Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Typical Indian Software Engineer's Onsite

One final superhit Rajini's movie with friends and a nice dinner at Annachi would be perfect before starting a long term onsite for Jeyraman Elilvendan Ranganatan Krishnasami (JERK). His baggage would consist mostly of 5 KG amma's aromatic chicken curry powder, photos of Lord Sanmugam, hand written recipes of various dishes, gargantuan amounts of MTR ready-to-eat to the brink of his suitcase.

Finally he lands in the unknown land, friends pick him up from airport, reaches the house or hotel and calls up home:
JERK: Amma, I reached safely. Friends have cooked nice chicken curry for me, people are really nice here, don't worry!!!
Amma: (Sobbing) Glad to hear that, eat chicken well and take care, keep calling.

Then starts JERK's long and lonely journey in this foreign land. Some mysterious soporific emanations of the alien land makes him sleep and snore endlessly like an anaconda, which he calls Jetlag. This continues for weeks together, any spare time he gets, he sleeps.

JERK's weekend activities are highly vivid and adventurous. Unless his friends drag him by collars, he would seldom step out of his house. Chat, eat, sleep, watch movies, chat more, repeat movies, sleep for more time, chat again, movies one more time, eat again, have a nap and in the evening one final Thalaivar movie would bring his exacting and exciting weekend to a sleepy end. He would hit the sac and wake up to a lousy Monday morning.

Gastronomically he is quite adventuresome too. Amma would have advised JERK to avoid foreign food as much as he can and not to eat anything other than chicken and fish and he obeys her most religiously. Her handmade chicken curry powder would be his inevitable favourite for the next few months and MTR ready-to-eat would be his quickie meal. The chicken curry he would make would last anywhere from 3 to 7 days, giving toughest challenge to any utensil cleaners to remove the stale greasy curry of the vessel. Within first few weeks, all the new vessels would have turned ugly brown. All his life in the western country, he would end up binging upon chicken burgers, fish fillets and garden salads, guzzling in liters of coke. KFC's and Mac.Ds would be his hangout joints, if he hangs out at all.

While all the Chens, Katsumatas, Weinlichs would have scored chicks conversing in the local language, JERK shows his inexplicable reluctance towards learning the local language. That explains the reason of his introversion which he'll have till his death. He would rather spend that time and money on watching a Thalaivar classic or chat or cooking chicken curry. Learning new language is the last thing JERK would want to do during his entire stint in the foreign land, going back he proudly says to his friends "Dai! After 4 years of my stay in Spain I learnt 2 words with much effort, Hola for Hello and Adios for Bye....Cool no?"

JERK would visit the most frequently visited place in that country and get photographed with a wide smile, which will be his record for visiting that place and I'm as sure as "death and tax" that amma would be bragging about it while selling her son, "We wouldn't want much in the marriage, just a car and 20 million should be enough. You see this, my son in front of London bridge in America!!!".

Savings become the most important part of JERK's halcyon stint in the foreign land. He would be the most meticulous spender ever. Mama's chicken curry powder comes handy in saving, he can avoid eating out 90% of the times because of that. Since his means of entertainment is also abundantly available on internet, he saves a lot of any other kinds of entertainment. Travels seldom, cooks at home, alternates between the Bata sneakers and sandals for next two years.

JERK is one among thousands of such Indian software engineers working abroad to turn their dreams into reality, but most of them forget that flying to a distant country is not just about making money but its all about the experience that you get in that country. There is much more in the foreign land to explore...people, places, culture, tradition, food, music, sports. My advice to such JERKs would be, get the hell out of your smelly houses, stop eating the same thing which you would eat till your death back home, stop watching the same old movies which would be your hundredth time, go experience the new country. I would end this with a punchline from Smirnoff, "Life is Calling. Where are you?"

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