Thursday, March 26, 2009

(i am the princess of Hawaiki and i have a pet koala bear named lemon soda.)

Just when I was convinced there was nothing that could disgust me more than the sight of a software engineer, I got an email from the HR department, which showed me how utterly ludicrous my assumptions were.

I think you'd better take a look at this.

Dear All,

We have continuously brought to your attention that your safety is of paramount importance to us and we have taken several measures to ensure your safety.

Recently, we have observed that few employees are not using the company night transport facility provided for them to reach home after their work. The reason being offered is because they stay in nearby locations, they prefer walking to their residences. We have also observed that some employees get down half way through and take detours during the night, possibly someone picks them up midway to drop them home.

Please note that the company views this as unsafe for an employee to be taking such risks and warns against such shortcuts to safety regulations. With immediate effect, we request you to please use the night transport facility, that has been provided by the company, for it is meant for your safety. Avoid walking alone in the night to evade any possible threat to you. Please go home early and avoid staying back late on campus if you are not on duty.

Incase we find employees violating the safety instructions, disciplinary action will be initiated against them.


Human Resources Team

And this - 

If I were to believe this HR propaganda, I'd think my biggest worries in life were how to pacify an angry computer and how to walk back home safely at 10 in the night without getting raped.

Yeah, right.

I admit I have...umm..."modified" many facts in this blog. I sometimes do that to enhance the aesthetic clout, if you know what I mean. But I swear by the souls of my dead ancestors that I am not making any of this up -

* I once had a super-cool motorcycle accident at 60kmph when going back to college from the Nandankanan forest. It was in the middle of nowhere at 11 PM on a dark night. (Don't ask me what I was doing alone in a forest at 11 PM on a motorcycle. I do that sort of thing from time to time.) Head on collision with another motorist. I was not wearing a helmet. Not a soul was around. I was unharmed except for a few minor bruises, but my old motorcycle was reduced to a knot of twisted metal. It broke my heart.

* I've slept alone in a cave. In the wild. Panther territory. (ok, the nearest panther sighting was 7 km away, but it still counts.)

* I've driven a Tata 407 truck from Chungathara to Manjeri in a sloshed state, to put it mildly. To not put it mildly, I was schnockered like there was no tomorrow. 20 km of treacherous ghat roads and steep cliffs. And I was absolutely plastered. I was the one who had to drive because in our group of 4, I was the most sober. I made it downhill alive and at an average speed of 20 km/hr. There wasn't a scratch on the brand new truck.

* I once travelled 90 km on the Mangalore-Kannur highway in a 9-Tonne truck with the driver hopped up on Hashish. It was the most thrilling 75 minutes ever. It was like a time-warp - blaring horns and green aliens and flashing headlight beams-carnival of mallu music and exploding colours. I came out of it with a sense of mild nausea and a new-found respect for life.

* I have been involved in a man-hunt for a criminal accused under IPC 420 and IPC 307 (the latter being attempt to murder).

* I have received 2 death threats and several kidnapping threats. I have also been involved as a mediator in a kidnapping drama that involved car chases, police brutality, rioting workers, trade union negotiations, and a furious rally of bureaucratic emails. The latter being the most traumatic.

So I told Nimisha-from-HR where she could stick her new directive. Nimisha or Anita or whatever her name was. (all those 3 syllable names ending with -A ...I really cannot tell one from another.) We live in different worlds, Nim...and my idea of occupational hazard is slightly different from yours. I don't expect you to understand the chasm, but merely to acknowledge that it exists and to respect it. That's all I ask. But that is obviously beyond you.

How I wish I could show you, Monisha. I wish I could introduce you to the many delights of diving head-first into the 30ft deep Chaliyar at the Tamarassery ghat. I wish I could get you to read my 800-page treatise on the art of living, entitled "1001 ways to sing short-haul shanties with friends on empty city roads at 2 AM with half a gallon of Smirnoff and THC in your bloodstream, lie down on the grass, stare at the sky and try to connect the dots, finally stumble back home and try to argue with the door and convince it that you were actually in the library and were dropped home by an anorexic Unicorn named Zzed who happened to be passing by."

How I wish I could tell you that in life, there is always the risk of death, but that's neither unusual nor unreasonable. ( And in my case - irresistible). Everyone dies. You can't say I haven't tried, Nimisha. I have tried to show you. But it has always been an exercise in futility. I have always been dogged by failure. Like I was teaching Algebra to a cow. I am tired of having to put up with you, Priyanka. You, with your handbag and your coloured straightened hair, disgust me. I don't even know your name!

I've decided I'm not even going to protest. I swear to God, next time I will just put a .357 Magnum to your head and spray your brain on the wall. Never mind that it would be the biggest Health & Safety disaster since the Amoco Cadiz spilled 230000 tonnes of crude oil into the English Channel. Only this time I would spill some lard on the wall.

One more email, I'm warning you… just ONE more, and the camel will go home with a herniated disc.