August 2, 2007
A couple of days back, a conversation with an acquaintance somewhat went like this:
Me: Where do you work?
He replied, with his head over Mt. Everest: I work for Google
Me: awesome, *how* did you get that job? (my emphasis could have been on “you” but my curiosity was on the “how”)
He: actually, I work on their payroll system, which they had outsourced to Oracle, as Oracle 10g was being used
Me: oh ok, so you work *for* Oracle, right?
He: nope, Oracle has this subsidiary, called [cant remember the name] to which they entrusted the project.
Me, getting tired: phew, so thats the company you work for?
He: aaaand they contracted the project to someone else who..
[after a long loop]
Me: ok, let me get this straight.. you work for a company called LKB Consultants, who got the project through WTF Inc, who are the contractors for OMG systems, who seem to work on a *particular* part of the payroll system for Accenture/Deloitte who were sub-contracted by Google, and you claim to work for Google. Basically, you are a consultant. Right? What I meant by “who do you work for” is who gives the paycheck. Why are you shy to admit who your employer is, or what your salary is? You are doing fine, and I dont understand why this..
He: ya right, whatever. What is YOUR job?
Me: I am a billionaire.
Me: well, not technically, but you see my boss is a lakhpati, whose boss is a karodpati, whose boss [a looong chain] is a billionaire. So, I am a billionaire, going by the same logic.. and before you ask, I am married to Katrina Kaif. You see, my wife has a friend whose classmate commuted the same local bus as Katrina’s best friend’s sister’s cousin used to. You get the drift..
Not to belittle desis, but such an attitude is highly prevalent among us. The main driving forces seem to be:
1) societal pressure, which some have not been able to cope with
2) and insecurities (inferiority complex), which one cant get rid of
Sometimes I wonder what else could be the reason for this larger than life advertising and pompous mentality. Where are the desis who are extremely talented and yet remain behind the curtains? Nothing wrong in drum-beating one’s powers (when they are true), but in that noise, many chimps seem to echo in their own cacophony which towers the genuine candidates.
One might think that this might be a case of sour grapes, and that I am jealous, but just look around once and such shallow behavior is all pervasive. It sometimes gets nauseating with this “Dont ask, Dont tell” policy. If innocent questions like who do you work for get veiled answers as in the above case, that day wont be far when verbal conversations would have footnotes and disclaimers like “opinions expressed and info given may appear larger than what they really are, conditions apply”.
Veiled truth is that gray area between truth and lies that is like a fantasy, trying to convince you to believe into something that has stemmed from a very lose (and weak) base.
- My son brought a house for 1 crore rupees. Hmmn, good, it being around $200k, that isnt astronomical. Hell, some flats in Mumbai (New Bombay: CPT area), Hyderabad (Cyberabad area) and Bangalore (Jayanagar/Malleswaram?) are around 80+ lakhs and middle-class is buying it. What is the big deal? And out of the 200k, a huge part (say 150k) is taken as loan. But these caveats arent conveyed, creating a crore-pati image in India.
- My son’s job takes him to places, it requires extensive traveling. He is doing extremely well as he pockets a salary of more than $120k. Translation: He is a consultant whose projects are short-lived. Job-hopping is part of working under a consultant, and the pay is definitely in that range, but reduces substantially by the time it makes through the various layers of consultants to his hands.
I hate to burst their bubble (when parents share their thoughts with such fervor), but I would really like to know the reason why that same super filthy rich son doesnt invite them to his “mansion” before he gets married? Their trip to US suddenly becomes indispensable when a kid is born.
Twisted interpretations, veiled truth and denial of reality only lead to a “supposedly” happy life. Get me one person (desi) who would happily admit that he works for a startup for a dismal salary, but the project is pretty interesting and he sees a bright future for it. Not that they dont exist, just that I havent met one.
I ran out of any more venom to spew.