Saturday, December 06, 2008

Last week, I went to office with a small kid. I didn’t see him until the auto-rickshaw stopped by my side. He was this cute looking kid about 3 years old, standing and playing in that small space behind the passenger seat of the auto. The father must have put him there as there was no one home.

What the hell? I got in the auto and told the driver my destination. Midway, the kid suddenly said “Paani!” There was this bottle of water near the driver’s side. I took the bottle, put it to the kid’s lips and made him drink the water. When he was done, he smiled at me and we became instant friends.

Reminds me of the days back home when I was in my teens and I was the neighborhood kids’ favorite teacher. My elder brother was the type who would shout and throw the kids’ books if the kids couldn’t get it the first time. After a few days, they all came to me. I was the patient one who would explain things slowly and repeatedly, if required. I also had this habit of telling them stories from history, mythology, science…and asking questions. I still do with S, after all these years.

Kids always have shared this special bonding with me. One thing that always surprises me is that they never approach me as someone older. It’s more like the way people in the same age group warm up to each other, the way friends do.

About a year back, S and I went to Munnar with a good friend, her hubby and 4 year old daughter. Sometime after the journey started, the kid became my long lost pal – talking to me all the time, laughing at my jokes, pointing out the mountains and the “fountains” (her style of fooling me!) from the car window, and slapping me on the back of my head. My friend called me up a few weeks after the journey and told me that her daughter was still using my words/expression.

I’m the only one in the family with whom my kid brother talks about girls and other “young people” stuff. My teenage nephew whom the whole family considers disobedient and stubborn opens up to me all the time. If he’s hurt or angry, he will call me up and talk to me.

In spite of my strong and repeated refusals to having a kid of our own, S has never ever taken me seriously. She loves the way I interact or bond with kids. So when I talk about my 101 reasons for not having a kid – pollution, population explosion, parking space, dirty politics, the evil nature of people in our generation, our dying world, supporting/sponsoring other needy relatives’ kids….she has this look in her eyes that says – You don’t fool me honey, we will have a kid whenever I want!

A company in the UK paid me 60 GBP for putting up their link on my professional blog. I got another $250 member of the month award for my contributions to a networking site for professionals (in my domain). A few people have started mentioning my blog as their favorite. In the last interview I attended, the two interviewers laughed when I told them my long term career goal is to become someone well known and respected in the field of Analytics/Data Mining. Stupid fucks, people who will spend their whole lives running after bigger salaries and bigger companies.

And no, I’m not going to write about Mumbai.