Afternoon Tea and Empathy Series: My Take on a Career

The water hisses to a boil and I add Brooke Bond Red label Natural Care tea leaves, as I watch the water turn darker shade of red. I reduce flame and add preboiled milk to it. Once the second boil happens, I switch off the stove and filter the tea. Once the fragrant tea is poured into cups and placed in the tray to carry it over to the living room sofa area where guests and host are both present. I cut into the conversation to serve them the tea. Empathy is just right about round the corners.

Slowly the conversation opens with someone mentioning about their work life and from there the conversation takes on in full swing. I flit, I float, I flee flee, I fly out of the conversation where elders are talking about their work experiences. Sometimes I would ponder upon my lack of stability that clinch deal of the other’s success in career. There was something to learn in those shared memories, as they gathered in my mind from the depth of my moments of awareness.

All my uncles were from various field of choice but the surprising thing about them was that, their capabilities in striving hard in the choice of their career. That capabilities of my family members comes out prominently. My father’s eldest brothers where two and one elder sister. He was the fourth born and below him were three younger brothers.

My eldest uncle had yet to complete his law school course to be fully qualified lawyer, but then, he worked for lawyers as secretary starting his career as a typist in a law firm. Slowly, he advanced to become an arbitrator for my father’s company.

The second elder uncle was in the Telephones department and retired from it. He had never spoken about his work in front of me, so I have no idea about his work experience. But then, he retired with VRS from a managerial post speaks for his ability in his work.

My father’s elder sister and my aunt was a skilled chef who can whip up a dish that is of high taste and highly skilled. She would usually be the head-chef during the Sharadam cooking. This was way back in the time when Grandfather’s death anniversary or sharadam when Grandma was still alive. It would take place at Srivatsam our family home. It would happen in October which was clubbed with Malayapaksham. She would arrive earlier and work on both days cooking. It is really a strenuous job and she would ace with such ease. 

During Malayapaksham people who have missed out on performing last rites due to whatever the reason can during this time of the year perform a rite to appease the spirit. A single date that would cover up for all the missed-out rites. Our Aunt husband used to join us to perform the Malayapaksham veedi as per scriptures.

My father was a B.Sc. Chemistry graduate and worked in construction labs testing material strength. He also took engineering equivalent diploma and was short of one last paper which he could not attend since he was shifted to Kudramukh which was down south. That made him miss out on adding on to his qualification. It is hard to be a family man supporting a full-time job and to study for the exams. But my father put in a lot of effort to attend night classes and notes from the course that he had taken up.

Appa never gave up in his lab testing and believed that data spoke for itself than just peripheral collection of facts. He believed in number and many times when he would accompany me to the ward for my routine, he would create a chart of my health report. It was his way of coping with the situation. Sometimes doctors do not make sense to someone who is looking out for a fixed date of getting well. Lifelong ailment was alien to him, and he could never understand it until his end.

Father’s eldest younger brother was in the Insurance company. He was in a managerial post and excellent people skills. He also retired from a high post in the office. He later structured a lifestyle for him and was mutli-level interest in all classical and cultural activities. He could be said have lived his life to the fullest.

Father’s second younger brother was a geological wonderkid. His interest in the oil pumps and excavating in deep interiors of south Indian for various crude oil holes shows his incredible interest and scientific thinking.

My father’s youngest brother was in the banking sector and retired from managerial post. All of them retired from a high post from their career of choice. All of them did whatever it took to become the best by learning up or taking tests to get promoted to the next level in their choice of careers.  

So, whenever the brothers meet up and are conversing with each other they would on rare occasion share their career experience which was such a wonderful thing to hear and enjoy. One thing I lack in this life is that I do not have patience. It really takes a lot of time to get the work on a 9-5 job and I get bored instantaneously.

Only place that I was fully happy immensely was in Chandamama, but I left the job because My Editor found me sleeping on the sofa one afternoon. Back then, I was sick and highly medicated which left me feeling drowsy most of the time. Despite that hurdle I used to enjoy my work. Ramakrishnan sir who was my superior must have had a hard time with me. I do not back away from working hard even when my health condition is not up to the mark. I love to write and creating new content or story is such a thrill for me. If my Editor had not seen me sleeping and if all had worked well, I would have still been in Chandamama. But then, sadly the organization shut shop, I remember crying that there was no more of the Vikram and Vetal stories to read.

Moreover, the generation have moved on and Chandamama format would be archaic and outdated. Yet it was innocently sweet. The company could not keep up with the changing scenario. The main selling point was the Vikram and Vetal series, and children were more reality oriented. Kings and queens and princess and prince no longer were topic of interest. We lost our market because the children had moved on to comics of superpowered power Rangers. Even the old magazines had to evolve with their changing audience preferences. When there is no natural change then being buried in our own rigidity would happen.

During the time that I was there, it was such a pleasure to know that someone read what I wrote very carefully and advised me how to write it better. I really admired Ramakrishnan sir a lot and he was my mentor in many ways. He taught me patience and unhurried working habit. But sadly I am still trying hard to learn it. I am most probably the only member in my family who never held a job beyond a year. I simply cannot be in the job after a year. Earlier it used to be three months now it is a year. I so desire to work like my siblings for 15 plus years in the same organization but then, no chance I would get bored, and I want change. This constant craving for change and a different direction or new way of seeing things this is a constant urge to move on and keep on at it.

With my previous employment my morale had come down so terribly that I am frightened to even apply for a job now. So many conversations with my parents and others would lead to my putting my head down and accepting my inability. But then, I have a noticeably short attention span and I tend to understand things in my way which sometimes clicks and other times backfires. Whichever company I worked for I gave more than my 100%. I believe in honest labor but then, I am not a smart worker. I tend to take the longest route to a task and so people avoid giving me task eventually.

My current joy is to build on my blogsite and create ways to write topics that picks my interest. I work on it when I feel like and I am not pressurized to attain any target. I just want to post an entry every week and to write as creatively as possible. The point is to be able to write any which way I want and see the way the work explodes. Till date I do not have one viral post.

Since my blog is entire only on WordPress and I have no social media account except LinkedIn where I do not post anything. I rarely interact in social media. I preferred to stay out of it, since it was causing depression for me. I felt that my life was substandard compared to other people’s happiness overflowing lifestyle. I felt my post were desperately begging for attention which left a bad after taste for me. So, I walked out of the social media circle about five or six years back. Haven’t regret it so far.

If I apply for SEO Content writer or for the Digital Marketing team, then I have no idea where Social Media has advanced in so many years. Moreover, I am bored with SEO Content writing, seems more mechanical and cutthroat writing for a Search Engine which is going to be super rude to you. I honestly could not find a way to earn a living in the present scenario. The desire to get into a 9-5 job is not appealing one bit for me.

I am second guessing myself whenever I look at the various jobs listed in Naukri and LinkedIn. I simply cannot bring myself to apply even and even if I do, then the 5 years gap is too much to tide over for the company to even pick me as a prospective candidate. I have lost hope and feel less motivated to find a job for myself. When I ask myself what makes me happy then it would be writing carefree without censorship of my thoughts. Should not I take responsibility if I hurt someone in the process of self-expression. Hmmm…I never thought in those lines though.

My CNF has had one of the longest runs. I had started in 1988 and I continue to write with some sabbatical taken occasionally due to circumstances. My opinion pieces and book reviews have been a longer-term writing exercise which I religiously follow to date. So, if I am happy just writing once in a while and getting a like here and there, I think my life is done. I do not want anything more. Is that a career? Can I call it a career? Or mera career mera Ishtyle!