time with Priyanka too! It is like we both have started to act like idiots now.

Well rest is okay sort of! Hope you are all fine! Have fun friends and live your life!

Carom Kingdom!

Carom Competition begun with sparks on the board.

AP.

PUNE: In the first game of the Carom Kingdom competition between Team B1 (Dushyant Kanungo-Smita Ghatge) was beaten by Team B2 (Vikram Jadhav- Srinivas Rao) on a very narrow margin in the third and last deciding round by 14-6.

Held at Westbase India the Carom Kingdom is one of a kind competition and HR staff has managed to compose a team structure of equal metal.

Earlier in the day Rao lost the toss and team B1’s Smita got the striker at her helm. With a slow start but steady start team B1 was looking a far more improved then was predicted by cynics. On the other sides of the table team B2 members were certainly got favor from the stands and spectators.

Rao who almost missed the opportunity to take the cover over the queen over more than 20 times through out the game, said to be getting tips from spectators and pocket boys. In the last parts of the game it was referee Sushil Muniyal who traced the breach of code of conduct and gave a warning to the Team B2.

Dushyant Kanungo, the B1 team hitter, also known as the ‘Golden Figure’ of the game, later said “The crowd was certainly not in favor and it was just a matter of last strike.” Kanungo was also fined by the referee for the half circle strike was certainly not looking happy at all. “It was just after we decided to take the conditions in favor after winning the second game, the foul cry from the referee broke the momentum gained by him” said Ghatge who looked rather modest after the win then her prater. She also added that it is just a matter of a few next games as they now are playing with weaker opponents in their next few round robin games.

Jadhav seemed pleased with the outcome. He said “It was a team effort and Rao also should be given the credit.” Jadhav who pocketed the queen and the cover in the last game also added that, “Rao did missed the opportunity quite a few times but so the opponents.”

The Board of Control for Carom in Westbase (BCCW), also known as ‘West active’ seemed pleased on the opening ceremony. On the terms of remain unnamed a spokesperson from the West active said, “As Dushyant will not be here in the next week certain matches of the team B1 has been rescheduled as to their comfort. We are still in the process to figure out on what grounds these matches are not following their suit according the Prophecy.”

Next match of the competition is expected to be announced soon.

Somethings gotta give

What if the office does not have a photocopy machine?

In standard international conditions the answer to this world class problem is here! Just follow these steps:

1. Scan the document you want to copy.

2. Take the printout.

What if the scanner is attached with the designer’s computer at office?

Simple:

1. Just go to his/her desk.

2. Tickle him/her in back.

3. Swing his/her chair till he/she gets irritated and asks, “What the **** is your problem?”

4. Get them the document you want to copy.

5. The designer will scan it, print it and deliver it on our desk in next 5 minutes.

SO…!

I am the designer and in my office they do not have a photocopy machine.

Get the picture!

I decided to shoo them away who just pop in between my important tasks and make me do a parallel job of a photocopier on my desk at random times.

Then, just to show my thoughts more I placed this slip on the scanner. So every time someone comes at me to scan something, I just ask them to put the paper or whatever inside the scanner themselves. They get the message and I feel delighted.

They feel embarrassed after I give them their copy and stare at their faces.

It is joke but I think this was an irritated answer. LOL!

What do you think guys?

Humors life of mine… to laugh or just gawp!

Don’t laugh okay!

My budget for the month of February has gone wrong a bit. It is just some derailing here and there. It is okay if you ask as for the first time in my whole life I tried to keep a budget and even reached till the end of the month with almost all the transactions and spending.

Next three to four months or the rest of the year or rest of the life from now on will need all kind of budgeting and planning and that kind of stuff. I am not good at it as I just do what I feel like spending and a good earning ends up in a bad spending. I never took it like I am spending MY money or should moderate the spending. I think the time is here now when I should take a break and look around the street and smell the flowers.

Next month I am going home that means a good dent not just in the current budget but also adds up to the unpaid leaves of a whole week for the next month’s salary. Well here comes a slice of truth, I am really looking forward to make a decent budget function of my wedding and till date have no idea of what exactly I want. So! I am going home for a week to settle down matters and then I can think of anything else i.e. plans for honeymoon.

Eeew! That sounds so creepy!

I mean, everyone out there who’ve been on their honeymoon(s) do understand what exactly I mean and who are still enjoying the incomplete life will soon understand that planning for honeymoon and making reservations at trains or flights and hotels looks so embarrassing. Nothing personal but tell me, doesn’t it feels odd?

I was browsing through some website and one collogue of mine just commented that the place was not good at all and I should go elsewhere. I asked him about what place he is talking about and he said the picture of the valley on my screen. It was an ad banner for god sake, and he thought I was Googling about the best honeymoon destinations in India. It kind of freaks me out when my boss starts with his bunch of suggestions and stories about how things turned purple on his honeymoon in middle of lunch hour at office.

And to add shine to my embarrassment and frustration, I am getting married in peak summer time in India and am left with no option but to head for North. It will be too crowded and too expensive because of the tourist season. It will be the Himalayas and not the lovely seashores that I just adore. To add salt in the ice-cream, Priyanka gets sick if she travels longer in a bus. Hill stations do not have that good rail road infrastructure.

It is hilarious. Don’t you think so?

And I just asked my team working so heard on their maiden project led by me that has anyone made a file called login.jsp?

Damn! we are too slow for the beginning so I grabbed a copy of this book called ‘One minute manager’ from office library. I’ll try to seek some reconciliation in it.

At home after office timings I do have a quite supper and just start reading some book. Right now I am at page no 495 of ‘Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix’. Next bedtime read will be ‘the half blood prince’. I am sure that it is the right way of keeping my mind out of the butterflies and chirpy and quirky ideas and thoughts.

Everything has got humor.

Now you can laugh.

Words… they are beautiful!

The weekend with Priyanka, Aarti and Tony was good. We all had fun and exams and so many other things. I was just not in a frame of mind to do a blog on all the events as I was not feeling properly composed in my self. I am going to Sanawad this Friday to finish up all the shopping for the wedding and fix up all the arrangements for the function.

Entire last week I was in office barring Monday when I was with the guests and showing them around the city.

Last whole weekend I did some simple things as slept a lot, ate a lot, read a lot, some movies on DVD and some in theater. Take it from me that ‘The Bridge to Terabethia’ is a good one. (Or I was too dumb witted when I reached theater just after saying my good byes to the bus carrying Priyanka!)

Well things are cool! I am pretty much feeling lively but now days do not feel cool about playing badminton.

Hey all… Have you seen Oscars last night?

I don’t know how it got struck but I just felt a tear rolled out from my eyes after the speech given by Forest Whitaker, who won the best actor trophy for the movie ‘The Last King of Scotland’.

He said, “When I was a kid the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family’s car at the drive-in movie,” he said softly fighting his tears. “It wasn’t my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honor tonight tells me it’s possible. It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in south-central LA and Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them and to have them happen.”

Dreams…

They take you places.