Sunday, August 13, 2006

the One and the Other one

When you are in love it so often happens that you want the time to stand still forever and you can't think of any other person in your life then the one you are with at that time.
What is it with love that people turn crazy? they can't think of anything or anyone else? and most importantly how they rule out the possibility of anyone else walking in their lives or that one they are with walking out of their lives?
I am not going to provide the answers to those unanswered questions as I like anyone else in the world don't have a clue about any of those questions.
But the question that probably has risen in most heads and hearts at one or the other point of time is "Is he or she 'the One' we were searching for?" and 99% of the times when you are with that person the answer to that question is 'Yes' and once you have broken up the answer to that question is flat 99% 'No'.

"How can a girl be in love with 2 guys at the same time?", Shivani was giving me that inquisitive look like I had a ready answer to her question, and that I would be out with it as soon as she was finished asking it.
She was talking about her friend Shweta but the question wasn't specific to Shweta alone, the question she really wanted to ask was can a person be in love at the same time with more than one person?

Shweta and Shivani had been friends since the time both moved in together in the same room. They were studying together in the same class and they didn't had much of a choice when they moved in together. The school had allotted them the same room and with them was another roomie named Shalini.
The only common thing between all three of them was that the names of each of them started with the alphabet S.
The similarity ended there as they had different views about life, studies, relationships and any other thing above the ground and below the sky. Nevertheless they were able to keep on going with little fights at times, why you used my cosmetic types.
And when you live together inadvertently you become friends (even though you don't share much in common), after the day was over they used to sit down and gossip about the day. Who was with whom? who has got a new cellphone and how and what the xyz couples had been doing and where?

Shweta was having a long time relationship with this guy named Saurabh who was currently in Delhi completing her MBA, both have met at some common friend's party and from the first time they hit off. They had all the fun and vows between them before both of them left to advance their academic career. But yes they had all the plans of marrying once he was settled and she has completed her graduation which seemed like some 3-4 years away. This was the short story that Shivani knew of Shweta.

On the other hand Shivani never had a so called boyfriend ever (as far I knew or as far as the class knew) till 3 months back when she and my friend Vikram fell in for each other. I was a friend of both though Vikram was a much better friend of mine and she was like any other friend in the class but since the time they both started their relationship, Shivani grew much closer to me and she would share things about their lives with me and would often ask me for advice (though I am very bad at it) . Even when both would go out for movie or dinner they would compel me to come along. It was a good relationship with both of them, I never felt odd even when I used to barge in between their talks and they never took it as an offense. At times she would come to me with even such silly questions as what do you think Vikram will like this dress she would say taking a full turn displaying me her new floral dress, and I would comment very indifferently, I don't know.
But she won't leave until I would say it looks great and Vikram would like it like anything and then I would have to make sure that I let this thing known to Vikram so that he should notice and appreciate her dress. At times I thought that she was way too crazy about Vikram and may be she should act sensibly at times.
But sense prevailed me at such times and I never actually said those things to either of them. The result of all this was now I was as good a friend of Shivani as of Vikram.

When she wanted to discuss something she would discuss anything (she never cared if it concerned me or not) and today was yet another of those times.
Recently she came to know that Shweta was having affair with Rahul, a guy from the arts section. Though she had a hunch for quite some time as she had seen them together and many of her classmates had asked if something was going between them (when you enjoy commenting about others then there are always people around you waiting for you to falter once) , but even after this Shivani never believed that something like this can happen, she thought may be both are from the same school house (which was blue) so they are planning some house activity together. She had only one reason not to believe what she was thinking and that reason was big enough for her and that was, that she knew Shweta was already in a relationship and she was sure that relationship was still alive as she saw cards kept on pouring for her and calls from her boyfriend every now and then.
And even Shweta herself sent him a gift this valentine's.

"What do you mean you love Rahul?", Shivani was screaming at her when she told her about the affair.
Shweta, are you out of your mind or what? how can you love Rahul? If you have lost your memory then may I remind you that you are already into a relationship (for Shivani if you have vowed to marry each other it is a relationship or else it's an affair) with a guy named Saurabh, who is in Delhi and you guys are into a relationship since last 2 years.
"Vani, don't scream yaar", Shweta said irritated.
I know everything, I remember everything. I remember Saurabh very well, I know he is my first love, "what do you mean first love?" Shivani cut in, you don't have first, second or third love in your life. Either you love someone or not and when you love someone that's the end of it, you can't love someone else.
Don't talk crazy Vani, it's not like there is a rule imposed like that or it is a punishable offense to do that. You can't help your heart, if it likes someone you can't help it and you can't counter it with any arguments. And see Vani, I am sharing this with you as you are my good friend, I need you to understand and not scream, if you won't understand then it will be hard for me.
I'm sorry for screaming, Shivani replied taking in a deep breath, but it's like it is a shock for me, I have never heard of anything like this before and never even thought of anything like that in my dreams. True I had friends who had many boyfriends and I never liked them for changing their boyfriends but deep down in my heart I never felt that they were wrong if they dumped one guy and went on to pick the other one, may be the things didn't worked between them or may be their relationships were not meant to be. But yea I must say what you are doing is bizarre. You can't just have relationship with two guys at the same time, wait!! Shweta are you suggesting that now you are in love with Rahul and no more love Saurabh and that you are going to dump him?
No, No, No Vani, all I am saying is I love Rahul, that in no way means that I don't love Saurabh anymore. I am in relationship with Saurabh for last 2 years and we have had some very good times, he had given me a lot in my life and he means a a lot to me.
Shivani wasn't getting an idea as to what Shweta was up to and she thought may be she herself doesn't know what she is talking about. They had this argument for another hour or so, Shweta kept on trying to make her understand and Shivani on the other hand kept on trying to make Shweta understand that what she is talking is absurd and such a thing can't happen and she should sit down and think for a while about that. After an hour or so when they both were exhausted with arguments they both went to bed, it was already 12 o'clock and luckily Shalini was sleeping over at another of her friend's room and may be that was the reason Shweta brought up the topic today.

This happened like a week back and since then Shivani was feeling restless, she still couldn't come to terms with what Shweta had told her the other day. They haven't talked about it since that day but Shivani had seen Shweta with Rahul and had just walked off from there without even acknowledging Rahul's greetings.

When she came up to me, she said she wanted to talk about this with someone and she didn't felt it proper to talk about this with Vikram (god knows why). How can this happen, how can we love more than one person at the same time? She kept on repeating this again and again to me. And after an hour when I was sincerely hoping for Vikram to come from somewhere so that I can be spared she said and you know what? "What?" I asked in a dejected tone.
You are not going to tell any of this to anyone, not even Vikram, "OK" I replied.
Shweta just don't have a romantic relationship with Saurabh, she also had a physical relationship with him, and not once as she has told me. Now you think how horrible it all seems.

So that was the part that was eating her up in the entire Shweta, Saurabh and Rahul saga. In addition to romantic she was also having a sexual relationship with Saurabh and now she says that she loves Rahul.
I don't know for a fact but I truly believe that when you are in the same situation as other and something wrong (only the wrong part) happens to other, you start relating it to yourself and may be at this time Shivani was doing the same thing and felt much bad then if she had taken Shweta's case at its face value and as an isolated case.
Somehow I talked her out of that for the time being and I rushed towards my German class.

But the question Shivani asked kept on ringing in my head, at any point in our lives can we be in love with more than one person? and is that right or wrong?
For myself I knew the answer to the first question just that at that point in time I didn't wanted any argument with Shivani so I just didn't put forth my point.
Yes off course we can be in love with more than one person at a time that is what I believed and I guess we all have seen that happening some or the other time, with someone or the other. It's just that people at times are so hypocritical that they try not to see the real thing.

As Shweta said most of the times you can't have arguments with your heart, you can't make your heart understand the logics of the world. The answer could be (as many people say) take control of your heart. Agreed but sorry as the majority of people I am not aware of that art. I can't control my heart and I think so can't most of the people in the world, if people knew that art then there would not have been any complications in this world.

Personally I didn't felt there was anything unusual about what happened with Shweta, she loves a guy whom she is not with right now. There are lot of guys she meet everyday and her boyfriend is not around for her to share things she would love to, she can't go out on dates like her other friends who have their boyfriends with them. Whatever may be the reason but she found someone she can be happy with right now, with whom she can share things, with whom she can go out and have fun and may be that new someone is also caring and more loving then the boyfriend she already had.
What do you do if you find someone who you think is better at that time then someone else you are already into relationship with?
Just that a new one comes in your life your heart just don't start hating that other one, he must have been caring and loving too that's how you choose him or her in the first place and now the new one is caring and loving too, so what you do? Do you leave the previous one?
So often married people get hooked on to relationships outside their marriages, they have not only found the one but they are also committed to the one, but still their heart wouldn't stop beating, it won't stop loving someone else if it finds the other one special and in such a case they can't leave the one they are with because he or she also forms an integral part of their lives and not to forget they also love them.

Breaking up is always hard, when you spend time with someone and that too in such a close relationship, you just can't accept the fact that he or she will no longer be part of your life or they will end up with someone else. May be that is not love and may be that is still love, you want to have both the persons in your life. Leaving anyone of them is going to hurt you.
And does having sexual relationship with one or the other or both have anything to do with it? Not necessarily, sex is just one part of a relationship and if even having a relationship with someone couldn't stop you from loving someone else then sex can never alter that decision of yours.
The point is that many of us are in love with more than one person in life, it's just that we don't let that feeling overwhelm us. It's always a probability that there are more than one guy or girl around you, you admire more than one, you get one of them and other one walks into your life you start feeling the love for the other one too, you just don't want to loose 'the one' for the 'other one' and also you don't want to rule out the possibility of the love of 'other one' just because you are in love with 'the one' and that's the real truth, that's the real thing that heart wants. If we don't let that feeling take over, it's not because its wrong its just because we are afraid, afraid of what people around would say, afraid of what any of them come to know of the other.

Is it right or wrong? No one knows for sure, if one is totally driven by ethos and society implemented rules that person would reject such a thing outright, like Shivani did. But then at times that feeling is so strong that we like to go with it without thinking of the consequences, we like to enjoy what we have in our hand.
Nonetheless it complicates our life, we want the happiness in our life and any way it comes we try to go for it. But sometimes or the other reality strikes us and we might think that we made a wrong decision.
If we go any further then the truth is that we can never say for sure that 'the one' we have chosen is really 'the one' for us.
Every relation has its good times, tough times, bad times and even times when we start feeling that the relationship is stale and definitely not the same as it started. And this is the time we start looking out of the relation we are in and that's when things start getting real complicated.

Should we get involved in such a relation? Nobody is sure as it is not up to us to fall in such a complicated situation.
Shweta was enjoying her life with Rahul, she was getting the love and care she longed for since the time Saurabh was not with him. She wanted that life should continue like that. Rahul should keep on loving him, she should also have love of Saurabh and most importantly both should not know about each other. Call it selfishness, call it meanness or whatever but this was the true thing that her heart wanted and the only unusual thing about it was she was one of those persons who have heard and complied with what their hearts really wanted.

Things continued the way they were for another six months and as the way she wanted, either of the guys was not aware about the existence of other. But Shweta understood in just 2 months what mess she was into when she had to manage both the relations. Now whenever she was saying those three magical words to anyone of them she was confused, confused that is she doing something wrong (as Shivani has told her). and confused about who she really loved and if such a situation comes where she has to choose one whom she would be choosing. "Can't I have the love of both of them?" every heart beat of hers kept on asking that question.

But life is really full of ups and downs and surprises, they say "time heels everything". Not exactly that time heels everything but yes time at least changes the situation for you at times. After about six months with Rahul, surprisingly things started changing at Saurabh's end, what changed Shweta never came to know but yes, Saurabh was getting away from her for some reason, the calls to Shweta has lessened, where earlier he used to call at least twice a week now it was like twice a month, less conversation, less gifts. Their relation was really less intimate now and for Shweta it was a welcome relief. The guilt feeling she developed after listening to Shivani and may be some other people started to vanish slowly. He would call rarely and she would not ask why and he also would be happy that she is not asking why. The long distance relationship they were trying to maintain so hardly was stale now and Shweta was thankful that it was the same for Saurabh too. And she was almost certain he must have got someone else in his life but she never asked and he never told. Even now the thought of Saurabh being someone else's didn't sink in very well in her heart, she still thought (and wished) that he was hers only.

She was enjoying her time with Rahul like she never did. As earlier she was now into one relation but with the other one. But again like any other relation, this relation of hers was also slated to go through all the phases that any other relation of any other person would. The school was going to end in another month and her relationship with Saurabh already had. None of them said anything to the other, none of them asked anything and the best part was none of them was complaining.
In short, if Shweta was in love with more than one person at a time then Saurabh too must be doing that.
The day she explained this to Shivani, Shivani just smiled and remarked "good for you" and went off. But now I could see that in Shivani's talks that she has come to terms with the fact. The scenario she was rejecting outright some 6 months back she now at least thought that it was possible (though she still wouldn't have wanted her to fell into one such situation ever).

So Saurabh wasn't the one for Shweta but do you think Rahul is the one for her? Shivani asked me with mouthful of ice-cream, we were out of a movie (a Sharukh Khan crap) and Vikram was also with us, who was by now as much aware about the whole story as I was (girls might always ask you to not to tell it to others but they are the first ones to tell it to every other person they meet), Vikram had the least interest in that story and never even asked me how did I come to know of it.
Though he loved Shivani as much but at times he used to get fed up of her and her stories (as it happens with any normal guy who has to keep up with his girlfriend). If I am around he would make some excuse to leave and come in a while, leave me to listen to her and would always come late and to my agonizing looks would remark "thanks brother" with a wink.

Shivani got the answer to her question sooner than she expected and not from me but she herself was a witness to it.

Once the school was finished Rahul was off to Pondicherry to pursue a degree in French and Shweta planned to go to Delhi to join fashion designing. And this time she never took those vows she did earlier with Saurabh, she had been through all of this before and she didn't want false commitments this time. She was well aware of the fact now that it's hard for her to say that Rahul was really 'the one' and she didn't want to fell into the trap that life laid for her the last time. She now knew that though you can be in love with more than one person at one time but the sad part was that you can't have all of them in your life and in her case none of them.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Software Loyalties

In one of my job interviews I was asked a question which in today’s software world is having much more weightage than the salary negotiation.
“How can you guarantee us that you would be loyal to the company?” the gentleman interviewing at once realized that he has put up the question in the worst possible manner, he at once regained the composure and continued “let me put the question in other way how long would you stay with the company? It is just that you know now a days attrition rate is so high in software industry”.
Who is the better person than a developer who himself is looking for a change to understand what the attrition rate is in the industry today.
One good thing that has come out of the high attrition rate, for the candidates is that they have now more bargaining power not only in terms of salary but also in terms of working environment, hours of working, perks, rejecting any bonds and whatever the candidate can think of.
There has been a time when companies out there have taken the full advantage of the candidates (when the market was not so hot) and made them sweat for 12-14 hrs a day and paid them peanuts and in addition to all this made them sign bonds.

They say “what goes out comes back” and this is what is happening now. The market is hot companies ready to pay any amount to the candidates with right skills and even ready to hire candidate without any skills. For every potential employee there are at least 4 companies standing out there with offers beating each other.
So is it wrong for the candidate to take advantage of such a situation?
How long and for what reason should a candidate be loyal to a company?
What factors constitute loyalty towards a company?
And most importantly if a candidate is loyal is there an assurance that the company in question would also remain loyal to him when the market would (god forbid) would not be so hot?
When my friend Rajesh joined a new company after quitting his old company in just 6 months of time, I asked him was there no work in that company or was the other offer too good to resist?
Rajesh when joined that company was on bench for first month, this is the time when any employee joining a new company is eager to prove himself. Being on the bench is the worst thing that can happen to a developer who has always kept on working for more than 10 hrs. It’s a sort of retirement and when he starts to enjoy it then there is work for him to do.
Work he was assigned to after one month was a short in house application (that’s even worst then the bench as it always is driven by the whims and fancies of the bosses).
He somehow managed himself and in 3 months time of working on that project made a name for himself and he was put onto an ongoing project which was about to finish in a months time, he was assigned ad hoc tasks and without knowing the system he had to work on it and by the time he started to get a hang of the project it was over.
In these six months he realized that market is paying much more than what he is getting (though it is always a feel of every employee but in today’s world this is the truth), he put up his thoughts together.
To get an increment I had to wait here for another six months and that too he was not sure about the percentage that he would get, he had heard of a 30% max and when he started trying out he got 3 offers in 7 days of time with the max offer being 70% more than his current salary.
Work was the last thing on his mind, he has already seen it all over here, things can’t get worse than this, if he has to sit on bench only or has to work on some low level projects than why not do it with a better salary at least.

Yes there are many loyal employees in this industry too but I would rather call them satisfied employees than loyal.
Until and unless an employee is satisfied or stuck up due to some reasons of his own there is a slim chance that he would stay with that or for that matter with any organization. And there is nothing wrong about it.
Loyalty should not be wrongly interpreted as an employee sticking to an organization even when he is not satisfied.
An employee might be serving the organization for numerous years but he might not be loyal, he might have been trying to get out of the organization but due to some or the other inabilities he might not have been successful.
There might be employees who went off and came back in the organization, they also can’t be considered loyal most of the times for the simple reason that had they put faith in the company previously they wouldn’t have left in the first place.
An employee can also not be considered as loyal if he has been threatening the company every now and then and keeps on getting his things done, such an employee can run out any time when the company stops playing by his rule.
Also if an employee is always finding faults with the company and not doing even his bit to improve the situation he can’t be considered loyal too.
Then the big question is what constitutes loyalty of an employee towards his organization?
The answer is simple; don’t expect an employee in this industry to stick with the same company forever. The companies should see if that employee in his tenure has delivered honestly, when he is in the organization has he done things to improve the face of the company. If the employee has been vocal about the problems within the company processes or the manner of operations and time and again the employee has suggested measures to improve it that’s the most loyal employee that a company can get. If a company can ensure that every employee that is working is at least 70% satisfied in the company, it will also ensure their loyalty for the company.
The tenure of an employee is immaterial when it comes to measuring loyalty. At times the organization presents no reason to the employee to remain in the organization, its better at such a time to let the employee go and benefit some other organization which is in the real need of resources.
The days are gone when people used to start with one company and they used to retire from the same company. It’s a free world today and every employee has got a lot of options in his hands in all the sectors, let the loyalty be for what the employee has been for the company and not how long the employee has been with the company.