Of Green cards, H1Bs and onsite: Not being an NRI
After more than a year of introspection, self-realization and a complete scan of my mind space, I dissected my ‘needs’ gingerly on Maslow’s hierarchy. Standing at the twilight zone of my MBA where I have to decide on the sector I want to branch into in my placements, here is what I have decided.
I still vividly remember the look on my project manager’s face when I handed over my resignation at Infy, “Stay on man, you will be moving to US shortly.”
I gave him a contemptuous look….poor soul doesn’t even realize that I am destined for higher things in life -investment banking, consulting and so on.
Well, after a year, the economy is picking up, but, unfortunately consulting & investment banking sectors are kinda small and software sector is still big; even Infy and IBM are recruiting massively again.
“You get monkeys, if you pay peanuts” …please, please, look closely at my face…do I look like a monkey?
I am here for the Holy Grail, ‘gyan!’
I am here for learning, the quest to be a complete professional (Comically I realize I still don’t have a ‘Raymond’ suit). So Software it is, and hence my quest for THE Company starts. With more than 8 months to go for my placements I guess I still have time to zero in on my Prey.
The search starts with good old Infy. All my batch-mates are at Onsite now. People who had joined in my batch, my client, my IBU, all of them I mean ALL THE PEOPLE I knew seem to be at onsite. People of all kinds, who were great, regarded as ‘Fundu’ to people, whom I remember getting backs in all semesters of engineering are at onsite now. How did I know??
Well one Mr.Facebook Buyukkokten is to be blamed for this. How does one identify a techie cooling his heels in onsite? Simple!
Follow the following steps for a positive match.
Step 1 – Go on to his FB Profile. The Location will read something like “New Jersey, USA” or “Toronto, Canada”. But his Brown skin (you can call me a “racist pig” for this, but this ain’t no Big Brother!!) and a very Indian face flatters to deceive and you realize that this is the same person you knew who belonged to a Bandra, Mumbai or a T.N.Road, Chennai.
Step 2 – Next stop is the Album section in FB. Believe me it shall be full(12/12) with at least two snaps taken on snow, two in front of NASA or Eiffel Tower ( depending on which part of the globe you are at) with the person you knew wearing a very trendy western outfit as if he/she was born with it. Don’t be deceived by the clothes or the shorter and trendier DCH Hair Cut that you see. The chap knows how big a hole that Hair Cut and that trendy coat made in his/her pocket. Don’t you understand…? It was for the photo session you see!!
Step 3 – Let’s move on to the Wall. Let’s see the posts and my reactions to them embedded in brackets inline. Here you will find exclamations like “Ohh you know it Snowed out here…My God it was unbelievable” (yeah it is…unbelievable!!) or “It’s so cool out here, I mean everything is so organized so unlike India” (wait till they organize your Visa expiry, then you will realize how organized they are). Some self-appointed patriots will try showing off their pseudo patriotism thinking that they are brand ambassadors of ‘India Shining’ with scraps like “Whatever you say, India is India, Ohh I miss India so much” ( Dude!! who’s stopping you??Pack your bags and take the next flight home!!) One more/another very common scrap is of friends and lesser mortals enquiring “Wahin settle hone ka iraada hai kya, ki wapas aa rahe ho??”(Do I see a blush on the 1/4th NRI’s face??Don’t worry dude, he wasn’t Born there, as soon as his PM decides that he is done with this Guy he will chop him off, and the next in line will have his VISA stamped!!)
Step 4 – Chat with the Guy and you find the Americanisation of his Vocab. ‘Petrol’ has become ‘Gas’, he has stopped watching the DDLJs and KANKs and has started watching the Firangee movies. He even asks for the rates in Dollars. Good Lord!!Don’t worry Dude, you are not on a green card, it’s just a H1B and the day they shove you back you will be paying the Autowalla 20 rupees for the ride back home and not 20 dollars!!
Don’t tell me that I am bitching and don’t tell me the story of sour grapes. Even I am in the queue. Even I will get my turn at Onsite someday, my ‘Nirvana’, the ‘Moksha’. I will get that state of bliss. All great men have been enlightened under one tree or another – Buddha had his bodhi tree, Newton had his apple tree. Unfortunately for me, I will attain nirvana under a Coconut tree. By the way, do they have Coconut Trees in USA??